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FM Liberman Says Israeli Policy Needs a New Focus: ‘Abbas Must Go’

Israel's Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman with Catherine Ashton, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy of the European Union. The FM has requested the Quartet's help in ousting PA Presiden Mahmoud Abbas.

Israel's Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman with Catherine Ashton, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy of the European Union. The FM has requested the Quartet's help in ousting PA Presiden Mahmoud Abbas.
Photo Credit: Kobi Gideon / FLASH90

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Israel’s problem with the Palestinians is that it has not established a clear strategy, or any strategy at all for that matter, regarding its most intimate neighbors, “and that is why we are not leading any course of action except merely responding,” argued on Thursday Israel Beitenu leader and Israel’s Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman.

“All we try and achieve with the Palestinians is to keep the quiet at all costs,” he complained.

Liberman’s contribution would be to remove the current president of the PA, Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas):

“Between Abu Mazen and Khaled Mashaal there is a clear division of labor. Khaled Mashaal leads the armed terror and Abu Mazen the diplomatic terror. This is the division of labor and all of Abu Mazen’s initiatives in the international arena point to diplomatic terror: The Durban Conference, accusations that Israel is an “Apartheid” state, filing alleged war crimes charges at The Hague against the IDF, the creation of an investigative commission at the UN Human Rights Council, boycotts against Israel, Israeli academia and Israeli products, unilateralism at the United Nations and UNESCO and the charges against Israel of stealing natural resources from the Palestinians. All of these are examples of blatant diplomatic terror that is led by Abu Mazen himself.”

Wait, there’s more:

“Other examples of this, are calls for a square named after the ‘Engineer’ Yehiya Ayyash and a street named after Dalal Mughrabi. Both were vicious murderers responsible for the deaths of hundreds of innocent women, children and infants.

“In addition, Abu Mazen organized a homecoming celebration for the terrorists released in the Shalit deal, including those responsible for the murders in the Sbarro Restaurant and the Park Hotel in Netanya, who he called ‘freedom fighters’ – and gave them a financial reward of $5,000 and an apartment.”

In Liberman’s view, “These facts speak for themselves.”

But even if Israel were to forgive Abu Mazen all of his underhanded tactics, and decided to trust him with her security, the problem remains that, according to Liberman, “Abu Mazen is unable to deliver the goods.”

It’s been several years since the Fatah has lost control over Gaza, where the ruling government is sworn to eliminate the Jewish state. But Abu Mazan’s legitimacy is problematic in the PA as well.

“He continuously postpones the elections for the presidency, the parliament and municipal elections for years,” argued Liberman. Therefore, “there is also a clear understanding that in Judea and Samaria he also has no real control. He has no legitimacy, and even if we were to sign an agreement with Abu Mazen, it is clear that any Palestinian government that arises after him will claim that the agreement has no support and will not be recognized. They will then say: What he received, we received and now we will start again from scratch.”

Liberman, who has written to the Quartet of Mideast mediators – the U.S., the UN, the EU and Russia – this week, calling for new elections in the Palestinian Authority in order to replace Abbas, and accusing the Palestinian Authority of being ‘a despotic government riddled with corruption,’” says it’s time Israel start to “initiate and lead courses of actions, and not remain passive and only react to the initiatives of others.”

Abbas’ spokesman, Nabil Abu Rdeneh, said Liberman’s statement to the Quartet was an “incitement to violence” that “doesn’t contribute in any way to an atmosphere of peace.” He said Israel and the international community must condemn the letter.

But then, elections for new Palestinian leadership were scheduled for 2010, and have been delayed because it’s quite possible Hamas could take over in Judea and Samaria as well..

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu disassociate himself from the Liberman letter. An official in the prime minister’s office told the AP: “While Abbas has created difficulties for restarting negotiations, the government of Israel remains committed to continuing efforts to restart a dialogue with the Palestinians.”

Not exactly a ringing endorsement…

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About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.


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