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Livni praises Obama, blasts Netanyahu

May 20, 2011 | 11:05 am

Israeli opposition leader Tzipi Livni praised President Obama’s Middle East policy speech and warned that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was opening a rift with the United States by criticizing it.

“An American president that supports a two-state solution represents the Israeli interest and is not anti-Israeli,” Livni, the leader of Israel’s Kadima Party, said on Friday. “President Obama’s call to start negotiations represents Israel’s interests.”

She said that “a prime minister that harms the relationship with the U.S. over something unsubstantial is harming Israel’s security and deterrence.” According to The Jerusalem Post, Livni said that such a prime minister should resign. “I am saying this loud and clear,” she said.

Her stance was criticized by Otniel Schneller, a Knesset member from her Kadima Party. “Obama’s speech has placed before Israeli society and its representatives the challenge of unity and national agreement,” Schneller said. “The political disagreements and aspiration of the opposition parties should not overpower their responsibility for the future of the state.”

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