Israeli opposition leader Tzipi Livni has criticized Benyamin Netanyahu's government for "searching for superficial issues and ignoring the essence" while running Israel's affairs. According to the ex-Foreign Minister, the way that current ministers are operating "is losing Israel its friends and taking the country's international standing to a new low". Livni, recently returned from a political tour of the US, said that Netanyahu does not understand the extent of the harm that he and his government are causing Israel through his anti-peace policies.
When asked by Israel's Army Radio why she is ignoring the Palestinian Authority, which "rejects taking any action for resuming negotiations, and misses every opportunity that appears before it", Livni answered, "This is not true. We have to be frank and acknowledge that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas [Abu Mazen] did not reject negotiations and did not retreat from the path of peace."
That's not all: "Even the narrative that gets repeated daily in Netanyahu's circles," she claimed, "that the Palestinians rejected a generous offer from former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, is not true. Abu Mazen did not reject it. He just did not give a response, because Operation Cast Lead in Gaza was still hot." Livni claimed that if Netanyahu had agreed from the beginning of his term of office to resume negotiations from where Olmert left off, "we would have been in a different position today". Netanyahu, she added, "was afraid to lose his right-wing camp, so he sought to make the negotiations fail."
Livni told Army Radio that she had met a lot of Israel's friends abroad and found them in a state of frustration. "There are many Jews around the world who say they love Israel, but do not understand its policies. They say there is a 'disconnect' between them and the state."
Meanwhile, political sources in Israel said that the US Administration is taking a sharply negative stance against Netanyahu's government but it has decided not to intervene in public due to the elections.