Opposition MKs call on Livni, Lapid to quit coalition amid failed peace talks

In special meeting of Knesset plenum to discuss failed peace talks, opposition leader Herzog says new election is only choice; Gal-on says Livni, Lapid lied to public, said they would leave coalition if talks break down.

April 7, 2014 11:58
1 minute read.
Labor leader Isaac Herzog.

Labor leader Isaac Herzog.. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)


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An opposition-implemented plenum on the failure of the peace talks with the Palestinians met in the Knesset on Monday.

Opposition leader Isaac Herzog called on Hatnua and Yesh Atid to leave the government amid floundering negotiations in order to form a center-left coalition with his Labor Party.

"The failure echoes in all areas. This is a government of failure that doesn't provide peace, only depression," the Labor leader said.

Herzog's comments came after Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman said at The Jerusalem Post's Annual Conference in New York on Sunday that he would rather hold early elections than go back to the "grand deal" to extend peace talks which would have seen Israel release 26 terrorists, in addition to  400 other Palestinian prisoners of Israel's choosing.

"Liberman spoke the truth," Herzog stated at the Knesset plenum on Monday. "There is no choice other than an election."

Meretz leader Zehava Gal-on attacked Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid and Hatnua chief Tzipi Livni for remaining in Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's coalition.

"Livni and Lapid are Netanyahu's collaborators in making the negotiations a charade, because nobody in the Netanyahu government truly has an interest in signing a peace agreement," Gal-on charged.

"The negotiations which the Netanyahu government has led are pointless, because they are meant only to serve the political survival of the coalition partners and not to really reach an accord," she stated.

Gal-on accused Livni and Lapid of lying to the public and breaking there promise to quit the coalition if the negotiations break down.

Likud Deputy Minister Ophir Akunis responded to the claims in the name of the government, accusing the opposition of "automatically standing with the Palestinians."

Akunis placed the blame for the deterioration of peace talks on Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

"The fact is Abbas said no to Obama and Kerry's framework document. They wouldn't even discuss recognizing a Jewish State," he said.

"The US spent the last eight months mostly pressuring Israel, and the Palestinians spit in their faces. That's the only truth," he added. "Every time we come close to a decision, the Palestinians run away."

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