OneVoice, the grassroots movement that “aims to amplify the voice of Israeli and Palestinian moderates,” has run many an interesting event since its establishment in 2002. Last week it ran one of the most innovative to date — a discussion, held in the West Bank settlement of Ariel, with students on prospects for a two-state solution. This was followed on Tuesday with an event that cemented OneVoice’s emerging reputation as the peace organization that is reaching the Israeli mainstream — a discussion on the future of the two-state solution at Tel Aviv University, headlined by Kadima leader Tzipi Livni.
The Tel Aviv event provided an interesting insight in to the sharp differences between Livni and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, even since the latter has embraced the two-state solution. The big bone of contention, it was clear from Livni’s comments, is Netanyahu’s idea of “economic peace.” Livni claimed that “those politicians who thought that the world would accept an ‘economic peace’ but not the real thing are finding out that no such thing exists.” She added:
Any attempt to create solutions that are not leading to the end of the conflict is a historical mistake on behalf of Israel. Any postponement or an idea about a [Palestinian] state in temporary borders would leave the conflict standing and lead to further weakening of Israel’s positions. This has nothing to do with Israel’s interests.
… When Israel only says “no” and doesn’t present its formula to ending the conflict — the world will not stand by its side. There is no party that is more or less committed to security — this is not a political matter.