The Evangelical Christians of the world are the most ardent supporters of Israel. They are puzzled to say the very least as to how a member of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s coalition, namely Tzipi Livni, could take independent actions with brazen disregard of the Israeli government’s position concerning the Hamas allied PLO. Those of us who are not citizens of Israel and pay no taxes to Israel recognize that we do not have a voice in how the Israeli government functions but as observers we have noted Minister Livni’s actions which have left the Justice Minister caricatured as a fairy tale figure with an impotent mantra against a house of bricks. Her actions are, indeed, puzzling.
As Christians we believe it is our G-d given responsibility to stand with and support Israel and her people, so it is very confusing when a member of Israel’s own government engages in conduct counter-productive to Israel’s best interests. Perhaps Minister Livni is drinking the same strange concoction that John Kerry has been drinking this last year. Has she completely forgotten – or even worse – never understood that “a nation divided against itself cannot stand?”
Prime Minister Netanyahu has been crystal clear about the government’s position regarding further talks with the Palestinian leadership, passed unanimously by Israel’s security cabinet. “Israel will not negotiate with a ‘Palestinian government’ that includes Hamas – a terrorist organization that has declared its intentions to destroy the State of Israel.” The question coming from many Christians around the world is how does Israel’s chief peace negotiator (Livini) uphold this position? It appears disloyal that she scheduled a private meeting with the Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman thereby forcing Netanyahu to make it clear to Livini that she “would be representing herself and not the Israeli government.” If a member of the Cabinet of the United States of America were to go off on his or her own to negotiate with a foreign entity without the permission of the President they would be fired on the spot.
It’s no secret that Minister Livni’s behavior has incited a flurry of reaction from within the coalition. International Relations Minister Yuval Steinitz (Likud) said, “With all due respect, Livini was a party to the Cabinet decision to stop contacts with the PA and cease negotiations. A Minister who then comes and says “‘I will do as I please’ basically declares themselves to be an ideological offender,” he added.
Bayit Yehudi leader and Minister of the Economy, Naftali Bennett, called on Livni to leave the coalition. “Tzipi Livni lost touch with the Israeli voter a long time ago.” With this latest shenanigan she showed that “she is like a satellite lost in orbit with no connection to the planet Earth,” Bennett said.
Minister Livni says her party has “an important role to play in preventing the right wing from hijacking the government.” She says, “To all the politicians who are yelling on the right and the left, we are not here to serve the political interests of other parties. We want to advance what we believe in and that is what I will continue to do, that is the task of responsible leadership.” Christians who make it their business to be in the know are asking what, exactly, is it that Minister Livni believes in and what does she mean by ‘responsible leadership?’ We can’t quite reconcile in our minds how she could possibly consider it responsible leadership to continue negotiations with sworn enemies of Israel who are committed to Israel’s destruction.
Hamas continues its threat of genocide and jihad against Israel as clearly stated by lawmaker, Ahmad Halabiya, in a recent Friday sermon in Gaza. He said, “Negotiations and concessions are futile, a waste of time. These run counter to the interests of the Palestinian people. The only way to liberate Al-Aqsa, to conquer it once again, and to liberate Jerusalem and Palestine, is through Jihad for the sake of Allah.”
Is it responsible leadership for Minister Livni to violate her own foreign policy platform which she clearly outlined by stating, “We will begin direct negotiations, without the international community’s involvement, to work towards a demilitarized Palestinian state that will be established only after security conditions have been fulfilled.” She further clarified that there would be, “no negotiations with Hamas as long as they refuse to recognize Israel and denounce terror.”
Conservative Christians are wondering if Minister Livni has forgotten all of the broken promises made by Abbas. For example, Abbas said he would not ask the UN for further recognition of Palestinian institutions but then abruptly changed course. Furthermore, how is it possible for Hamas and the PA to have a signed agreement between themselves without there having been many months of negotiations going on without Israel’s knowledge?
According to AFP, Minister Livni told HaTnua members during a faction meeting, “I would like to remind everyone that the conflict isn’t over. We’re still here and the Palestinians are still here. Our interest is to resolve the conflict, and ignoring reality is not an option.” Statements such as this have left supporters of Israel wondering just what reality Minister Livni is talking about; the one where Israel retains her G-d-given land with defensible borders or the one where she gives away more land to her enemies in exchange for nothing. Hamas has not denounced terror, nor have they recognized the State of Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state. Israel did not spend the last 66 years building a house of straw or a house of sticks. In fact, The Lord G-d Himself built of Israel a house of bricks and it is more than adequate to withstand its enemies in any form because the Almighty is her shield and defender.
As Christians who believe in the covenant that G-d made with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, we are having a particularly difficult time understanding Minister Livni’s actions. She seems to be acting as an enemy of the state of Israel and some are calling her a loose cannon. She seems to want the attention and power that comes from a center stage position when, in reality, she is not that powerful. What is she hoping to accomplish, conservatives are asking, by favoring the PA over the land and people she was elected to serve?
Minister Livni, G-d built the house and it will not be blown down. Your ‘peace at all costs agenda’ is not in keeping with the Word of G-d.
Israel and her people are special to the G-d of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. G-d Himself surveyed and deeded the land of Israel to the Jewish people for an everlasting possession. Minister Livni, it would not be wise to be on the opposite side of the Almighty. It may be best if you simply move on. Perhaps the next time you want a position within the government of Israel you will clearly hear from the people (who desire G-d’s blessings) a collective response declaring, “No, no, not by the hair on my chinny chin chin will I open the door and let you (or our enemies) come in!”