Kadima Leader Livni: Israel Can Save Itself From Global Isolation

Netanyahu: Opposition needs to stand by coalition when Israel under fire; PM demands 'restraint and responsibility'. says 'next flotilla is on the horizon.

Opposition leader Tzipi Livni on Monday submitted a motion of no-confidenc motion in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government regarding the botched Israel Defense Forces raid on the Gaza flotilla last week, claiming that Israel could have avoided the international isolation which it now faced.

In presenting the motion, the Kadima chairwoman accused the government of destroying Israel's stance in the world and in effect, its security in the Middle East.

Opposition leader Tzipi Livni speaking at the Knesset
Michal Fattal

"We have full faith in the State of Israel, in its values and in its citizens. But the current government of Israel is not representing the state to the world," said Livni. "This government needs to understand… either a Palestinian state on our conditions, or a Hamastan that results from inaction and failure."

The opposition leader presented the motion herself under the headline "The attempt of government officials to evade responsibility and direct criticism on Gaza flotilla toward IDF soldiers."

"Israel is facing a difficult time right now, perhaps the most difficult in our history," Livni said. "This is not just a temporary event that will pass. This is a continuous process under which Israel is becoming isolated from the world."

"International isolation carried with it difficult implications on Israel's stance in the region, this difficult neighborhood in which we live."

"Israel's power of deterrence is based, of course, on the power of the Israel Defense Forces, but also – and principally – on its relationship with the United States," she said.

"It is possible to recruit the world to Israel's interests," Livni declared. "Our strategy of diplomacy and security is based on two things," she said. "One: our relationship with the U.S. that directly impacts Israel's stance in the world; and two: the process to end the [Middle East] conflict and reach an arrangement that ensures Israel's defense."

"This way to do it is this: We must isolate Hamas, which is not a partner to peace or to an arrangement with a legitimate Palestinian government."

"We have full faith in the IDF," Livni added. "But we have no faith in a government hat brings Israel into the difficult position of isolation that prevents the IDF from acting when needed."

Netanyahu: Opposition needs to stand by coalition when Israel under fire

Netanyahu criticized Monday the Kadima party anahead of the expected submission of the motion, declaring:

"I demand restraint and responsibility since the next flotilla is on the horizon. What we need now is full confidence in the government."

At the opening of the weekly Likud party meeting, Netanyahu said that the attack on Israel has been ongoing for several years now.

Netanyahu said that at the time of Operation Cast Lead and the Second Lebanon War, Israel was subject to wide international criticism but the opposition at the time, let by him, stood by the government.

"The opposition stood by the government, and not for a day or two, but for a very long period of time. During Operation Cast Lead, my associates and I were recruited to stand by the government, even though we were in the middle of an election campaign."

Netanyahu emphasized that his party refrained from no-confidence motions during both Operation Cast Lead and the Second Lebanon War.