Livni: PM paying lip service to two-state solution

Tzipi Livni Party head responds to reports that Likud-Beytenu platform will omit reference to Palestinian state.

Tzipi Livni speaks at Bar-Ilan University 370 (photo credit: Courtesy of Tzipi Livni Party)
Tzipi Livni speaks at Bar-Ilan University 370
(photo credit: Courtesy of Tzipi Livni Party)
Likud Beytenu has no intention to negotiate with the Palestinian Authority for a two-state solution, Tzipi Livni said on Monday at Bar-Ilan University, where in 2009 Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu became the first Likud leader to agree to a Palestinian state.
“Netanyahu did not want to say those words, and refused to say them before the last election,” Livni said. “Those are the words he had to say after the election because of international pressure, the words he refused to make a reality over the nearly four years that passed since then.”
Livni referred to reports that Likud Beytenu would not include a Palestinian state in its platform, saying Netanyahu’s 2009 speech was just a shield he held up on his travels around the world in which he said Israel sought peace.
“Today, the whole world knows that this speech was just lip service, a mask of moderation on an extremist face,” she said.
The Likud platform has never recognized a Palestinian state, and Yisrael Beytenu’s current platform says the idea of a Palestinian state is meant to camouflage the Palestinians’ goal to destroy Israel. The joint list has yet to publicize its platform ahead of the January 22 election, as the Likud campaign pointed out in response to Livni’s speech.
Livni spoke out against politicians who make election promises and then act differently, saying Israelis should demand they tell the truth.
“The Bar-Ilan speech was spin and a trick, and now we see the reality, which isn’t spin, of extremism washing over Likud-Beytenu and Netanyahu’s partners,” she said. “This election should not be about words but about content.
Netanyahu buried the Bar-Ilan speech, and I will revive its principles.”
Livni said she believed in a two-state solution from the time she entered politics, adding that diplomatic issues are what led her to return to the political arena after taking a break earlier this year.
As a Bar-Ilan graduate, Livni said she found it important to discuss peace talks in a place that teaches Jewish values, because an agreement is the only way to keep Israel a Jewish State.
“Anyone who thinks a twostate solution means we’re doing a favor for [Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud] Abbas, [US President Barack] Obama or [US secretary of state-designate] John Kerry is totally wrong. It’s the only way to continue the Zionist vision of a Jewish national home,” she explained.
According to Livni, refusing to talk peace would turn Israel into a binational or Arab state because there is an Arab-Palestinian majority between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.
She also criticized Bayit Yehudi leader Naftali Bennett, saying he was the same as Netanyahu and that any argument between them will have been conjured up for their election campaigns.
“It’s very comfortable for Netanyahu to get in front of the cameras and criticize Bennett for talking about refusing orders – and he’s right, refusing orders goes against our values – but it’s less comfortable for him to face his party,” she said.
“[Likud-Beytenu candidate Moshe] Feiglin criticized Bennett for taking back what he said because Feiglin thinks refusing orders is the right thing to do. [Likud- Beytenu candidates Tzipi] Hotovely and [Uzi] Landau are the same, and Netanyahu will have to keep living with them and pay ideological lip service to them.”
The Tzipi Livni Party leader explained that the shift rightward was the reason she left the Likud with former prime minister Ariel Sharon, and accused Netanyahu of not following the path of the Likud’s founding leader, Menachem Begin, who emphasized the rule of law.
“Judges, not rabbis. Law not halacha [Jewish law],” she declared.
Livni also appealed to national-religious voters, saying that as a group they had great values but the extremists among them “who fight to keep every inch of the Land of Israel” and “give a monopoly on Jewish values to haredi parties” will lead Israel to cease to be a Jewish state.
“The Jewish people have a historical right to every inch of Israel, but to keep the country Jewish, we need to give some of it up,” she stated.
The Likud-Beytenu campaign stated in response to Livni’s speech that it was “amazing” how quickly she “once again defends the Palestinians.”
“One needs to be deaf in order to not hear, blind to not see what is happening in Gaza and the countries in the region, and still insist on rushing to the diplomatic abyss,” the statement added.
“All that’s left is to wait and see when Livni will admit her blindness, which endangers Israel. Should Hamas take over Judea and Samaria, too, and shoot at us from there?”