Livni: Netanyahu Wasted Two Years Before Talking With PA

Speaking at Harvard University, Kadima leader says ending conflict with the Palestinians is a clear Israeli interest, not a favor to the United States.

Opposition leader Tzipi Livni (Kadima) criticized on Tuesday the current government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for wasting two years before conducting negotiations with the Palestinians.

In a speech at the Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government, Livni said that the Israeli government must make the decisions that will save what remains of the negotiations, assuring that Kadima will support the prime minister if he makes these decisions, and urged him to make them quickly.

Opposition leader Tzipi Livni speaking at the Knesset
Michal Fattal

Livni said that ending the conflict with the Palestinians is a clear Israeli interest, and not a favor to the president of the United States.

She stressed that the time has come to reach decisions on the matter and said that avoiding the decisions hurts Israel's interests and warned that the status quo is dangerous.

Earlier on Tuesday, Netanyahu convened with his forum of six senior cabinet ministers but did not discuss the deadlock in Israeli-PA peace talks, despite earlier expectations that he would propose to extend the settlement freeze by 60 days in exchange for U.S. guarantees.

Moreover, Jordan's King Abudullah urged Israel and the Palestinians on Tuesday not to miss a 'historic opportunity for peace,' while Egypt's Mubarak warned of 'global terror' if Mideast peace talks fail.

At Harvard, Livni also discussed the subject of Iran, and said that the Islamic republic's religious ideology makes its conflict with Israel irresolvable.

She said that the latest pronouncements by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the heads of the regime prove that the world must increase the pressure of sanctions and supplement them with political sanctions against the heads of the regime.

She insisted that the world must stop giving Iranian leaders pulpits to spew their hatred, in the United Nations or anywhere else.

As long as Ahmadinejad denies the Holocaust and talks about destroying Israel, she said, the world cannot tolerate and listen to him and it must stop giving him the legitimacy to spread his creed.