Justice Minister Tzipi Livni 370.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
Justice Minister Tzipi Livni (Hatnua) on Saturday challenged the Labor party to "work up the courage" to join the government coalition in order to help advance the peace process with the Palestinians.
Livni, who is serving as Israel's lead negotiator in ongoing peace talks, made the comments after Labor leader Shelly Yacimovich said earlier Saturday that she was willing to serve as a "safety net" for Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, in the event Bayit Yehudi decides to quit the coalition in light of "a [serious] diplomatic accord."
"If in the past there was no chance [for peace] and there was no point in entering the government, now there is an opportunity that we are liable to miss because of the make-up of the coalition," Livni wrote on her Facebook page, recounting comments she made earlier Saturday at a conference in Nesher.
Livni stated that Finance Minister Yair Lapid [Yesh Atid] had "forced" the current make-up of the coalition by insisting that he would not join the government without Bayit Yehudi.
Yacimovich attacked Bayit Yehudi earlier on Saturday saying that despite the fact they were a part of a deal to advance settlement construction
in return for freeing prisoners
, "they complain of being wronged and go out to protest against the government they are members in, and against decisions they were a part in making."
The Labor leader stressed that her party will remain in the opposition unless a serious peace agreement does emerge, and that she "won't repeat the bitter political and moral mistake" she made in the past when she "crawled into Netanyahu's government and served as a fig leaf to a social and economic policy that abuses the public, and to diplomatic stagnation."
Livni suggested that this promise was not enough, calling on Labor to join the coalition after the November 21 party primary which pits Yacimovich against MK Issac Herzog.
"I hope that Labor, after the primaries, will make the necessary and responsible move - join the government and help us bring the peace process to the reality of an accord and two states for two peoples," she said.