|On internal matters, Rivlin explained that after three elections in Israel, “I did everything in order to bring to a coalition”. He remarked that, “They managed to create a government, but they have to understand that when you are making a government you have to cooperate. A coalition means to cooperate, and unfortunately, everyone is accusing the other side that he is not cooperating. Of course as the president of Israel, I am not going to interfere.”
King Abdullah II of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the 2019 recipient of the Scholar-Statesman Award, sent video congratulations to President Rivlin. “At a time when not only our region but our world is plagued by illness and strife, it is courage, leadership, and partnerships that are needed now more than ever to overcome differences and to bring us all closer to healthier, safer, and more peaceful shores,” he said.
The king called on Israelis and Palestinians to pursue the peace process, saying, “I pledge once again to continue to do everything possible to achieve the just and lasting peace that fulfills the aspirations of all sides on the basis of a two-state solution.”
Rivlin thanked the king for his wishes, adding, “[King Abdullah II] is very important to us. He is very important as a neighbor. And he is very important as a real figure that could bring understanding and could create along with all the people in our region the understanding that we have to build trust.”
A complete transcript of President Rivlin’s conversation is available here.
King Abdullah II’s remarks may be found here.
This year’s Scholar-Statesman Award Gala also paid tribute to Walter P. “Wally” Stern, a senior vice president of The Washington Institute and a long-time leader of the organization. It was chaired by philanthropists Rita and Charles Bronfman; The Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation (CLSFF); and Merryl and James Tisch.
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About The Washington Institute: The Washington Institute is an independent, nonpartisan research institution funded exclusively by U.S. citizens that seeks to advance a balanced and realistic understanding of American interests in the Middle East and to promote the policies that secure them. Drawing on the research of its fellows and the experience of its policy practitioners, the Institute promotes informed debate and scholarly research on U.S. policy in the region.