Thursday, March 13, 2008

Tzipi Livni is Being Very Unhelpful

Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni on Wednesday characterized the expansion of West Bank settlements as "unhelpful," saying that Israel had decided to stop settlement activities.

In an apparent bid to ease pressure from Israel on the issue that has threatened to derail fragile peace talks, Livni told students at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts: "It's not the Israeli government policy to expand settlements these days."

Livni characterized the planned construction as private building and "not dramatic."

"Basically, I don't think that it helps," Livni said. "We decided to stop settlement activities."

She added that Israel would "need to dismantle more settlements" under a peace deal for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that U.S. President George W. Bush has said he hoped to see before he leaves office in 2009.

But that last quote doesn't appear here in the Harvard Crimson:-

“The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the sexiest conflict in the world, and everybody wants to be involved,” Livni said.

...When asked about the Israeli government’s policy of founding new settlements, Livni expressed some unease.

“It doesn’t help [the peace process],” she said, “but it doesn’t make it impossible for the future.”

Abigail E. Schiff ’11, a board member of the Progressive Jewish Alliance, said that Livni did not provide a satisfactory response to explain the expansion of settlements.

Echoing the voices of many left wing activists in Israel and outside of it, Schiff said “at a time when the peace process is in a shaky place, it doesn’t seem like a good time to expand the settlements.”

...When asked about whether she could think of a potential role for American Jews in the conflict, Livni answered simply “no.”

Anybody want to help her out of government?

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