Livni. Decisions must be based on interests
Photo: Louise Green
Netanyahu. Silent on Emmanuel school affair
Photo: Noam Moskowitz
Livni: Blockade lifted out of weakness
Opposition chairwoman also slams Netanyahu for failing to defend High Court, failing to speak out against haredi leaders in Emmanuel affair

Tzipi Livni was among the leading decision-makers when the Gaza blockade was implemented. The former foreign minister, and current opposition leader, does not admit that restricting the entry of products like pasta and coriander into the Strip was a mistake – as hinted by those close to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Instead, she slammed the prime minister on taking decisions under duress.


Livni, who spoke after Netanyahu during a Jewish Agency conference in Jerusalem, said: "In this neighborhood… Israel must make decisions willingly and based on its interests, not due to pressure. Voluntary decisions show strength, while decisions made due to pressure show weakness – and we cannot afford weakness."


"This is true regarding a political agreement, it's true regarding the blockade, and it's true regarding every decision," she added.


While the prime minister blames the Palestinians for the political dead end, Livni said "It's not enough to say nice things at a university," referring to Netanyahu's Bar-Ilan speech.


"Policies require tough decisions, and those will not be made without understanding that an agreement is not a gift for the Arabs, or even for the US president, but rather is in our own interest," she said. "Only when we have a leader who understands that the price of no agreement is greater than the price of an agreement – only then will there be an agreement."


Referring to Netanyahu's silence on the subject of the ultra-Orthodox struggle against the High Court in the Emmanuel affair, the opposition leader said, "The status quo regarding religion and state is easy to support but is no alternative to ideology. We need leaders who don't just watch developments from the sidelines without making any comment."


"In Israel today religious leaders speak against the High Court and doubt its legitimacy – and this goes against the Jewish and democratic state," Livni said." We can't allow everyone to have their own laws, judges and courts. This is completely unacceptable, and the leadership must say so. It does not do so enough. We must find what we have in common. We must say what can be, but also what must not be. Today this simply doesn't happen."


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