livni - Emil Salman - August 3 2011
Opposition Leader Tzipi Livni, August 3, 2011. Photo by Emil Salman
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Opposition leader Tzipi Livni said Monday that the diplomatic stupidity of the current Israeli government is pushing the United States into a corner.

"The diplomatic stupidity that characterizes this government is causing it to put the United States into a corner," said Livni, speaking during a special Knesset debate on Monday ahead of the Palestinian statehood bid at the United Nations. "The United States is making sure it won't be singled out but how are we helping ourselves? We now need to initiate the political process. (Prime Minster Benjamin) Netanyahu tried to prevent this and now the Palestinians are at the United Nations."

Livni addressed Netanyahu, telling him that it is not too late to stop the Palestinians' bid for recognition of statehood at the United Nations.

"It is not yet too late to stop the process. It demands understanding of what happens when there is no process, and it also demands bravery to make a decision," said Livni. "I am skeptic, but perhaps this week you will succeed in rising above this terrible coalition."

Livni, who called the situation Israel is currently facing, "the eve of Yom Kippur" (Day of Attonement), added that "in the coming days the government of Israel will need to make dramatic decisions. Without reflecting on our past, we can't make decisions for the future."

The opposition leader continued criticizing the government for "the story it is selling regarding the current reality. The first part says everything is alright. The second part says that everyone is against us: (Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas) Abu Mazen joined forces with Hamas, (Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip) Erdogan is an Islamist and in Egypt it is impossible to know what will happen, everyone is anti-Semitic and all that's left [for Israel] to do is to wait and see what will happen." She then added, "Israel is indeed correct, but the government is mistaken."

Livni emphasized that even though Israel has many enemies it has a friend in the United States. "Next to all these enemies Israel has friends, and at the top of that list is United States, who is willing to guarantee Israel's security. They don't understand Israel's policy, they don't understand why the stubbornness over settlements, they don't believe the prime minister of Israel when he says 'two states' but doesn't do anything about it. And this saddens me because I am a citizen of the state," said Livni.