Livni was a driving force in protesting haredi attempts to forcibly gender segregate public buses and sidewalks. She lost her position as head of the Kadima political party when former defense minister and army chief of staff Shaul Mofaz, who favors making deals with haredim, won the party’s leadership primary earlier this week. But it wasn’t her work on behalf of women’s rights that cost her the election – Livni wasn’t thought to be hawkish enough to deal with the nuclear threat from Iran and the destabilization of Egypt and other Arab states caused by the Arab Spring.
Haredim gloat at Livni's downfall
Haredim happy to see fall of woman they see as driving force behind incitement against them
Kobi Nachshoni • Ynet
Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth? Walking down the haredi street less than 24 hours after Tzipi Livni lost the Kadima primaries, one might wonder whether the haredi community has read that specific phrase in the book of Proverbs.
From the moment the results of the Kadima primaries were revealed – awarding the position of chairman to MK Shaul Mofaz - the haredim have been finding it difficult not to gloat.
Many haredim sees Tzipi Livni as the driving force behind the wave of incitement against them. To them, last night's results were payment in kind.
Among the first to respond to Mofaz's victory, long before the results were official, were Knesset Members Moshe Gafni and Yisrael Eichler (United Torah Judaism).
A source within United Torah Judaism told Ynet that "it isn't gloating or hitting someone when they're down, it is sending a message with a lesson to every rookie politician who adopts a dialogue of hate against the haredi public – it isn't worth your while. It may make a great media slogan, but the public does not accept it, and yesterday, Kadima voters proved they don't either.
"The Shinui party had a single anti-haredi agenda and went from 15 mandates to complete collapse and disappeared completely – parties that follow that path will share the same fate," he said. "Mofaz won't be voting for United torah Judaism, he won't be joining the Council of Torah Sages, but his agenda is different and more mature. He chose a different approach and attitude."
Haredi website Kikar Hashabat devoted an entire article to Livni's anti-haredi quotes under the headline: From extortionists to draft dodgers: How Livni incited against haredim.
Rabbi Mordechai Baloi, Chairman of the Committee for Preserving Sanctity and Education, joined the criticism and noted: "It was very painful to see the honorable lady who had a traditional upbringing adopt an agenda that hurts the fundamental values of Judaism and Jews who keep the flame (of tradition) lit… she thought it would help her gather support from a certain group, but the public didn't buy it.
"As an educator I say there is no concept of gloating in Judaism, but we need to learn from everything; learn what God tells us."