Middle East ‘Peace Talks’

Reviving Palestinian Transfer

Avigdor Lieberman, the ultranationalist Israeli politician, holds the future course of politics in the Middle East in his holds…

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He was born in 1958 in Moldovia, one of the poorest and most obscure of the old Soviet republics. On leaving school, Mr Lieberman worked as a nightclub bouncer and a radio broadcaster in Baku. 

In 1978, he was lucky enough to leave the former Soviet Union and emigrate to Israel, where he served in the IDF, and then studied for a B.A. in International Relations and Political Science from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Lieberman was among  the founders of the Zionist Forum for Soviet Jewry, and a member of the Board of the Jerusalem Economic Corporation and the Secretary of the Jerusalem branch of the Histadrut Ovdim Le’umit. He joined the Likud party and served as Director-General of the Likud Movement from 1993-1996. Lieberman was then Director-General of the Prime Minister Mr Netanyahu’s Office (1996-1997). Lieberman also served as the editor of the Yoman Yisraeli newspaper. For a time, Lieberman was a member of the National Union Party (Ichud Leumi) party.

But the arrival of one million Russian-speaking immigrants after the Soviet Union’s collapse in 1991 created an immense opportunity for Mr Lieberman. This huge constituency was waiting for a party to represent their interests and, spotting his chance, he left Likud to found Yisrael Beiteinu (Israel Our Home) in 1999. Yisrael Beytenu advocates “the complete cutting of ties with Gaza and its separation from the West Bank”.

Avigdor Lieberman was elected to the Knesset in 1999, he served as a member of the Foreign Affairs & Defense Committee and State Control Committees, and as Chairman of the Israel-Moldova Parliamentary Friendship League.

In March 2001, Avigdor Lieberman was appointed Minister of National Infrastructures in the government of  Ariel Sharon. He resigned his post in March 2002.

He served as Minister of Transportation from February 2003 until June 2004.

In the government of Ehud Olmert, Avigdor Lieberman served as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Strategic Affairs from October 2006 until his resignation on January 16, 2008, where he was supposed to focus on the threat posed by Iranian nuclear weapons.

Lieberman’s party forced him to leave the government when Olmert began peace talks with the Palestinian Authority.

Lieberman rose to international prominence because of outspoken and often offensive and aggressive statements about Arabs and Palestinians. For example, in March of 2002, during the second Intifadah, Lieberman said “”if it were up to me I would notify the Palestinian Authority that tomorrow at ten in the morning we would bomb all their places of business in Ramallah, for example.” This caused some outrage, but at the end of March, Israel launched ‘Operation Defensive Shield’.

Lieberman advanced a peace plan under which Arab areas of Israel including Umm El Fahm would become part of a Palestinian state. Though many Israeli Arabs identify themselves as “Palestinians,” they nonetheless objected to this plan as racist. Only about 15% would be willing to live under Palestinian rule according to various surveys.

Lieberman questioned the loyalty of Israeli Arab politicians, some of whom openly sided with the Hezbollah in the Second Lebanon War in 2006 and with the Hamas during Operation Cast Lead in 2008/9. He called for denial of citizenship for those where are unwilling to take a loyalty oath.

In the elections of 2009, Lieberman’s aggressive approach and attacks on supposed disloyalty of Israeli Arabs won him support from Israelis. His support was especially strong in southern towns like Ashdod.  His great success was to mobilise Israelis who believe that concessions to the Palestinians lead nowhere – and events in Gaza have helped him. Yisrael Beiteinu received 15 mandates.

Since 2001 Lieberman proposes also to establish four townships in the occupied West Bank, hermetically sealed, which would be grouped the Palestinians. He sees it as a solution for the Palestinian citizens of Israel, who are more than one million, to move the vast majority of the group in tightly closed, self-administered areas.

Thus would arise a State ethnically homogeneous from the Mediterranean Sea until the Jordan, sheltering in its midst Palestinian “Bantustans”.

Avigdor Lieberman has been the subject of several police investigations, several of which are currently ongoing, for money laundering and allegations of bribery. According to Israeli journalists he spends a good deal of his time in the former USSR on business that is unaccounted for, and may involve illegal activities.

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November 10, 2013 – ‘Israeli cabinet approves Avigdor Lieberman’s return as foreign mininster’
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/israel/10439150/Israeli-cabinet-approves-Avigdor-Liebermans-return-as-foreign-mininster.html

November 12, 2013  – Israel plans ‘unprecedented’ settlement expansion, 20,000 new units in the West Bank:
http://mondoweiss.net/2013/11/unprecedented-settlement-expansion.html

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About kruitvat

I am working for the Belgian human rights association 'Werkgroep Morkhoven' which revealed the Zandvoort childporn case (88.539 victims). The case was covered up by the authorities. During the past years I have been really shocked by the way the rich countries of the western empire want to rule the world. One of my blogs: «Latest News Syria» (WordPress)/ Je travaille pour le 'Werkgroep Morkhoven', un groupe d'action qui a révélé le réseau pornographique d'enfants 'Zandvoort' (88.539 victims). Cette affaire a été couverte par les autorités. Au cours des dernières années, j'ai été vraiment choqué par la façon dont l'Occident et les pays riches veulent gouverner le monde. Un de mes blogs: «Latest News Syria» (WordPress)/ Ik werk voor de Werkgroep Morkhoven die destijds de kinderpornozaak Zandvoort onthulde (88.539 slachtoffers). Deze zaak werd door de overheid op een misdadige manier toegedekt. Gedurende de voorbije jaren was ik werkelijke geschokt door de manier waarop het rijke westen de wereld wil overheersen. Bezoek onze blog «Latest News Syria» (WordPress) ------- Photo: victims of the NATO-bombings on the Chinese embassy in Yougoslavia
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3 Responses to Middle East ‘Peace Talks’

  1. kruitvat says:

    Settlement plans derail Middle East peace talks
    Palestinian negotiators resign over plans for ‘largest ever’ build in West Bank
    http://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/middle-east/settlement-plans-derail-middle-east-peace-talks-1.1594009

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    On Those Middle East Peace Talks
    by PAUL LARUDEE
    The moment Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas agreed to send emissaries to Washington to discuss the resumption of 20-year-old peace talks, the objective of the talks was achieved. To anyone not in a coma, it is clear that these talks will not lead to peace, and in fact might not even lead to peace talks, merely to talks about resuming talks.
    http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/08/06/on-those-middle-east-peace-talks/

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    Twenty years since Oslo, US leadership has yielded endless ‘process’ with no ‘peace’ in sight
    http://mondoweiss.net/2013/09/twenty-years-since-oslo-us-leadership-has-yielded-endless-process-with-no-peace-in-sight.html

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    Will Avigdor Lieberman’s return as Israeli Foreign Minister scupper Talks with Palestinians?

    In 1998, Lieberman called for the flooding of Egypt by bombing the Aswan Dam in retaliation for Egyptian support for Yasser Arafat.

    In 2001, as Minister of National Infrastructure, Lieberman proposed that the West Bank be divided into four cantons, with no central Palestinian government and no possibility for Palestinians to travel between the cantons.

    In 2002, the Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth quoted Lieberman in a Cabinet meeting saying that the Palestinians should be given an ultimatum that “At 8am we’ll bomb all the commercial centers … at noon we’ll bomb their gas stations … at two we’ll bomb their banks …”

    http://www.juancole.com/2013/11/liebermans-minister-palestinians.html

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    Netanyahu, Lieberman join forces ahead of elections
    PM, foreign minister announce Likud-Yisrael Beiteinu merger in special press conference; ‘Joining forces will give us the power to defend Israel and generate social and economic change,’ Netanyahu says

    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4297100,00.html

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  2. kruitvat says:

    JOE Lieberman

    2007-11-06

    JOU Lieberman’s War

    Neoconservative godfather Norman Podhoretz has written that “as an American and as a Jew” he prays that President George W. Bush will attack Iran.

    Unlike people who subscribe to the view that a war with Iran would be a catastrophe for the United States, Podhoretz reportedly has regular access to the White House to promote his insightful historical analysis. But as Podhoretz is not in government and he controls no carrier groups, he has only a limited capability to bring about his dream of an emasculated Iran to take its place alongside an emasculated Iraq and a presumably soon-to-be emasculated Syria.

    But while Podhoretz cannot start a war alone, there are plenty of others in the government, including Vice President Dick Cheney and the National Security Council’s Elliott Abrams, who share his enthusiasm for a preemptive attack on Iran. The leader of Congress’ Iran hawks is undoubtedly Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut. Lieberman, currently an independent, has long been regarded as a “conservative Democrat,” but his voting record reveals that his conservatism is largely limited to foreign policy and more specifically to the Middle East, where he is a strong and uncritical defender of Israel. When he successfully ran for reelection as an independent in Connecticut in 2006, he accused his Democratic opponent Ned Lamont of not being a forceful enough advocate for Israel, claiming that Lamont was “surrounded by people who are either naïve or are isolationists or, frankly, some more explicitly against Israel.” A former senior official of the pro-Israel lobby AIPAC also endorsed that view, stating that “the pro Israel community … will stick with Joe Lieberman.”

    Lieberman has never counted the costs to the United States of pursuing Israeli objectives in the Middle East. He continues to be a vocal supporter of the invasion and occupation of Iraq, frequently mentioning Saddam’s alleged links to terrorists and invoking a variation of the White House line that if the U.S. does not fight terrorists in Iraq it will be necessary to fight them in New Haven. In 1998 he co-sponsored the Iraq Liberation Act, which made regime change in Baghdad official U.S. policy. His regular forays to Baghdad have convinced him that Iraq has been transformed from “primitive, killing tyranny” into “modern, self-governing, self-securing nationhood.” He saw clear evidence by 2005 of the democratization of Iraq: “Progress is visible … there are many more cars on the streets, satellite television dishes on the roofs, and literally millions more cell phones.” More recently, he enthusiastically supported last summer’s Israeli invasion of Lebanon and has tried to make Syria the newest member of the axis of evil, claiming without any evidence that it is Syria “through which up to 80 percent of the Iraq-bound extremists transit. Indeed, even terrorists from countries that directly border Iraq travel by land via Syria to Iraq, instead of directly from their home countries, because of the permissive environment for terrorism that the Syrian government has fostered.”

    Lieberman has also been front and center in taking on the thorny problem of Iran, promoting a military response as the most effective option. In an April 2006 interview in the Jerusalem Post, he freely discussed using military force to disarm Iran, noting that the U.S. had learned a lesson from both Osama bin Laden and Hitler that “sometimes when people say really extreme things … they may actually mean it.” In December 2006, Lieberman followed up by explaining that he opposed direct talks with Iran because it would be like going to “your local fire department asking a couple of arsonists to help put out the fire. These people are flaming the fire. They are extremists.” On Dec. 29, 2006, Lieberman wrote a Washington Post op-ed in which he explained the situation in the Middle East in simple terms: “On one side are extremists and terrorists led and sponsored by Iran, on the other moderates and democrats supported by the United States.”

    On June 10, 2007, Lieberman told Face the Nation, “I think we’ve got to be prepared to take aggressive military action against the Iranians to stop them from killing Americans in Iraq. And to me that would include a strike into … over the border into Iran … where they are training these people coming back into Iraq to kill our soldiers.” He later stated that “By some estimates, they have killed as many as 200 American soldiers,” and, for good measure, he added that if Iran is not willing to live “according to the international rule of law and stopping, for instance, their nuclear weapons development, we can’t just talk to them.” On the following day, Weekly Standard editor William Kristol said “It sure does,” after being asked if the Lieberman statement would make it easier for the White House to consider an attack against Iran.

    On July 6, 2007, Lieberman wrote an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal in which he claimed, “The Iranian government, by its actions, has all but declared war on us and our allies in the Middle East. American now has a solemn responsibility to utilize the instruments of our national power to convince Tehran to change its behavior,” employing “credible force” because Iran is bringing “about the death of American service members in Iraq.” He described, without providing any evidence, how the “Iranian government has been using the Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah to train and organize Iraqi extremists, who are responsible in turn for the murder of American service members.” He called Iran’s role as “hostile and violent” and complained that Tehran’s “fanatical government” demonstrates “expansionistic, extremist behavior.” After again referring to Iran’s “fanatical regime,” he cited “attacks on American soldiers” as a reason why Iran “must be confronted head on.”

    Lieberman was the co-sponsor of the Kyl-Lieberman amendment to the recently passed defense appropriations bill, which passed by a Senate vote of 76 to 22 on Sept. 26, 2007. The amendment stated that “the murder of members of the United States Armed Forces by a foreign government or its agents is an intolerable act of hostility against the United States.” Lieberman’s press release on the subject, dated July 11, 2007, accused Iran of “murdering our troops” and quoted Sen. John Kyl, who blamed Iran for “actively supporting terrorists who are killing our troops in Iraq.” When the Kyl-Lieberman amendment was debated in the Senate, James Webb of Virginia said, “At best, it’s a deliberate attempt to divert attention from a failed diplomatic policy. At worst, it could be read as a backdoor method of gaining congressional validation for military action, without one hearing and without serious debate.” Webb also called the amendment “Dick Cheney’s fondest pipe dream” and noted correctly that the attempt to categorize the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary guard as a “foreign terrorist organization” would mandate military action against Iran: “What do we do with terrorist organizations? … We attack them.”

    There is hardly any point in identifying Lieberman’s numerous errors in fact in an attempt to refute his assertions, as he is ideologically driven and not interested in the truth. His sloganeering is more in the nature of propaganda than a careful consideration of policy options or the U.S.’ national interests. He twists and embroiders the facts to enable him to rule out speaking to Iran while at the same time blaming it for all of the problems in the region. Lieberman also disregards the reality in Iraq, which is that Iran is deeply embedded there as a result of the United States’ invasion, which removed Tehran’s traditional rival and empowered the Shia.

    Lieberman repeats over and over again that American soldiers are being killed by Iran. Apparently, the neocons have found it too difficult to make the case that Iran is actually seeking a nuclear weapon. That American soldiers are being killed through the active intervention of the Iranian government is in any event debatable, and most of the international media appears to believe that the allegations lack hard evidence. That many Americans do not see the need to attack Iran does not faze Sen. Joseph Isadore Lieberman, a man of self-proclaimed principle who obviously has clearer vision and knows better than his fellow countrymen what is right and what is wrong. If Iran turns into a major catastrophe not only for the U.S. and Iran but also for the entire region, will Lieberman take the blame as a principal enabler of the war so desired by Norman Podhoretz? If Lieberman’s lack of contrition over Iraq is anything to go by, almost certainly not.

    http://www.antiwar.com/orig/giraldi.php?articleid=11858

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