'We have to solve our problems' says Israeli president Rivlin


Israeli president Reuven Rivlin said he could not live in a Jewish state if it were not democratic ahead of his first Independence Day as head of state.

In an interview with English-speaking media, he said: “I cannot live in a Jewish state without it being democratic."

The former speaker of the Knesset, 75, who succeeded Shimon Peres last summer, reiterated the danger from Iran amid international attempts to reach a deal over its nuclear production.

“The whole world — and especially the American president — is trying to tell us that we have to find a new arrangement with Iran,” he said.

“They don’t get it, that Iran is trying to gain influence all over the region: Hezbollah, Iraq, Yemen, Jordan, Libya, Tunisia, Sudan.”

Israel needed a strong government while maintaining bipartisan American support.

“We are not yet isolated but we could face isolation by many of our friends, including the Europeans and the Americans,” he said.

“The new government has to take that into consideration in order to avoid it. People have to understand that not everything is up to us… We have to talk to our friends.”

Calling on Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas to “bring an end to the tragedy” in the region by resuming peace talks, he declared his belief that the two sides could bridge their differences.

He even suggested: “Maybe we can live in a federation. We will not have peace unless we have open borders. I know we have problems and we have to solve them.”

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