Israeli Politics Roundup: Likud Primaries and Livni’s New Party

November 28, 2012 9:42 pm 0 comments

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu seen speaking with fellow Likud parliament member Tzipi Hotovely during a plenum session in the Knesset on October 15, 2012, the day the Knesset voted to dissolve and pave the way for early elections. Photo: Miriam Alster/FLASH90.

After months of speculation, former Israeli Foreign Minister and Opposition Leader Tzipi Livni on Tuesday announced her candidacy in Israel’s Jan. 22 general elections, unveiling her new party Hatnuah (“The Movement”).

According to media reports, Livni delayed launching her new party until after hostilities with Hamas in Gaza had ceased.

“It was difficult for me to return to politics,” Livni told a packed roomful of reporters at a press conference in Tel Aviv. “I came to fight for our shared vision; to fight for peace. I will not lend a hand to those who are trying to turn the word ‘peace’ into a bad word. I came to fight for Jewish Israel, for democratic Israel. I came to fight against social gaps.”

Livni said she “didn’t return to politics to be in this or that party.”

“My return was motivated by a void that has emerged,” she said. “When I thought that [former Prime Minister Ehud] Olmert may run, I was relieved, because I thought he would pose a viable alternative to the prime minister (Benjamin Netanyahu). Ultimately, I stepped in because the political arena remained empty.”

Livni initially entered politics just over a decade ago, following a stint in the Mossad intelligence service—as a legal adviser, some say, while others speculate that she helped hunt Arab enemies abroad—and then a career as a corporate attorney.

Dubbed “Mrs. Clean” by one Israeli newspaper columnist, a reference to her unmarred integrity while her colleagues were plagued with criminal investigations, the usually dour former foreign minister is widely seen as the antithesis of former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, a glad-handing veteran politician embroiled in a corruption scandal that forced him from office.

Reactions quickly followed Livni’s press conference. Labor Chairwoman Shelly Yachimovich, who had asked Livni to join the party but was rejected, issued a statement saying: “Tzipi Livni, who is a worthy woman and politician, is making a terrible mistake. She is establishing a party of double refugees and giving Netanyahu and [Avigdor] Lieberman a reason to smile. Instead of focusing on their [Likud-Beytenu] ultra-extreme Knesset list, now we’re focusing on the fact that there is another little party in the Center. Anyone who believes that Israel should have a fair economy and just society, protect democracy and the rule of law and be able to promote a diplomatic [peace] process should unite behind the leadership of Shelly Yachimovich, who is leading the Center bloc with confidence and stability. Next week, the Labor Party will present an economic-social plan that, when implemented, will give Israeli citizens better, more decent lives.”

The other main Center-Left party, Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid (“There is a Future”), also issued a statement, saying, “The maneuver that Tzipi Livni instigated this morning is an embodiment of the old politics, the quintessential monster, motivated solely by her ego. It is unfortunate that Livni refused to be a partner in making a real change in the lives of Israel’s citizens.” Lapid had also asked Livni to join his party, and had been refused.

Likud primaries

Meanwhile, the results of the Likud primaries, which ended on Monday after two days of voting due to glitches in the computerized voting system, indicated that the party’s list for the next Knesset includes Members of Knesset considered as belonging to right-wing side of the party.

The big drama of the primaries was considered to be ministers Dan Meridor, Ze’ev Binyamin (Benny) Begin, Avi Dichter and Michael Eitan failing to garner enough votes to win spots on the list that would guarantee them seats in the next Knesset.

MKs Danny Danon, Yariv Levin, Tzipi Hotovely all made it to the top 10 spots on the list. Moshe Feiglin, who heads the Manhigut Yehudit (Jewish Leadership) faction in the Likud and is considered on the far right of the party, captured the 14th spot on the list and will enter the Knesset for the first time in his political career.

The party’s first 20 candidates for the Knesset are Gideon Sa’ar, Gilad Erdan, Silvan Shalom, Yisrael Katz, Danny Danon, Reuven Rivlin, Moshe (Bogie) Ya’alon, Zeev Elkin, Yariv Levin, Tzipi Hotovely, Yuli Edelstein, Haim Katz, Miri Regev, Moshe Feiglin, Yuval Steinitz, Tzachi Hanegbi, Limot Livnat, Ofir Akunis, Gila Gamliel and Carmel Shama Hacohen.

“When you compare our list with that of any other party, you will see that we have more public servants with proven experience,” said Erdan, who is currently Israel’s Minister of Environmental Protection.

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Music US & Canada Lady Gaga Accepts ADL Award: ‘Your Philosophies Are So in Line With Ours’ (VIDEO)

    Lady Gaga Accepts ADL Award: ‘Your Philosophies Are So in Line With Ours’ (VIDEO)

    Pop superstar Lady Gaga on Thursday accepted an award from Jewish human rights group the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) on behalf of her Born This Way Foundation, which strives to combat bullying among young people. “Your philosophies are so in line with ours,” she said of the ADL upon accepting the Making a Difference Award in a videotaped message, which was shown at a ceremony in New York City. “We want to help young people know that their feelings and who they are on [...]

    Read more →
  • Music Personalities At 80, Singer-Songwriter Leonard Cohen’s Jewish Roots ‘Very Much Intact’

    At 80, Singer-Songwriter Leonard Cohen’s Jewish Roots ‘Very Much Intact’

    JNS.org – Eighty years young, Leonard Cohen fits many descriptions—singer, songwriter, poet, novelist, monk. From his Jewish upbringing in Canada to the present day, Cohen has always explored his spiritual side. This month, the singer-songwriter released the CD (May 12) and iTunes (on May 8 of this year) formats of his latest album, Can’t Forget: A Souvenir of the Grand Tour, which features live recordings from his world tours in 2012 and 2013. Last year, Cohen’s Popular Problems was voted by Rolling Stone [...]

    Read more →
  • Europe Sports FIFA Head Says Israel Should Not be Booted From World Soccer Association

    FIFA Head Says Israel Should Not be Booted From World Soccer Association

    JNS.org – Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) head Sepp Blatter said during a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that contrary to Palestinian complaints, Israel has not violated any FIFA statutes and should not be suspended from international soccer’s governing body. “We should not come to one federation saying we will exclude them,” said Blatter, the Jerusalem Post reported. “If the national association is fulfilling its obligations then there is no need to intervene,” he said. “I’m on a [...]

    Read more →
  • Featured Middle East Sports Jewish Rights Group Slams Palestinian Attempts to Suspend Israel From FIFA

    Jewish Rights Group Slams Palestinian Attempts to Suspend Israel From FIFA

    Jewish human rights group the Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC) said on Tuesday it was “appalled” by a Palestinian Football Association initiative to suspend Israel from FIFA, calling it another “front waged in the context of the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) campaign.” “We are appalled at the temerity of the Palestinan Football Association (PFA) demand that FIFA suspend Israel at your forthcoming Congress in Zurich,” wrote the group’s international relations director, Dr. Shimon Samuels, in a letter to FIFA President Joseph [...]

    Read more →
  • Theater US & Canada Star of Auschwitz Thriller Says ‘God Was Holding the Hand of Every Jew in the Gas Chamber’ (VIDEO)

    Star of Auschwitz Thriller Says ‘God Was Holding the Hand of Every Jew in the Gas Chamber’ (VIDEO)

    The lead actor in Son of Saul, an Auschwitz thriller featured at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, told the UK’s The Guardian that he believes God was “holding the hand” of each Jew who died in the Nazi gas chambers during the Holocaust. “I do not for one nanosecond like to pretend that God is off the hook. He could and should have stopped it at a much earlier stage,” Géza Röhrig, 48, said. ”But I would not be able to get [...]

    Read more →
  • Music Backstreet Boys Singer Howie D Gushes Over Masada During Israel Trip

    Backstreet Boys Singer Howie D Gushes Over Masada During Israel Trip

    Backstreet Boys singer Howie Dorough took to Instagram on Tuesday to marvel about climbing the famed Masada fortress with his band during their visit to Israel, where they will perform this week for the first time. The group’s second day of sightseeing in the Jewish state included the Masada hike, and taking a mud bath at the Dead Sea. A picture from the band’s official Twitter page shows the five singers covered in mud. While relaxing in the Dead Sea, [...]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews US & Canada ‘Arms and the Dudes:’ New Book, Film Detail How Ex-Orthodox Yeshiva Guys Became Top Suppliers for Afghan Army

    ‘Arms and the Dudes:’ New Book, Film Detail How Ex-Orthodox Yeshiva Guys Became Top Suppliers for Afghan Army

    A new book and its upcoming film adaptation tell the true story of how three former yeshiva students who habitually smoked marijuana scored a $300 million contract from the U.S. government to supply weapons for the Afghan Army, the New York Daily News reported on Sunday. Arms and the Dudes details how the Miami Beach potheads became “the most unlikely gunrunners in history,” according to the book’s author, investigative reporter Guy Lawson. The tale begins with Efraim Diveroli, nephew of [...]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Theater Natalie Portman: Israel-Themed ‘A Tale of Love and Darkness’ Not Political

    Natalie Portman: Israel-Themed ‘A Tale of Love and Darkness’ Not Political

    JNS.org – Natalie Portman, who directs and stars in the new Hebrew-language film adaptation of author Amos Oz’s A Tale of Love and Darkness, says that despite Oz’s record as a vocal left-wing critic of Israel, her film is not political. Like the book on which it is based, Portman’s film is about a young boy at the time of the founding of the state of Israel. “I think the movie is very much about this very particular, specific family story. Of [...]

    Read more →



Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.