Israeli president attacks government assault on state bodies

In an unusually blunt address to parliament, Israel's president has accused the government of delegitimizing state institutions as part of a campaign of stifling opposition.

President Reuven Rivlin opened a new session of parliament Monday with a scathing critique of his former political home — the Likud Party of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. "Everything is political," he said to them, "Majority rule is the sole ruler."

The Israel's president fills a mostly a ceremonial role and rarely delves into partisan bickering. But Rivlin chose to focus on the growing divisions in Israeli society, pinning much of the blame on the ruling party.

In recent months, Netanyahu has responded to various corruption investigations by attacking Israel's media, law-enforcement, judiciary and other so-called "elites" he believes are bent on his removal.