JNS.org — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Wednesday that he is backing fellow Likud party member MK Reuven Rivlin, the former speaker of the Knesset, in the upcoming presidential election.
Netanyahu and Rivlin have had a turbulent relationship.
“We’ve gone through a lot in our lives–some better times, and some less good times, and I hope that we will see better days,” Netanyahu told Rivlin in a phone conversation, the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement.
“I waited to see the final list of candidates, and as prime minister and head of the Likud, I support your candidacy,” Netanyahu said.
The prime minister’s announcement came after an endorsement of Rivlin by Israeli Economy Minister Naftali Bennett, who heads the Habayit Hayehudi party.
“Ruby (Rivlin) is the natural candidate for Israel’s presidency,” Bennett said in a statement.
Rivlin, 74, has also gained the support of Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman and the leader of the Shas party, Aryeh Deri.
The Knesset vote to determine the next Israeli president is scheduled for June 10.