Former Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni addressed Tel Aviv University students on the importance of the two-state solution and spoke critically of the Netanyahu government at an event organized by OneVoice Israel and the Tel Aviv University Student Union on Tuesday.
Livni, head of the opposition party Kadima, said the current Israeli leadership had fallen behind in making difficult decisions.
"Those politicians who thought that the world would accept an 'economic peace', but not the real thing are finding out that no such thing exists," said Livni.
Livni stressed the importance and urgency of ending the conflict through a comprehensive peace deal. She told students that those working toward a final settlement of the conflict were the true defenders of the Zionist dream.
“When Israel only says 'no' and does not present its formula to ending the conflict, then the world will not stand by its side," she said. "There is no party that is more or less committed to security – this is not a political matter.”
Livni went on to rebuke the Netanyahu government's approach in handling the conflict.
“Any attempt to create solutions that are not leading to the end of the conflict is a historical mistake on behalf of Israel," said Livni. "Any postponement or an idea about a [Palestinian] state in temporary borders would leave the conflict standing and lead to further weakening of Israel's positions.”
Commenting on the issue of borders, Livni said it was dangerous to treat all Jewish settlements across the Green Line that divides Israel from the West Bank as equal.
"If we don't distinguish between the main settlement blocs and peripheral settlements and outposts, the rest of the world will not make this distinction either, and will continue to speak out against all Israeli settlements," Livni said.
The event was part of the OneVoice Movement's ongoing Town Hall Meetings initiative.
On December 22, OneVoice Israel held a meeting at Ariel settlement, during which former Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz addressed Ariel College students on his peace plan.
OneVoice Israel presented the poll commissioned by the OneVoice Movement in collaboration with Dr. Colin Irwin of the Institute of Irish Studies at the University of Liverpool at both events.
The main results showed that 74% of Palestinians and 78% of Israelis were willing to accept a two-state solution (an option rated on a range from ‘tolerable’ to ‘essential’). According to the data, 77% of Israelis and 71% of Palestinians considered a negotiated peace ‘essential’ or ‘desirable’.
"The youth leadership of OneVoice Israel is encouraged by the strong support it received from top Israeli politicians in Tel Aviv as well as in Ariel," said Tal Harris, coordinator of OneVoice Israel's town hall meetings. "We urge our leaders to take steps toward ending this conflict without delay."
Israeli and Palestinian town hall meetings are part of the OneVoice Movement’s ongoing Saying What Needs to Be Said initiative, whereby open discussions are held in the respective communities on the substantive issues of the conflict.
The OneVoice Movement has independent Israeli and Palestinian chapters working in parallel to appeal to the national self interests of their own societies with credentials enabling them to unite people within each society across the religious and political spectrum.
The OneVoice Movement is an international mainstream grassroots movement that aims to amplify the voice of Israeli and Palestinian moderates, empowering them to seize back the agenda for conflict resolution and demand that their leaders achieve a two-state solution.
For more information:
Shir Harel: +972-54-245-7683