Former foreign minister Tzipi Livni is back working on how best to present the
Jewish state to the world in her first job following her May 1 departure from
Livni started working last month as a senior fellow at the
Institute for National Security Studies at Tel Aviv University. She is heading a
project on Israel’s international stature.
The job involves working with
the INSS experts, organizing conferences, and writing articles in addition to
the work on the research project.
“We all know that the delegitimizing of
Israel internationally harms the country and restrains our military operations,”
Livni told The Jerusalem Post.
“The more legitimacy you have, the easier
it is to be able to carry out necessary operations. It must be recognized that
this is part of Israel's national security,” she said.
Livni cited the
criticism Israel received around the world for the May 2011 Mavi Marmara
operation as an example.
She said the basis for Israel as a Jewish and
democratic state that is seen as obvious by Israelis was less clear abroad, but
that Israel’s main problems internationally were related to the policies of its
“The continuation of the conflict with Palestinians has the
biggest impact on Israel’s image abroad,” she said. “The less the diplomatic
process advances, the more isolated Israel is from the world.”
will compare how Israel is perceived in the United States, Europe, and Asia. She
said her team’s work could complement efforts by the Foreign
“We want to see what could be done to improve Israel’s image
using modern technology and social networks,” she said. “It’s an important issue
and I have experience in this matter. I don’t see it as a theoretical project.
It is work that could already be implemented.”
Even though she holds no
elected office now, Livni was in the US last week, meeting with UN
Secretary-General Ban Ki- Moon and giving interviews to CNN’s Christiane
Amanpour and other top American journalists.
Think tanks are often used
as temporary jobs by Democratic and Republican politicians between elections and
Israeli politicians have recently followed that trend,
including current Vice Premier Moshe Yaalon, who worked at the Right-wing Shalem
Center in Jerusalem.
But a source close to Livni said the trend was “not
an indication” that Livni was on her way back to politics. Livni and her
associates would not comment on reports that she is working behind the scenes on
forming a new party with former Kadima council chairman Haim Ramon that will run
in the next election.
“The fact that she chose to join the team at INSS
illustrates INSS’s position as Israel’s premier strategic think tank,” a
spokeswoman for the institute said.