Likud Pushes Bill to Prevent Peace Deals With Palestinians

Palestinians Doubt Livni Will Be Able to Make Peace

by Jason Ditz, February 20, 2013

Just one day after Tzipi Livni was unveiled as the upcoming Israeli coalition’s peace negotiator, her power is set to be greatly hamstrung by a new bill moving through the Israeli Knesset and backed by Likud MPs opposed to the Livni appointment.

The bill would bar the government from conducting any internal debates let alone voting on any potential peace deals with any other nations in the Middle East, or the Palestinian Authority, without an explicit referendum held nationwide that endorses the pact.

Though in theory this leaves Livni free to negotiate, it effectively makes those negotiations meaningless since she won’t have any authority to reach any deal, and any draft agreements she does reach will have to be put to a formal vote with an Israeli public polls say is largely ambivalent about the process in the first place.

While Palestinian negotiators had seen Livni as backing a deal in the past, they doubt she can have any real influence given the likely structure of the next government, and many see her decision to join a far-right coalition as a betrayal of her past support for a deal.

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