Livni: No one has a monopoly over Shabbat

Opposition leader calls for action on haredi violence against police, rightist threats on IDF officers in W. Bank.

Livni flag 248.88 ap (photo credit: AP [file])
Livni flag 248.88 ap
(photo credit: AP [file])
Opposition leader Tzipi Livni on Monday harshly condemned threats and violence against both police officers in Jerusalem and IDF officers in the West Bank. Speaking at a Kadima faction meeting, Livni said, "Today, I want to note two social phenomena which are very troubling, because I believe the role of leadership is to criticize as well as to fix." First, she called for action in the wake of Saturday's haredi riots in Jerusalem, in which six police officers and a press photographer were lightly hurt when protesters hurled stones, garbage and diapers at police. The haredim were protesting the opening of the City Hall parking lot on Shabbat, though it is being operated by a non-Jew and no fees are being collected. "No one has a monopoly over Shabbat," Livni said. "Kadima wants Israel to be a Jewish State with Jewish values, and Shabbat is definitely part of that. Nonetheless, any instance of violence against police is not a political issue, but rather a question of values." The Kadima chair then went on to mention threats recently received by top IDF brass in the West Bank, specifically mentioning death threats sent by right-wing extremists to OC Central Command Maj.-Gen. Gadi Shamni. The letters followed the removal of several unauthorized settler outposts in recent weeks. "Colleagues, these are matters which require swift action," she said, repeating the words, "This is not a political issue, it's a matter of values, and we need to speak [against it] with a loud voice." Her comments came as Army Radio reported on an IDF decision to employ bodyguards to protect to brigade commanders serving in the West Bank. On a separate issue, Livni mentioned the Civil Unions bill, urging her party to back the law, as it was a central part of Kadima's election platform. "To my regret, not every party keeps its promises… but Kadima will," she vowed.