Netanyahu continues to chase unyielding Livni

Tuesday, February 24, 2009 |  Israel Today Staff

Likud leader Benjamin Netanyah is scheduled to meet for the second time with Kadima leader Tzipi Livni on Friday in an effort to form a national unity government.

According to Ha'aretz, Netanyahu plans to sweeten his previous offer to Livni by letting her help him draft the conditions that all other parties must agree to in order to be part of the ruling coalition.

But many analysts expect Livni to stick by her decision to go into the opposition, since joining Netanyahu would likely mean bending the diplomatic platform she ran on just enough that her chances of reelection as party leader would be slim.

Following their first meeting last Friday, Livni said she cannot sit in a Netanyahu government because the Likud leader "cannot even say the words 'two states for two peoples,' so clearly he can't commit to advancing that goal."

Livni has become a champion of urgently surrendering Israel's biblical heartland - including the eastern half of Jerusalem - to the Palestinian Arabs lest the Jewish state succumb to a previously debunked demographic threat.

Netanyahu has vowed to put the creation of a sovereign Palestinian state on the back burner, and instead focus on finding out whether or not the Palestinians are even willing to live in peaceful coexistence.

Livni's dogged resistance to joining a unity government did not sit well with some of her top Kadima colleagues. Shaul Mofaz, who is just after Livni on the Kadima list, told Army Radio on Tuesday that he feels Livni's rejection of Netanyahu's offer was a mistake.

Going into the opposition would likely help Livni's political career, but could cost her party dearly in the next election. Many fear that it would also result in yet another expensive early election for Israel as Netanyahu struggles to hold together a majority right-wing government made up of numerous small parties.

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