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Friday, October 23, 2009

Livni lauds J Street

Opposition leader Tzipi Livni has sent a letter to the pro-'Palestinian' J Street lobby commending it on its upcoming 'conference.' The group has been shunned by the Israeli government.
The discussion of what best advances Israel's cause should "be inclusive and broad enough to encompass a variety of views, provided it is conducted in a respectful and legitimate manner," Livni wrote in her letter to J Street Executive Director Jeremy Ben-Ami.


Livni is also not attending the conference due to schedule constraints, but she wrote in her letter that senior Kadima party members would be present.

"I believe most American Jews support Israel and want to see it thrive as a Jewish and democratic state," Livni wrote in her letter. "Like you, I believe ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by realizing the vision of two nation states living side by side in peace and security is in the best interests of Israel, the United States, the Palestinians and the region as a whole."

She added that members of the pro-Israel community may not always agree on everything. However, she said, "I do believe that we must ensure that what unites us as Jews who are committed to Israel's future as a secure, Jewish, and democratic state is far greater than what separates us."
Sorry, but I believe that Livni is dead wrong about this. Does she really want to stake Kadima out as giving validity to opposing sanctions against Iran, favoring a 'total settlement freeze' (including Jerusalem), and otherwise acting as a mouthpiece for the Obama administration's misguided policies in our region?

No, she doesn't, because most Jewish Israelis on the Left oppose all of these positions taken by J Street.

But Livni is languishing in the opposition - she is rarely in the news, and the government is able to do whatever it wants in the Knesset. I suppose that she is desperate for exposure, and since she doesn't look like Bar Refaeli, this is the only way she can get it.


At Real Clear World, Kevin Sullivan denigrates the letter to the point of making it meaningless.
I think this conference is one of those events that people living and working in Washington think is really, really important, but in the long run doesn't mean a heck of a lot. It seems to me that because J Street has to compete inside the beltway with already established heavy-hitters such as AIPAC, its supporters are going to take small victories—like, for instance, a really formal and distant letter from Israeli opposition leader Tzipi Livni—and inflate it into something of undeserved value.

I think Michael Goldfarb makes a fair point:
Livni refused to come in person, refused to do a live satellite appearance, refused to do a taped message. Instead she wrote a letter -- and even then she's careful to say that she and J Street do "not agree on everything."
Right, which makes the gushing over said letter even more bizarre. What would the reaction be if a significant Israeli official actually decided to attend? Would there be fainting at the Grand Hyatt?
Read the whole thing.


At 4:53 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

All Tzipi Livni has done is to show she's irrelevant and small-minded. She's not giving any one in Israel reason to think Kadima is a serious party when she reaches out to a fringe anti-Israel group in Washington. Life in the opposition must be tough.



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