Herzog takes office as Israel’s 11th president

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Isaac Herzog took office on Wednesday as Israel’s 11th president after a day of ceremonies with outgoing President Reuven Rivlin.

During his term in office, Rivlin consistently scored high public approval ratings, with his determination to represent the broad spectrum of Israeli communities and his obvious compassion resonating with the public.

First elected to parliament in 2003, Herzog, 60, went on to lead the Labour party and hold several portfolios in coalition governments. His most recent public post was as head of the Jewish Agency for Israel, which encourages immigration.

Defeated by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a 2015 national ballot, Herzog was picked as president as his former nemesis faced possible toppling by a cross-partisan alliance of challengers

Herzog, a lawyer, is a son of the late Israeli president Chaim Herzog, who also served as his country’s ambassador to the United Nations.

He is popularly known by his childhood nickname “Bougie”, a combination of the Hebrew word for doll “buba” and a word for toy used by French children, “joujou”.

Photo: (L-R) President-elect Yitzhak Herzog, Chairman of the Knesset Miki Levi, and Israeli President Reuven Rivlin during the swearing-in ceremony at the Knesset, in Jerusalem, Israel, 07 July 2021. The Israeli parliament Knesset elected Yitzhak Herzog as Israel’s president succeeding Reuven Rivlin. EPA-EFE/ABIR SULTAN