Wednesday, June 13, 2007

President-elect Shimon Peres: My job is to unite Israeli society

Haaretz :
Vice Premier Shimon Peres was elected Israel's ninth president Wednesday, capping a six-decade political career in which he has held every senior government post. He will be sworn into office on July 15, for a seven-year term ...

Speaking at the Knesset after the final round of voting, the beaming 83-year-old thanked his family and the lawmakers who supported him and pledged to 'give my all to serve Israel.'...

Peres said he saw his new role as a unifier of Israel's fractured society.

"The president's role is not to deal with politics and partisanship, but to represent what unites us in a strong voice," he said.

"A president must represent the people's desire to be a united nation," he said. "The Knesset chose to prove today that elected figures represent the people."...

"Internationally, he is the most well known Israeli in the world today. He is from the founding generation and he is a symbol for us," said Welfare Minister Isaac Herzog of Labor on Wednesday. "For him, this is the closing of a circle."

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