Tzipi Livni speaks with Labor head Isaac Herzog in the Knesset.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
US Secretary of State John Kerry’s comment that Washington was stalling Palestinian moves at the UN on the advice of Tzipi Livni and Shimon Peres continued to create ripples in the election campaign on Sunday, with Livni saying that the world listens to her.
Responding to harsh criticism from Bayit Yehudi head Naftali Bennett the night before, who accused her of crossing a redline by “going behind the back of the government” and asking for actions against Israel at a convenient time for her, Livni fired back saying that if Bennett thinks an imposed solution on Israel and a decision at the UN is good for him, “he should enjoy himself.”
“This is bad for Israel,” Livni said in an Army Radio interview about Palestinian efforts to move a Middle East resolution through the UN Security Council dictating the terms of an Israel-Palestinian accord. “I have said it for years. The difference between me and [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu and Bennett, is that they [the world leaders] listen to me.”
Livni, who until a few weeks ago was the justice minister in a government headed by Netanyahu and including Bennett, said that when both men needed help persuading Europe and Kerry about Israeli positions, they called her.
“I will always use this network of trust for the benefit of the State of Israel,” she said.
According to a report on the website of Foreign Policy, Kerry told EU ambassadors during a luncheon Friday that Livni and former president Shimon Peres said that a Security Council move now to pressure Israel before the elections would play into Netanyahu and Bennett’s hands.
Livni added that, during a recent conversation with Kerry, she said not to support the Palestinian resolution, which is bad for Israel, and not only to postpone it until after the elections.
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Israel, she said, is in a difficult position diplomatically, and her conversations with world leaders will not necessarily prevent resolutions that go against Israel’s interest in the long term. “But I am very proud that, thanks to me and my thinking that this is bad for Israel, there is now no support for the Palestinian resolution that hurts Israel’s interests,” she said.
Intelligence Minister Yuval Stenintz, meanwhile, said that what Livni and Labor head Isaac Herzog did was mix the internal elections into their contacts with Kerry and other international actors.
“This is like an invitation to interfere in the elections here,” he said before Sunday’s weekly cabinet meeting.
“Kerry has nothing to do with the elections in Israel, and it is forbidden to ask him to weigh [the elections] as a consideration. If a vote in the Security Council is postponed in order to later agree to a recipe that will obligate us to withdraw from Judea and Samaria and establish a Palestinian state, then that is a double disaster.”
Defense Minister Ya’alon, speaking in Beersheba at the Sami Shamoon College of Engineering, said that “what Livni did in her appeal to the Americans is inherently wrong, because you do not involve foreign officials in Israeli political matters.”
He said that if Livni and Herzog were in power, “we would long ago have had Hamastan in Judea and Samaria.”
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