Livni won’t try to show up PM in DC

Mofaz: Crisis with US is no reason to join coalition.

By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
March 16, 2010 23:17
1 minute read.
Kadima head Tzipi Livni.

Livni 311 AP. (photo credit: AP)

Opposition leader Tzipi Livni has attacked Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for not preventing the current crisis with US President Barack Obama’s administration, but her associates said Tuesday that she would not try to embarrass him when they are both in Washington for next week’s AIPAC Policy Conference.

At last year’s conference, Livni met with former president Bill Clinton, key Obama administration officials like national security adviser James Jones and Middle East envoy George Mitchell, and many senior members of US Congress, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

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But this year, amid the ongoing crisis with the US, Livni will be playing it low key. The opposition leader will speak at the conference on Monday before Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Netanyahu and at a couple of smaller forums, and she will meet with some congressmen, but she has purposely not asked to meet with Clinton or other administration officials while she is in town.

“If they invite us we will obviously come, but if not, we will not ask, because we are not trying to embarrass Netanyahu,” a Livni associate said.

In her speeches, Livni will focus on relations with Diaspora Jewry, security, threats facing Israel, and prospects of peace. But she will not try to make any headlines.

Livni came under attack from inside her faction this week for not supporting Netanyahu in the crisis with the US. MK Otniel Schneller accused her of using the crisis for political gain instead of uniting the country in the face of attacks on Jerusalem and the Jewish state.

Livni’s rival, MK Shaul Mofaz, told Israel Radio on Tuesday that he did not believe that the crisis with the US should be an excuse for Kadima MKs to join the coalition.

“Kadima must know that there is a real process and a plan we agree with before we can join,” Mofaz said. “Kadima will only join if we change the current reality for the better. Only if we knew that there was hope, plan, a path, and a vision in the government, would there would be a basis for joining the coalition.”


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