Herzog is Israel's 11th president
June 11, 2021
JERUSALEM - Isaac Herzog, former minister, chairman of the Labour Party and leader of the Opposition, was elected by the Knesset (parliament) to serve as Israel's 11th president. Herzog currently serves as the chairman of the Executive of The Jewish Agency for Israel. Herzog was elected with the support of 87 out of the 120 Members of Knesset and his tenure will begin on July 9.
President-elect Herzog noted: "For over two decades I have fulfilled the mission of my life, to serve my people and my country with love, dedication and professionalism. I have studied Israeli society throughout, becoming closely acquainted with the diversity and uniqueness of the Israeli mosaic; a rare and unique blend, which combines not only members of all faiths, groups and religions, but the great treasures we appreciate together: spiritual richness, cultural depth, critical thought, tradition and renewal. There is not a single stone in our beautiful mosaic that I would be willing or dare to give up.
"That is why I intend to be the president of all Israelis, to lend an attentive ear to every position and respect every person. To join the connecting lines and build bridges of consensus, in order to bring in even the most distant amongst us, as well as our brothers and sisters in the Diaspora. To empower and nurture our creativity, innovative spirit and originality; to fulfil our goals of unity and mutual responsibility. To foster a common identity of belonging that we so desperately need in our journey to become an ideal society, making room for free spirits, creators and dreamers. To fill Israel with hope.
"Our challenges are many and should not be taken lightly. We must heal the wounds that have opened up in our society, and defend Israel's international status and good name in the family of nations. We must fight anti-Semitism and the hatred of Israel, and maintain the pillars of our democracy, so that we rise to the magnitude of the moment. Out of the dark and into the light. This is our essence, our pioneering spirit, and the commitment of every Israeli.
"I bring with me to this journey all my energy, experience and ability. The historical commitment of my family for generations to the state and people of Israel."
Isaac Herzog, known by his nickname "Bougie," was a member of Knesset from 2003 to 2018, and has served as minister of Welfare & Social Services, minister of Construction & Housing, minister of Tourism and minister of the Diaspora. He has also served as a member of the security cabinet and was tasked with coordinating humanitarian assistance with the Gaza Strip. Herzog then went on to serve as Leader of the Opposition, before taking on his current role as chairman of the Executive of The Jewish Agency for Israel. Since Herzog took on his current role, about 80,000 new immigrants have immigrated to Israel, including during the year of COVID-19.