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Livni faces criticism at Beverly Hills gathering

LOS ANGELES ( JTA) — Tzipi Livni faced a sharp critique of Israeli policies at a large Beverly Hills party.

Speaking before dinner Sunday to some 150 guests, the Israeli opposition leader and former foreign minister explained her view of the need for a two-state solution and to make certain concessions to Palestinians if Israel wants to function in the long run as a democratic state with a Jewish majority.

During a question-and-answer session after dinner, the vice president of the Israel-Christian Nexus, Dina Leeds, charged that the Israeli government was giving away land rightfully belonging to the Jewish people in return for empty promises from Palestinians.

Leeds described her remarks as polite and civil, but several guests said they considered her tone harsh and rude.

Livni, a former Mossad agent whose parents were leaders in the underground Irgun movement, and a close ally of former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, was visibly upset.

According to Leeds and several guests, Livni sharply responded that she resented such advice from people who sit in cushioned homes in Beverly Hills.

Dora Kadisha, the executive director of the Citizen Empowerment Center in Israel, which hosted the event, said she did not hear such a remark from Livni.

During the meeting, Livni endorsed the aims of the center, which seeks to change the country’s electoral system from proportional representation to direct representation.
 

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