Right-wing politicians lambasted Hatnua leader Tzipi Livni after reports surfaced that she asked US Secretary of State John Kerry to tell his European counterparts to hold off on the Palestinian UN bid for statehood, lest it strengthen the right-wing camp.
Rivals intimated that she would change her position after the elections.
Prime Minister Benjamin’s Netanyahu’s office released a statement saying that “the true faces of Tzipi and Boujie [Isaac Herzog] have been revealed. Immediately after the elections, they intend to retreat and allow the creation of a second Hamastan in Judea and Samaria,” news site NRG reported.
Foreign Policy reported that Livni had made the recommendation along with former president Shimon Peres.
Jewish Home leader Naftali Bennett said that “Tzipi Livni has reached the depths of political subversion. Behind the back of the sitting government she is managing activities that will hurt Israel, and all in order to harm ‘Bibi/Bennett.’ With all due respect, the interests of Mrs. Livni do not take priority over the interests of the state, and the demand to arrange an attack on Israel crosses a red line.”
Former Yesha Council head Danny Dayan accused Livni of “changing her skin in order to appease the Americans and her political partners.”
Livni, who is set to run on a joint ticket with Herzog’s Labor party in the March elections, said she was proud to have guarded Israeli interests at the UN in convincing the US to stall the vote at the Security Council on the recognition of Palestinian statehood.
A joint statement released by Labor and Hatnua Saturday stated that” Livni [consistently] opposed any attempt by the Palestinians to impose a new reality on Israel by taking unilateral steps. This was her consistent approach, in public, and in private to the Americans, and this is her stance today.”
“Livni is proud to have preserved key Israeli interests at the Security Council. Israel’s security interests can be safeguarded with the right policy, which can only come to pass if Herzog and Livni form the next government coalition,” read the statement.
Earlier, Foreign Policy reported that at a recent annual luncheon with the 28 European Union ambassadors, Kerry said that a UN vote before Israeli elections would only benefit those who oppose the peace process, like Netanyahu and Jewish Home leader Naftali Bennett. Kerry also intimated during the gathering that the US may support a Security Council resolution if the wording were appropriate, but he did not elaborate.
Kerry said the US would not allow the resolution to come to a vote before the Israeli elections, set for March 17, according to the report.
“Kerry has been very, very clear that for the United States it was not an option to discuss whatever text before the end of the Israeli election,” a European diplomat told Foreign Policy.
The diplomat also said that Kerry spoke about a warning issued to him by Livni and Peres that a favorable UN vote “imposed by the international community would reinforce Benjamin Netanyahu and the hardliners in Israel.”
Another European diplomat said Kerry’s message was that UN action would “give more impetus to more right-wing parties, that there was a risk this could further embolden the more right-wing forces along the Israeli political spectrum.”
The diplomat said the US has been too “vague” on what steps could be taken at the Security Council after the Israeli elections.
A response to the report issued by the State Department stated that Kerry has said in public and in private that “any steps should be taken that would interfere with the Israeli election.”
On Thursday, the US said it would not support the current resolution put forward by the Palestinians setting the terms for statehood and an Israeli withdrawal to the pre-1967 lines.
Washington has seen the text of a draft resolution circulating in the UN Security Council and “it is not something that we would support,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters.
“We wouldn’t support any action that would prejudge the outcome of the negotiations and that would set a specific deadline for the withdrawal of forces,” Psaki said.
She did not rule out a statehood-related resolution per se, saying the United States wanted “further consultations.”
Psaki noted that the Palestinians “are not pushing for a vote right now,” and said it was unlikely the measure would face a vote soon.
Jordan presented the measure on Wednesday to the UN Security Council on behalf of the Palestinians, who said they were open to negotiations on the text.
Times of Israel staff, AFP and JTA contributed to this report.