What Do You Want From Tzipi Livni?

It's understandable that the right is trying to crucify her for getting in a few jabs at Netanyahu on a TV satire show - but what's the left's reason for joining in?

Ravit Hecht
Ravit Hecht
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Israeli Labor Party leader Isaac Herzog and Hatnuah party leader Tzipi Livni after announcing their joint 2015 elections list, December 10. 2014.
Israeli Labor Party leader Isaac Herzog and Hatnuah party leader Tzipi Livni after announcing their joint 2015 elections list, December 10. 2014. Credit: AFP
Ravit Hecht
Ravit Hecht

If a stranger were to happen into Israel over the past two days he would think that Hatnuah party chairwoman MK Tzipi Livni had called for the destruction of the Jewish people, or at least for the murder of the prime minister – and not that she merely got in a few jabs during a satire program. The flag of North Korea was lowered to half mast and the cavalry was called in to grab this woman and throw her to the lions: Here you don’t insult the prime minister.

Livni made me laugh on “State of the Nation.” So did Hanoch Daum, the clown of the right, when he posted on Facebook that “from a feminist point of view, at least, the union between Buji [Labor Party chairman MK Isaac Herzog] and Tzipi is important. The fact that two women now head a new party is a significant statement.” Daum’s serious article on the front page of Yedioth Aharonoth during the Gaza war, for example, which he ended with the words, “If children are fated to die this summer, let it be their children,” did not amuse me at all.

That is the difference between a joke and a serious statement. Anyone who does not understand this is just a conservative on automatic pilot. The blanket of over-politeness that now covers the entire country is a depressing show of that same state conservatism that was the norm here in the old days, and it is even more depressing when it comes from the left, which is supposed to be a bastion of liberal values.

We can understand the onslaught by the right; after all, we’re in an election campaign and it’s only natural that Likud MK Miri Regev (who said of Balad MK Jamal Zahalka – in the Knesset – that he should be tossed up in the air on a chair like a birthday boy and on the count of three, thrown to Gaza) would make a beeline for the bounty. But the brutal responses from the left are a matter for psychoanalysts. Former Shin Bet security services chief Yuval Diskin, until a few weeks ago the hope of the left, who announced that the left is not mature enough for him, compared Livni’s jokes to things said before the murder of Yitzhak Rabin.

The regular masochistic choir of the left joined him, which does not fire from inside the armored personal carrier, but makes sure it is dismantled and unusable before climbing in.

I don’t know what the self-righteous left wants to achieve. I suspect they do not want to get anywhere near responsibility in government, or at least that they do not want to topple Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. It’s fun to remain on the sidelines forever, to doze in the warm and infantile trenches of youthful rebellion, and once a day get up, dust oneself off and crow loudly: “Everything’s shit!”

From time to time one must rule out any candidate who does not conform 100 percent to their utopian vision, because, as is known, after Herzog and Livni (the offensive, white racist, species-ist charlatans), the second choice of the sane public in Israel is Ahmed Tibi and Dov Khenin, and not Naftali Bennett, for example.

Like an old man who insists on wearing his hair in a ponytail, without realizing that he’s not cool but only ridiculous, the knights of the left do not want to do anything but grind their complaints to death. What do all these killers of unity want to achieve? More years of Netanyahu? More facilities like Holot for asylum seekers? More laws against non-profit organizations, exponential growth of construction in the settlements, legalizing outposts, separate buses for Arabs and Jews, and the paralysis of the High Court of Justice?

Tzipi Livni may be judged for many things, among them the excessively long period she spent in the Netanyahu government, her evasive vote on the matter of the asylum seekers, and her support for the existence of a Jewish nation-state bill – in any form. But not for what she said on “State of the Nation.”

She is not one of us. She is not 100 percent left, she does not talk about Arabs, she is a pragmatist, sometimes she is arrogant and sometimes nauseatingly Zionist. Okay. If you have a better plan for replacing the rule of the right wing, let’s hear it.

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