The mutual recriminations between Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and the Bayit Yehudi Party reached a new peak Thursday when she accused it of trying to use the stabbing attack that killed soldier Eden Atias for political gain.
Livni complained to Army Radio that Bayit Yehudi was advancing settlement construction in an attempt to prevent the formation of a Palestinian state. She blamed Yesh Atid for ensuring that Bayit Yehudi would be in the coalition in March and said the public would pay a price for the decision.
“Their entire goal is preventing us from ever being able to reaching a peace agreement,” Livni said. “They are trying to hide it by speaking about security but in the end, they are advancing one agenda: Preventing us from living here in peace.”
A Bayit Yehudi spokesman responded that instead of blaming his party, Livni should do some soul searching and reconsider her vote to release Palestinian killers from prison in light of recent murders.
“That is an ugly, intolerable, cynical use of the murder of an IDF soldier for politics,” Livni said.
Earlier in the week, Livni complained that while Bayit Yehudi leader Naftali Bennett calls the public brother and sister, he only serves his narrow constituency. She called upon him to restrain right-wing rabbis who have insulted her and her political allies.
Writing on his Facebook page Thursday during his visit to Washington, Bennett said the lesson of Atias’s murder was that Israel must rely only on itself.
“Any concession to our enemies – Iran or the Palestinians – will bring more pain, blood, and grief,” he wrote. “We will not be silent or concede. We will fight the murderers and those who encourage them.”