"To sustain the state of Israel as a Jewish nation we will have to give up parts of the land of Israel, and to sustain the state of Israel as a safe nation we will put Israel's security at the center of any process," said Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni on Sunday at the dedication of the 'Kadima House' in Tel Aviv.
Livni spoke of her departure from the Likud party to Kadima, then under the leadership of Ariel Sharon: "I was in a party where every sentence began with the word 'no'. I wanted to be in a party that would instill hope and realize that hope. This party has declared a path, and that is the path it will realize."
This is the 14th Kadima branch to open in recent months against the backdrop of plummeting public support for the ruling party, merely one year after it won the general elections.
Kadima officials at dedication (Photo: Ofer Amram)
"It's important to remember amidst all the criticism that Kadima was founded for the right reasons," said Livni, "it's time for each and every one of us to remember the day we left our old parties and joined Kadima. I came to this party because it resonated with me, it inspired me. That's the reason I believe the Israeli public came to us, and that's why they will stay."
'US, UN know we're not the obstacle for peace'Vice Premier Shimon Peres referenced his vast political experience in addressing the current party crisis: "Sixty years ago, in May 1947, I was recruited by David Ben Gurion and Levi Eshkol to the Hagana, to serve the country. I've seen good days and I've seen difficult days. From 60 years experience I can tell you – we're on the right path. There will be bumps, there will be hardships, but we're on the right path.
"There are troubles (for Kadima). We aren't hiding from them or sweeping them under the carpet. Kadima is first of all a movement that bears hope. We are not losing our heads or panicking from a crisis, we just keep hoping. We will not let any frightened judgmental person say that this is it. We have achieved more in one year than we thought we would, and our duty is to keep realizing the people's hopes.
Peres also spoke of the current political issues on the agenda: "The UN director general, US secretary of state, the German chancellor – they all know that we were not the obstacle for peace. We will know how to overcome the obstacles.