Honest Politicians Finish Last

Article Summary
Tzipi Livni's tenure as Opposition leader is deemed a failure because she didn't play by the rules. But the truth is quite the opposite, says Anat Gov: unlike her competitors, she avoided all sorts of shabby maneuvers — common practice, all — that could have gotten her to the top.

Why are we so disappointed in Tzipi Livni?

Is it because when she had the opportunity to establish a government after Ehud Olmert’s resignation, she refused to pay Shas (an ultra-Orthodox party) a billion shekels in exchange for their support, and asked for the nation’s mandate, going to elections instead?

Truly a strange course of action, to say no to the ultra-Orthodox. When has such a thing been done since the day the state was established? When has a prime minister — from the right or the left, the front or center — had the balls to say no to the Haredim?

Truly a strange woman. A politician who refuses to use the taxes of the working, army-serving public to build more mikvehs (ritual baths) and yeshivas (seminaries of Jewish study) that will perpetuate ignorance? Obviously Livni urgently needs the services of a psychiatrist.

Tzipi Livni did not agree to pay the price; she went to elections instead and received the largest number of mandates. And guess who became prime minister? The one who agreed to pay the price, of course. Netanyahu had a golden, one-time opportunity to establish a unity government with centrist Kadima and Labor, and neutralize, once and for all, the sustained extortion by the ultra-Orthodox. But he preferred to go with his “natural allies,” and closed a quick deal with Shas (the deal was closed before the elections, of course). After everything was a done, only then did he invite Livni to a meeting where he asked her to join the ultra-Orthodox extreme-right government, with a gamut of honorary perks and zero influence.

He offered her the position of foreign minister. What job could be more fun? You get to travel around the world, you’re treated to kingly receptions, luxurious hotel suites and gourmet meals with the world’s aristocrats. Who would turn down such an offer?

Tzipi Livni is truly a strange woman. What is this strange behavior? Since when do principles guide politicians? Where does she think she lives? We are so very disappointed.

Here Shaul Mofaz (former chief of staff and defense minister) is adorned with a skullcap, conspicuously absent from the voting on the conscription of the ultra-Orthodox in the Israel Defense Forces. Here is someone who knows how to conduct himself in the political world. Along with him, the dream team includes Bibi clones Dan Halutz and Avi Dichter, Barak and Bugi. Evidently, just the thought of being under the command of a blonde lady with blue eyes was enough to give them allergy attacks.

These people rolled straight from the army and the Mossad to politics and suddenly we discover big heads with small brains. The thought that these people are responsible for our security is a bit scary, and our discomfort only increases in light of the female gossipmongers in the previous chief of staff’s office.

These are the people who will sell us and our children to the ultra-Orthodox only so they can sit in the cabinet, because being in the opposition is really no fun at all. And the same story gets repeated over and over.

Tzipi Livni promised a different kind of politics and she tried to fulfill her promise. It wasn’t easy with that hump on her back, the fact that all those people voted for Kadima because of her, not because of fellow Kadima MKs Ronit Tirosh or Ruhama Avraham, and certainly not because of Dichter. No, they voted for Kadima because of Livni, although this fact did not prevent the clique from negotiating with Netanyahu behind Livni’s back over a wealth of positions and honorifics.

But Tzipi didn’t learn anything from them and she continued to stick to her principles She didn’t kowtow to the ultra-Orthodox, didn’t dance attendance on the settlers, did not get alarmed over the opposition, and wasn’t afraid of the generals who didn’t stop their rude attacks on her. But worst of all: she remained the only person in the Knesset who still dares to say the word “peace” without apologizing or squirming.

Found in: israel

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