Daily Israel Report

Livni Takes on Bibi, Debunks His 'Economic Peace' Plan

Livni took on Netanyahu on his high ground, ridiculing his "economic peace" plan as "drivel." She warned against a Likud-Shas "anti-peace" process.
By Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu
First Publish: 2/3/2009, 8:25 PM

Israel News Photo-Flash 90

Kadima leader Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni has taken on her Likud counterpart and former Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on his high ground Tuesday, ridiculing his "economic peace" plan as "drivel."

"What is economic peace? What is this drivel? There is no such thing. Netanyahu is laundering words," she told Globes. She explained that creating a new Arab country headed by the Palestinian Authority, and not simply making the PA stronger economically, is the solution.

Knesset Member Netanyahu, noted for economic expertise, has declared that the PA cannot be a stable and trusted entity until it has a strong economic basis.

She also warned against a Likud-Shas coalition, which she would result in an "anti-peace" process because of the presence of MK Reuven Rivlin and Knesset candidate Benny Begin, son of former Prime Minister Menachem Begin.
She also warned against a Likud-Shas coalition, which she would result in an "anti-peace" process.

Concerning Shas, the Sephardic religious party that has announced it backs the Likud chairman, the Foreign Minister stated, "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."

As for her own prospective coalition government if she surprises pollsters and leads Kadima into first place in the election next week, Livni stated that the Israel Is Our Home (Yisrael Beiteinu) party, headed by MK Avigdor Lieberman, could be a partner.

MK Lieberman is solidly against what he calls the anti-Israeli fifth column of Israeli Arabs, but Foreign Minister Livni sidestepped his outspoken positions and told Globes, "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."

Trying to sound as hawkish as the Likud in the war against terror while trying to hold on the more dovish flank of Kadima, she told the Herzliya Conference on Monday, "This election is about the peace. It's about will there be a government here that says yes to peace or a government that says no to peace," she said.

Trying to keep her party from slipping into third place in the pre-election polls, the Kadima leader has reached for the women's vote, telling women lawyers in Tel Aviv, "Whether we have a female prime minister is up to you and your vote."