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
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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
“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
“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
They see a vacuum of leadership, failed decision-making and a
Mothers of soldiers need to know that they are
giving their sons over to a worthy leadership, and this leadership is not
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
“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.”
attacked her Kadima rival, Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee
chairman Shaul Mofaz, who favors seeking an interim agreement with the
“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.”