He’s been called the most investigated politician in Israel – and that’s saying something! But after enduring years of others sifting through the bowels of his political history, Avigdor Lieberman was unanimously acquitted of corruption charges last Wednesday. On Monday, Nov. 11, Liberman was reinstated as Israel’s Foreign Minister.
Liberman had been charged with suspicion of fraud and breach of trust.
The vote in the knesset to reinstate Liberman took place Monday afternoon. The vote was 62 to 17. Members voting against the Yisrael Beiteinu chair included members of the leftist Labor and Meretz parties, as well as Arabs from the Balad party.
Balad leader Jamal Zahalke said bringing back Liberman meant bringing back “the bad spirit of racism, fascism and mafia to the Knesset.”
Zahalke frequently speaks out against what he calls Israel’s system of “Apartheid.” The Israeli Arab received three degrees from Israel’s Hebrew University, serves in the Israeli Knesset and is the leader of a political party in Israel. Some Apartheid.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu had left the Foreign Ministry’s top position open since Lieberman stepped down in December, 2012, after Liberman was indicted on graft charges. Liberman served as Israel’s Foreign Minister since April, 2009.
Frequently referred to by many in the mainstream media as a “hard-liner,” a “hawk,” or other pejorative terms, Liberman is likely to confirm that view if he, as is expected, refuses to agree to still further concessions and appeasement efforts towards the Palestinian Arabs.
Liberman’s propensity for straight talk about the Palestinian Arab leadership is certain to raise hackles with the U.S. administration which has been trying desperately to browbeat Israel into overlooking the terrorist creed of its so-called “peace partner.”
About the Author: Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the US correspondent for The Jewish Press. She is a recovered lawyer who previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools.
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