Justice Minister Tzipi Livni speaks to the press in Jerusalem..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein on Thursday told outgoing Justice Minister Tzipi Livni in her farewell ceremony that she was “the gatekeeper of democracy” in Israel.
He added that “I do not want to make statements that could be taken as political,” but “the Israeli public cannot give up on your talents, so I am not splitting from you” despite Livni’s having term as justice minister ended.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fired Livni earlier this week, sparking elections set for March 17.
Livni said she was, “at the start of a fight for our life” and that she was proud that the ministry during her term fought against racism and discrimination in Israeli society.
She spoke about the “Jewish State” bill that Netanyahu has recently promoted, saying it became a struggle over Israel’s image as a Jewish and democratic state.
Weinstein had other warm comments for Livni, noting she was solid and dependable and that he would miss her personally because of the friendship they formed.
This was Livni’s third tour as justice minister, having served from late 2004 to early 2006 and late 2006 to early 2007.
Hours ahead of her firing, Livni let loose at Netanyahu on Tuesday, saying the impending elections will “not be over zero sales tax,” but on replacing a government she accused of “extremism, provocativeness, and paranoia,” without knowing how to fight terrorism while also “upholding freedom and Zionism.”
She accused the prime minister of “inciting sectors in Israel against each other,” and attacked his proposed law to define the Jewishness of the country as abandoning the idea of balancing Zionism with democratic principles.