Livni: Environmental issues are crucial to party

Tzipi Livni Party leader says she is taking new holistic approach, politics, economy and environment are all connected issues.

Livni at rally on Palmahim Beach 370 (photo credit: The Tzipi Livni Party)
Livni at rally on Palmahim Beach 370
(photo credit: The Tzipi Livni Party)
While environmental issues have lately become a high priority on The Tzipi Livni Party agenda, the movement’s namesake told The Jerusalem Post that green concerns were not always on her radar.
“I admit that the environment did not drive me to enter politics,” she said Tuesday afternoon, following a party rally on the sand dunes of Palmahim Beach. Just minutes before, as aquamarine waves lapped the shoreline in the background, Livni and Green Movement chairman Alon Tal – No. 13 on Livni’s list – sang a duet of the Israeli folk song “Hofim.”
Members of the Green Movement and The Tzipi Livni Party were visiting the beach in support of the ongoing environmental campaign to rid the beach of hotly contested vacation complex building plans. Livni and her colleagues stopped at the site as part of a nationwide bus tour they are conducting that began on Monday at David Ben-Gurion’s grave in Sde Boker and ends on Thursday at the Western Wall in Jerusalem.
Acknowledging that she had never before been deeply involved in environmental issues during her political career, Livni stressed that she was now taking a holistic approach – and that politics, the economy and the environment are all connected issues.
Key to developing her party’s environmental agenda, Livni told the Post, was the opportunity to join forces with the Green Movement and include its voices in her overall campaign platform.
“They are in a way our compass, and those who can give us what we need in order to have a clear platform on these issues,” Livni said. “And as we agreed, it’s not just to have one representative in parliament – we are going to work together as two parties. Not only do they have one representative, they have all [The Tzipi Livni Party] members, in order to vote for and promote these issues.”
Despite the fact that The Tzipi Livni Party offices on Hamasger Street in Tel Aviv are only around a month old, they have undergone an environmental transformation since the Green Movement joined the party’s list. In each party office is now a bright green cardboard box for paper recycling, and decorating various places in the building are signs in Hebrew reading “The Green Movement” – modified versions of those with the text: “The Movement” of Tzipi Livni.
Tal praised Livni’s “strategic decision to include sustainability” in the “political DNA” of the party, stressing the importance of creating an Israel where quality of life is part of the citizens’ reality.
In addition to visiting Palmahim during this week’s bus tour, Livni also headed to a petrochemicals plant in Haifa on Wednesday and will be riding the light rail in Jerusalem on Thursday, he added.
“[Livni’s] uncompromising will to preserve Palmahim is the harbinger of a whole range of environmental achievements which we expect during the coming years,” Tal said. “It’s a new emphasis, but it’s a new party.”