Zionist Union MK Tzipi Livni said Saturday that the Netanyahu government’s national agenda was run by the settlers’ council and reiterated her call to go to a referendum on a one-state or two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Speaking at a cultural event in Rishon Lezion, Livni said that the “Israeli government does whatever the Yesha Council [the umbrella organization of municipal councils of Jewish settlements in the West Bank and formerly in Gaza] wants; it is a minority that imposes its national agenda on the government.”
The Zionist Union’s number two went on to repeat remarks she made two days earlier at the Herzliya Conference, charging that Israel urgently needed to decide between partition or annexation of territories claimed by the Palestinians.
“Israel must make a decision right now that it has avoided making for 50 years,” she said on Thursday. “The real question is what are we doing with the territories. Without a decision on annexation or partition, we’re bumbling about without a direction, without choosing our future, while the conflict seeps in and undermines Israel’s values.”
“I want a referendum so we know where we are headed — two states or one between the [Jordan] river and the [Mediterranean] Sea? A Jewish and democratic Israel or a Jewish and not democratic Israel?” she said Saturday.
Livni also welcomed recent remarks by former defense ministers Moshe Ya’alon and Ehud Barak, also a former prime minister, who recently called for Netanyahu to be replaced and his government toppled.
“There’s a strong outcry by different people who see what is happening to their beloved country — which is losing its democratic values,” she said.
“It’s important that this is coming from former defense ministers,” she added.
Barak on Friday stepped up his attack on Netanyahu from a day earlier, charging that the countdown to the prime minister’s ouster has already begun and calling his government anti-Zionist and a danger to Israel’s future.
Netanyahu has “a great talent for deceit,” he said, and urged parties in the center and on the left to work to oust him.
Barak said that the Netanyahu government has “gone off the rails” and cannot get back on track.
The Likud said in response that Barak’s attack was an “attempt to stay relevant,” even as he has indicated he has no intentions to run for prime minister.
By contrast, Ya’alon said he would run for the national leadership less than a month after resigning from his post amid a political upheaval.
Speaking at the Herzlia Conference on Thursday, Ya’alon accused the Israeli leaders of “blinding” the country with imaginary existential threats in order to distract them from the serious issues facing Israel. Plainly referring to Netanyahu but not naming him, Ya’alon said the leadership incites sections of Israeli society against each other, and cynically peddles the false sense that Israel is “on the brink of a second Holocaust.”
“It is my intention to run for the leadership in the next elections,” Ya’alon said, prompting applause from the audience.