Livni Attacks 'Settlement Enterprise' for 'Peace'

Justice Minister blames terror wave on Jewish presence in Biblical heartland, which she says endangers future of Israel.

Yoni Kempinski, Ari Yashar ,

Tzipi Livni
Tzipi Livni
Hadas Parush/Flash 90

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni (Hatnua) took part on Thursday in a conference of the Council for Peace and Security, in which she blamed the Jewish presence in the Biblical heartland of Judea and Samaria for "heating up the atmosphere" in the recent wave of terrorism.

"Our role as cabinet members is to rise above the present reality and see if there's something we can do to change the direction, also in the region and also in our relations with the Palestinians," said Livni. 

The minister claimed there is a coalition of Arab states that are threatened by radical Islam, saying "that's the same coalition that wants to end the conflict between us and the Palestinians based on two nation states. That's good news."

"The essence of Zionism," according to Livni, is to preserve Israel as a Jewish and democratic state - reportedly her opposition to a law defining Israel as the Jewish nation state has led her to draft an alternate formulation focusing on Israel as a democracy over the state's Jewish nature.

"The more that the settlement enterprise continues our future does not improve, it heats up the atmosphere and sends a message to the world that Israel is playing a double game," claimed Livni. "We speak about peace and an agreement, but in parallel we come out with all kinds of announcements on more building and more expropriation."

Livni apparently was referring to several announcements moving ahead plans on construction in the capital city of Jerusalem that have been backlogged for years - announcements which do not alleviate the months-long freeze on Jewish construction in the region.

Livni's continued call for the "two state solution" despite the recent wave of terrorism comes as alternate plans have been suggested, such as establishing a state of "Palestine" in Jordan, which was created by fiat by the British in 1946 and which already has a "Palestinian" majority. Nearly all Arab residents of Judea and Samaria have Jordanian citizenship.

The minister also leveled criticism against Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas for pushing a unilateral UN Security Resolution demanding Israeli withdrawals, saying "it doesn't work like that."