Israel's chief negotiator Justice Minister Tzipi Livni hinted on Sunday that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas might agree to recognise Israel as a Jewish state.
Israel's Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper reported that Livni made the remarks during a heated debate with the Minister of Pensioner Affairs, Uri Orbach of the extremist Jewish Home Party, at the ministerial committee discussing legislation dealing with a new amendment to the Education Act aiming "to assert and strengthen the values of the State of Israel as the Jewish people's national home."
Orbach is reported to have told Livni that, "While it is clear to us that Israel is a Jewish state, the Palestinians will never accept this fact." In turn Livni responded, "Wait, you're in for a surprise."
She continued: "What if [the Palestinians] would be willing to acknowledge us as the national state for the Jews, would you be willing to divide the land then?" To which Orbach cynically replied, "Even without recognition I would be willing to do that."