Tzipi Livni 311 Ariel J.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
The Likud condemned opposition leader Tzipi Livni on Monday for joining together
with Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad on American television to criticize
the policies of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
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Livni and Fayyad
discussed the peace process in a rare joint interview on ABC’s Sunday morning
talk show This Week with Christiane Amanpour.
“This is yet another
example of Livni displaying her inability to be statesmanlike at a time when
Israel requires unity,” Likud faction chairman Ze’ev Elkin said.
opposition leader should be joining the government in defending the country on
diplomatic issues, as Netanyahu did during Operation Cast Lead and the Second
Lebanon War. I am not surprised by the behavior of Livni, who has over and over
again broken her promise to put the good of the country ahead of her party and
her personal goals.”
In the interview, Livni reiterated her mantra that
“a peace treaty between Israel and the Palestinians is in [the] Israeli
interest, it’s not a favor to President Obama.”
Fayyad said the
Palestinians had already told the US where they stand on the big issues, but
said that in order to move forward the Palestinians need to know where Israel
stands on these issues.
“In order to give the process the kind of
credibility that’s required is for us to really know, with precision, where it
is that the government of Israel stands on the fundamental issue of what it is
that’s meant by an end to Israeli occupation. What is it that’s meant by a state
of Palestine,” he said.
“What we are committed to is statehood,” he said.
“Not a declaration of statehood, we’re looking for a state.
We did make a
declaration of statehood [in] 1988.
This time we’re looking for a real
state on the ground,” he told Amanpour.
This commitment came after
previous Palestinian statements that the PA would seek unilateral statehood from
the UN and other countries. Several South American countries have already
recognized a Palestinian state along 1967 borders.
Livni told Amanpour
that “my views about the peace process and the need to achieve peace are
different from this coalition.”
The opposition leader said she believed
it was a mistake for Israel to reject the US request for a 90-day freeze on
settlement building activity.
“In choosing between building more
buildings or making peace, I prefer to make peace,” she said.
she offered to form a coalition with Netanyahu’s Likud Party on several
“I offered Netanyahu in the past, more than once, to have a
different coalition that can not only speak about the idea of two states for two
peoples, but also translate it into peace treaty with the Palestinians. He
decided to have this coalition, unfortunately,” Livni said.