Reuven Rivlin
Reuven Rivlinצילום: Olivier Fitoussi/FLASH90

Former Israeli President Reuven Rivlin made a rare statement on Israeli politics this week, expressing deep concerns that the incoming government could exacerbate political polarization.

Speaking at dinner following his address to a gala event hosted by the World Jewish Congress this Wednesday, Rivlin told attendees he fears there are “great dangers to Israel” after last week’s Knesset election, which left the right-wing – religious bloc poised to form a narrow rightist government.

When asked to clarify his comments, Rivlin, a former Likud lawmaker and long-time rival of Opposition Leader Benjamin Netanyahu, said that while the elections had been decisive and voters had clearly given a mandate for a new government, he fears the incoming government could worsen political divisions in Israel, Yediot Aharonot reported Friday.

Rivlin’s office later issued a statement, confirming that the former president is concerned with rising polarization in Israel, without commenting on the incoming government.

“The tenth president does indeed think that divisiveness is a great danger to the State of Israel,” Rivlin’s office said.