Netanyahu: No Palestinian state; Livni: Surrender to Arab demands

Tuesday, February 17, 2009 |  Israel Today Staff

Israel's two would-be prime ministers laid out their peace process policies for the first time since last week's general election when they addressed a group of American Jewish leaders in Jerusalem on Monday.

Likud Party leader Benjamin Netanyahu, who is currently favored to be chosen to form the next government, told the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations that as prime minister, he would focus on bettering the lives of the Palestinian Arabs, while putting the surrender of land to the Palestinian Authority on hold.

Netanyahu said his plan incudes rapid economic development of the Palestinian economy, and the bolstering of Palestinian leaders and forces that prove they have moved beyond the era of anti-Israel terrorism.

He stressed, however, that it is too early to talk about creating a sovereign Palestinian Arab state, and that further unilateral withdrawals are out of the question after what happened in Gaza.

Livni offered a totally contrary view, suggesting that the surrender of land would be the cornerstone of her peace process policies.

"We need to give up half the Land of Israel," said Livni, and insisted that failing to do so would bring about the Jewish state's demographic demise.

Livni said that there are no peace plans that are favorable to Israel, and so it is better for Israel to devise its own unfavorable peace plan than be forced to accept a far more unfavorable one devised by the international community.

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