Kadima chairwoman and prime ministerial hopeful Tzipi Livni
delivered an appeal for peace and diplomatic efforts on Monday, speaking at the ninth annual Herzliya Conference, hosted by the Interdisciplinary Center.
"I appeal to all of those children from the winter of 1973, who told leaders that 'you'd promised us a dove with an olive branch… I say to them, there is a dove on the window sill," she said.
"The dove of peace is on the window sill and we need to decide if we will open the window and let it in, despite the fears, or whether we slam the window shut," she added.
"The choice standing before Israel eight days from now (national elections) is about peace, between saying yes or no to peace, between being a nation of fear or a nation of hope."
"I'm not prepared for people to say of us what Abba Eban said of the Arabs – that they never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity. Peace is in our self-interest. The prevention of a binational state is in our self-interest. It's just as possible as the war on terror," she said.
Livni said that she views the Barack Obama's new administration, expected to change American policy and exert more pressure on Israel, as an "opportunity."
"If we are willing to protect our interests but, at the same time, willing to make concessions, Israel can work with the new administration against Iran and against terror… We need to seize upon such an opportunity," she said.
Despite her dovish statements, Livni addressed the importance of eliminating the threats of Hamas and Hizbullah. "I do not accept a forced choice between peace and security. Anyone who creates this choice is deluding himself and the public about the reality," she said, alluding to rival Benjamin Netanyahu (Likud). "I do not want to forget about peace," she added.