"Israel 2010 is a country in which women ride in the back of the bus, dry bones take precedence over saving lives, conversion is a mission impossible, the Zionist vision has blurred and defining the Jewish state has been given to a monopoly of ultra-Orthodox politicians that are taking advantage of the system and politicians. Society is divided into cloistered groups, each studying in its language - Hebrew, Arabic, Yiddish - the curriculum it sees fit," she said.
The public's attention has focused on the ultra-Orthodox community and core curriculum in recent days, Livni said, "and rightly so. We must act now, before the situation turns into mutual hatred that will bring no solution. Change is possible and the keys to change are in the hands of the Zionist parties representing the majority in Israel."
The change must consist of three co-dependent elements - education, military or national service and work, she said.
"The core curriculum is necessary from two aspects - creating a common basis reflecting Israel's values as a democratic Jewish state. Judaism and civic studies [must be taught] in every school. The second is providing every student with tools to join the labor force in the future and make a decent living. This is the only interpretation of equality - equal opportunity to students and a fairer distribution of the burden among the population. This, with joint values and vision, are critical to our existence as a society. Pluralism is not a substitute but complementary."
Livni said the state must cut off funding immediately for schools that don't teach core curriculum.
"Change is possible, but it will not be done with the agreement of the ultra-Orthodox parties. They have no reason [to agree], as long as Likud is the ruling party. Likud has bound its political destiny and all Israelis' fate to the ultra-Orthodox politicians' whims," she said.