Forward Thinking

Tzipi Livni on American Politics

By Jane Eisner

  • Print
  • Share Share
Getty Images
Tzipi Livni

On the same day that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with President Obama, Israel’s opposition leader was on the phone.

Tzipi Livni sounded weary. Never mind the geopolitical debate about if and when Israel or the United States should take military action against Iran, Livni has a more immediate preoccupation: Her Kadima party’s March 27 election. Her leadership is being actively challenged and that’s called into question her many decisions as opposition leader since her rival, Netanyahu, formed a right-wing coalition in 2009 — a coalition she declined to join.

“Three years in opposition, it’s quite frustrating, for me and the voters,” she acknowledged. “In Israel, the opposition never topples down the government. The government falls from the inside.”

Ah, but what about toppling the American government?

After all, the richest Jew in America, Sheldon Adelson, has been credited with single- handedly keeping alive Newt Gingrich’s presidential prospects. And Adelson is a strong supporter of Netanyahu, particularly through Israel Hayom, the most popular newspaper in Israel.

Is the Israeli prime minister indirectly trying to shape the U.S. election? Livni took some time to answer.

“I want to be diplomatic,” she finally said. “Until a few years ago, a few months ago, Israel was not part of the agenda in a U.S. election, and it shouldn’t be. It should remain bipartisan. Now it has become part of the campaign.”

And is that a good thing, or a troubling development? “I prefer not to have Israel part of the internal elections in the U.S. It is not a dispute that can be dealt with during election time,” she said.

I wonder whether the Republican Jewish Coalition and the National Jewish Democratic Council would agree.


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • “I don’t want to say, ‘Oh oh, I’m not Jewish,’ because when you say that, you sound like someone trying to get into a 1950s country club, “and I love the idea of being Jewish." Are you a fan of Seth Meyers?
  • "If you want my advice: more Palestinians, more checkpoints, just more reality." What do you think?
  • Happy birthday Barbra Streisand! Our favorite Funny Girl turns 72 today.
  • Clueless parenting advice from the star of "Clueless."
  • Why won't the city give an answer?
  • BREAKING NEWS: Israel has officially suspended peace talks with the Palestinians.
  • Can you guess what the most boring job in the army is?
  • What the foolish rabbi of Chelm teaches us about Israel and the Palestinian unity deal:
  • Mazel tov to Idina Menzel on making Variety "Power of Women" cover! http://jd.fo/f3Mms
  • "How much should I expect him and/or ask him to participate? Is it enough to have one parent reciting the prayers and observing the holidays?" What do you think?
  • New York and Montreal have been at odds for far too long. Stop the bagel wars, sign our bagel peace treaty!
  • Really, can you blame them?
  • “How I Stopped Hating Women of the Wall and Started Talking to My Mother.” Will you see it?
  • Taglit-Birthright Israel is redefining who they consider "Jewish" after a 17% drop in registration from 2011-2013. Is the "propaganda tag" keeping young people away?
  • Happy birthday William Shakespeare! Turns out, the Bard knew quite a bit about Jews.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.