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Friday, January 5, 2007

Pay attention to Tzipi

Pay attention to Tzipi
Is Foreign Minister Livni future leader we've all been waiting for?,7340,L-3347225,00.html

Yael Gvirtz
01.02.07, 00:10

Pay attention to Tzipi Livni. While it's difficult to notice the difference between the suit brands of our male politicians, Livni is emerging as the most interesting alternative. Even if it's difficult to believe that Kadima will survive, Livni conveys the sense that she is the only one in our leadership today who is starting to understand how to move Israel forward.

It is possible that the path she may be taking, from the diplomatic world to the country's premiership, may qualify her to succeed in the job more than her predecessors. She may be more qualified than those who reached the leadership through the military path and turned to diplomacy only at old age (Rabin, Sharon) and more than Barak, who viewed diplomacy as a military trick. Her path certainly makes her more qualified than Olmert's and Peretz's political paths.

Livni was the first one who understood that if victory can be achieved in the Lebanon war, it can only be done in the diplomatic arena, and argued that the military campaign was only meant to leverage the diplomatic process. As foreign minister she hears, first hand, what the entire world has been telling us, and she has been wise enough to translate it to Hebrew: The Middle East conflict has no military solution, only a diplomatic one.

The fact that Olmert erred when he attempted to limit her, after she demanded to launch talks following the first night of fighting, is clear to everyone by now. Time will tell how many more such errors he'll be making while trying to curb her in the future.

For now we can be comforted by the realization of the importance of her views being voiced in the male-dominated decision-making forums. When we know where too much testosterone got us, it's pleasant to hear that "not only in the war, but also in all kinds of discussions I hear arguments between generals and admirals and I tell them: Boys, stop."

It's true that at the moment it appears that the new alliance between Gaydamak and Netanyahu will win the next elections, yet the new civilian pact offered by Livni may signal that we may have a "fight" here after all.

Who knows, maybe we'll discover that "we've had enough," and that we woke up this morning to a new year that will lead us to a situation where the "boys stop."

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