Israel’s President Peres starts Sunday an official state visit in Holland

Israeli President Shimon PeresIsraeli President Shimon Peres

Israel’s President Shimon Peres, will arrive Sunday in Holland for a 3-day official state visit at the invitation of King Willem-Alexander which reaffirm the good relations between the two countries.

On Sunday, President Peres will visit the Hollandsche Schouwburg and the Portuguese Synagogue in Amsterdam. The Hollandsche Schouwburg was used during WWII as a deportation location for Jews. The building is currently a monument to commemorate the victims.

On Monday, President Peres, who is today the world’s eldest head of state, will pay a special visit to the Peace Palace in The Hague where he will be received by the President of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), Peter Tomka, and the Registrar Philippe Couvreur. He will take part in a special meeting and discussion with judges of the Court.

At the beginning of this meeting, President Peres and President Tomka will deliver statements before a closed discussion with the ICJ judges.

At the end of his meeting, the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and former Prime Minister of Israel, will proceed through the Great Hall of Justice to the Peace Palace foyer, where he will deliver a special briefing to the media in which he is expected to address the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians, the recent developments in the Middle East and Israeli-European relations.

On Tuesday, the president will be welcomed by King Willem-Alexander at the Noordeinde Palace before a meeting at the Casthuis with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte. Thereafter, he will deliver a speech to the members of the Upper and Lower House of the Dutch Parliament in the plenary hall.

In the evening the King and Queen Maxima will offer a state dinner.

The President of Israel

The President of the State of Israel is the head of the State, a position which is largely an apolitical ceremonial role, with the real executive power lying in the hands of the Prime Minister.

The President is elected for a seven-year term by a majority of the Knesset, the Parliament. The President can be re-elected for only one more consecutive term. The President discharges state duties as prescribed by the Basic Law: President of the State, and other laws.

The President appoints senior state officials in positions of special importance and independence, including the State Comptroller, the Governor of the Bank of Israel, the President and Deputy-President of the Supreme Court, judges…..

The President accredits Israel’s envoys to foreign countries and accepts the credentials of foreign diplomats serving in Israel. He signs every law enacted by the Knesset and treaties and agreements with foreign countries that have been ratified by the Knesset.

The President maintains constant contact with the Government through regular meetings with officials, weekly briefings on Government sessions, and receiving regular, comprehensive information from the various government agencies.

The President has exclusive power to pardon or commute the sentences of civilians and soldiers.

Because of the exalted status of his position, the President represents not only Israel but the entire Jewish people. As such, he assumes a lengthy series of duties and activities beyond those spelled out in law.

The President maintains contacts with Diaspora Jewish leaders and high-ranking visitors from overseas. He promotes cultural and educational activity in Israel and acts to enhance Jewish and Zionist education for Diaspora youth in order to encourage their immigration to Israel.

He works to resolve social and welfare problems as well as to advance weak strata of the population. The President tours the country extensively and maintains close relations with all segments of the population.

This summarised introduction on the role of the President can be found along one hundred other topics in the EIPA Information Centre. Click here to access this topic in the Information Centre.