Livni to Saniora: Time to wipe away tears, work for the future

Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni took a hard line against the Lebanese prime minister Tuesday, as she spoke to a special Knesset session on the conflict and the diplomatic process. "Yesterday I saw the tears of [Prime Minister Fuad] Saniora. We all cry over our dead, both in public or in private," said Livni, referring to the teary speech Saniora gave on Monday in Beirut. "But now we are telling him to wipe away his tears and start working to create a better future, a more normal future, for those civilians for whom he is crying." Livni said Saniora's weak government had forced Israel to intervene in southern Lebanon. "Saniora is using his weakness to call the international community to strengthen him... But when the international community understands Saniora's weakness, it gives more power to Hizbullah," she said. She did not detail Israel's position on the draft resolution submitted to the UN Security Council by the US and France, but said that Israel was "asking to make corrections." Livni stressed that while the draft called for Israel to suspend military operations, it did not specify that the IDF must withdraw its forces. Livni's calls were echoed by Knesset Speaker Dalia Itzik, who also said that Saniora should "stop crying and start doing... Expel this terrorist parasite called Hizbullah and our two nations will be able to go back to getting along," she said. The emergency session was the third convened by Itzik since the Knesset began its summer recess three weeks ago. At the previous sessions, there were raucous disruptions by Arab MKs, prompting Itzik to remove three of them from the plenum last week. On Tuesday, only two Arab MKs were present. Both received stern warnings from Itzik after they called out that Israel had "lost its humanity" during the recent violence. "For those among us who are calling in the name of 'humanity' to come to a cease-fire here and now with no conditions, I will say: 'The pictures from Lebanon are difficult to see, but they are no more difficult than the pictures of thousands of Israeli children torn from their houses,'" Itzik said. She extended her attack to anyone who criticized the war, urging that "now is not the time to deal with the day after... There are those to whom it is important to be petty and find flaws in what we are doing while we are burying our dead. This is not the time. A country cannot conduct a war in the atmosphere of an investigative committee." The Goldwasser, Regev and Shalit families of the kidnapped soldiers sat in the visitors section during the speeches and afterward met with MKs.