Livni says power shifts in Mideast can be affected by peace deal with Palestinians

Justice minister addresses J Street conference, says answer is to pursue deal with those actually interested in dialogue.

Livni and Erekat 370 (photo credit: REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)
Livni and Erekat 370
(photo credit: REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)
Justice Minister Tzipi Livni believes that peace between Israel and the Palestinians can have a "massive effect on the balance of power in the Middle East," she said late Saturday.
Speaking to an annual conference of the J Street Organization, Livni outlined the difficulty facing Israel to achieve such a peace deal.
"Last time we tried to throw the keys to the other side and hope for the best, and we received terror in return lead by Hamas," the Hatnua leader said. "The answer is to pursue an agreement with those who are actually interested in dialogue and are willing to comply with our security demands."
Livni has served as the Israeli point person in renewed peace negotiations with the Palestinians that began this past summer.
Faced with mounting skepticism of the possibility of an agreement, US Secretary of State John Kerry announced before the weekend that Palestinian and Israeli parties have agreed to intensify talks. The next round of negotiations will mark the eighth round of talks since July.
Kerry's tireless back and forth between the two parties has kept talks going even as both sides voice uncertainty over the potential success of the talks.