Meet Tzipi Livni, Israeli Affairs Foreign Minister and Acting Prime Minister who has recently been nominated by the Kadima Party for Israeli Prime Minister. Read her biography and see photos and a video of her below.

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Tzipi Livni

12/29/2008 Update: Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni appeared on al-Jazeera today and strongly criticized Hamas placing the blame with the Palestinian leadership for the violence that is engulfing Gaza.

While we are being feed a steady stream of information on the measures Israel is taking to stop the violence, there has been little reported on the core source of the problems. Israel wants to live in peace. Israel has made every effort to avoid civilian casualties, but is obligated to protect Israeli citizens who have been repeatedly targeted by Hamas.

One issue left out of the constant reporting is that Hamas intentionally targeted Israeli civilians and the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem.


Tzipi Livni was elected leader of the Kadima Party in Israel on September 17, 2008. She is tasked with forming a government to gain the support from the majority of Israel’s parliament, the Knesset. She ran for leader of the Party following the resignation of Ehud Olmert. She ran against Shaul Mofaz for the Kadima’s leadership position. She was considered dovish in comparison to Mofaz, however, she appears to be well aware of the dangers that Israel faces and prepared to deal with those threats as needed.

She now faces the the Shas party for election as Prime Minister. If she succeeds in her bid for the position of Israel’s Prime Minister, she will be the second female Prime Minister in the history of Israel. The other woman to hold that post was Golda Meir.

Tzipi Livni Biography

Tzipora Malka Livni was born on July 8, 1958 in Tel Aviv, Israel. She is 50 years old. In Hebrew, her name ציפורה מלכה “ציפי” לבני‎. She is the daughter of Eitan and Sara Rosenberg Livni. Her father was born in Poland. Both of her parents were active in the former Irgun party, which was considered a militant Zionist military organization. The Irgun party was an early predecessor to the Likud Party.

Livni was a Lieutenant in the Israel Defense Forces. In the early 1980s she served for two years in the Mossad. She resigned her position with the Mossad in 1983 to get married and to finish her education. She was rumored to be a terrorist hunter when she worked for the Mossad, but was more likely a low level agent. During her time with the Mossad she performed her duties undercover while she lived as a regular resident in an apartment in Paris.

She is a graduate of Bar Ilan University Faculty of Law and has worked for 10 years as an attorney specializing in public and commercial law. She was awarded the Abirat Ha-Shilton in 2004. She was described as the second most power politician in Israel in 2006. She was included as the 52nd most powerful woman in the world as ranked by Forbes in 2007. She was included in the 2007 edition of Time’s 100 Most Influential People in the World. She speaks Hebrew, English and French.

She started her career in politics in 1999 when she was elected to the Knesset. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, as Likud party leader, appointed Livni to a series of Minister and Cabinet positions. She started out as the Minister of Regional Cooperation. From there she became the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development. She went on to be Minister of Immigration Absorption and Minister of Housing and Construction.

She left the Likud Party to join the newly formed Kadima Party on November 20, 2005 along with Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert. She was appointed Foreign Minister in 2005 because of the loss of so many people from the Likud Party.

On May 4th 2006, Livni became the Vice-Prime Minister, retaining the post of Foreign Minister. She is the second woman in Israel, after Golda Meir, to hold that position. If she is elected Prime Minister, she will be only the second woman to be Israel’s Prime Minister. The other being Golda Meir.

Livni is married to Naftali Spitzer, an accountant. They have two children, Omri and Yuval. The family lives in Tel Aviv.

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Tzipi Livni – Photos

Tzipi Livni – Video