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Tobin Harshaw

Netanyahu’s Opposition Keeps the Two-State Solution Alive

A Q&A with Knesset opposition leader Tzipi Livni on Trump, Hamas and the threat of Iran. 

The loyal opposition.

The loyal opposition.

Photographer: Jac Guez/AFP/Getty Images

The political acumen of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has left the bloc opposed to his right-wing policies out of power for nearly a decade. But that doesn’t mean that its members have lost heart. A perfect example is Tzipi Livni, the official opposition leader in the Knesset, which in Israel’s unicameral system makes her the rough equivalent of Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer combined. Her path has not been straight: she started her political career as a member of Netanyahu’s Likud Party, then followed her mentor Ariel Sharon to help form Kadima, and in 2012 forged another new party, Hatnua (“The Movement”). But one thing has been constant: her support for the 1993 Oslo Accords and a two-state solution to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.

I interviewed her several weeks ago in Manhattan, before she addressed the Israel Policy Forum, a centrist pro-Israel group that also advocates the two-state solution. Here is a lightly edited transcript of our discussion: