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'You may be surprised, Tzipi Livni' Photo: Reuters
'You may be surprised, Tzipi Livni' Photo: Reuters
 
 

Wake up, Tzipi

Sima Kadmon urges Livni to give up on premiership dream, consider unity government

Sima Kadmon
Published: 02.22.09, 09:06 / Israel Opinion

Tzipi Livni: Sunday afternoon, before you head out for your meeting with Benjamin Netanyahu, it would be good if you do something – that is, pinch yourself hard. Even harder. You have to wake up.

 

You know the picture you have in your head, where you sit at the head of the government table with ministers from Kadima, Likud, Yisrael Beiteinu, and the Labor Party? Well, that was a dream. It won’t happen. And you know what? It couldn’t have happened. You truly believed in it, and even managed to convince many of us; yet the time has come to open your eyes.

 

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Kadima officials urge Livni to listen to Bibi  / Attila Somfalvi
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Indeed, it isn’t easy, and you are right – you won one more Knesset seat than him. Yet what can you do, he is the one who got the mandate to form a government.

 

When you will sit with Netanyahu, Tzipi Livni, and the only thing to resonate through your mind is “I don’t believe him,” it would be good if you remember that he also has one sentence resonating through his mind: “It’s too much for her.” Both of you may be right, yet it doesn’t matter: Just like one makes peace with enemies, coalitions are formed with rivals.

 

When Netanyahu will present his generous offers – and they will be generous; very generous – count to 10 before you reply. First of all, because it will be much harder to change your mind after you say no. And you know what else? Next time you come to Bibi – because you have no choice, because your party colleagues will pressure you, and because of public pressure – his offer will be less generous.

 

Sunday afternoon, Tzipi Livni, when you sit with Netanyahu and he offers you to join his government, think twice before you tell him this is not a government you can be a party to. Between us, what really bothers you in this government, Likud? No, because you already spoke about a unity government with Likud. Yisrael Beiteinu? Come on. After all, in the past week you spoke about Lieberman as if you were twins separated at birth. You would give anything so that he endorses you in his meeting with Peres and join your government.

 

So what truly bothers you, Tzipi Livni, Shas? Well, here’s a good reason to join the coalition: Minimize Shas’ power and influence.

 

Did you fall in love with yourself?

And when Netanyahu talks, when he offers you the right to choose portfolios, an equal number of government ministers, leadership partnership, a veto right, and whatnot, you would do well to engage in a quick process of self-reflection: What motivates you? It is possible that you fell in love with success and with personal victory? Were you mesmerized by the limelight, by the cheers, and by the belief that only you can do it? Or in other words: Did you fall in love with yourself to such extent that you see only what’s good for you?

 

It’s possible that what motivates you is your sense of commitment (or is it guilt?) to leftist parties, the ones you took Knesset seats away from in the elections. But you can relax: This would not be the first election promise not to be kept. It would not be the last one either.

 

Please take a note of an interesting point: There are many rightists who wish to see Kadima joining the government, just like there are many leftists who wish to see a far Right government. Why? Because the Right realizes that a rightist government will expose the terrible secret: That it cannot and perhaps does not even want to do the things it always threatens to do. Meanwhile, the Left wants a rightist government in order to see it collapsing before our eyes, not to mention on our heads.

 

So don’t think about the Right or Left, Tzipi Livni. Simply think about seven and a half million Israelis who are fed up with leaders who say that unity is the call of the hour and a minute later change their mind; leaders who talk about what’s good for the country but have no idea how to do it.

 

Think about what’s good for them; what’s the right thing to do for them. For them, not for you; for them, not for Kadima. You may be surprised, Tzipi Livni, but it is possible that once you do what’s really good for the country, you’ll realize this will be good for you too.

 

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