FM: Clearing Amona was ideological

Concerned that some settler children are taught that Israel is a foreign gov't.

livni sits 298.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
livni sits 298.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni lamented what she viewed as a rejection of Israel's sovereignty by some of the West Bank settlers - a pattern which she has noticed since August's disengagement from Gaza and northern Samaria. "When you send children to tell the police 'I will not tell you my name, I am a Jew from Israel' the message being sent to the children, whether consciously or not, is that this is a foreign rule...which can be fought...and [you can] throw stone blocks at them." Once you lose control it could be too late, she warned in an Israel Radio interview. The question is not a technical-judicial one of whether Amona would be cleared or not, Livni said, it is about how we live here, together. The foreign minister insisted that the struggle was an ideological one dealing with the question of who has the right to determine where citizens may live. She stated that only the government may make that decision. For that reason, Livni was pessimistic about the chances for a compromise, because it would have to give the settlers some authority to decide locations of settlements, contrary to the government's views. Livni used the opportunity to deny charges that the destruction of the illegal structures was a political ploy used as part of Kadima's election campaign. She mentioned that the evacuation of the site was decided upon long before the elections were scheduled. Also, she stressed, it was the court that ordered the destruction. Asked whether destroying the illegal outpost was smart, and not only right, Livni responded that failing to remove those structures would have had much worse consequences in the long run. The foreign minister, who just returned from a visit to Egypt to meet with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, noted that it was the Egyptians who requested that Livni make her visit to Egypt the first one she makes as foreign minister. The meeting with Mubarak even preceded her planned trip to Washington, scheduled for next week. Livni said the meeting was conducted in a very good atmosphere, and lasted much longer than initially planned, something which she noted was very unusual.