Popular Articles

The Quest for Peace: One on One with Tzipi Livni

“I don’t speak about peace in a naive manner, that we would live happily ever after. This is not what I represent”

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email
Share on print

Click an icon above to share, email, or save this article

Former Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email
Share on print

Click an icon above to share, email, or save this article

Last week, Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas dropped a “bomb.” No, not the usual Palestinian incitement, or an actual terrorist’s explosive. Rather, this was a publicity bomb, a desperate cry for attention.

He decided to end all agreements that the Palestinian government had signed with Israel.

There was no reasoning given, but one can speculate that it might have something to do with Israel’s plan to annex parts of Judea and Samaria, and the sting that many Arab states are silent on the matter.

Or it could have something to do with how after Covid-19 hit Palestinian controlled areas, Mahmoud Abbas was nowhere to be found. According the Jerusalem Post, the crisis was managed by Palestinian Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh.

 In light of these perceived threats to his dominance, Abbas may have needed to reassert his leadership. Such is the game played, in a string of broken promises and broken agreements.

The list of missed opportunities is too long to mention. But I will focus on the most recent attempts at a peace settlement, in 2013-2014.

Get thej.ca a Pro Israel Voice by Email. Never miss a top story that effects you, your family & your community

On July 29, 2013, then-Secretary of State John Kerry and Middle East envoy Martin Indyk attempted to restart the peace process. The Palestinians offered to put on hold their attempts to get recognized as a state. For nine months Israeli and Palestinian negotiators met 39 times. Israel’s key negotiator was Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni.

After twenty years of public service, with various cabinet placements with Likud, Kadima, and Zionist Union, Livni announced her retirement from politics in February 2019, when she was Leader of the Opposition with the Hatnuah party.

I sat down with Livni in her Tel Aviv office and sought her opinion on what we could learn looking back, and what to make of the situation in light of Mahmoud Abbas’ recent announcement to annul agreements. 

Tzipi Livni during her interview with Hecht | Photo: Lior Cohen

You came from the Likud party. What has happened to Likud under PM Netanyahu?

As you can see there’s a picture of [Ze’ev] Jabotinsky, who is the father of the Likud, hanging on my wall. And basically the ideology of Jabotinsky, was creating a Jewish state, with equal rights to all its citizens, which included minorities in the future state… So the Likud was a national liberal party. Now it has became a nationalistic party, with no liberal values. 

These are populist trends that Netanyahu is abusing in order to get support… And all together he created this image that left wing, peace, democracy, are kind of a dirty words. He delegitimized this vision, this ideology. This is something that I would not accept.

Why were these recent elections so significant?

We are facing a situation, that for the first time you have a decision of the attorney general against the Prime Minister, while he is in office. 

The Prime Minister himself is attacking all the institutions that are enforcing the laws in Israel, and this affects Israel’s democracy, because democracy is based in the trust of the people, in these institutions. 

Without these, Israel will lose its democratic nature. So all together, including the complete stagnation of the issue of the peace process, it is creating choices between two very different national positions. 

What are the two different choices?

One is mine, which is basically a Jewish democratic state with a Jewish majority, and peace with the Palestinians. While on the other side, they are taking us to something that is mostly about the land of Israel. As well as, more Jewish, and less democratic state. This worries me the most.

Tzipi Livni with Igal Hecht | Photo: Lior Cohen

Why is it so worrisome? 

As an Israeli, as a Zionist, I believe in an Israel that is a Jewish democratic state, in the true meaning of it. And the true meaning is being a national state for the Jewish people, with equal rights to all its citizens… This is the identity of the state of Israel.

 In 2014 you took part in negotiations with the Palestinians. According to numerous reports, there was an offer that was made by you, and Netanyahu, to the Palestinian president. The latter decided to walk away from the negotiations. What leads you to believe that Palestinian leaders will actually ever accept an offer?
 
I can criticize Abbas for not accepting the Kerry-Obama proposal. I think it was a huge mistake.
There was a proposal on the table, a frame work, that both sides should have accepted… 
Therefore, the discussion of whether there is a partner or not, is just an excuse for those who are not willing to give up any part of the land.

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, with Tzipi Livni, in the Knesset

How far was Netanyahu willing to go?

Netanyahu was willing to accept, with reservations, the American plan as the basis for negotiations. This includes the 1967 lines, and the perimeters that were close to the Clinton perimeters, and every perimeter of those who understand that there is a national conflict, and the answer to it all is two states for two people.

It was also clear that the Palestinian state will be demilitarized. The Palestinians accepted this. He [Netanyahu] was willing to accept something that the US put on the table. So it’s not him, it’s them. 

How do Israelis view the peace process?

The feeling among Israelis is that peace is not tangible, and that there’s no partner on the other side. [They believe:] What’s the use of it? Why should we take some risks?

My expectations from leaders who believe like me, is that it is essential for the future of the state of Israel, to say these words: peace is not something for the weak…

If we achieve peace with the Palestinians, we will have normalization with the Arab world. We can stand together against Iran. I don’t speak about peace in a naive manner, that we would live happily ever after. This is not what I represent….

But this is the only way to keep Israel as a Jewish state. Unfortunately, there are those who are afraid politically to say so. Because Netanyahu succeeded in portraying those who are preaching for peace as “left wing,” and the meaning of left wing now in Israel, is cooperating with the enemy, instead of representing the interests and values of the state of Israel. 

At the end of 2014 negotiations, the Palestinians reneged on the agreed terms of frameworks, and went to the U.N. seeking recognition.
 
Netanyahu has not entered into any sort of negotiations with the Palestinians since that time. And recently, Netanyahu pledged to annex parts of the West Bank in the coming months. 
Igal Hecht is a documentary filmmaker and journalist who works all over the world. For more visit www.chutzpaproductions.com
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email
Share on print

Click an icon above to share, email, or save this article

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email
Share on print

Click an icon above to share, email, or save this article

Read More

Thank you for choosing TheJ.Ca as your source for Canadian Jewish News.

We do news differently!

Our positioning as a Zionist News Media platform sets us apart from the rest. While other Canadian Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas, TheJ.Ca is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

We revealed the incursion of anti-Israel progressive elements such as IfNotNow into our communities. We have exposed the distorted hateful agenda of the “progressive” left political radicals who brought Linda Sarsour to our cities, and we were first to report on many disturbing incidents of Nazi-based hate towards Jews across Canada.

But we can’t do it alone. We need your HELP!

Our ability to thrive and grow in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters like you.

Monthly support is a great way to help us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make to support Jewish Journalism.

We thank you for your ongoing support.

Happy reading!

Thank you for choosing TheJ.Ca as your source for Canadian Jewish News.

We do news differently!

Our positioning as a Zionist News Media platform sets us apart from the rest. While other Canadian Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas, TheJ.Ca is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

We revealed the incursion of anti-Israel progressive elements such as IfNotNow into our communities. We have exposed the distorted hateful agenda of the “progressive” left political radicals who brought Linda Sarsour to our cities, and we were first to report on many disturbing incidents of Nazi-based hate towards Jews across Canada.

But we can’t do it alone. We need your HELP!

Our ability to thrive and grow in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters like you.

Monthly support is a great way to help us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make to support Jewish Journalism.

We thank you for your ongoing support.

Happy reading!

cOMING SOON…….

Breaking News

Recent

Features

News

Current Events

Opinions

Politics

Religion

Culture

Memoriam and Obituaries

PodcastS

Terms and Conditions

Privacy Policy

About Us

Advertise with us

contact 

Subscribe Now

Receive the latest in community & international Jewish news direct to your inbox

© 2020 THEJ.CA, All Rights Reserved

Terms and Conditions

Privacy Policy

About Us

Advertise with us

contact 

Subscribe Now

Receive the latest in community & international Jewish news direct to your inbox

© 2020 THEJ.CA, All Rights Reserved

Subscribe Now

Receive the latest in community & international Jewish news direct to your inbox

Terms and Conditions

Privacy Policy

About Us

Advertise with us

contact 

© 2020 THEJ.CA, All Rights Reserved