Tzipi Livni to run in Israeli elections at head of new party


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Tzipi Livni, the former opposition leader, has reentered Israeli politics at the head of a new left-of-center political party.

Livni, ex-head of the Kadima Party, said Monday that she would lead a new party called Hatnua, or The Movement.

"I’m here to fight for Israel, not against anything," Livni said at a news conference Monday morning in Tel Aviv. "I’m here to fight for peace, for security, for a Jewish Israel, for a democratic Israel, for a country whose citizens all have equal rights."

In forming her own party, Livni turned down offers to join the leadership of two existing political parties. Yair Lapid, head of the new Yesh Atid Party, said Sunday that he had offered Livni to be his No. 2 and to be a "full partner in all major decisions." Lapid had called on Livni not to further split the centrist bloc.

Labor Chairman Shelly Yachimovich also had called on Livni to join her party.

Livni has one week to present her Knesset candidate’s list. It is believed that several Livni supporters from Kadima will follow her to the new party. She also is talking to several high-profile public figures about joining Hatnua, Haaretz reported, including former top army officers Shlomo Yanai, Yitzhak Ben-Israel and Amram Mitzna.

Kadima issued a statement following her announcement: "Kadima wishes Tzipi Livni success in her new endeavor, but wonders what she will manage to achieve with only a few Knesset seats that she didn’t manage to achieve with the 28 seats Kadima had over four years. This is not a politically wise move. Instead of uniting the center-left bloc, Livni decided to split it."

Recommended from JTA