'Direct talks are in our interests'

Livni says Kadima won't attack PM if he pursues negotiations with PA.

Tzipi Livni 311 Ariel J (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Tzipi Livni 311 Ariel J
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Leader of the opposition Tzipi Livni on Tuesday made comments regarding Israel's participation in direct talks with the Palestinians at the Inter-Disciplinary Center in Herzliya where she gave a talk at a conference regarding the "delegitimization of Israel" in the international sphere.
"Direct talks are especially important and I hope that the prime minister will proceed into them with an understanding that they are not just a favor done for the Palestinians or the US, but in our [Israel's] interests," Livni said.
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She added, "The prime minister's success [in the direct talks] is a success for all of us, and if he succeeds [in the talks], we won't attack him for making a move in the right direction."
Blair: De-legitimizers against all who share Israel's values
Quartet envoy Tony Blair also spoke at the conference at the IDC in Herzliya and gave a speech stating that those in the world who want to de-legitimize Israel are also de-legitimizing those around the world who share Israel’s values and admire its free spirit.
Blair said that the “best answer to the de-legitimization of Israel lies in the character of Israel and in the openness and creativity of Israelis."
Blair continued saying it was important not only for Israelis to fight against attempts to de-legitimize it, but also people around the world who share its values. He said that there were two kinds of de-legimization.
The first, he said, was practiced by Iranian Presdient Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who talks about wiping Israel off the map. That version, he said, is easier to deal with, because it is so open and blatant.
The other, perhaps more pernicious kind, is those who either consciously or not, resist or refuse to accept the idea “that Israel has a legitimate point of view."
Blair, in a very warm speech, said that a consistent conversation he has had with European colleagues is “not to apply rules to the government of Israel that you would never dream of applying to your own government or country."
Barak welcomes Blair to Israel
Earlier on Tuesday, Defense Minister Ehud Barak met with Blair and told him that Israel hopes for a breakthrough in negotiations with the Palestinians.
Barak was referring to the recent announcement that direct negotiations will resume by telling Blair that Israel cordially welcomes him on his visit to Israel as part of the Quartet's efforts, along with the United States and others, to bring about a breakthrough in negotiations.
"Israel and the Palestinians will need to make courageous decisions during the negotiations," Barak said.