Shurat HaDin Conference: Law of War 20th. /21st. June 2016, Jerusalem – Part 2

ב“ה

Since year 2000, MP Tzipi Livni is part of the Israeli political arena. She began her political career as member of the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, as member of the Likud party. In the following years, she held the position of a minister. 2005 she joined the Kadima party, led by Ariel Sharon. Kadima was a split-of from Likud. In 2006, she was the second woman after Golda Meir, to hold the position of a foreign minister. The party expected that she is successor of Ariel Sharon. She was a supporter of Ehud Olmert, at the time president of Kadima and prime minister. After the elections, she remained foreign minister and deputy prime minister.

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Tzipi was the first Israeli politician facing an international arrest warrant. An entry into Great Britain would have made an arrest possible. The justifications were war crimes in the Gaza strip during the operation “cast lead”. Later the arrest warrant was annulled but led to diplomatic annoyance between London and Jerusalem. After Ehud Olmerts resignation, 2008 Tzipi had the mandate to build the new government. She did not succeed and in February 2009, new elections were held. Her party, Kadima, was the strongest fraction but did not manage to find coalition partners for a majority. In the following elections 2012, with her new party Hatnua, she was minister of finance member of the coalition government of Netanyahu. Because of her open critic against Netanyahu, he dismissed her. In the elections of 2015, she formed together with Yitzhak Herzog and his party Awoda the alliance “Zionist Union”, which lost the election with a small margin and since then forms the opposition.

In her presentation, Tzipi emphasized that the current law is abused worldwide for accusing Israeli soldiers and officers. Also against opinion leaders, accusations can be placed at the ICC for issuing arrest warrants. The ICC keeps his doors wide open for the Palestinian cause. This fact strengthens the intention of the PA to defame Israel and pursue it determinedly.

To counteract the intentions of the PA, Israel must co-operate closely with its friends. Unfortunately, many voices claim that the world is anti-Semitic. They believe that the BDS-movement has changed the world regarding Israel and that it is not possible to counteract. The world is against Israel simply because it exists.

Antisemitism is a fact but not the whole world is anti-Semitic. Instead, to give BDS a chance to isolate Israel from the world and to degrade it to a “Jewish Ghetto” in the Near East, Israel must reverse this development and position a wedge between BDS and the international community.

Although we are a very small country and surrounded by hostile countries and by terror organizations we must not see ourselves as “little David.” This is dangerous and that is how the world perceives us, the Israeli soldier on the one and the Palestinian child on the other side. This is it, what the world makes to believe, that we are the aggressor. We must be aware of our values. Values which are stipulated in our Declaration of Independence, on which we revert when explaining that Israel is the only democratic state in the Near East and which is the basis of the relationship between Israel and the USA.

“Therefore it is of utmost importance that we internalize these values. We must make them to an inalienable part of the education of the next generation. My sons are not taking off this values I passed on to them when they are putting on their uniforms. This is the best way to defend Israeli soldiers. When Israel is carrying out the necessary investigations for our courts, when the IDF is also active, then this is the correct way.”

Tzipi emphasized an other aspect, how terror organizations such as Hamas in Gaza, Hisbollah in the Lebanon and the PA, are altering their identities. While they are recognized as terror organizations in the USA and most states in Europe, they put on sheepskins and call themselves “political party”. Now they are sitting in the government of the Lebanon and took over political power in Gaza.

„In 2005 I met Condoleezza Rice who at that time was at the beginning of her career as foreign minister under President G.W. Bush. She meant “democracy? Are you talking about democracy? You believe you are a democratic state? This requires more than an election system. To a democracy belong also ethical values.” It is wrong to give those terror organizations the chance for elections. Not, unless they oppose the political system, more, as long they are abusing it.”

Currently Tzipi has no great influence on the actual policy of Israel. However, for me she is and remains a white hope for oncoming elections.

 

 

© esther scheiner, israel

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