Limor Livnat
is an Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

i politician who currently serves as a member of the Knesset
The Knesset is the unicameral legislature of Israel, located in Givat Ram, Jerusalem.-Role in Israeli Government :The legislative branch of the Israeli government, the Knesset passes all laws, elects the President and Prime Minister , approves the cabinet, and supervises the work of the government...

 for Likud
Likud is the major center-right political party in Israel. It was founded in 1973 by Menachem Begin in an alliance with several right-wing and liberal parties. Likud's victory in the 1977 elections was a major turning point in the country's political history, marking the first time the left had...

, and as the country's Minister of Culture & Sport
Culture and Sport Minister of Israel
The Culture and Sport Minister of Israel is a new and relatively minor position in the Israeli cabinet. Previously culture and sport had been part of other ministerial portfolios; between 1949 and 1999, and again from 2003 until 2006, culture was part of the Education Minister portfolio. Similarly,...



Born in Haifa
Haifa is the largest city in northern Israel, and the third-largest city in the country, with a population of over 268,000. Another 300,000 people live in towns directly adjacent to the city including the cities of the Krayot, as well as, Tirat Carmel, Daliyat al-Karmel and Nesher...

, Livnat is the only member of Knesset not to have a secondary education. She barely made ends meet working in advertising and had to rely on financial handouts from her parents.

She first entered the Knesset on 14 April 1992, shortly before the 1992 elections
Israeli legislative election, 1992
Elections for the thirteenth Knesset were held in Israel on 23 June 1992. The result was a victory for the left, led by Yitzhak Rabin's Labor Party, though their win was at least partially due to several small right-wing parties narrowly failing to cross the electoral threshold and thus effectively...

, as a replacement for Haim Corfu
Haim Corfu
-Biography:Corfu was born in Jerusalem in 1921. He studied in religious schools and yeshivas and attended a religious teachers seminary. In 1937 he joined the Irgun and was a member of the Irgun command in Jerusalem. During that time he also played as a striker for Beitar Jerusalem...

. She retained her seat in the election, and in her first term served as chairwoman of the Committee for the Advancement of the Status of Women, the Subcommittee on Laws of Personal Status and the Parliamentary Committee for Investigating Murder of Women by their Spouses.

She retained her seat in the 1996 elections
Israeli legislative election, 1996
Elections for the fourteenth Knesset were held in Israel on 29 May 1996. Voter turnout was 79.3%.The 1996 elections included two new changes, both designed to increase the stability of the Knesset. First, the Prime Minister was to be elected on a separate ballot from the remaining members of the...

, and was appointed Minister of Communications
Communications Minister of Israel
The Communications Minister of Israel is the political head of the Israeli Ministry of Communications and a relatively minor position in the Israeli cabinet. The post was established in 1952, and until 1970 was known as the Minister of Postal Services...

 in Binyamin Netanyahu's government. During her term, she attempted to increase competition in the Israeli communications sector
Communications in Israel
The Communications system in Israel is the most developed in the Middle East, although it is not the biggest. Israel's system consists of Coaxial cables, Optical fibers, and Microwave radio relay.-1940s – 60s:...

 by weakening and privatizing Bezeq
Bezeq, the Israeli company for communications, is a telecommunications provider in Israel.Until the mid-first decade of the 21st century when it was owned by the Israeli government, Bezeq had a monopoly on landline telephony and Internet access infrastructure...

, which had previously held a monopoly over the country's landline phone sector.

Tensions between Livnat and Netanyahu climaxed in the former's resignation from government in 1997 and subsequent attempt to end Netanyahu's leadership of the Likud. Following Netanyahu's resignation from the Likud leadership after the party's defeat in the 1999 elections, Livnat supported Ariel Sharon
Ariel Sharon
Ariel Sharon is an Israeli statesman and retired general, who served as Israel’s 11th Prime Minister. He has been in a permanent vegetative state since suffering a stroke on 4 January 2006....

's successful attempt to serve as the next chairperson of the party. After Sharon's victory over Ehud Barak
Ehud Barak
Ehud Barak is an Israeli politician who served as Prime Minister from 1999 until 2001. He was leader of the Labor Party until January 2011 and holds the posts of Minister of Defense and Deputy Prime Minister in Binyamin Netanyahu's government....

 in the special election for Prime Minister in 2001, Livnat was appointed Minister of Education in both governments he formed.

She was re-elected in 2003, and continued to serve as Minister of Education until Likud left the coalition (now headed by the newly-formed Kadima) in 2006. She retained her seat in the 2006 and 2009 elections
Israeli legislative election, 2009
Elections for the 18th Knesset were held in Israel on 10 February 2009. These elections became necessary due to the resignation of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert as leader of the Kadima party, and the failure of his successor, Tzipi Livni, to form a coalition government...

, after which she was appointed to the new post of Minister of Culture and Sport.

Livnat has also served as Vice Chairwoman and Acting Chairwoman of the World Likud Movement.

Personal views and life

Although overtly secular, Livnat is generally identified as a right wing conservative, both morally and politically. A supporter of Revisionist Zionism
Revisionist Zionism
Revisionist Zionism is a nationalist faction within the Zionist movement. It is the founding ideology of the non-religious right in Israel, and was the chief ideological competitor to the dominant socialist Labor Zionism...

, she ideologically opposed the Oslo Accords
Oslo Accords
The Oslo Accords, officially called the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements or Declaration of Principles , was an attempt to resolve the ongoing Palestinian-Israeli conflict...

 as well as the notion of relinquishing control over the West Bank
West Bank
The West Bank ) of the Jordan River is the landlocked geographical eastern part of the Palestinian territories located in Western Asia. To the west, north, and south, the West Bank shares borders with the state of Israel. To the east, across the Jordan River, lies the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan...

. In this light she has voiced concerns over US President
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

's Road Map for Peace
Road map for peace
The roadmap for peace or "road map" for peace is a plan to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict proposed by a "quartet" of international entities: the United States, the European Union, Russia, and the United Nations. The principles of the plan, originally drafted by U.S. Foreign Service...

. She also regularly attends events in honor of the pre-independence militant organizations, such as the Irgun
The Irgun , or Irgun Zevai Leumi to give it its full title , was a Zionist paramilitary group that operated in Mandate Palestine between 1931 and 1948. It was an offshoot of the earlier and larger Jewish paramilitary organization haHaganah...

 and Lehi
Lehi (group)
Lehi , commonly referred to in English as the Stern Group or Stern Gang, was a militant Zionist group founded by Avraham Stern in the British Mandate of Palestine...

. However, she did not actively oppose Ariel Sharon's disengagement plan
Israel's unilateral disengagement plan
Israel's unilateral disengagement plan , also known as the "Disengagement plan", "Gaza expulsion plan", and "Hitnatkut", was a proposal by Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, adopted by the government on June 6, 2004 and enacted in August 2005, to evict all Israelis from the Gaza Strip and from...


In April, 2011, Livnat's nephew, Ben-Joseph Livnat, 25, was shot dead by a Palestinian Authority policeman when trying to break through a Palestinian road block after an unauthorized visit to the Joseph's Tomb
Joseph's Tomb
Joseph's Tomb is a funerary monument located at the eastern entrance to the valley that separates Mounts Gerizim and Ebal, 325 yards northwest of Jacob's Well, on the outskirts of the West Bank city of Nablus, near Tell Balāṭa, the site of biblical Shechem...

 in Palestinian
Palestinian National Authority
The Palestinian Authority is the administrative organization established to govern parts of the West Bank and Gaza Strip...

-administered area of Nablus
Nablus is a Palestinian city in the northern West Bank, approximately north of Jerusalem, with a population of 126,132. Located in a strategic position between Mount Ebal and Mount Gerizim, it is the capital of the Nablus Governorate and a Palestinian commercial and cultural center.Founded by the...

. Livnat described the shooting death of her nephew as an act of terrorism. An IDF
Israel Defense Forces
The Israel Defense Forces , commonly known in Israel by the Hebrew acronym Tzahal , are the military forces of the State of Israel. They consist of the ground forces, air force and navy. It is the sole military wing of the Israeli security forces, and has no civilian jurisdiction within Israel...

 report released a month later concluded that the event was not a premeditated terror attack, but that the policeman had acted "maliciously" and with the intent to harm.

A resident of Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv , officially Tel Aviv-Yafo , is the second most populous city in Israel, with a population of 404,400 on a land area of . The city is located on the Israeli Mediterranean coastline in west-central Israel. It is the largest and most populous city in the metropolitan area of Gush Dan, with...

, Livnat is married and has two children.

External links

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