Who’s Who in Israeli Politics

Tzipora (Tzipi) Livni

Foreign Minister and Minister of Justice, Tzipora (Tzipi) Livni Foreign Minister and Minister of Justice, Tzipora (Tzipi) Livni

Tzipora (Tzipi) Livni is currently Israel’s Foreign Minister and Minister of Justice. Livni is considered a rising star in Ariel Sharon’s center-right Kadima Party. She was appointed foreign minister by Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in January 2006, becoming only the second female foreign minister of Israel, following Golda Meir decades earlier. Livni has expressed her support for Olmert as both acting prime minister and as Kadima’s leader.

Livni hails from a prominent Israeli political family. Her father and mother were both underground fighters for the establishment of the state of Israel, and she followed her father’s footsteps into the Knesset in 1999. She has been a strong supporter of Sharon and backed his Gaza Disengagement Plan in 2005.

She is often seen as both dovish and hawkish, being the first right-wing government official to speak at the yearly commemoration of the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin. She told The Washington Post in January 2006 that she believes in the creation of a Palestinian state as a solution to Israeli security, saying the disengagement plan was a necessary unilateral move because Palestinian leaders “didn’t implement their part.” Livni said the disengagement leaves Palestinians with no more excuses for terrorism and called upon the leadership to cooperate.

Livni served as a lieutenant in the Israeli Defense Forces before graduating from Bar Ilan University’s Faculty of Law. Livni worked for the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad in the 1980s and later for the Government Companies Authority (1996 to 1999), in charge of the privatization of government corporations and monopolies. She is popular among Israelis, and in 2004, she received the Champion of Good Government Award.

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Profiles

Ariel Sharon
Ariel Sharon
Former Prime Minister of Israel
Ehud Olmert
Ehud Olmert
Acting Prime Minister of Israel
Binyamin Netanyahu
Binyamin Netanyahu
Former Prime Minister of Israel
Shimon Peres
Shimon Peres
Former Prime Minister of Israel
Amir Peretz
Amir Peretz
Head of Israel's Labor Party
Tzipora (Tzipi) Livni
Tzipora (Tzipi) Livni
Foreign Minister and Minister of Justice

Compiled by Joelle Jaffe

Sources: BBC; The New York Times; The Washington Post, The New Yorker; Wikipedia. (Note: Wikipedia is a free-content encyclopedia that it is written collaboratively by people from around the world.); Newsweek; The Jerusalem Post.