The Honorable MK Tzipi Livni, Member of the Knesset; Chairperson of the Hatnua Party and Former Minister of Foreign Affairs & Justice, Israel
The session was part of the ICT's 16th World Summit on Counter-Terrorism: "Unpuzzling Terrorism". MK Livni discussed the threat of global terrorism and the need of the free world to unite and react with force. She noted that some terror groups seek legitimization through democratic means and that such proceedings must not take place. She also noted that Israel needs to work together with pragmatic factions inside the Arab world and Palestinian society in order to defeat the radical groups.
MK Tzipi Livni began her speech talking about the modern reality of terrorism. She explained that we are in a new era where terrorist organizations are able to market their wars to much of the world through the use of social media. She also purported that many of the current conflicts in the Middle East are religion based. Livni describes the groups as emphasizing that anyone who doesn’t believe in the same thing as them should be killed. She stressed that the free world must unite and react with force to defeat these groups.
ISIS, she explains, is fighting the free world because of their democratic values and because they have different beliefs than the West. She says that terrorist groups seek to disrupt western values from the inside, and that the free world needs to rest on its values in the fight against terrorism. Livni then explains how many terrorist groups, such as Hezbollah and Hamas, seek legitimization through democratic means and that the free world needs to make sure that hate groups are not allowed to participate in free and fair elections, regardless of the country. Furthermore, she explains that the free world needs to hold regimes responsible for what takes place within their borders.
Livni then talks about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and how if the conflict is not solved then it could turn from a national conflict into a religious conflict. She goes on to say that Israel needs to negotiate with pragmatic factions within Palestine in order to finally reach a settlement, but at the same time fighting the radical factions in Palestine.
Finally, Livni brings up the opportunity that the rise of ISIS has afforded to Israel. She explains that many states in the Middle East see these radical groups as the biggest threat to their existence and that Israel should capitalize on this fact and make peace and cooperation deals with these states in order to create stability in the region. She concludes by saying that time is of the essence when it comes this opportunity and Israel should act quickly.