In TV interview, opposition leader says Netanyahu "never wanted any coalition other than the current one."
By REBECCA ANNA STOIL
Opposition leader and Kadima Chairwoman Tzipi Livni unsheathed her knives Friday night, slamming Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on prime-time television, both personally and for his foreign policy.
"Bad management and lack of ability to make the correct decisions is the essence of Binyamin Netanyahu," Livni told Channel 2's Friday night news magazine. "All he wanted was for the visit to Washington to pass quietly and to get back to Israel in peace - that is to say, without peace.
"My heart was pained by the visit because it was a loss for the State of Israel. It was a historic miss," said Livni, when asked whether she wished that she had been in Washington in Netanyahu's stead.
Livni, who as foreign minister was the Kadima government's point person on negotiations with Palestinian representatives, criticized Netanyahu's policy of "keeping the cards close to the chest" and refusing to commit on the issue of two states for two peoples as "a strategic threat no less than others that are out there.
"The problem with Bibi and the Likudnikim is that it is as if in saying 'two states for two peoples,' they are doing someone a favor. They are not doing anyone a favor, but rather acting in Israel's best interest. Anybody who wavers on the topic seriously harms the interest of maintaining Israel as a Jewish country."
Livni would not, however, say whether she was willing - or had made offers as foreign minister - to give up parts of Jerusalem to a future Palestinian state, but hinted that she would be willing to do so.
The Kadima chair, who was criticized by other party members for pushing too determinedly to lead the opposition rather than join the coalition, said that any power-sharing deal with Likud had always been out of the question.
"Bibi never wanted any coalition other than the current one," she said, arguing that the coalition has "revealed itself to be a bad government with a terrible prime minister."
Livni also attacked her former coalition partner Labor Chairman Ehud Barak, saying that "there is no real reason for Barak to be in this government other than his personal desire to do so and be defense minister."
To stay in the government, she said, "Barak gives a stamp of approval to things that are not only incorrect in my opinion, but also have no connection to the Labor Party."
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