Livni's Bill on Palestinian Refugees May Return to Haunt Her

In Knesset, Livni introduced bill requiring a national referendum on any agreement with the PA.

Not much time passed from Tzipi Livni becoming a Knesset member in 1999 until she was made a minister in Ariel Sharon's government in 2001. Still, during that time she managed to leave a considerable impression on former MK Amnon Rubinstein (Meretz), who was at the time the chairman of the Knesset's Constitution, Law and Justice Committee.

He even sent a letter to Sharon recommending her to the position of justice minister.

"Livni wasn't a leading MK," Rubinstein said. "But she was active and intelligent and her approach was rational and free of party dogma."

According to the Knesset's Website, Livni introduced five bills by herself and co-sponsored 22 others. Six of those bills were amendments to Basic Laws. One of them, submitted with Rubinstein and MK Ophir Paz-Pines (Labor), would have necessitated any change to the Basic Laws to receive the approval of 70 MKs, a proposal that would have been anathema to Justice Minister Daniel Friedmann.

One law proposal that Livni introduced, but might rather be forgotten, was a bill that would have made any realization of the right of return for Palestinian refugees require the approval of 80 Mks. She also co-sponsored a proposal that called for a referendum to be held over every agreement reached with the Palestinian Authority.

Livni earned a reputation as a hard and serious worker before she became a lawmaker. She was the director general of the Government Corporate Authorities and headed a subcommittee that drafted a law proposal against money laundering.

She was also headed a special committee that drafted a bill requiring any change to Jerusalem's municipal jurisdiction to be approved by a majority of 61 MKs, a law that may come back to haunt her. "There may come a time when the government will reach a decision in a treaty over Jerusalem," Livni said at the time.

The prime minister will then be obliged to do the right thing concerning the capital of the State of Israel, and present the agreement to the Knesset. Any such decision will need to be ratified by a majority of 61 lawmakers.