Livni: There's no such thing as economic peace

"A Palestinian state is the national answer for Arab-Israeli citizens who identify with the Palestinian people."

Kadima chairwoman and Minister of Foreign Affairs Tzipi Livni today ridiculed Likud chairman MK Benjamin Netanyahu's claim that he would pursue "economic peace" if elected prime minister in next week's elections. In a presentation at "Globes" today, Livni asked, "What is economic peace? What is this drivel? There's no such thing. Netanyahu is laundering words."

Livni added, "We all know that we must invest in the Palestinian Authority and that it's necessary to have more projects with them and economic assistance, but that won't solve the conflict. Ultimately, the other side has national ambitions."

As for Netanyahu's comments, Livni said, "With such words, you can't tell the world that Israel wants peace." She claimed that a Likud government would result in a stymied peace process. "Ideologically, Benny Begin and Reuven Rivlin won't allow any measure towards a peace process."

Livni also took a swipe at Shas, "Today, there is no Likud that would head a unity government. It's already Likud-Shas, and we know what that would mean for the Likud list, which already isn't a list that would promote any peace process."

Livni said that she would not rule out a coalition with any political party, including Yisrael Beiteinu of MK Avigdor Lieberman. As for his extremism she said, "Equality is one of my values. I agree to concede part of the Land of Israel, but the moment I undertake this, it must be clear that Israel is the national home of the Jewish people, and a future Palestine is the full national solution for the Palestinians, wherever they are."

Livni said that a Palestinian state is the "national answer for Arab-Israeli citizens who identify with the Palestinian people. They see themselves as part of that nation, and I have no argument with this. This is also why I want a constitution."

As for the lack of retaliation for the Hamas Grad rocket that struck Ashkelon this morning, Livni said, "I don’t think that political considerations enter the decision-making room for action in Gaza." She added, however, "When fired upon, Israel must respond, even disproportionately."

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - - on February 3, 2009

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2009

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