The truth about our foreign minister – and this is no scoop, it’s old news everywhere, but a lot of people have conveniently forgotten it – is that he used to belong to Kach. He is a one-time member of a murderous anti-Arab movement, one whose ideology is summed up in the chant “death to the Arabs,” one that was banned here and is listed by the US and EU as a terrorist organization.
That was back in 1979, when Lieberman was studying at Hebrew University. “I made out his membership card,” said former Kach general manager Yossi Dayan. “I stapled his photo to a card that said ‘Kach’ and had our symbol on it.”
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In an unusually harsh criticism, an Israeli Minister on Monday said the Jewish state “does not take orders from Barack Obama” after the US President renewed support for the Annapolis agreement and the stalled roadmap plan for Israeli-Palestinian peace.
Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan of the Likud party also praised hardliner Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who last week said that Israel was not bound by the 2007 Annapolis talks.
In an interview with Israel Radio, the Kadima chairwoman said she had expected Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to announce that he did not share Lieberman’s expressed sentiments, and was disappointed that such clarification was not made.
Meanwhile, outgoing prime minister Ehud Olmert said on Thursday that the Israeli-Palestinian peace process kick-started in Annapolis bolstered international recognition of Israel. Speaking at a farewell event organized by his Kadima party, Olmert responded to Lieberman’s disparaging that Israel was not bound by the framework of the U.S.-sponsored summit.
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As Israeli commentator Ofer Shelah put it: “In the face of enemies who have opted for a strategy of attrition and attacking from a distance, Israel will present itself as a ‘crazy country’, the kind that will respond (albeit after a great deal of time) in a massive and unfettered assault, with no proportion to the amount of casualties it has endured.”
Certainly, there was massive bombing of Gaza; some 1,300 Palestinians lives were lost, many civilians.
From Israel’s point of view, did it work? The answer must be, only partially.
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The chasm between Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu and Likud MK and chief party rival Silvan Shalom is growing ever wider Tuesday after a meeting scheduled to resolve the row over the latter’s role in the next government was postponed indefinitely.
Hours before Netanyahu’s government is to be sworn in at the Knesset in Jerusalem, it is unclear if and when the two will meet to patch up their differences.
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Israel Beiteinu on Tuesday denied reports that Prime Minister-designate Binyamin Netanyahu and Avigdor Lieberman had agreed that if the latter is charged with any crime and forced to leave the Foreign Ministry, the portfolio would go to the Likud, warning that if that were to happen, the party would leave the government.
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The addition of the Labor Party solves everybody’s problem. If the social democrats are joining the government, all this talk of fascism must be nonsense. Obviously, Liberman has been misunderstood. He has been misrepresented. He is not a fascist at all, God forbid. He is not a racist. He is just a traditional right-wing demagogue who exploits the primitive emotions of the masses to garner votes. Which elected politician could object to that?
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“Mr Netanyahu will present Tuesday night his cabinet for a Knesset [parliament] vote,” the official was quoted as saying.
Netanyahu will preside over a 69-seat coalition in the 120-member parliament that leans heavily to the right.
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MK Yisrael Katz is rumored to be the leading candidate for the Transportation Ministry, MK Gilad Erdan is likely to be named to the Environmental Protection Ministry, MK Moshe Kahlon is in the lead for the Communications Ministry and MK Limor Livnat for the Science, Culture and Sport’s Ministry.
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Sources close to Netanyahu said he had no intention of appointing someone who would become acting prime minister in case of emergency. That post, and finance minister, are precisely the positions Silvan Shalom had sought; Shalom has communicated to Netanyahu over the past few days that he would prefer no ministerial post at all if Netanyahu does not keep his promise to appoint Shalom to a senior position. It is believed Netanyahu intends to appoint Shalom as his vice premier and minister for regional development, or minister for economic peace and deputy prime minister, hoping this satisfies Shalom.
For full article, visit http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1074818.html
“The leaders of Israel’s major parties are almost interchangeable: even their language is the same, archaic and confrontational. Why then the panic over the future of the peace process. As far as Gaza is concerned, it matters little whether the over 1,400 people killed in 22 days were blown up by a Likud revisionist, a Labour dove or a Kadima peacemaker. This, though, is something an envoy like Blair doesn’t seem to understand.”
For full article, visit http://palestinechronicle.com/view_article_details.php?id=14953
“We Europeans are insisting that whatever the weighting is in the two governments (Israeli and Palestinian), the creation of a two-state solution must stand first and foremost,” German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said.