Livni on Brink of Quitting Politics

YERUSHALAYIM -

Tzipi Livni may be quitting politics in the coming days.

Stranded without a viable party connection since being dumped from the Zionist Union alliance by Labor leader Avi Gabbay, Livni is reportedly contemplating retirement from politics, The Jerusalem Post quoted sources close to her as saying on Sunday.

Livni’s own small party Hatnua does not seem to have the wherewithal to go it alone in the April elections. Recent polls indicate it would fall well below the electoral threshhold of 3.25 percent of the total vote. Polls broadcast on Channel 12 and Kann Sunday night predicted 1.1 percent and 0.5 percent, respectively, for the party.

Rather than suffer such a humiliation, the former foreign minister would prefer to sit out the rest of the campaign.

“All our options are open, including dropping out if no significant mergers of lists are made this week,” Hatnua faction chairman Yoel Hasson said on Sunday. “If there are no mergers, we won’t throw votes from out political bloc in the garbage.”

Livni has reportedly been in talks with Yair Lapid and Benny Gantz about running jointly, but as of Sunday night nothing much had come of them.

After entering politics with Likud, Livni subsequently moved to the left, joining Ariel Sharon in Kadima, now-defunct, forming Hatnua and then coalescing with Zionist Camp. She narrowly missed becoming prime minister after the 2009 elections when she was not able to form a majority coalition. Livni served as Foreign Minister, Justice Minister, Agriculture Minister, and Housing Minister. In the Foreign Ministry, she led multiple rounds of negotiations with the Palestinians in hopes of reaching a peace agreement but was unsuccessful.