Reuven Rivlin
Reuven RivlinMark Neiman/GPO

The Weizmann Institute of Science on Tuesday evening awarded the degree of Doctor of Philosophy honoris causa to President Reuven Rivlin, for “devoting his life to bringing people all over the world together, and to the beauty and sanctity of the city of Jerusalem.”

The president delivered remarks on behalf of the recipients at the festive ceremony, during which an additional seven honorary doctorates were awarded to Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz, Rebecca Boukhris, Professor Jonathan Dorfan, Mario Fleck, Alex Levac, Professor Raphael Mechoulam and Professor Martha C. Nussbaum.

Rivlin began his remarks by commenting on the security situation in Israel and said, “Before I begin, I would like to start by expressing my support for and solidarity with the soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces, their commanders, the security and rescue forces, the State of Israel’s policy-makers and the residents of the South up to Gush Dan.”

“We are in an ongoing and complex campaign, following a preemptive action intended to strike down a murderous enemy. We will not accept a reality in which hundreds of thousands of citizens continue to live under the threat of missile fire, and in which their daily routine is disrupted. We are determined to win, and to hit the enemy wherever it is hiding,” he continued.

“Causing harm to the civilian population, and hiding amongst a civilian population, are war crimes. The entire international community must denounce the terrorist organizations and play their part in the battle against them.”

“Citizens of Israel, wherever you are - listen to the instructions of the IDF Home Front Command. These are life-saving instructions; it is critical that we pay close attention and adhere to them,” said the president.

Later, Rivlin spoke about the importance of the Weizmann Institute which gave him the degree. “Our entrepreneurial thinking, our scientific inventions, the technology that is developed here - all of these have become a focal point for pilgrimage.”

“I meet many leaders from all over the world who want to learn from us and collaborate with us for the development of science, for the benefit of all mankind. And this is a significant part of the prosperity of Israel - of the Land of Israel and the State of Israel.”

“I want to remind us all that the economic future, as well as the social strength and security, of the State of Israel, lies in its capacity to realize its scientific and technological potential. That investment in higher education, in science and research, is an essential component of building the national home in Israel, the construction of which is not yet complete.”

“I thank you for the honor you have bestowed on me, both for the title itself, and for receiving this alongside such wonderful men and women,” Rivlin concluded.