(Israel Twitter)Reuven "Rubi" Rivlin ( ראובן ריבלין born 9 September 1939) is an Israeli lawyer, politician, currently serving as a speaker of the Knesset. He belongs to conservative Likud. A former Speaker of the Knesset, in 2007 he ran in the election for President as the Likud candidate. He withdrew after the first round of voting when it became clear that Kadima MK Shimon Peres had sufficiently broad support to inevitably win in a run-off.
Rivlin is a descendant of the students of the Vilna Gaon, the son of Yosef Yoel Rivlin and a member of the Rivlin family.He is married and has four children. He has been a vegetarian since the late sixties.
Born in Jerusalem, he received an LL.B. from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and worked as a lawyer. He is a descendant of the students of the Vilna Gaon and a member of the Rivlin family.
He was first elected to the 12th Knesset in 1988, and served as Likud chairman from 1988 to 1993. He lost his seat in the 1992 elections, but returned to the Knesset following the 1996 elections. Re-elected in 1999, he was appointed Minister of Communications in March 2001, serving until February 2003, when he was elected Knesset Speaker following the 2003 elections. During his term as speaker, he was criticized for breaking the tradition of political neutrality of the post; he was one of Ariel Sharon's harshest critics regarding the disengagement plan, and had a public confrontation with Aharon Barak, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, concerning the court's authority to declare legislation illegal.
Rivlin was re-elected in 2006 and 2009.
On March 30, 2009 the Knesset voted Knesset Member Rivlin as speaker with a majority of 90 votes of the 120.
In June 2010, Rivlin once again found himself in the center of a controversy after ignoring the advice a committee that recommended the removal of Balad MK Haneen Zoabi for having participated in the Gaza flotilla earlier that year. His actions were criticized by many MKs and the Israeli right, but Israeli and foreign liberals praised Rivlin for his courage in defending Israeli democracy.