Tzipi Livni 311 Ariel J.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Opposition leader Tzipi Livni issued a rare statement of support for Prime
Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s policies on Tuesday when she endorsed his efforts
to restart direct diplomatic negotiations with the Palestinians, at a conference
at the Herzliya Interdisciplinary Center organized by her Kadima
Frittering away the freeze
rhetoric heats up as W. Bank freeze nears end
Livni said Kadima would support Netanyahu from the opposition
during the diplomatic process, in which he is expected to face challenges from
rightwing parties in his coalition and hawks inside his Likud party.
direct talks are especially important, and I hope that the prime minister enters
them with the understanding that he is not doing this as a favor to the
Palestinians or the Americans, but because it is in the interest of Israel,”
“The success of the prime minister is the success of all of
us, and if he succeeds, we certainly won’t attack him for going in the right
The Kadima conference was attended by former IDF chief of
General Staff Lt.-Gen. (res.) Dan Halutz, who has said he would enter politics,
but has not confirmed that it would be with Kadima. Halutz also attended a
speech by former Kadima prime minister Ehud Olmert at Tel Aviv University
several months ago.
Ironically, Netanyahu’s own public diplomacy
minister, Yuli Edelstein, spoke against the prime minister’s diplomatic policies
on the same panel in which Livni endorsed the talks with the Palestinians. He
warned Netanyahu to learn the mistakes of the unilateral withdrawals from the
Gaza Strip and southern Lebanon.
“It is wrong to sell policies for
temporary legitimacy,” Edelstein said. “It is a mistake to think that for the
world to love us, we must embark on policies of concessions and
The legitimacy we would receive would last a few days while
we would have pay a price of increased hostility and face requests for further
Netanyahu also received a warning from Culture and Sport
Minister Limor Livnat, who toured Efrat in Gush Etzion on Tuesday. As expected,
she spoke against continuing the 10-month settlement freeze beyond the September
26 date when it is set to end.
Likud ministers are expected to attend a
rally against the freeze in Ariel on September 1, the night of
meeting in Washington with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud
President Barack Obama, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, and King
Jordan. The rally is being organized by hawkish Likud MK Danny
Another Likud rally in the Samarian settlement Revava is being
planned for September 26 to push for the resumption of construction
Judea and Samaria.
“Ministers and MKs will attend the events, which will
remind the prime minister about the policies of the Likud,” Danon said.