Livni defends anti-Abbas quote revealed by WikiLeaks

Opposition leader says didn't believe peace could be achieved with PA president; describes frustration with Ehud Olmert.

By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
November 30, 2010 02:22
2 minute read.
Livni hand

Livni doing a hand thing 311. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

Opposition leader Tzipi Livni was the first Israeli mentioned in the WikiLeaks documents to react to their publication when on Monday morning she defended a quote attributed to her, that she did not believe peace could be achieved with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

Documents from 2007 described her frustration with then-prime minister Ehud Olmert for keeping her – the foreign minister – out of the loop at a time when her popularity was increasing and his was plummeting due to various investigations.

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“The issues that related to me do not point out anything that has not already been said in public,” she said before a meeting with German President Christian Wulff.

“The year 2007 was characterized by the strengthening of Hamas and therefore the chance of reaching an agreement was low,” she said. “In 2008, we initiated the peace process in order to change the face of the situation and in 2010 I say again – a peace agreement is possible and it needs to done.”

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu later addressed the leaks in depth in a Tel Aviv press conference, but no other Israeli official mentioned in the documents has responded.

Israelis featured in the documents include Defense Minister Ehud Barak, who was quoted saying Iran must be dealt with within 18 months that end Tuesday; Mossad chief Meir Dagan who also urged action on Iran; and former defense minister Amir Peretz, who, the documents said, was unaware of Israeli strikes on terrorists in the West Bank that occurred during his tenure.



Likud MK Danny Danon called on Netanyahu to intensify his efforts to obtain the release of Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard. Danon harshly criticized the hypocrisy of the American government, which spied on its allies for years, while holding Pollard in prison for decades under extremely harsh conditions.

“In light of the reports published by WikiLeaks, I call on the Israeli government to immediately file an official request with the US administration demanding the release of Jonathan Pollard,” said Danon.

“It is hypercritical for the American government – which we now know has continuously spied on its allies and even operated a ‘mole’ within a friendly government – to continue to keep Jonathan imprisoned while ordering American civil servants to commit similar acts.”


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