Limor Livnat, What Happened to You?

The Minister, losing her equanimity, actually made these wild statements to the media: "Extremist elements, such as Feiglin and his followers, who were never a part of the Likud movement, and who are not from the Likud, are trying to take over the ruling party, and thereby the government as well."

Nadia Matar

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Until a few days ago, we were skeptical about the actions of the Manhigut Yehudit (Jewish Leadership) faction in the Likud and its chances of exerting influence "from within", but then Education Minister Limor Livnat came out with her frantic attack against "Feiglin," and showed all of us that our friends in Manhigut Yehudit are succeeding on a large scale.

The Minister, losing her equanimity, actually made these wild statements to the media: "Extremist elements, such as Feiglin and his followers, who were never a part of the Likud movement, and who are not from the Likud, are trying to take over the ruling party, and thereby the government as well."

The Minister's statement is puzzling. The only "crime" of Feiglin and his followers is that they are taking action to have the Likud actualize the platform of the Likud, for which it was elected by a large majority.

Whoever reads the Likud platform will find the following quote (to be found at the Knesset Internet site "The right of the Jewish people to Eretz Israel is an eternal right, one that cannot be brought into question. The State of Israel shall not allow the establishment of a Palestinian Arab state to the west of the Jordan. The Jordan River shall be the permanent border of the State of Israel. The government shall insist that all of the security areas that are essential for the defense of Israel and the Jewish settlement shall remain under complete Israeli rule. Settlement is a preeminent expression of the people of Israel's unquestionable right to Eretz Israel, and constitutes an important asset for the defense of the essential interests of the State of Israel. The Likud shall act for its continued strengthening and development."

Limor Livnat's statement a few days ago, in favor of the uprooting of a number of settlements - a statement that is in total opposition to the Likud platform - and her attack against the national activists in the Likud, perhaps show that it is Limor Livnat who is no longer a part of the Likud movement?

At this juncture, it should be asked: "Limor Livnat, what happened to you? Are you, too, among those national politicians who undergo a total transformation the moment that they assume power, and begin to fulfill the extreme leftist Labor-Meretz party platform?"

Women in Green first became acquainted with Limor Livnat in November 1993, when we held one of our first demonstrations against the Oslo Accords, after we read in the press that the arch-murderer Yasser Arafat was claiming that a one-kilometer section of the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv road, just beyond Shaar Hagay, is "occupied" by Israel. He was demanding that this portion be handed over to Arab rule; we announced to the media and Members of Knesset that our movement would conduct a demonstration at this location, in order to warn the public that the Oslo Accords were liable to return us to borders that endanger the very existence of the State of Israel.

We positioned ourselves on a hill next to Shaar Hagay, about two hundred meters after a gas station at the site, with dozens of Women in Green. We held a thick, long green cloth, and we waved signs proclaiming: "Stop - Border Before You"; "Awake, Awake, Israel - Don't Let Them Return Us to the Green Line"; and other such messages. Limor Livnat was the only Member of Knesset who came to identify with us. Even though our movement was not yet very well-known, Limor Livnat came, encouraged us, and warned against the Oslo Accords and against the dangers of returning to the Green Line. Israeli television covered that demonstration, and gave a forum for MK Livnat's statements on the news that evening.

Since then, we have remained in contact with her office. During the time of the 1996 elections, Limor Livnat asked me to run for the Knesset on the Likud list, to try to be selected for the place earmarked for a woman. According to her, it was important that the slot be taken by a resident of Yesha (Judea, Samaria, or Gaza) who would do everything on behalf of the settlements in Yesha. I thanked her, but I continued to act in the extra-parliamentary sphere. (By the way, it was a good thing that I made that decision, because the slot became an unrealistic one after the agreement with David Levy.)

Every year, Limor Livnat writes a greeting for the Women in Green's Purim gazette for our Shushan Purim dinner. This is what Limor Livnat wrote in Adar II 5763 (March 2003): "Once again, I have the pleasant duty of sending my best wishes to you, the members and activists of Women in Green. We hope that the new government will bring about a new beginning. The unfailing and prominent efforts of Women in Green aid in eliminating the terrorism monster, and in firmly basing the Jewish presence in all parts of the Land of Israel; they are essential in our political landscape. It is my wish that you go 'from strength to strength.' With my best wishes, Limor Livnat, Minister of Education."

Based on the above, Limor Livnat is the last person whom we would expect to agree to the uprooting of settlements and to voice virulent criticism of national activists in the Likud. We foresaw for her a dazzling future as a proud Jewish-Zionist leader, who would serve as a counterweight to the defeatist politicians such as Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert, who curry favor with the enemy. It appears, however, that we were wrong, and, to our great sorrow, Limor Livnat has joined those national politicians who were elected on the strength of their loyalty to Eretz Israel, but who - after they assumed positions of power - cave in to internal and external pressures, change their colors, and betray the platform of their movement and the mandate they received from their electorate.

The truth is that this does not come as a total surprise. A red light concerning Limor Livnat was already lit for us when she was undecided regarding joining the Merkaz (Center) party of Dan Meridor, a known leftist. Unfortunately, this episode was not just an aberration, but revealed her true colors.

In the coming months the members of the Likud Central Committee will have to vote on a diverse range of issues. The results of these votes will define the direction of the Likud movement. Will the Likud movement remain trapped by politicians who are weak on ideology and principles? Is the need to please the Israeli Left and the American government greater than the desire to be faithful to their voters, to Eretz Israel, and to their Jewish heritage? In other words, will the Likud officially become Labor Party No. 2? Or perhaps the Likud will regain its former glory and choose to be true to its own platform, which is all that Moshe Feiglin and his followers seek?

Soon, we will receive answers to these questions. Perhaps Limor Livnat will reconsider and understand that she will have a future as an Israeli politician only if she will faithfully represent the present Likud platform. She must realize that the true criminals are politicians such as Sharon and Olmert, who masquerade as Likud members, but who act contrary to the wishes of the voters who elected them, to impose on us the establishment of a Palestinazi state and fatal "separation plans." If we want to survive as Jews in all of Eretz Israel, we must act quickly so that these dictators be "relocated" out of power.

Limor Livnat, we ask you the question found in Joshua 5:13: "Are you with us or with our enemies? "