'At least in J'lem we were safe at home'

Dalia Itzik calls situation in South "terrible... enough to make you crazy;" backs Livni, urges IDF Gaza op.

dalia itzik 224.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
dalia itzik 224.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
The situation in Gaza-belt communities, according to Knesset Speaker Dalia Itzik, is "terrible, just terrible." In an interview with Israel Radio on Monday afternoon, Itzik spoke of her experiences living in Jerusalem during periods of frequent terror attacks, saying "the one place we were safe was at home. We were scared to send our children on buses and in taxis, but at home we knew we were protected." In the South, however, she said there was no respite. "24 hours a day, it's enough to make you crazy," she said, calling for action from the government to rectify the situation. "I feel that Israel, at the moment, and I'm a part of it, isn't doing anything," she said. Itzik went on to say that the international community accepts the constant rocket barrage on Israel because "Israel itself accepts the situation." "So," she went on, "there's no choice. I'm not talking about Left or Right, or about occupying Gaza. The IDF always makes recommendations, but it's up to the [political establishment] to take them, and that, we're not doing." Itzik voiced strong support for Kadima chair and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, saying that she had "always said we need to topple the Hamas leadership." When asked about possible differences of opinion or arguments between Livni, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Itzik refused to criticize, claiming that it was "not the time to say who's this and who's that." She did, however, say that Barak "needs to take on [the IDF's] proposals." "We can't continue like this," she stressed. "We can't sit twiddling our thumbs and not doing anything." The solution, she said, lies between the two extremes of no action and occupying Gaza. "There are other solutions. That's also what Tzipi's talking about. She's not talking about reoccupying Gaza. She understands the situation. She's not talking about starting some sort of war." When asked about her victory in last week's Kadima primary, Itzik said she was happy, and that it was a "good result." Itzik won the third spot on the party's Knesset list, after the top two slots were reserved for Livni and Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz.