Livni slams prime minister despite Hanegbi call for unity

“A prime minister who focuses on getting reelected is not worthy of reelection,” Kadima leader says as she appears to reject plea from former MK.

By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
November 25, 2010 01:37
1 minute read.
Binyamin Netanyahu and Tzipi Livni

Netanyahu and Livni 311. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

 
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Kadima leader Tzipi Livni appeared to reject a plea from her confidant former MK Tzahi Hanegbi to seek a national-unity government, when she bashed Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Wednesday.

In a well-publicized column in The Jerusalem Post on Monday, Hanegbi urged the Knesset’s two largest parties to renew their dialogue and reexamine whether they could work together to best advance Israel’s interests. He reiterated the call and spoke about the exclusive column on Israel Radio on Wednesday.

“A prime minister who focuses on getting reelected is not worthy of reelection,” Livni said at a conference of the Tel Aviv University Business Forum. “A prime minister gets a term to implement a vision, and survival is not a vision. When a prime minister devotes the time he is given to keeping his coalition together, Israel has a big problem.”

Livni devoted much of her speech to complaining about Netanyahu’s opposition to a Kadima-sponsored bill that was voted down on Wednesday that would have made it harder for girls to use religious reasons to avoid army service.

Earlier, at an economic conference in Jerusalem, she called on Netanyahu to resume diplomatic talks with the Palestinians where they ended when she was foreign minister in the previous government.

“We had negotiations based on trust and not on blaming the other side for lack of progress,” she said. “Now there is no trust, there is a blame game and Israel is stagnating.”


Livni also complained about Palestinian efforts to undermine Israel’s economy and delegitimize the country overseas.

She said boycotts and attempts to block Israel’s entry to the OECD did not serve the Palestinians’ interests.

A Dialog poll broadcast Wednesday night on Channel 10 found that Netanyahu’s popularity had fallen from 41 percent to 38%, dipping below the 40-mark for the first time.

The poll found that Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman was gaining on him for the support of right-wingers, while Livni was the unquestioned leader of the Left.

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