Israel should take steps to advance the diplomatic process with the Palestinians
in order to ensure the best possible deal between the world’s leading countries
and Iran, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni suggested at a peace conference in the
Knesset on Monday.
Livni pointed out that the six months in which the
P5+1 countries will be negotiating a permanent accord with Iran are, not
coincidentally, the same period left in the nine months US Secretary of State
John Kerry allocated for talks between Israel and the Palestinians.
said that rather than complain about the interim deal reached with Iran in
Geneva, Israel can help get a better deal by doing its part in the peace
“I suggest that we stop whining because of what was signed in
Geneva and use the six months to make sure Iran doesn’t fool the world into
enabling a final-status deal that would be dangerous for Israel,” said Livni,
“and to reach a significant breakthrough on two states for two peoples that will
be good for Israel.
“Continuing serious peace talks can allow the Arab
world to put its conflict with Israel aside to cooperate on Iran,” she said.
“Solving the conflict with the Palestinians would enable a united front with
Arab countries against Iran.”
She said that during the next six months,
Israel should work to strengthen its strategic alliance with the United States.
She also suggested a political bond with the Labor Party on diplomatic
Livni said she was glad new opposition leader Isaac Herzog
defeated Labor MK Shelly Yacimovich in the party’s leadership race, because it
proved Yacimovich was wrong to abandon the diplomatic issue. The Hatnua Party
leader said an ideological alliance with Labor would send a pro-peace message to
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, while countering the bond between Yesh Atid
and Bayit Yehudi she said was harming Israel by sanctioning West Bank
construction and causing friction with the US.
Herzog has spoken about
building a Center-Left bloc that could challenge the Likud in the next election.
He criticized Netanyahu for sowing unnecessary panic on the Iran issue while
burning bridges with the Obama administration.
“Isolation will not
benefit the people of Israel,” Herzog said at the conference. “It is imperative
and essential that we leave no stone unturned on the path to peace. Right now
there is a historic opportunity. The fact is that there is a moment of
willingness on the part of the rest of the world, that makes a historic
breakthrough for peace possible.”
The conference’s organizer, Labor MK
Hilik Bar, who heads the Knesset’s two-state caucus, challenged Netanyahu to
“I heard Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu accuse the
Palestinians by saying that ‘there is no Palestinian Ben-Gurion,’” Bar said. “I
ask him: Do we have an ‘Israeli Ben- Gurion’ these days, or is there even
another Israeli Menachem Begin? Will Netanyahu do as Begin did, and rally the
Right and the Left in order to produce a historic peace agreement? Will he be a
statesman and a leader or a politician and leader of the narrow Right?”