“I believe that we are entering serious negotiations in order to end the conflict,” Justice Minister Tzipi Livni
– or as Newsweek called her, "The Believer" – said in a very positive profile published by the paper.
The profile's conclusion is that Livni is the only Israeli figure who can bring about a historic peace deal between Israel
and the Palestinians and end the bloody conflict.
“Everybody who enters the negotiation room—whether on the Israeli side or the Palestinian side—knows basically, in general terms, what’s going to be the price and what we need to get to pay this price,” Israel's chief negotiator told the online paper.
During the interview, Livni elegantly evaded the question of whether she truly believed that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
was willing to pay the price of peace, and was quick to note that in the past he opposed
the release of terrorists arrested before the Oslo Accords
period. "When he made the decision (to release the prisoners), it was clear he was going to pay a political price, particularly in his own political base.”
Livni further noted in this regard that Netanyahu understands the pertinence of breaking the political stalemate between Israel and the Palestinians.
Livni also commented on past failures to reach a peace agreement – the Camp David Summit in 2000 and the negotiations of former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas
in 2008 – and said: "Olmert gave Abu Mazen a map saying, ‘You need to sign here and there because this is a unique opportunity. Take it or leave it’
"... The idea of Ehud Barak
or Olmert, to put something on the table – you know, I still remember Barak pushing Yasser Arafat to the cabin at Camp David in 2000 – ‘It’s take it or leave it.’ It’s not. This is not the way we should negotiate.”
Linvi openly downplayed the negotiations' chances of success, saying: “From a pragmatic point of view, when we created great hopes and nothing came out of it, it led to violence. So this situation, in which we entered the negotiating room and there are not high expectations, it’s OK. All I wanted is to just be there and negotiate.”
Former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
was quoted in the interview as having a great respect for Livni, saying that in Washington "she was seen as someone who was trustworthy, committed, and hardworking. The president (Bush) personally liked her a lot.”
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