Hatnua Chairwoman Tzipi Livni harshly criticized the Likud Monday, following a statement made by Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar, who said that the creation of a Palestinian state was never part of the party's platform.
Speaking before students at Bar Ilan University, Livni said that the statement meant that "Today, Netanyahu buried his Bar Ilan speech. I intend to revive it and its principles."
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In 2009, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave what has since become on of his most famous public addresses, saying that the Likud and his government endorsed the creation of a Palestinian state that would exist alongside Israel.
Sa'ar's statement, she said, "Proves that the Bar Ilan speech, which has become the leading media spin of the past few years, was nothing more than lip service.
"The Likud-Beiteinu ticket refuses to introduce into its platform the same agenda that Netanyahu held up for the world to see, the one he used to try to convince us how moderate he is, and how much he wants peace.
"Today, the entire world knows that it was nothing more than lip service – a mask Netanyahu wore around the world to make pretty speeches."
Livni further slammed the prime minister, saying "These are the words he never wanted to say but had to, because the world pressured him to do so. These are the words he refused to live up to and these are the words he is burying today.
"Netanyahu and his coalition of 'refusniks' will bring about the demise of the Jewish state and the creation of one nation – an Arab nation – between Jordan and the sea. I will not let that happen," she exclaimed.
'Running towards political abyss'
Livni was not the only one criticizing Sa'ar's statement: Hatnua member MK Yoel Hasson said that the education minister "Was sent to tell the world that Netanyahu wishes to quash any possibility of a diplomatic horizon and that he intends either to annex the Palestinians or decree a rule of apartheid that will isolate Israel completely."
Habayit Hayehudi Chairman Naftali Bennett, who has been locking horns with the Likud over the past few days, added: "National policy can't be dragged into the election campaign. I urge prime minister to make it perfectly clear – to the Israeli public and the international community alike – whether he has rescinded his declared support for a Palestinian state or not; and whether Sa'ar's statement was true, or was said for campaign purposes.
"Israel's international standing is not a matter for pollsters," he added.
The Likud-Beiteinu campaign issued the following statement in response to Livni's criticism: "It is amazing to see how quickly Livni sides with the Palestinians.
"You have to be deaf and blind not to see and hear what is going on in Gaza and the region, and insist on running towards a security and political abyss.
"When will Livni admit that her political blindness endangers Israel? Will it be when Hamas controls Judea and Samaria? Also, for Livni's information – the joint political platform has yet to be released," the statement concluded.
Moran Azulay is a Ynet and Yedioth Ahronoth correspondent
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