Isaac Herzog pledged to heal deep divisions in Israeli society as he took the oath of office to become Israel’s 11th president, Al Jazeera reports.
With one hand on a Torah before the Knesset – Israel’s parliament – Herzog, 60, assumed on Wednesday the largely ceremonial position designed to serve as the country’s moral compass.
Herzog promised to be “the president of everyone” adding the “central expectation” of all Israelis “from me, from all of us, is to lower the tone, to lower the flames, to calm things down”.
“My mission, the mission of my term, is to do everything in order to rebuild hope,” he said in his inauguration speech.
He called it a “great and wonderful privilege” to be president of all of Israel’s communities – Jews and Arabs, religious and secular, young and old.
Herzog, whose father Chaim served as Israel’s president in the 1980s, is to hold office for a single seven-year term. Chaim Herzog also served as Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations.
Herzog was elected to the presidency by the Knesset last month. He had previously served as head of the Labor Party and head of the opposition in parliament