Tzipi Livni will run as head of new party

Tzipi Livni has re-entered Israeli politics at the head of a new left-of-center political party.

Livni, former head of the Kadima Party, announced Nov. 26 that she would lead a new party called Hatnua, or the Movement.

“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,” Livni said at a news conference in Tel Aviv.

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 he had offered Livni to be his No. 2, and called on her not to split the centrist bloc further.

Labor chairman Shelly Yachimovich had also called on Livni to join the Labor Party.

Livni has one week to present her Knesset candidates list. It is believed that several Livni supporters from the Kadima Party will follow her to the new party. She is also talking to several high-profile public figures about joining her, the Israeli daily Haaretz reported, including former top Israel Defense Force officers Shlomo Yanai, Yitzhak Ben-Israel and Amram Mitzna. — jta