Livni to Labor: Join Netanyahu government for sake of peace

Justice minister: Giving speeches isn't enough, Labor must act.

Livni at 2013 J Street conference 370 (photo credit: YouTube Screenshot/J Street)
Livni at 2013 J Street conference 370
(photo credit: YouTube Screenshot/J Street)
Labor should join the coalition to back peace talks, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni said on Thursday.
“Opposition leader [Shelly Yacimovich (Labor)] says she’ll only join the government once there’s an agreement or she thinks [talks are] serious enough. Well, it’s not enough to give a speech about peace, even if it’s a good speech; it’s important to implement it,” Livni told Army Radio.
“In my opinion, Labor should have been part of this coalition, and it’s unfortunate that they refused to enter,” she added, with a dig at Yacimovich’s party that it’s “better late than never to wave the flag of peace.”
Livni pointed out that the makeup of the coalition has a major influence on its policy decisions.
“To allow significant and dramatic decisions to be made in the future, there is a need for true and essential support within the government,” the justice minister, who is leading the Israeli negotiating team, said of peace talks with the Palestinians.
At a Labor faction meeting Monday, Yacimovich said, “Labor will be a safety net for peace talks, but not if they’re fake.”
The Labor leader said she feels that the government is trying to dissolve talks and is only negotiating for show, and she will not support that.
Livni would not divulge details of the negotiations on Thursday, as per US Secretary of State John Kerry’s request that talks be held out of the spotlight.
However, when asked specifically about Israel’s demand to keep IDF soldiers in the Jordan Valley, the justice minister said Israelis underwent a “traumatic experience” in the 2005 Gaza disengagement, which she still supports, in that weapons were smuggled into Gaza and rockets were launched.
“We want to avoid that happening on another border,” Livni explained.
In addition, Livni said, “there is no question” that Palestinian terrorists will continue to be released from prison as negotiations continue.
“It’s part of our commitment, and it will happen,” she emphasized.
Livni also said that recent terrorist attacks in the West Bank will not stop talks from continuing.