Livni to Tell UN: Iran Nuclear Problem Will Not Solve Itself

NEW YORK - Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni's address to the United Nations today will showcase her ministry's initiative to bar armed organizations from participating in democratic elections.

Livni, who will be the first speaker at this morning's General Assembly session, will urge the UN to adopt "universal rules" that would bar any armed organization or any group that supports armed struggle from running in elections, unless they accept the "fundamental principles of democracy."

She has already raised this idea in private meetings with world leaders and foreign ministers during the GA session.

Israeli sources said that the Arab ministers with whom Livni has met in New York expressed support for the idea, which would keep groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah from running.

Much of her address will be devoted to the Palestinian issue. She will argue that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not the cause of the region's troubles; rather, it is merely part of a larger battle between democracy and extremism.

In addition, she will lambaste international inaction on Iran's nuclear program, charging that some countries are acting as if they expect the problem to solve itself.

Livni paid a solidarity visit yesterday to the B'nai Avraham synagogue in Brooklyn, where a swastika was recently painted on its walls.

The New York City Police has offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to the identity of perpetrators of hate crimes.

Last night, Livni attended a gathering organized by the Israeli consulate in New York in honor of this week's Sukkot holiday.

The gathering - billed as "the Sukkah of Peace" in a nod to the sukkahs (booths) in which religious Jews traditionally eat during the holiday - brought together Jewish, Muslim and Christian clergy with the goal of promoting "understanding and harmony" among religions and nations.