Livni, Ya'alon: World shouldn't let Brotherhood run

By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
February 7, 2011 16:55

Livni discusses Muslim Brotherhood, peace process, her vision for Israel at Herzliya Conference with officials, MKs, academics, Jewish leaders.

2 minute read.



Tzipi Livni during a speech at IDC Herzliya

311_Livni at IDC. (photo credit: Channel 10 News)

The international community must take steps to prevent the Muslim Brotherhood from running in the first Egyptian election in the post-Mubarak era, opposition leader Tzipi Livni and Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Ya’alon said on Monday.

Speaking at the 11th annual Herzliya Conference, Livni said Egypt should not have to choose between democracy and totalitarianism, but it must set rules to make sure that its nascent democracy would not be used to harm itself.

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“The right to vote is given to every citizen, but the right to be chosen must only given to parties that accept upon themselves rules that exist throughout the free world, such as forbidding violence, accepting democratic rules, and respecting agreements signed by previous administrations,” Livni said. “Europe learned that democracies must defend themselves. This exists in all democracies around the world.”

Livni noted that in Spain, a party that supported the Basques was prevented from running. She said an extremist party was not allowed to run in Turkey, and in Israel, the High Court prevented Rabbi Meir Kahane’s Kach Party from running.

“It’s all right that the leadership of the world thinks we live in a tough neighborhood that deserves democracy, but it must be run according to the same rules that they have at home,” Livni said.

Ya’alon said at the Knesset that he agreed with Livni. He said allowing Hamas to run in the last Palestinian election in January 2006 was proven to be a mistake.

“It’s legitimate to ask nondemocratic parties to not join a democratic race or at least to put up certain conditions for them to run,” he said.

Much of the rest of Livni’s address was devoted to an attack on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, whom she accused of being weak.

“These days give feelings of uncertainty about the future of Israelis and their state,” she said. “Israelis see regional developments with concern. When they look inside at what’s happening here, they don’t feel better.

They see a vacuum of leadership, failed decision-making and a spineless government.

Mothers of soldiers need to know that they are giving their sons over to a worthy leadership, and this leadership is not worthy.”

Livni warned that Israel must take diplomatic steps soon before it is too late.

She recommended taking the initiative and continuing the negotiations with the Palestinians she held when she was foreign minister from 2006–2009.

“There is a linkage among the Arab states between our relations with them and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” she said. “I met with Arab officials who realized that they need to be sitting with us and that we have a mutual threat with Iran, but they couldn’t let anyone know they met with me, because their people see Israel through extremist eyes.”

Livni also attacked her Kadima rival, Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee chairman Shaul Mofaz, who favors seeking an interim agreement with the Palestinians.

“Solving the conflict is critical,” she said. “Israel cannot have temporary borders. We cannot let the big decisions be delayed just because someone thinks there are leaders who cannot make them.”


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