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Tzipi Livni Fast Facts

CNN Editorial Research

(CNN) — Here is a look at the life of Tzipi Livni, former foreign minister of Israel.


Birth date: July 8, 1958

Birth place: Tel Aviv, Israel

Birth name: Tziporah Malka Livni

Father: Eitan Livni, businessman and politician

Mother: Sarah (Rosenberg) Livni

Marriage: Naftali Shpitzer (1984-present)

Children: Omri and Yuval

Education: Bar-Ilan University, L.L.B., 1985

Military service: Israeli Defense Forces, early 1980s

Religion: Jewish

Other Facts

Livni’s parents were fighters in the Irgun Zvai Leumi, a right-wing Zionist guerilla group that fought against the British occupation of Palestine in the 1940s.

Nicknamed “Mrs. Clean” for her reputation as being uncorrupt.

Protégé of former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

Former member of the Likud Party.

Second female foreign minister of Israel. Golda Meir was the first (1956-1966).


1980 – Livni joins the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad and is posted in Paris.

1984 – Begins law school in Israel.

1986-1996 – Practices law, specializing in the areas of commercial, constitutional and real estate law.

1996 – Loses her first campaign for a seat in the Knesset (Israeli parliament).

1996-1999 – Director general of the Government Companies Authority.

1999 – Elected to the Knesset. Serves on the Constitution, Law and Justice Committee and the Committee on the Status of Women.

2001 – Is appointed minister.

2005 – Livni joins Kadima, a political party created by Sharon.

May 2006 – Is appointed vice prime minister.

November 2006-February 2007 – Serves as minister of justice.

2007 – Named one of Time magazine’s Most Influential People in the World.

September 18, 2008 – Elected leader of the Kadima party, replacing Ehud Olmert.

February 2009 – Livni’s Kadima party wins 28 seats in Israel’s parliamentary elections. However, Livni is unable to put together a coalition government. President Shimon Peres asks Benjamin Netanyahu to form a government, causing Livni to lose the prime ministership.

March 2009 – Becomes leader of the opposition in parliament.

May 2011 – Livni calls on Prime Minister Netanyahu to resign, saying he has harmed the important relationship between Israel and the United States.

March 28, 2012 – Loses her fight to remain head of Kadima. She is defeated by former Israel Defense Forces Chief Shaul Mofaz, who took 62% of the votes to Livni’s 38%.

May 1, 2012 – Livni resigns from the Knesset.

June 14, 2012 Following statements suggesting that the Kadima party will not exist for the next Knesset election, a petition circulates seeking Livni’s removal from the party.

June 20, 2012 – Joins Desert Queens, an Israeli all-women adventure competition in India.

November 27, 2012 – Forms the Hatnua party. Hatnua means “the movement” in Hebrew.

February 19, 2013 – Livni’s Hatnua party joins Netanyahu’s coalition government and Livni takes the role of justice minister.

May 2013 – Livni is reelected to the Knesset.

July 29, 2013-April 25, 2014 – Chief negotiator for Israel during the peace talks with Palestinians organized by US Secretary of State John Kerry.

December 2, 2014 – Netanyahu orders a letter of dismissal for Livni and calls for the dissolution of the nation’s legislature.

December 10, 2014 – Announces run for the position of prime minister along with Isaac Herzog on the Zionist Union ticket.

March 18, 2015 – Herzog and Livni concede the election.

June 25, 2018 – Herzog, newly appointed chairman of the Jewish Agency, tells Israel Radio that he wants Livni to assume his parliamentary role as Knesset’s opposition leader. At a later Knesset faction meeting, Livni says she should be the one to replace Herzog: “I see the opposition leadership as essential for the continuation of the partnership.”

August 1, 2018-January 2019 – Serves as leader of the opposition in parliament, until Avi Gabbay, the head of the Labor Party, announces the end of their partnership.

February 18, 2019 – Announces she is retiring from politics.

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