Saturday, 4 June 2011
Livni: Netanyahu is too weak to prevent unilateral declaration of Palestinian state
Opposition Leader Tzipi Livni slammed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday for his failure to prevent the United Nations vote on a Palestinian state planned for September, calling him a weak and insufficient leader.
"Netanyahu has failed to recruit international support for Israel's basic principles, he has even failed to convince the U.S. to support us," Livni said, adding that "Israel needs a leader, and this government has missed its opportunity."
She added that Netanyahu will go down in history as the Israeli prime minister who failed to prevent a unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state.
Speaking before the Knesset plenum, Livni responded to Netanyahu's call for Israeli unity in face of security threats and calls from the bordering Arab countries for Israel's destruction, saying that his idea of unity was unworthy.
"Unity to protect your leadership, prime minister, is not a worthy unity," Livni said.
"Today we are united to protect Israel against those who are working against our existence as a Jewish State," Livni said. "But this unity is not enough. We need a vision. If only Herzl could shout out anti-Semitism! But he was a visionary because he understood that it is not enough to shout out, he has to implement policies to fulfill his vision. He understood that he needs the world's support of a Jewish State in order to fulfill his vision."
"I don’t know what is worse, the fact that you [Netanyahu] know what will save Israel and are afraid to make the decision, or that you are clueless," she said.
Livni went on to criticize Netanyahu for travelling next week to the United States without a prepared peace initiative, and said that it was "unacceptable that Israelis have to pay the price for Netanyahu's weakness."
"You have missed your opportunity to provide Israel with a vision," Livni told Netanyahu. "It is time to decide what Israel's borders are, and this prime minister can't."
Livni also responded to the Israeli Arab protests on Sunday marking the day of Nakba, saying that it was time the Arabs gave up on the idea that the solution to the conflict was to build their homes where Jewish homes stand today.
"The sooner the Arab children will learn that they must build their houses where they are now, as the solution is not their return to Israel, the better it will be for everyone," she said, adding that "Israeli Arabs must know they cannot live here and call the day of Israel's establishment the day of disaster."
The opposition leader said that Israelis should know that it was not too late for peace, and that there was still hope for a peace initiative that would not forsake its basic principles and the fundamental and historic right to exist as a Jewish state.