Taking the Olmert Line / Kadima Leader Livni Sounds a Lot Like Predecessor

"There comes a point where every country or nation must say - and this is what we are saying today - enough!" Foreign Minister and Kadima leader Tzipi Livni told party members at a gathering in Jerusalem on Tuesday, as rockets rained down on the western Negev.

Her words remarkably resembled something outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said on July 17, 2006, at the height of the rocket and missile attacks on the north of the country during the Second Lebanon War: "There are moments when a nation is committed to face reality and say 'enough.' On behalf of everyone I say 'enough.'"

The end of the ceasefire in the Gaza Strip between Israel and Palestinian militants commits Livni to make more aggressive remarks. Characteristics that marked Olmert's speech could be clearly seen in the address she gave at the Kadima meeting: aggression, determination, war and peace, unity and finally victory. Livni said yesterday she wrote the speech in order to calm the situation and, unlike Olmert, did not set far-reaching goals.

She addressed other countries in the Middle East yesterday by saying: "My suggestion to all the radical factions in the area is not to delude yourselves. Our will for peace and quiet does not weaken our resolve from taking action against abductions and threats."

Olmert also said: "We are not looking for war or direct confrontations, but if they come about we shall not shy away from them. When missiles are launched at our residents and cities, our answer will be an all-out powerful, determined, brave war displaying the sacrifice and resolve this nation is endowed with."

Olmert also chose to address the Israeli public with a message of unity: "In a nation's history there are times of overcoming obstacles, of self-cleansing, when political and sectarian differences are put aside and replaced by a sense of joint responsibility."

Livni, too, in her speech bore a similar message: "As the elections approach, now more than ever we should remember we are all the people of Israel. Unity is the central component in our national resilience and only when we are together can nobody - nobody - defeat us."

Both decided to finish their speeches with similar phrases. "Together we'll win," Livni said yesterday. "We'll win," Olmert said two years ago.