Diplomacy

Israeli Opposition Leader Livni Warns Abbas to Resume Peace Talks or Risk Isolation

Opposition leader Tzipi Livni warned Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in New York on Tuesday the he “will cause sadness to generations if you continue to isolate yourselves, burn bridges and take unilateral steps against Israel,” The Times of Israel reported.

Livni and Abbas convened in a hotel where they are both staying near the United Nations headquarters, where the Palestinian leader is scheduled to address the general assembly on Thursday during the same session as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“You must take action to prevent a deterioration in the security situation,” Livni told Abbas. “It is important that you join the effort to find a solution before Gaza officially becomes ‘Hamastan,’ and that you return to dialogue with the US before the two-state solution disappears.”

Livni used her time with Abbas to urge the Palestinian leader to resume direct negotiations as part of a regional peace plan formulated by the United States administration and depart from the politics of isolationism.

“Such steps could lead to a deterioration in the territories, losing control, and ending the solution of two nation-states. The harshness of the situation obligates all of us to find a path to calming it, instead of sitting alone, angry and insulted,” Livni warned.

Livni blasted the Palestinian Authority for paying financial rewards to terrorists and their families, and clarified that the ‘Pay-to-Slay’ scheme is a major obstacle to peace. She also criticized Abbas for taking action against Israel in the International Criminal Court in The Hague. Livni observed that such steps turn off the majority of Israelis who back negotiations on a two-state solution.

In a 2014 interview, Livni blamed Abbas for sabotaging America-led peace talks that had collapsed earlier that year.

Addressing the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, U.S. President Donald Trump had said that “The United States is committed to a future of peace and stability in the region, including peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians.”

The PA, however, reacted with hostility to the President’s speech and said his remarks only served to deepen differences between the two parties. Senior Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat stated: “What his administration did, and continues to do, is to reward and incentivize violations of international law, colonization, war crimes, and apartheid.”

[Photo: Associated Press / YouTube]