Former opposition and Kadima leader Tzipi Livni resigned from the Knesset and
her party on Tuesday, saying she would continue working to better Israel’s
“My principles and my values require me to leave the Kadima
faction in the Knesset,” she explained. “I have always said a seat is not
everything, and at this point I must leave my seat in the
Livni’s resignation came a month after her loss to Shaul Mofaz
in the Kadima leadership race. In the weeks following Mofaz’s victory, she hid
from the public eye, making few statements on Facebook or Twitter and not
revealing her plans.
The former foreign minister vowed that she was not
leaving public life, and would work to improve the country.
“The State of
Israel is too dear to me [for me] to stop dealing with its problems and its
citizens,” she said. “It deserves better than what the current policies have to
Livni thanked her supporters, specifically the MKs who stood with
her during the Kadima race, commending their “spine and personal
She pointed out that during her leadership, the party had
received more votes than any other party in the last election, under a banner of
clean politics backed with principles.
“I am not sorry I did not give in to political blackmail. I am not sorry I opposed stopping the diplomatic
process, which is the key to the future of Israel, even if it cost me the job of
prime minister. I am not sorry that I did not agree to sell the country to
haredim [the ultra- Orthodox] just to be prime minister,” she stated in a press
conference at the Knesset.
She emphasized the issue of negotiations with
the Palestinians, saying that although it was not the public’s top concern at
present, a true leader would promote the topic “even if it’s not in style at the
According to Livni, there is an immediate need to come to a
permanent agreement with the Arab and Palestinian world in order to ensure
Israel’s future as a Jewish, democratic state.
Following her speech, she
gave her resignation letter to Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin, who said he was
sure that she had not yet exhausted her potential in politics.
resignation in the Knesset will be valid as of Monday, when Yuval Tzelner will
take her place. Livni is the fifth Kadima MK to depart since the start of the
Following Livni’s press conference, Kadima released a
statement saying her resignation was unfortunate, but the party, under Mofaz’s
leadership, would win the next election as the only real alternative to Prime
Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
“A senior position is reserved for Tzipi
Livni, should she decide to return to political activity in Kadima during the
upcoming election,” the party said.
Kadima MK Yohanan Plesner thanked
Livni for her contribution to founding the party, adding that he believed she
would find a way to stay part of Kadima outside of the Knesset.
Minister Ehud Barak called her an “Israeli patriot who worked responsibly for
Israel in international arenas as foreign minister,” and said she had been able
to separate politics from the country’s diplomatic and security
Labor leader Shelly Yacimovich said she was sorry to see Livni
leave, because she was a fair and worthy person with extensive experience in
MK Danny Danon (Likud) predicted Kadima’s demise as a
“valueless, trendy party that will find itself drowning fast.”
we’ll see Kadima MKs following Livni, who abandoned a sinking ship,” he added.
“There is no room for them in the Likud.”