Livni slams Netanyahu's 'passivity,' calls for elections

Opposition leader to Channel 2: Palestinian UN state bid in Sept. must be prevented; says elections in Israel would "stop the world in its tracks."

By JPOST.COM STAFF
May 7, 2011 17:58
2 minute read.
Livni

Livni 311 reuters. (photo credit: Reuters)

 
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Opposition leader Tzipi Livni on Saturday called for new elections as she slammed Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for leaving Israel "weak and isolated as a result of his passivity" in the diplomatic arena with the Palestinians. Livni's comments came during an interview on Channel 2's "Meet the Press."

Livni addressed the recent reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas, saying Israel should agree to peace talks with the Palestinians, provided Hamas accept the Quartet conditions, "that Israel actually created under the Kadima government." The Quartet principles consist of recognizing Israel’s right to exist, renouncing violence and respecting treaties previously signed by the Palestinians.

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The Kadima leader said that Netanyahu's reaction to Palestinian reconciliation further pushed Israel into a corner. She cited the news that the European Union on Friday offered to increase aid to the Palestinians after the government announced that they would withhold the transfer of tax revenues to the Palestinian Authority in response to the Fatah-Hamas unity deal.

Livni said that Netanyahu must initiate negotiations with the Palestinians even if it meant making painful concessions. She said that a drastic change must be made prior to September when the Palestinians plan to go the UN to request recognition in a Palestinian state. Livni was adamant that the formation of a Palestinian state must only come about through negotiations.

The opposition leader called for new elections. She said that elections in Israel would "stop the world in its tracks" if they realized that a new government willing to negotiate with the Palestinians was going to be elected. She accused Netanyahu of only caring about his political survival.

Livni said that she would stand as head of Kadima, win the elections and put together the new coalition, rejecting the suggestion that fellow party member MK Shaul Mofaz could possibly take control of the party. Mofaz recently laid out his diplomatic approach in which he called for Israel to immediately recognize a Palestinian state with certain conditions. When asked about the plan, Livni stated that Mofaz shared the same goals as the rest of Kadima, which is the formation of a Palestinian state through negotiations.

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