Tzipi Livni got the interview treatment in yesterday’s New York Times Magazine (a weekly magazine of Jewish life and culture). Even casual observers of Israeli politics will be unsurprised to find that, on matters of security, she and her Kadima Party differ little from Prime Minister Netanyahu and his Likud: “On the right of Israel to exist and to defend itself,” the opposition leader says, “there is no opposition.”
The most compelling part of the interview comes when she discusses her parents, who were prominent Revisionist Zionists (the right-wing forerunners of Likud) and members of the paramilitary group Irgun. Says Livni:
A few years ago, when I was interviewed on Israeli television, I said I support the idea of two nation-states. I was afraid that my mother was listening and hoped that she didn’t open the TV when I was speaking. But then one day she called me and said: “Listen, Tzipi. I hear you. It gives me pain. But you need to make decisions about the future of Israel. We didn’t establish this state for having just old people living here.”
Oh, and is she going to run for prime minister again? And how.
Meanwhile, for domestic Israeli consumption, Livni is being much harsher on the present government: “They go from crisis to crisis,” she thunders, “leading Israel into one of the worst situations in its history.”