- Al Gore’s climate-changers at EPA hearings foiled by cool temperatures
- Army’s 3-D printed bombs will create ‘a whole new universe’ of deadly capabilities
- Hamas calls on Hezbollah to join in fight against Israel
- Senators to FIFA, others: Don’t reward Putin with the World Cup in 2018
- U.S. condemns Israeli shelling of shelter in Gaza
- Obamacare shoots premiums up by 88 percent in California
- Chicken pox outbreak puts illegal immigrant facility on lockdown
- Obama to Republicans: ‘Stop just hatin’ all the time’
- U.S. chemical sites vulnerable despite millions spent on security: Congress
- Driverless cars to hit the British streets by 2015
Livni shuns Netanyahu coalition offer
Question of the Day
JERUSALEM | Israel edged closer to a government of hawks and right-wing religious parties Friday after Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu failed to persuade his chief moderate rival to join a coalition that could help avert a showdown with the Obama administration.
Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni refuses to sign up unless Mr. Netanyahu openly endorses the vision of dividing land into separate Jewish and Palestinian states.
“Two states for two peoples is not an empty slogan - it is the only way Israel can keep its existence as a Jewish, democratic state,” Mrs. Livni said after their meeting. “Just as I cannot accept vague statements, neither can the world. This is a matter of principle, not semantics.”
Mr. Netanyahu said he had made Mrs. Livni a generous offer of partnership, adding that he intended to promote the diplomatic process with the Palestinians. Nevertheless, he said he encountered a “complete rejection of unity from Ms. Livni.”
The breakdown in their talks came as President Obama’s Mideast envoy George Mitchell was in the region meeting with Israeli and Palestinian leaders.
Mrs. Livni did not shut the door completely on an agreement, and Mr. Netanyahu still has five weeks to cobble together a government. The two deadlocked in the Feb. 10 election, but Mr. Netanyahu was appointed to form a coalition because he had greater support from the elected lawmakers.
Mr. Netanyahu can form a hard-line government that will give him a 65-seat majority in the 120-seat parliament. But that means virtually any of his partners could bring down the government in a dispute. A centrist government with Mrs. Livni also would help Mr. Netanyahu ward off international pressure and avoid a clash with a U.S. president who has promised to become “aggressively” involved in pursuing Mideast peace.
Mrs. Livni, who heads the centrist Kadima party and served as chief negotiator with the Palestinians, supports the formation of a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Mr. Netanyahu does not.
Diplomatic activity continued Friday, with European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana touring Gaza. He was the highest ranking European official to visit the territory since it was overrun by Hamas in June 2007.
Mr. Solana did not meet with representatives of Hamas, boycotted internationally as a terror group. The international community has demanded the group recognize Israel and renounce violence, conditions it has refused.
On Monday, international donors will meet in Egypt for a conference on Gaza’s reconstruction. The Palestinians are seeking $2.8 billion. The EU’s executive office, the European Commission, said Friday it was earmarking $556 million for the Palestinians in 2009, though it was not clear how much would go to Gaza. The U.S. is expected to pledge $900 million.
- Geraldo Rivera: Matt Drudge 'doing his best to stir up a civil war'
- Lois Lerner hated conservatives, new emails show
- Catholic League slams Obama: 'Do Christian lives mean so little to you?'
- HURT: Impeaching Obama is a losing strategy for the GOP
- CARSON: Rudderless U.S. foreign policy
- Patent workers paid to exercise, shop, do chores: report
- Federal judge grants 90-day stay in D.C. gun case
- Fla. mom arrested for allowing 7-year-old son to walk to park alone
- Senate overcomes first filibuster of Obama's border-spending bill
- Obama thanks Muslims for 'building the very fabric of our nation'
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world