Livni: A skeptical Israeli public will throw support behind peace agreement

Poll finds 87% of Israelis don't think that current peace talks will result in agreement.

January 26, 2014 00:11
2 minute read.
Justice Minister Tzipi Livni

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni 370. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)


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Tzipi Livni remains focused on the end game in the face of public skepticism in Israel over the chances of reaching a peace agreement with the Palestinians.

The Justice Minister and Israel's representative to the peace talks was asked Saturday on Channel 2's Meet the Press what she thought about the channel's poll that found that 87 percent of Israelis think that a peace agreement with the Palestinians would not result from the current round of talks. 

"A leader's role is to shape reality and not be influenced by polls. When the framework agreement for continuation of talks is put on the table the public will support it," Livni said.

The Channel 2 poll, conducted by Shiluv-Millward-Brown, also found that: 63% of Israelis oppose east Jerusalem handovers to the Palestinians under a future peace accord; 77% want Palestinians to recognize the Jewish state as a condition for peacemaking, and 27% think US Secretary of State John Kerry is a fair peace broker. 

The Justice Minister was asked to react to the accusations from the Right that her warning that a boycott against Israel would deepen if a peace settlement was not reached, offers legitimacy to the cause of the boycotters and shows that she identifies with the movement. Livni denied the accusation outright saying that the claim is similar to accusing a security official who recognizes a military threat that the official identifies with the threat.

Livni participated in the Economic Forum in Davos over the weekend where she stressed the importance for Israel of reaching a peace settlement with the Palestinians and not only having good economic ties with them.

"I am in favor of a political resolution because in my opinion this is what will ensure Israel continuing as a Jewish and democratic state," Livni said in Davos.

Livni's sentiment echoed that of Kerry, who gave a wide ranging speech in Davos on the American role in US diplomacy. Kerry said failure to reach a peace deal would mean that demographics would not allow Israel to remain a democratic and Jewish state.

Earlier on Saturday,  Livni met with "Breaking the Impasse" (BTI), an initiative of the World Economic Forum established in 2012 by major Israeli, Palestinian, and international leaders from business and civil society committed to renewing the wider momentum for peace.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met with Kerry on Friday in a closed door meeting at Davos.

Netanyahu's speech at the forum largely focused on the strength of Israel as a hub for innovation, as well as research and development. The prime minister said that the advancement of the Israeli economy would be beneficial for the Palestinians, and called on Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to embrace the opportunity for peace.

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