|Date of birth||22 September 1950|
|Place of birth||Haifa, Israel|
|Knessets||12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19|
|Party represented in Knesset|
|1996–1999||Minister of Communications|
|2001–2006||Minister of Education|
|2009–||Minister of Culture & Sport|
Limor Livnat (help·info) (Hebrew: לימור לבנת, born 22 September 1950) is an Israeli politician who currently serves as a member of the Knesset for Likud, and as the country's Minister of Culture & Sport.
Born in Haifa, 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, as a replacement for Haim Corfu. 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, and was appointed Minister of Communications in Binyamin Netanyahu's government. During her term, she attempted to increase competition in the Israeli communications sector by weakening and privatizing Bezeq, 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's successful attempt to serve as the next chairperson of the party. After Sharon's victory over Ehud Barak 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, 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, she ideologically opposed the Oslo Accords as well as the notion of relinquishing control over the West Bank. In this light she has voiced concerns over US President George W. Bush's Road Map for Peace. She also regularly attends events in honor of the pre-independence militant organizations, such as the Irgun and Lehi. However, she did not actively oppose Ariel Sharon's disengagement plan.
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 in Palestinian-administered area of Nablus. Livnat described the shooting death of her nephew as an act of terrorism. An IDF 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.
In an interview with Army Radio on December 25, 2011, Livnat, who currently leads the Interministerial Committee on the Status of Women, opined that in entirely ultra-orthodox areas of the country, segregation on public transport should be permitted. "I don't think we should tell them how to live," said Livnat, "We should live and let live...When we are speaking about a mixed city, however, or a city where there are haredim or religious people who oppose segregation, we must fight the phenomenon of public segregation between sexes," she added.
A resident of Tel Aviv, Livnat is married and has two children.
- Netanyahu sworn in as Israel's prime minister Haaretz, 1 April 2009.
- Sanders, Edmund, "One Israeli killed, three hurt in West Bank shooting", Los Angeles Times, 24 April 2011 9:45 am. Retrieved 24 April 2011.
- Chaim Levinson, "Israelis shot in West Bank tried to break through Palestinian roadblock, probe shows", Haaretz, 24 April 2011.
- Nir Hasson, "Minister Livnat: My nephew was killed by a terrorist disguised as a Palestinian policeman", Haaretz, 24 April 2011
- Pfeffer, "IDF: Palestinian police intentionally targeted worshipers at Joseph's Tomb", Haaretz, 29 May 2011
- Limor Livnat on the Knesset website