Livni takes aim at Netanyahu over haredim

Former Kadima head tells CNN Israel is being "sold to the ultra-Orthodox," slams Likud for giving them religious monopoly.

Livni on CNN 370 (photo credit: Screenshot)
Livni on CNN 370
(photo credit: Screenshot)
Former Kadima head Tzipi Livni on Tuesday took aim at Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for failing to make difficult decisions regarding the integration of the ultra-orthodox (haredi) community into the broader Israeli society.
Asked in a CNN interview with Christiane Amanpour if Israel was being "sold to the ultra-orthodox," Livni responded quite bluntly: "Unfortunately yes, politically." She continued: "Unfortunate they now have more power than they should. And in a way, the Likud party and other parties gave them a monopoly on the state of Israel.”
Livni singled out Netanyahu as being particularly culpable. “Netanyahu said himself that for him politically the ultra-orthodox are his natural partners," she said, later adding "It has been proven that Netanyahu doesn't want to (alienate the haredim) and this is going to be part of future elections in Israel."
Addressing controversy over haredi enlistment in the IDF, an issue which proved the source of a fracture in the ruling coalition when Kadima withdrew from government last month, Livni said the issue needs to be solved by all Zionist parties coming together and demanding that a solution be found immediately.
Livni explained that the values of Israel are being threatened. "Politically, when you have a part of Israeli society believing that the source of authority is not the law and the Supreme Court but the torah, the halacha and the rabbis, we have a clash between the values of democracy and what I believe are our values as a Jewish state."
During the interview, Livni spoke extensively about the need to form a constitution, adding this would allow Israel to reach a peace agreement with the Palestinians and solve issues pertaining to the ultra-orthodox community.
Turning to the Syria, Livni said the Assad regime threatens Israel and has chemical weapons. "The expectation by others for us to just look, see, and watch is no acceptable," she said. "The fact that the international community is, excuse me, quite impotent on this issue sends a very sad and problematic message to the region."