Livni: Bayit Yehudi's presence in coalition hinders peace

Lead Israeli negotiator urges PM to bring in Labor, says coalition make-up complicates peace efforts; Bennett: Get over it.

August 20, 2013 09:34
1 minute read.
Tzipi Livni, John Kerry, and Saeb Erekat

Tzipi Livni, John Kerry, and Saeb Erekat 370. (photo credit: Reuters)


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Tensions inside Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s governing coalition rose on Tuesday when Justice Minister Tzipi Livni called for Bayit Yehudi to be replaced by Labor in order to aide her efforts to achieve a diplomatic agreement with the Palestinian Authority.

Speaking on the 20th anniversary of the completion of the first Oslo Accords with the Palestinians in Norway, Livni told Israel Radio that the current composition of the coalition complicated efforts to make progress with the Palestinians. She said political support for the nascent peace process would be needed to make key decisions.

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“Bayit Yehudi opposes the two-state solution, and this is very problematic within the context of negotiations,” Livni said.

Livni said another meeting with PA negotiator Saeb Erekat had been set. However, she declined to reveal any details about either the forthcoming meeting or the two times they had met in the past month in Jerusalem and Washington.

Bayit Yehudi leader Naftali Bennett responded on his Facebook page with one Hebrew word, titgabri, which can be translated as “get over it.”

Bayit Yehudi’s English-language campaign head Jeremy Saltan responded on Bennett’s page that “sometimes a one-word status simply says it all.”

While there were Livni supporters who called Bennett’s statement chauvinistic, her spokeswoman declined to respond.

Labor leader Shelly Yacimovich told Ha’aretz on Friday that for Labor to join the government there must be an American “blueprint” for a final-status agreement, a decision on beginning the evacuation of isolated settlements and the departure of Bayit Yehudi from the coalition.

Yacimovich’s rivals said she had changed what the party was saying for the past nine months, namely that Labor would join when a peace agreement was reached between Israel and the Palestinians and the party’s votes were required to pass it.

Jerusalem Post staff contributed to this report.

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