Livni swears on peace, despite Bennett’s comments

By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
June 18, 2013 00:45

Justice minister insists diplomatic process with Palestinians will begin soon, regardless of Bennett's eulogy for two-state solution.

1 minute read.



PM Binyamin Netanyahu, US Secretary of Stat John Kerry, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, May 23, 2013

Kerry Netanyahu Livni370. (photo credit: Courtesy - GPO)

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni insisted on Monday that a diplomatic process with the Palestinians would soon begin, despite Economy and Trade Minister Naftali Bennett’s eulogy for the two-state solution.

Speaking to MKs in her Hatnua faction in the Knesset, Livni vowed that they would not be remembered as a fig leaf in a right-wing coalition but as the instigators of a serious peace process led by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu against Bennett’s wishes.

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“We are here to safeguard the Jewish home,” she said, referring to the name of Bennett’s party.

“To do that while keeping Israel a Jewish and democratic state, we need a diplomatic process and a peace agreement.”

Reacting to Bennett’s comparison of the ongoing conflict with the Palestinians to a pain in the ass, Livni said she “does not talk about people’s behinds.”

Opposition leader Shelly Yacimovich said she believed Bennett was speaking for the government and warned that Netanyahu’s policies would make Israel a binational state.

“The Palestinian issue is shrapnel in the butt?,” she asked in a meeting of the Labor faction.

“Aside from the low language, this is clearly a shard of Bennett’s worldview that turned into the government’s policy.”

Finance Minister Yair Lapid, whose Yesh Atid party is divided on the Palestinian issue, did not comment personally on Bennett’s statements, but his faction released a statement reiterating its commitment to the two-state solution.

Channel 10 reported that Lapid intends to become more involved on the diplomatic issue following the final passage of the state budget next month.

Science, Technology and Space Minister Yaakov Peri, one of Yesh Atid’s doves, said Bennett’s statements sabotaged chances of achieving peace and harmed the economy.

In his own faction meeting, Bennett downplayed his comments, saying he made them countless times before. He accused the media of overplaying the story.

“What I said should not have surprised anyone,” he said.


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