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Israel is preparing to welcome a new prime minister – the present Foreign Affairs Minister Tzipi Livni – to succeed Ehud Olmert who is drowning in charges of corruption and abuse of power and who is under the threat of harsh criminal penalties.

Livni is assuming this position via Kadima, the most recent political party in Israel that was founded by Ariel Sharon, the godfather of Israeli extremism, who was replaced by Ehud Olmert, the former mayor of occupied Jerusalem, after Sharon succumbed to a coma. Livni is one of the “hawks” of the Israeli administration and holds extremely hard-line stands against the Palestinians and other Arabs. According to her repeated public announcements and statements on several occasions, she is “not prepared to concede rights and gains”.

She is also notorious for her lack of respect and appreciation and for her disregard and scorn of Palestinian rights. Tzipi Livni is the second woman to reach the top of the pyramid of power in Israel after Golda Meir, who came to power in the 1970s and who had emigrated from Milwaukee in the US State of Wisconsin. Golda’s origin served as a catalyst in strengthening the relationship between Israel and the United States. But Livni has a different background. She comes from the heart of Israel’s society and its complex political and intelligence institutions. She was born in Tel Aviv and her parents were prominent members of the terrorist Irgun organization that carried out a wave of notorious bloody deeds against the Arabs, the Britons, and the delegates of international institutions in Palestine. She reached a senior level in the Israeli Army and served for quite a number of years in the Israeli intelligence service known as the Mosad. She was a “hunter of terrorists”. This is a complex task delegated to the elite members of the intelligence service. However, she has said that she did not do what she had claimed; in other words, she lied to be promoted! Livni practiced law for one year when she worked in a law firm. Although she is a vegetarian and does not eat any kind of meat, she is known for her political ferocity and savagery. In her new position, she will strive to prove in practice that she is worthy of her position and that she can protect Israel and safeguard the needs of Israel’s security.

She will do so because her strongest rival is Netanyahu, the extremist leader of the Likud party, who always accused the Kadima party and its members of not being firm enough in protecting Israel’s security, especially after the events of 2006 with Hezbollah in Lebanon. It is obvious that the Palestinians and other Arabs will pay the price of the battle during which Tzipi Livni will prove her character before the other Israeli political parties. The outcome of this battle will be to return the negotiations with Syria and the Palestinians to square one. This is a skill that the Israeli leaders have mastered and in which they excel in order to gain time and build as many settlements as they can “on the ground”. Of course, all this is happening only days prior to the termination of the George W. Bush Administration that promised the establishment of two states – an Israeli state and a Palestinian state – and the realization of final peace between the two sides prior to the end of his term in office. And of course, this issue sounds more like “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” the fairy tale that is read to children at bedtime for the whole tale amounts to mere “words”!

Hussein Shobokshi

Hussein Shobokshi

Hussein Shobokshi is a businessman and prominent columnist. Mr. Shobokshi hosts the weekly current affairs program Al-Takreer on Al-Arabiya, and in 1995 he was chosen as one of the "Global Leaders for Tomorrow" by the World Economic Forum. He received his BA in Political Science and Management from the University of Tulsa.

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