Livni to CNN: Netanyahu sold Israel to haredim (YNetNews.Com -Yedioth Internet) Yitzhak Benhorin Published: 08.08.12, 09:54)
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In interview with news network, former Kadima leader talks about
tension between Israeli religious, secular Jews; slams PM for
granting ultra-Orthodox ´monopoly on Jewishness of Israel´
WASHINGTON – Is former Israeli Foreign Minister and leader of the
centrist Kadima Party Tzipi Livni making her first steps back into
politics? Livni, who is in the United States for a series of official
meetings, gave an interview to CNN´s Christiane Amanpour in which she
slammed the Likud and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for "selling
the state to the ultra-Orthodox."
In the interview , Livni attacked the Likud party for "surrendering
to the haredim" and granting them a monopoly on the Jewishness of the
State of Israel.
"Politically speaking, Israel is being sold to the ultra-Orthodox,"
Livni told Amanpour, adding that "the ultra-Orthodox represent a
small portion of the Israeli society. They represent part of our
history and tradition, but unfortunately they now have more power
than they should."
“Netanyahu said himself, that for him politically, the ultra-Orthodox
are his natural partners. And I believe that the raison d’etre of the
State of Israel is to be the homeland of the Jewish People," she said
adding that "for me being a Jewish state means something from a
national perspective, not a religious one.”
Addressing the issue of the haredi military draft, Livni said
that "each and every Israeli citizen needs to contribute to the
society in which we live in. Unfortunately, because of political
reasons, the State gives them (haredim) the monopoly, and this must
"In order to change reality, you need the willingness of the prime
minister to make the change. Unfortunately, Netanyahu´s coalition
doesn’t want to make the change, and this," Livni said "will be part
of Israel´s future elections."
Asked whether Israel needed a formal separation between State and
synagogue, Livni said that "I believe that what we need is a
constitution and a clear definition of the Jewish state. The majority
of Israelis understand and believe that Israel is the homeland of the
Jewish people by its own nature, but it´s also a state with equal
rights to all its citizens. The idea of a Jewish state is from a
national perspective and not a religious one."
Since Livni´s resignation from the Knesset, a number of Knesset
members from Kadima have considered the possibility of resigning from
the party to form a new political movement headed by Livni.
Meanwhile, Haim Ramon, who was one of Kadima´s founders and had left
it following the election of Shaul Mofaz as chairman, revealed that
he is currently in the midst of forming a new political party which
will be positioned in the center of the political spectrum.
Ramon confirmed that the new party will be, among others, a new home
for the former Kadima chairwoman.
Livni has officially distanced herself from Ramon, but continued to
hold talks and meetings with Kadima MKs. In recent closed meetings,
she stated that "her freedom is over," indicating that her return to
Israeli politics is nearing.
One Kadima MK said a number of party members turned to Livni even
before she resigned and asked that she form a new political
movement. "She didn´t say she´d do it, but there are those who hope
she will," the lawmaker said. "The party is going to be cut in half
in the next elections." Attila Somfalvi contributed to this report
(Copyright 2012 © Yedioth Internet 08/08/12)
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