Rivlin says he did not call for citizens to protest during speech

After he received backlash for statements he made during a speech on Tuesday, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin said his words were taken out of context. “I did not call for and I would not consider calling on the citizens of Israel to join this protest or another,” he clarified.
Rivlin Photo Credit: GPO

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin addressed the backlash against him following statements he said on Tuesday, which he said were taken out of context. “I did not call for and I would not consider calling on the citizens of Israel to join this protest or another,” Rivlin clarified.

“Yesterday, I was a guest at a democracy and education conference in a session about social networks,” explained the president. “I spoke of the power and importance of social networks in a democracy, but I added that they would never be able to replace active civil participation in actions. I gave various examples from recent years for the fact that the Israelis proved they do not remain behind the keyboard and do not give up the city squares.”

Rivlin clarified that he did not tell Israelis to go out and demonstrate. “So that there will be no doubt in the matter, I say it myself in the clearest possible way,” said Rivlin. “It is a pity that during these sensitive times my words were used out of context in order to add fuel to the fire.”

The president’s statements during the conference caused backlash on Tuesday. “There is no replacement to for a real city square,” Rivlin said during his speech at the conference. “We must raise a generation that will remember that real democracy can start online, but it will never replace the need and necessity to take a real part in decisions, arguments and civic actions. That is the meaning of a democracy, it is the power of being citizens. We must use it to create a worthy future for us and our children and grandchildren.”



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