Knesset member Gila Gamliel of the Likud Party is unmoved by the resumption of the diplomatic process with the Palestinians, which was frozen for years. In her Knesset office at noon on July 30, the coalition coordinator of the Finance Committee is sleep-deprived after nightlong voting sessions on approval of the state budget. Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, the government minister in charge of the negotiations, is in Washington at the moment at the behest of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, to launch the current round of talks. But Gamliel, who was in the past one of the Likud rebels — the party militant group which opposed the Gaza disengagement — does not evince a scintilla of concern.
It is not that she has changed her ideological view of the world. Now — as then — she does not believe in a Palestinian state, although the head of her party committed himself to a two-state solution in his 2009 Bar-Ilan speech. She labels as “immoral” the government decision of July 28 to free Palestinian prisoners in advance of the renewed talks. Gamliel does not believe the moves being plotted in Washington are serious, and she is not the only one in the Likud. This is the typical mindset of many of her friends these days — indifference stemming from their assessment that chances are slim of reaching an agreement with the Palestinians within the nine months allotted by the Americans to negotiations.