Appreciate this article? +972 depends on your support.

Click here to help us keep going

Analysis News
Visit our Hebrew site, "Local Call" , in partnership with Just Vision.

Tzipi Livni throws cold water on prospects for peace

With Israel and Palestine no closer to a peaceful two-state resolution 20 years after the start of Oslo, the burden of proof is on its believers, not its detractors, settler leader Dany Dayan says. Even the woman set to be in charge of any future peace process, Tzipi Livni, is speaking about the need to formulate backup plans.

Tzipi Livni speaking at the Herzliya Conference. March 12, 2013 (Photo: Herzliya Conference PR)

Tzipi Livni, the only person in the soon-to-be-formed Israeli government who genuinely believes in the importance of the two-state peace process, splashed cold water on the prospect of it ever happening Tuesday. It’s time to start looking at alternative plans in case a two-state solution with the Palestinians proves impossible, she said.

Speaking at the Herzliya Conference, Livni said for the umpteenth time that the two-state solution is the only acceptable path for Israel.

But, and this is a big but, she admitted that it might not be a realistic goal and that Israel needs “to prepare interim measures or other measures, or unilateral ones that can lessen the damage, which can reduce the pressure a little.”

When those politicians who have dedicated much of their careers to advancing the peace process begin to express doubts about the viability of their own project, anyone who believes in those leaders and their political programs should be worried.

Former settler leader Dany Dayan drove the sentiment home, assuredly saying that “20 years after Oslo, the burden of proof is on [its] believers, not me.

Former settler council leader Dany Dayan at the Herzliya Conference, March 12, 2013 (Photo: Herzliya Conference PR)

The Oslo framework for a two-state solution has lost a number of long-time believers in recent months (and years). In December, Meretz chairwoman Zehava Gal-On called for cancelling the Oslo Accords, the mainstay and only lasting impact of peace talks that began 20 years go.

In its place, Gal-On called for enacting interim measures and revisiting the Arab Peace Initiative. But the API is not very different than the two-state formulation expressed in nearly every peace initiative for decades. It is so not dramatically different than Oslo, aside for the attention it pays to the refugee issue.

For Dayan, it is not about process of Oslo itself; he loves the results of Oslo. Oslo created the Palestinian Authority in order to unburden Israel of the costs of its occupation, and that is not lost on Dayan; he openly calls for strengthening the PA.

His problem is Oslo’s goal of a two-state solution: two states for two peoples. There is simply no way to reconcile the national aspirations of the Jewish and Palestinian peoples, Dayan asserts, there is no point of convergence between the two. “Any effort you make to get to that point is doomed to fail,” he said.

But in place of offering an alternative version of peace or a peace process, he embodies a realist Zionist outlook that is unacceptable to anyone who cares about equal rights, be they human, civil or political. Since he argues it is impossible for nationalist Israelis and Palestinians to find even a minimal point of convergence, the conflict should be reduced to a zero sum game – and of course the Israelis should win. To him, anything else is simply unrealistic.

Join the discussion here:

For additional original analysis and breaking news, visit +972 Magazine's Facebook page or follow us on Twitter. Our newsletter features a comprehensive round-up of the week's events. Sign up here.

Before you go...

A lot of work goes into creating articles like the one you just read. And while we don’t do this for the money, even our model of non-profit, independent journalism has bills to pay.

+972 Magazine is owned by our bloggers and journalists, who are driven by passion and dedication to the causes we cover. But we still need to pay for editing, photography, translation, web design and servers, legal services, and more.

As an independent journalism outlet we aren’t beholden to any outside interests. In order to safeguard that independence voice, we are proud to count you, our readers, as our most important supporters. If each of our readers becomes a supporter of our work, +972 Magazine will remain a strong, independent, and sustainable force helping drive the discourse on Israel/Palestine in the right direction.

Support independent journalism in Israel/Palestine Donate to +972 Magazine today
View article: AAA
Share article
Print article
  • LEAVE A COMMENT

    * Required

    COMMENTS

    1. aristeides

      “And of course the Israelis should win.”

      The entire problem, right there.

      Reply to Comment
    2. XYZ

      Maybe people like Livni and Barack Obama, who have spent years dealing directly with the Abbas and the Palestinians and who have miserably failed to get them any closer to making the concessions needed in order to reach a compromise peace, know more than the “peace camp-progressives” who post here at 972 and are much more realistic about the whole ‘peace process’ fraud that was foisted on us with the Oslo Agreements.

      Reply to Comment
      • aristeides

        Note that XYZ doesn’t say anything about Israelis making any concessions.

        The entire problem, right there.

        Reply to Comment
      • Peter H

        “”Maybe people like Livni and Barack Obama, who have spent years dealing directly with the Abbas and the Palestinians and who have miserably failed to get them any closer to making the concessions needed in order to reach a compromise peace, know more than the “peace camp-progressives” who post here at 972”

        That’s really not plausible to assert with a straight face after the publication of the Palestine Papers more than 2 years ago.

        Reply to Comment
        • Kolumn9

          Have you read the Palestine Papers? Because I have. The unmistakeable impression they leave is that the Palestinian negotiators are more interested in playing blame games than making peace. When presented with Olmert’s peace offer which they had no means of labeling insufficient the Palestinians’ biggest concern was how they could reject the offer without coming out as the ones doing the rejecting. Their ‘solution’ was to not reply.

          Do your own research.

          Reply to Comment
          • aristeides

            I’ve read the Palestine Papers. They show Livni rebuffing every Palestinian proposal by pointing out that Jews had already taken that land. No one who’s seen this evidence could possibly take Livni seriously as a negotiator.

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            Yeah, all 1700 documents are “showing Livni rebuffing every Palestinian proposal by pointing out that Jews had already taken that land.”

            You are such lousy liar. I suppose it’s because you are too stupid to even lie properly.

            Reply to Comment
    3. Jan

      What is most likely since Israel really doesn’t want a two state solution that would require them to give up a good part of the West Bank is a “two state solution” making Gaza the Palestinian state and all of the West Bank part of the Jewish state.

      As for the milion and a half Palestinians living in the West Bank they can stay but they will have to live under full fledged apartheid.

      Sadly Israel knows that her supporters in the US who say they believe in democracy will not cast one word of aspersion when Israel adopts apartheid, an apartheid far worse than that of South Africa.

      Should that happen Israel should not expect to ever have a peaceful day.

      Reply to Comment
    4. directrob

      At this moment, for an Israeli, it is utterly impossible to throw cold water on the prospects for peace.

      Reply to Comment
      • TobyR

        Correct. Outside of the “Israel, right or wrong!” crowd – to whom you could present a watermelon with a Star of David painted of it as a diplomat, and they would still applaud it – nobody believes that Livni, or anybody else in the current Israeli political establishment is serious about the 2SS anyway.

        Reply to Comment
    5. The Arab Peace Initiative has the advantage of being directly international, and possibly incorperating boarder security measures via Jordan and other States. But I think this just another word industry. Perhaps Livni is ballooning, in a very vague way, the prospect of unilateral withdrawal (sort of) west of the Wall. One former Shin Bet director, Ayalon, has suggested such a strategy as a “no partner” option. I would read both Livni and Ayalon as understanding that direct apartheid is ultimately unstable. In Ayalon’s case, he has said curtly that settlers east of the Wall should be removed with compensation; but he is not in the Knesset. The divide in the policy elite is, I think, not over Two State peace vs incorporation, but over how to handle the instability everyone predicts will happen. Since withdrawal leaves the prospect of rockets from the Bank, crushing apartheid is the majority de facto core opinion.

      Reply to Comment
      • XYZ

        The “Arab Peace Initiative”? What “Arab Peace Initiative”? Half of the Arab leaders who were in power when it was supposedly adopted (and never marketed) have been overthrown or assassinated. All of their successors are more or less aligned with radical Islam. HAMAS has come to power since it was adopted and they clearly reject it. So please stop throwing around this initiative. It was dead upon delivery and is now totally irrelevant.
        Be serious. When Abbas looks around and sees the mutual slaughter in Syria, Iraq, renewed instability in Lebanon, and the failure of Egypt, Libya and Tunisia to set up stable regimes, do you really think he believes he will get pan-Arab backing for making concessions to Israel, particularly on the right of return. The “peace process” is dead, Obama knows it, Livni knows it, teh Oslo “peace industry” knows it, only 972 “Progressvies” seem to have missed the news.

        Reply to Comment
        • I did say, XYZ, that the API was probably just another word industry.

          Now that the peace process is done we enter apartheid, annexation, and rebellion.

          Reply to Comment
          • XYZ

            No, we are entering a prolonged period of evolving modus vivendi. It seem most “progressives” completely ignore what is happening in the surrounding Arab world and only want to focus on the Israeli-Palestnian conflict in isolation because this makes them feel better. The Palestinians are better off economically than the populations in the surrounding Arab states (and everyone should work harder to improve this) and they see the fratricidal slaughter and rising religious extremism. I am sure this has all made a major impression on them.

            Reply to Comment
        • Scootalol

          I know that for some people, lumping “the Arab states” together is just a reflexive action… but really, you might want to have a closer look at Libya and TUnisia. And who caused the Iraq situation? Who’s hoping to add to the problems in Syria? Lebanon… Alright, got a point there, but Lebanon’s basically DESIGNED that way (thanks, France, you managed to trump your Haiti experiment there!) I can’t help but notice that it’s the same people who call for the overthrow of Arab regimes who then start using such overthrows as evidence why you can’t work with Arabs. Very strange.

          Reply to Comment
          • XYZ

            I know, I know, all the problems in the Arab world ARE SOMEBODY ELSE’S FAULT. Always. Colonialism, Zionism, Capitalism. Something, anything, but NEVER due to inherent flaws in Arab society. Just can’t be.

            Reply to Comment
          • leen

            Well, almost every Pro-Israeli argument has used the ‘deflect’ point. They never seem to compare Israel to the UK/Switzerland. I guess Israel fits in the league of the corrupt regimes more than liberal democracies.

            Reply to Comment
          • leen

            The deflection argument is in a way a really childish was to argue. It is as if a criminal was brough to trial for tresspassing and theft and his defense would be well atleast I am not like the other guy that came in your court yesterday and not only tresspassed and stole but also RAPED the women in the house. That isn’t going to get you off the hook for your crime for tresspassing and theft, you know.

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            More exact analogy would be that on the first day an Arab was tried for burglary, trespassing, rape and manslaughter, and only got a probation period, and on the next day a Jew is tried for trespassing and burglary and got 5 years sentence.

            Reply to Comment
          • Leen

            You must be really paranoid because I was using an unrelated analogies without assigning the crimes but you decided to make it about ethnic/nationalities.

            The point is you are not going to get off scot fee if you are say Rwanda and say yes okay but FRANCE supplied us the weapons and by the way Yugoslavia was way worse and let’s not forget Cambodia’s brutal dictatorship and massacre, oh and the Democratic republic of Congo is a thousand times worse than what we did. Oh and let’s not forget holocaust! Basically, it doesn’t make the Rwanda genocide any less horrifying or that they should be exempt from punishment.

            if you want to bring spotlight to the crimes of corrupt regimes and Saudi Arabia (please do, as I think they are despicable and the US is even more corrupt than I thought for supporting that an illiberal murderous regime), then please do, no one is holding you back. However you do realize this is a blog about palestine and ISrael, and therefore in general the talk is about palestine and Israel. Maybe you should submit an article about other murderous regimes and we can all talk about it. Otherwise your deflection tactic is getting really old.

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            You’ve written quite a lot, but the point you were trying to make is evading me even after reading your post form multiple times.

            question:
            How is any of mentioned genocides is connected to the I/P issue?

            Are you implying that Jews are/were conducting a genocide of Palestinian Arabs?

            Reply to Comment
          • Leen

            Nope, I was saying that comparing genocides doesn’t make it less horrifying. For instance, comparing the Rwandan genocide to the Holocaust (the Holocaust was on a much bigger scale and more deaths occured) doesn’t mean the Rwandan genocide is less horrifying nor should they be exempt from punishment.

            Therefore comparing Israel’s displacement and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians to other ethnic cleansings (that are either worse or not) does not mean Israel should be exempt from punishment, nor does it make it less horrifying.

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            >Therefore comparing Israel’s displacement and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians to other ethnic cleansings (that are either worse or not) does not mean Israel should be exempt from punishment, nor does it make it less horrifying.

            Punishment for ethnic cleansing conducted nearly 70 years ago?

            Well, you can have Shimon Peres…

            Reply to Comment
      • The Trespasser

        >The Arab Peace Initiative has the advantage of being directly international

        How could it be “inter-national” if it is proposed by one single nationality – Arabs?

        Reply to Comment
    6. aristeides

      “making concessions to Israel” again.

      Of course the “peace process” is dead, as long as Israelis aren’t ready to make the concession.

      Reply to Comment
      • The Trespasser

        The “peace process” is dead because Israelis are not willing to make the one single concession which is requested by Arabs – die.

        Such a disappointment, these evil Jooz.

        Reply to Comment
    7. Click here to load previous comments