Justice Minister Tzipi Livni launched sharp criticism at the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) Monday night, in light of recent reports surfacing that recent statements by the PMO were a ruse to reveal the true intentions of the Palestinian Authority (PA).
Livni began her comments with a tie-in to International Holocaust Remembrance Day, claiming that Israel's future is in the hands of peace talks.
"Israel was not established because of the Holocaust," Livni was quoted as saying by Ma'ariv, "but rather because of Zionism, the Jewish people's connection to the land and its desire to establish itself as a Jewish nation."
"Israel today is a strong and independent nation," Livni noted. "We should not only think about the Jewish people in the past, but of the direction our nation is taking in the future [. . .] a Jewish and Democratic state - and for that we need to give away part of our land."
"I have heard several different officials say in the past several days that the Jews did not dream of returning to their land over the past 2000 years just to give away part of it," Livni continued. "But they also did not envision a land which exerted control over another nation."
Regarding the PA, Livni attacked Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's alleged statements suggesting Jewish communities remain under PA control - especially in light of reports that the statements are a ruse to reveal the deep anti-Semitism behind the PA stance in talks.
"The point of negotiations is not to reveal the 'true face' of the other side,'" Livni insisted, "but to come to an interim agreement with them."
Livni also threatened both sides with consequences if an agreement falls through, stating that both will "have a price to pay" if negotiations fail. "Both sides have to understand that," she explained. "It's the decision of both leaders, not only one, to make - and both we and the Palestinian people will have to pay if peace is not reached."