The position of president is largely ceremonial, becoming significant after national elections Presidents are elected by an absolute majority in the Knesset by secret ballot and serve a seven-year term. Any Israeli resident citizen is eligible to run for President. The president’s most important role, in practice, is to help lead the process of forming a government. Israel’s electoral system and fractured political landscape make it all but impossible for one party to govern alone, let alone win an outright majority of Knesset seats. After each election, the president consults with party leaders to determine who is most likely to command a majority in the Knesset.
The current president, Reuven Rivlin, assumed office in July 2014 so it is assumed he will complete his term in the summer of 2021.
Rabbi Glick’s decision was reported in Times of Israel:
“Over Rosh Hashanah, I sat with myself for two whole days and decided I will run for the job,” Glick told the Knesset members. “I see what is happening today in the nation. I am pained by the divisions and the rifts.
“I miss the days when we were a model society, a society of solidarity, when we strove to be a light unto the nations rather than fighting and hating one another,” he said. “We can go back to that.”
Israel 365 News contacted Rabbi Glick but he declined to comment on the decision.
Frequently mislabeled a religious extremist, Rabbi Glick advocates opening the Temple Mount on an equal footing to prayer by Muslims, Jews, Christians, and others. For his efforts, Rabbi Glick was awarded the 2015 Moskowitz Prize for Zionism for being “Active for human rights and religious freedom on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount”. Rabbi Glick is a long-time activist for Jewish rights on the Temple Mount and served as Member of Knesset for Likud. In October 2014, an Arab on a motorcycle approached Rabbi Glick after he gave a speech at the Menachem Begin Heritage Center in Jerusalem, shooting him four times at point-blank range. Rabbi Glick survived the assassination attempt, the assassin, a member of Islamic Jihad, was later killed trying to escape from police.
Rabbi Glick served as a member of the Knesset for Likud from May 2016 until April 2019.
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