Tzipi Livni 311 Ariel J.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Kadima leader Tzipi Livni is concerned that the campaign to delegitimize the State of Israel will harm its ability to defend itself, Livni said in a conference call to leaders of the Jewish Federations of North America on Tuesday.
Israel’s problem was with its policies, not with its public relations, and the way to fix its image was to adopt policies expediting the peace process, Livni said, in an off-the-record briefing whose contents were leaked by her aides.
“We see ourselves as David, surrounded by hostile nations, but the world sees us as Goliath,” she said. “The world understands Israel less and less.” Livni said that while Israel’s legitimacy was waning, Hamas was gaining legitimacy.
She called upon Turkey to choose sides between Iran and the West.
While Livni endorsed the government’s blockade on Gaza and Prime
Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s effort to form an internal probe of the
Gaza flotilla incident, she reiterated that her Kadima Party was not en
route to the coalition.
Asked whether in light of the flotilla incident she would be more likely
to accept an invitation to join the government, she said that she had
not received an invitation and for her to join it, Netanyahu would have
to change his policies and abandon his current coalition partners.
Participants in conference call said there was no problem with Livni’s
English. Earlier on Tuesday, Diaspora Affairs Minister Yuli Edelstein
(Likud) said that Livni needed to “go to Berlitz [language school]”
before she could be interviewed by the foreign press.
E.B. Solomont contributed to this report.