Tzipi Livni Threatens to Break Up Zionist Union if Not Made Opposition Leader

'I see the opposition leadership as essential for the continuation of the partnership,' Livni says following Herzog's appointment as chairman of the Jewish Agency. Gabbay was asked to appoint a new opposition leader

Tzipi Livni, Avi Gabbay and Isaac Herzog in a Knesset meeting, 2018.
Olivier Fitoussi

Knesset member Tzipi Livni said on Monday that she is demanding Labor Party leader Avi Gabbay to appoint her as the opposition leader after Isaac Herzog steps down to become the new chairman of the Jewish Agency. Livni set this as a condition to continue the partnership between the Zionist Union party and the Labor party.

"I see the opposition leadership as essential for the continuation of the partnership," Livni said, adding "It can be a great opportunity to strengthen the partnership and make decisions regarding the futures." But Gabbay said that he would not answer questions on the subject.

>> The Jewish Agency’s crisis is too deep for Isaac Herzog to solve | Analysis

Gabbay was asked to appoint a new opposition leader in light of the fact that he is not a member of the Knesset.

Tension between her and Gabbay were reported  back in January following polls conducted to examine the feasibility of Livni contending in the next general elections at the head of a separate list. In conversation with her confidants, Livni had said that she felt as if she was being pushed into a corner by Gabbay.

Gabbay congratulated Herzog on his appointment, saying "it is most appropriate to fulfill this important role, especially during this period, when the Diaspora Jewish community is in deep crisis with Israel, a crisis that has worsened in recent years because of irresponsible behavior by the government."