Livni enters media spotlight

Livni shunned the foreign press during the war, but returned to the spotlight in her New York visit.

livni sits 298.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
livni sits 298.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, who shunned the foreign press during the war in Lebanon, returned to the foreign media spotlight during her 12-hour lightning visit to New York. Livni held a press conference in English for the American media following her meeting with UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. During the press conference she spoke clearly but stumbled a couple of times, most notably on the word "relations." She gave two interviews: One before she left Israel to CNN's Wolf Blitzer on his show The Situation Room and one in New York to PBS's Charlie Rose. Blitzer praised Livni and told her associates that she came across very well. According to a transcript of the interview, Livni erred in English when she said that "Hizbullah has to stop immediately his attacks," and when asked about members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard fighting alongside Hizbullah, she said "this is the kind of facts that we know for years." Livni defended the war in the interview with Blitzer, even though she opposed continuing military operations after the first few days of the war. "The idea of the operation was to send a message to Nasrallah, to Hizbullah, that Israel is not willing to live, as I said before, in a situation, in a neighborhood, in which a terrorist organization, like Hizbullah, enters Israel, and in an unprovoked attack, kidnaps soldiers," she said. The foreign minister came under fire for leaving the explaining of Israel's positions in the war in Lebanon to Vice Premier Shimon Peres, Tourism Minister Isaac Herzog and opposition leader Binyamin Netanyahu. Livni told Yediot Aharonot on Friday that she was not sure whether her job was to be Israel's top spokesperson when there are other people who do it well. "She has done foreign media and she will continue to do foreign media," a Livni associate said.