Livni will not apologize for Abbas meeting
Tzipi Livni recently came under fire for meeting with Mahmoud Abbas. (AFP/File)
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Hatnua's presence in the coalition prevents the right-wing from hijacking the government and transforming the country into one large extremist settlement like Yitzhar, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni told her faction in the Knesset on Monday.
“It’s clear to me why the extreme Right doesn’t love our work in the government. We’re preventing the possibility of creating the State of Yitzhar,” Livni said.
The Yitzhar settlement entered the headlines last month, after a number of violent clashes with the IDF, that included the destruction of an army post. Since then Livni has spoken out harshly against the violence that occurred there.
Her statements were the first ones that she had made in public since she met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in London on Thursday night. She did so, even though she had voted with the government to suspend talks with the PA after it signed a unity pact with Hamas, a terrorist organization bent on Israel’s destruction.
In response to her Abbas meeting, Bayit Yehudi Party head Naftali Bennett called on her to leave the government.
On Monday LIvni said she had no intention of doing that. She added that she would continue to meet with the Palestinians if necessary.
“Fig leaf diplomacy is not an option,” Livni said.
“We will continue to advance Israeli interest out of deep concern for its future, that is the task of responsible leadership,” Livni said.
“I remind everyone that the conflict [with the Palestinians] still exists,” LIvni said and added that “Israel’s interest is to end the conflict.”
It is therefore impossible not to speak with the Palestinians, but such conversation does not constitute a “negotiation,” she said.
“To boycott the other side, not to speak with it at all, not to hear or listen that is irresponsible, and even criminal,” LIvni said.
“I would prefer solving the conflict through direct negotiations,” Livni said. She explained that the Fatah-Hamas unity pact was problematic and could necessitate a new strategy toward the creation of a two-state solution.
“If we will have to think of alternative options to solve the conflict, that is what we will do,” Livni said.
“To all the politicians who are yelling on the Right and the Left, we are not here to serve the political interests of other parties. We want to advance what we believe in. That is what I did when I met with Abu Mazen and that is what I will continue to do,” Livni said.
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