Daily Israel Report

Livni: Netanyahu, Don't Meddle in US Politics

Opposition head says Israel should have an "intimate relationship" with the U.S. and not wait for AIPAC conventions.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 3/5/2012, 9:38 AM

Tzipi Livni
Tzipi Livni
Flash 90

U.S. President Barack Obama may or may not "have Israel's back," but Opposition Head MK Tzipi Livni (Kadima) does not seem to have Binyamin Netanyahu's. Livni chose the day of Netanyahu's ninth meeting with Obama – a meeting many see as crucial for the prospects of stopping Iran's nuclear program – to criticize Netanyahu publicly over his U.S. policy.

"Netanyahu is wrong to meddle in the U.S.'s internal politics," she said Monday. "For the first time in a long time, Israel is a partisan issue in the U.S. election, and that is a mistake."

"The challenges before us demand much more than speeches," she added. "They demand tight cooperation, and that is missing today. Israel should have an intimate and close relationship with the U.S. and not wait for an AIPAC convention or speeches. That is how things were in the past and that is how they should be now."

Livni said she was happy with Obama's AIPAC speech. "When an American president, any president, says he is committed to Israel's security, speaks of common interests and treats Iran's aspiration to go nuclear as something that is to be avoided, that is a positive and good thing."

"The world needs to put in place dramatic sanctions against Iran now," she declared. "There is an escalation in the sanctions but this is still not enough," she determined.