The Livni-Fayyad Two-Step
Anti-Israel maneuvers at the UN are as transparent as ever.
Originally published by the Jerusalem Post.
MK Tzipi Livni is apparently well regarded at the UN. According to media reports, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres called Livni and offered her the position of under-secretary-general.
Guterres’s offer to Livni is supposed to be a trade-off. Livni will receive the appointment in exchange for the US canceling its veto of his plan to appoint former Palestinian Authority prime minister Salaam Fayyad to serve as his envoy to Libya.
There are three basic problems with this proposed trade. First there is the problem with Fayyad.
Leaving aside the question of the actual duties of a UN envoy to Libya, the question is why would Fayyad be a good candidate for anything?
Before Fayyad joined the PLO-controlled PA in 2002, he served for six years as the International Monetary Fund’s representative to the PA. In that position, Fayyad turned a blind eye to the embezzlement of the donor-financed PA budget to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars a year.
Year in and year out, Fayyad did nothing to warn donors that the funds that they were providing the PA were being transferred to Swiss bank accounts or otherwise disappearing. In 1997 for instance, Fayyad said nothing as Arafat and his cronies caused $323 million, or 40% of the PA budget, to simply disappear.
Perhaps if he had piped up back then the international community might have rethought its support for PLO chief Yasser Arafat as he built the PA into a terrorism-financing kleptocracy.
Arafat appointed Fayyad to serve as PA finance minister in 2002. In that position, Fayyad went from apologist to enabler. He presided over the PA budget and kept the international donations flowing knowing full well that Arafat and his cronies were embezzling the funds to enrich themselves and finance terrorism while the Palestinian people got record unemployment and were indoctrinated to despise Israel and the West.
Fayyad’s facilitation of the PLO bosses’ grand larceny continued after Arafat’s death in 2004. He happily enabled Mahmoud Abbas’s theft as well.
For instance, in 2004 Fayyad did nothing to stop the theft of revenues from oil products by his bosses as they emptied the coffers of the PA’s Petroleum Authority.
When PA lawmakers asked him that year for an accounting of where revenues from oil products disappeared to, according to Issam Abu Issa, the founder of the Palestinian International Bank, Fayyad declared nonchalantly, “Unfortunately the documents related to the revenues from oil products – or how the money was used – cannot be found. They have disappeared from the ministry.”
According to a 2013 report from the European Court of Auditors, between 2008 and 2012, $2.7 billion in EU aid to the PA disappeared. Fayyad presided over the PA treasury and government as finance minister and prime minister during those years.
Fayyad was also responsible for financing terrorism. As PA prime minister, Fayyad enjoyed the support of both Fatah and Hamas. Hamas supported him, among other things, because he sent monthly payments from the PA budget to the jihadist group in Gaza.
Under Fayyad’s leadership, the PA allocated 31% of its donor-based budget to its security forces. That is more than any government in the world and it raises questions about where all that money is actually going.
As prime minister, in 2011 Fayyad increased the PA’s payments to terrorists jailed in Israeli prison by 300%. More than 6% of the PA’s budget is now spent used to pay salaries to terrorists.
Then there is Fayyad’s role in inciting and leading the international campaign to destroy the Israeli economy and block any chance of friendly relations between Israelis and Palestinians.
As PA prime minister, in 2010, Fayyad promulgated a law criminalizing all Palestinian economic activity with Israelis beyond the 1949 armistice lines. He hired 650 troops and charged them with entering people’s homes and seizing all Israeli products they found there. He ordered the arrest of Palestinians who worked with Israelis.
In 2012 he extended the prohibition on economic cooperation and his boycott of Israeli products and businesses to include all Israeli territory. In so doing, he criminalized all economic cooperation between Palestinians and Israelis and signaled to his supporters in the international Left that they should use political and economic warfare against Israel to delegitimize the country as a whole.
So the statesman of “Palestine” that Guterres wishes to appoint to serve as his envoy to terrorist-controlled Libya is a bagman for terrorists and mafia bosses in the PLO and Hamas. He criminalized peaceful coexistence between Israelis and Palestinians and spearheaded the Left’s economic and political war against Israel.
Why anyone would think a man with this record would be a good choice for anything but a jail cell is unclear.
This then brings us to Livni.
After changing political parties three times in nine years and building a record of near uninterrupted failure in the cabinet posts she filled, Tzipi Livni has reached the end of her political rope. No one wants her anymore.
Her American supporters are out of power.
Her party, Hatnua, will not win any seats if it runs on its own in the next elections.
She destroyed the Kadima party she formed with Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert.
She is hated in her original political home, Likud.
And activists in the Labor party, with which she merged Hatnua in 2015 to form the joint Zionist Union, have no interest in maintaining the partnership in the next elections.
No matter what happens in the next elections, Livni has burned so many bridges in her self-serving political career that she has no chance of getting elected to Knesset, much less of serving in a future government.
Today, Livni’s career consists of traveling the international conference circuit with her leftist European and American supporters and writing Facebook posts with pictures of her cat on the one hand and threats of pending war crimes tribunals against Israeli nationals on the other.
So it makes sense that she’d be attractive to the UN secretary general.
This brings us to the third problem with Guterres’s reported offer and to the diplomatic realities that made it possible.
The so-called “two-state solution” has placed Israel on the same playing field as a terrorist entity.
Actually, it’s worse than that.
The “two-state solution” which blames Israel for the Palestinian and international war being waged against its right to exist has placed Israel in a subordinate position to Palestinian terrorists.
Whereas Palestinians like Fayyad who play leading roles in the war against Israel are esteemed elder statesmen, Israelis who defend the interests and rights of their country against the likes of Fayyad are viewed as potential defendants at The Hague.
The only Israelis that can be approached to “balance” the UN’s embrace of Palestinian terrorism enablers are the ones who echo their false allegations against the State of Israel.
Livni isn’t being considered for the position because she’s the former foreign minister. She’s being touted as a “balance” to Fayyad because she agrees with him that Israel shouldn’t defend itself against his aggression or that of his cronies in the PA.
Moreover, if Livni receives the UN post, Guterres will expect her to defend the intrinsically anti-Israel organization when it is justifiably attacked by the government of Israel she stands no chance of ever serving in again.
The only way to get the UN to think twice before it attacks Israel is for Israel to stop acting like a chump.
Not only must the government reject Guterres’s offer. The government should take the actions that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu threatened to take against the UN following the Security Council’s diplomatic pogrom against the Jewish state on December 23.
The UN should be kicked out of Jerusalem.
International and UN forces deployed in Judea and Samaria should be shown the door.
And Israel should stop transferring taxpayer funds to the corrupt institution that is controlled by an automatic majority of states that believe the chief purpose of the UN is to criminalize Israel while whitewashing terrorists and their supporters like Fayyad.
The purpose of the Livni offer is to distract Israel – and the US – and make us forget the organization’s inherent bigotry against the Jewish state while enabling the UN to maintain and even increase that bigotry. Israel must not be seduced by Guterres’s cheap, insulting, phony peace offering.