(IMRA).Here is the scene: More than an hour before PM Netanyahu rose to speak at the Knesset news broke that he would open his remarks with the dramatic call to President Obama to free Jonathan Pollard.
Leader of the opposition MK Tzipi Livni was at the Knesset during this entire period and was fully aware what was about to transpire.
She had over an hour to prepare a few lines relating to the call to release Pollard that she could present before the text that she brought with her from her office.
Now, Instead of putting Livni in the uncomfortable position that she would be stuck with two sets of opening remarks, Netanyahu offered to take a break between his Pollard statement for Livni to say a few words in support of the call and then Netanyahu would continue with his reply to the opposition on policy matters to be followed by Livni's closing remarks.
This was a generous offer to Livni:
#1. She would be able to make remarks about Pollard without it weakening the presentation she had already prepared.
#2. By separating between his remarks about Pollard and his response on policy matters, the opposition would be better poised to attack him with catcalls, etc., when he spoke on the policy matters since they would be completely separate from the call to release Pollard.
Livni not only drops the ball on Netanyahu's offer, she completely misinterpreted what the offer was.
IMRA's translation of the Knesset protocol below:
"Mr. Chairman, I thought to enable perhaps the chairman of the opposition to comment on these things, and if it be the will of the members of the Knesset, it will be my pleasure to comment on the other matters as well.
Ronit Tirosh (Kadima): Mr. Prime Minister, Congratulations on this act, the first time I hear a prime minister from the dais that speaks - - -
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: Thank you.
Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin: If madam would like to say a sentence from side and the Prime Minister agrees, please.
Tzipi Livni (Kadima): Since the Prime Minister found perhaps the last thing that remains in the consensus in this house and in Israeli society, Jonathan Pollard, there were no doubts in anyone's heart here, those same doubts that the prime minister tried to raise when he turned to me, don't make Jonathan Pollard a political issue - - - We have traditionally supported all the efforts to release Jonathan Pollard, me as the head of the opposition and all members of Kadima.
Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin: Thank you very much. But I think the prime minister - I sat here like you - did not say anything defiantly in this matter, he said, maybe the head of the opposition wants to relate to this... - - I do not give interpretations - what he said - he said maybe she would like to relate to this matter of consensus and that after that, if they wish, we will continue the discussion. That's what the prime minister said, and anyone who wants can check the protocol.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: Mr. Chairman, you correctly understood my intention..."
Later on in the speech netanyahu mocked the opposistion for calling him to resign but have no alternative suitable Leader to take over.
"MK Mofaz told me, 'Sir ...You have to draw the conclusions and give back the keys'.
Well, I thought into it. I will consider it. But to whom do I give over the keys? Probably to the head of his party (Opposition leader Tzipi Livni), But MK Mofaz, you know, we live in the Internet era, so I wanted to see if you are ready for that move,if Livni deserves to become Prime minister. And you say on January 5 2010: "she does not deserve to lead, She must not become prime minister... it will only cause damage to Israel".
You said on January 21, that Livni reacts hysterically and cowardly, She is nice, but has no ability to make tough decisions. You told Kadima activists: 'who would you like to decide on the significant issues on the agenda of this region? I can, she can not, adding, whom do you elect? A Strong leader who can make the right decisions and lead Israel and the region on the right path, or a weak leader that has no experience and the ability to take on such decisions?'
So MK Shaul Mofaz, I want to know - it She suitable or not suitable? You're talking about decisions, so I urge you - decide,let me know If she is suitable or not and then I will look into a response".