Tzipi Livni speaks with Mahmoud Abbas in New York City in a picture released Wednesday, September 26, 2018.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Opposition leader Tzipi Livni became the second former leader of the Kadima Party in five days to meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, when they convened Tuesday night at the hotel where they are both staying near the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
But unlike Abbas’s meeting with Ehud Olmert, in which the former prime minister praised him as a peacemaker, Livni used her time with Abbas to plead with him to not continue his recent policies that she warned could lead to an escalation of violence.
“You must take action to prevent a deterioration in the security situation,” Livni told Abbas. “It is important that you join the effort to find a solution before Gaza officially becomes ‘Hamastan,’ and that you return to dialogue with the US before the two-state solution disappears.”
While Olmert, who is now a private citizen has expressed interest in restarting the regular talks he held with Abbas as prime minister in an attempt to reach an agreement, Livni said she did not visit the Palestinian leader for negotiations.
Sisi: continued Israeli-Palestinian conflict undermines U.N. credibility, September 26, 2018 (Reuters)
Livni violated long-standing protocol of not criticizing the prime minister when he is abroad by lashing out at indirect talks with Hamas on a cease-fire and solution to the humanitarian situation in Gaza. She said the solution to those problems was not “granting legitimacy to an extremist and violent terrorist group” but by returning the PA to the forefront.
“You will cause sadness to generations if you continue to isolate yourselves, burn bridges and take unilateral steps against Israel,” Livni told Abbas. “Such steps could lead to a deterioration in the territories, losing control, and ending the solution of two nation-states. The harshness of the situation obligates all of us to find a path to calming it, instead of sitting alone, angry and insulted.”
Livni criticized Abbas for giving stipends to terrorists and their families and taking action against Israel in the International Criminal Court in The Hague. She said such steps turn off the majority of Israelis who back negotiations on a two-state solution.
Tourism Minister Yariv Levin slammed Livni and Olmert for convening with Abbas on Army Radio, calling them “shameful meetings with a terrorist who denies the Holocaust and gives money to murderers in Israeli prisons.”
But Livni said her views were shared by the Israeli defense establishment.
“In the Middle East, we have to choose among bad options and Abbas is the less bad option, despite my criticism of him,” she said. “I intend to continue to do my part to encourage a track that will contribute to stabilizing the region.”
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