Likud: Livni ‘ganged up’ on PM with PA’s Fayyad

Elkin slams opposition leader for criticizing Netanyahu's policies in joint interview with PA prime minister on US television.

December 14, 2010 03:37
2 minute read.
Opposition leader Tzipi Livni

Tzipi Livni 311 Ariel J. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)


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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.

Livni and Fayyad discussed the peace process in a rare joint interview on ABC’s Sunday morning talk show This Week with Christiane Amanpour.

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“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.

“The 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.

Livni said she offered to form a coalition with Netanyahu’s Likud Party on several occasions.

“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.

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