Israel’s foreign minister called for universal election standards to prevent terrorists from taking office.
Tzipi Livni made the recommendation in her address Monday to the United Nations General Assembly.
Observing that extremists plan to use democratic means to subvert democracies, and clearly mindful of the victory by Hamas in Palestinian elections, Livni said the international community should adopt a code restricting democratic participation to groups that respect principles like state monopoly on the use of force, rejection of racism and violence, and protection of rights.
“There are some who insist on high standards in their own country but forget them when they look abroad,” Livni said to a nearly empty General Assembly hall Monday morning. “Violent extremists who could never run for office at home are treated as legitimate politicians when elected elsewhere.”
Livni also addressed the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Iranian threat and the U.N. Human Rights Council, a lingering source of friction in Israel’s relations with the world body. She asserted that Israel’s conflict with the Palestinians was principally over values, not territory, and is part of a global battle between civilization and extremism.
“Today it is clear that the extremists are engaged in a bloody war against civilians and communities, against hearts and minds, in every corner of the world,” she said. “And it is clear, too, that the Middle East conflict is not a cause of this global extremist agenda but a consequence of it.”
On Iran, Livni condemned but did not name those who are obstructing the “urgent steps which are needed to bring Iran’s sinister ambitions to a halt.”