Israel's newly elected President and former minister and Knesset speaker Reuven Rivlin greets supporters as he arrive to visit at the Western Wall in the Jerusalem's Old City on June 10, 2014. AFP PHOTO/MENAHEM KAHANA
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The election of populist hawk Reuven Rivlin as Israeli president ushers in a new diplomatic era and highlights Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's growing isolation within his own party, analysts say.Reuven Hazan, a politics chair at Jerusalem's Hebrew University, said Rivlin would respect the "largely ... ceremonial and symbolic position" of the presidency.Hazan said Rivlin would more likely focus on bridging divisions in Israeli society.Analysts said the real loser from Rivlin's election to the presidency was Netanyahu, who had lobbied frantically against it but failed to carry his own Likud Party.Hazan predicted that, although Rivlin himself would steer clear of any fight, eventually the premier would face a party revolt.
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