Meretz chairwoman, MK Zehava Galon, launched a sharp attack against Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Saturday, essentially blaming him for the failure of the peace process.
"Netanyahu's remarks about striving for peace," Galon asserted during a cultural event in Be'er Sheva, "are hollow, empty, and serve to to continue the policy of conflict management that Netanyahu has promoted for a decade."
Galon's comments come on the backdrop of statements made by Netanyahu at the presentation of his government late Thursday night.
"We will continue to promote a diplomatic settlement while upholding the vital interests and security of the citizens of Israel," Netanyahu said as he swore in the 20 new ministers of his fourth government.
"If he would have at least informed the Knesset," Galon continued, "that Israel would adopt the Arab Peace Initiative as part of its plans for general regional peace…this would have improved Israel's image, which is being portrayed as a rejector of peace."
The Arab Peace Initiative, first proposed by the Arab League in 2002, was an attempt to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by normalizing relations between Israel and the entire Arab region in exchange for a withdrawal from lands beyond the 1949 Armistice Lines.
"In addition," Galon argued, "[stating an intention to adopt the initiative] would have prevented US President Barack Obama's remarks that it is not possible to achieve a diplomatic agreement in the coming year."
In an interview with Al Arabiya on Friday, Obama asserted that "given the makeup of the Netanyahu government, and given the challenges I think that exist for President Abbas," a peace deal in the next year seems impossible.