Men without views
After the shame brought by Moshe Katsav to the Israeli Presidency, his successor has brought nothing but honour to the role.
President Peres has represented Israel across the world and added still more lustre to an already illustrious career. More than that, he has shown that strong political opinions are no bar to a successful, unifying presidency. Which is especially relevant now that we know the identity of the next president - a man of equally strong views to Shimon Peres, from the opposite end of the political spectrum. But the Reuven Rivlin of today is not the same man who will assume the office of president. By definition, he will become a man of no views who exists only to unify Israel. That said, there are clear political lessons from his election. First, the Prime Minister is nothing like as strong as he sometimes seems. Mr Netanyahu was clear that he did not want Mr Rivlin - even attempting to abolish the office if that was the only way he could block his Likud colleague. He failed, utterly. Second, the proxy war for the succession to the leadership of Likud is now open. And third, there is increasing intolerance for sleaze in high office. The office may be without politics. But it is not a politics-free zone.