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December 28, 2014 / 6 Tevet, 5775
 
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Avigdor Liberman’

Foreign Ministry Summons Swedish Ambassador to Jerusalem

Sunday, October 5th, 2014

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has summoned Sweden’s ambassador to Israel to Jerusalem in the wake of the statement by Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven this weekend that his government will recognize the Palestinian Authority as a sovereign country.

In a statement issued Sunday, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman said that he “regrets that the new prime minister was quick to issue statements regarding the position of Sweden on recognition of a Palestinian state. He apparently has not yet had sufficient time to study the matter and to understand that it is the Palestinians who have for the past 20 years been an obstacle to reaching an agreement with Israel.”

Liberman added that “Prime Minister Stefan Löfven must understand that no declaration and no measure by an external party can serve as a substitute for direct negotiations between the parties and a solution that will be part of an overall arrangement between Israel and the entire Arab world.

“If what concerns the Prime Minister of Sweden in his inaugural address is the situation in the Middle East, he would better focus on the more urgent problems in the region, such as the daily mass murder taking place in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere in the region.”

Sweden’s prime minister told lawmakers Friday that formal recognition of the entity as a sovereign nation is a statement to present the “two state” solution as fact.

Muslims account for nearly 10 percent of Sweden’s population and the country has accepted nearly 100,000 refugees this year alone from Iraq and Syria. It is no coincidence that in Sweden, as in other European nations, the overwhelming Muslim demographic in leftist parties tends to tilt government policies in favor of the Palestinian Authority.

Turkish-born Mehmet Kaplan was recently appointed to be Sweden’s new Minister of Urbanization, according to Iran’s semi-official FARS news agency.

Kaplan was among those arrested for attempting to breach Israel’s maritime blockade of Gaza in a “humanitarian aid” flotilla of six ships in May 2010. He was present on the Turkish IHH-sponsored Mavi Marmara vessel, which when searched was found to be carrying no aid items whatsoever and instead bore armed terror activists primed and ready for battle.

Minister Gidon Saar Unexpectedly Announces Resignation

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

Internal Affairs Minister of Israel, MK Gidon Sa’ar (Likud) has announced he is temporarily leaving politics. Saar, age 47, is resigning both his ministerial and Knesset positions, effective right after the holidays.

He made the announcement at a pre-Rosh Hashana toast for 1000 Likud activists at Kfar Hamaccabiah in Ramat Gan, surprising those present, and shocking the Israeli political landscape.

Saar made a point to add that he is not resigning from the Likud party.

Saar says he wants to devote more time to his family. His wife, Geula Even, is a TV news anchor for Channel 1.

Saar’s quitting will significantly affect the balance between the parties.

Despite the breakup between the Likud and Avigdor Liberman’s Yisrael Beitenu, the next person up to enter the Knesset on the join list is Leon Letinitzky of the Yisrael Beitenu party, a source in the Yisrael Beitenu party told JewishPress.com.

As a result, the Likud will drop to 18 seats, making it the second largest party after Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid (19).

Yisrael Beitenu will go up one, to 13 seats, putting it one seat ahead of HaBayit HaYehudi.

What this does to the election fever already in the air is anyone’s guess.

Lieberman: Kill Hamas Leaders if Soldiers’ Body Parts not Returned

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman wants the government to order the IDF to assassinate Hamas leaders in Gaza if they do not return to Israel the body parts of fallen soldiers Lt. Hadar Goldin and Sgt. Doron Shaul, who were buried with whatever body parts were able to be retrieved.

Lieberman, speaking to mayors in southern Israel, the area that has taken the brunt of Hamas terror since the expulsion of Jews and withdrawal of the IDF from Gaza in 2005, said that ”we have to get rid of Hamas.”

He will get little argument from most quarters. It’s a great idea, but the government has been unable or to scared to do so, and even if it did,  eradicating Hamas is useless without a “day after” pill.

His latest brainstorm, the third in less than month, is to assassinate Ismail Haniyeh and Moahmmed Dief. Haniyeh officially no longer is prime minister because Hamas and its rival terror faction Fatah, headed by Mahmoud Abbas, pulled off a sleight-of-hand whereby Hamas and Fatah declared a unity pact that makes supposed civilian “technocrats” members of the government and placates the United States, which officially considers Hamas an outlawed terrorist group. So what if Hamas gives orders to technocrats?

Lieberman, like almost every other Israeli, is not so dumb as to swallow that position, but his solutions to the problem of Hamas do not put him ahead of the class.

How can it be that Israel, with the best army in the Middle East and one of the best in the world, cannot defeat a motley crew of 26,000 terrorists?

Just kill every single one of them. Nice idea, if it would work.

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri called Lieberman’s threats, calling them “ridiculous.”

Similar to his latest solution, Lieberman’s previous inspirations have raised the same question of  what he would say if he were to lead  the first tank into Gaza and hunt down all the murderers.

When the war began last month, Lieberman opined that Israel should simply take complete control of Gaza. Interior Minister Gideon Saar has suggested that Israel re-establish Jewish communities in Gaza, giving Israel an online presence. That also would help the economy in Gaza, and it might happen one day. But not today. Or tomorrow. Or this year.

Taking over Gaza would be the best solution for Gazans. Like it or not, they enjoyed their best society in decades when Israel took over Gaza in the Six-Day War in 1967. The flourishing economy rotted when the intifada began in the 1980s, and it has been downhill ever since. Hamas has trampled on civil liberties, has employed children to build tunnels for terror, and it killed many of the workers for ”knowing too much” about the locations. It has made life miserable for the few surviving Christians, and it has been well-documented that Hamas has bombed its own civilians whom it used as human shields.

Life under Israel would be great for Gaza. It also is the last thing Israel wants right now.

It would be the last thing Lieberman would want if he were to jump in the first tank into Gaza and absorb anti-tank missiles.

If he were to survive, he and tens of thousands of other soldiers would remain in Gaza for a few months, if not years, to keep all of the other jihadists from making trouble,

And there is UNRWA, which has perpetuated the miserable and hopeless lives of Gazans by declaring them to be “refugees,” just like a few million others in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon Iraq and other countries.

So perhaps taking over Gaza is not such a smart idea, at least not this year, but Lieberman then came up with the aberration of letting the United Nations take over.

Lieberman insisted to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, “A U.N. mandate over Gaza Strip is a possible option for Israel to rid itself off the headache of Gaza and pass the mission of demilitarization of the strip to the United Nations.”

Liberman Advocates for UN Control Over Gaza

Monday, August 4th, 2014

Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman is advocating for an international force to take control over Gaza.

Liberman told a session of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Monday morning (Aug. 4) that Operation Protective Edge is far from over – and that when it does end, there must be a decision made about the disposition of the region.

“There are three options on the table,” said Liberman. “Destroying Hamas, a diplomatic arrangement, or limbo, where they fire and we respond, which is where we were and where we may be heading again now… but in my opinion, the third option is not relevant. The administration of normal country cannot be abandoned to the whims of a terrorist organization,” he said.

As far as Israel is concerned, Liberman pointed out, the goal is to return quiet to the country, eliminate the threat of rocket fire and prevent Hamas from resuming control over Gaza – or anywhere else, for that matter.

“We saw a UN force work well in Kosovo,” Liberman told journalists, “so I think we should consider this option for Gaza… The international community has always demanded that Israel return to the 1967 lines and dismantle communities — in the case of Gaza we did that and destroyed all the towns. What did we get in return? [We got] 18,000 missiles and rockets. We need to wake up from that delusion, that returning to the ‘67 borders is going to bring peace and stability.”

On the heels of Liberman’s briefing with the media, Hamas was already firing rockets at Israel in a barrage of Qassam fire aimed at Gaza Belt communities near the Gaza border, despite another humanitarian cease fire having begun two hours earlier, at 10 am.

Liberman: World Must Support ‘Protective Edge’

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman sent a letter Thursday to his colleagues enlisting their support for the current military operation to reign in rocket fire aimed at Israeli civilians. 

The text of Libeman’s letter is featured below.

 

Dear Colleague,

As you are probably aware, Israel this week began a military operation in Gaza, in response to ongoing Hamas rocket fire. The latest round of rocket fire began June 12th, the day that three Israeli teenagers were abducted and murdered. The Hamas shooting escalated significantly June 30th, even before the bodies of the teens were found and before the murder of a Palestinian youth, which was condemned sharply by the entire Israeli leadership, and whose murderers are already held in custody.

Over the past three weeks, the Hamas terror organization has escalated its attack on Israeli civilians, launching nearly 300 rockets at our cities – including Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and other major metropolitan areas — putting millions of Israeli lives at risk. Families have been forced into shelters, summer camps for children closed, and all normal daily activities have been impacted. This is unacceptable.

Israel had shown great restraint prior to this operation. Our intention was to restore the calm without a major military operation. However, Israel’s repeated efforts to achieve calm were met with increased rocket fire by what is becoming a Hamas terrorist state. Therefore, Israel launched an operation of self-defense, “Protective Edge,” on July 7th, to counter these attacks, to defend our citizens, and secure for them a life without constant threat. Although we are not interested in escalation, we will do whatever is necessary to defend our citizens.

Hamas is a recognized terror organization, motivated by the most radical ideology, including a charter that calls for the murder of all Jews. Hamas is responsible for 80 suicide bombers that have killed nearly 1000 Israeli civilians. Hamas has been labeled a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, Canada, Great Britain, Australia, Japan and Egypt. This group seeks to establish an Islamist state characterized by human rights violations, violent repression of minorities, women, and non-Muslims.

By deploying weapons and command centers in densely populated areas and operating from residential areas, thus turning Palestinian civilians into human shields, while deliberately targeting Israeli civilians, Hamas has been committing war crimes for over a decade. Hamas terrorists launch rockets indiscriminately at civilians from civilian areas, and hide in civilian infrastructures including mosques, schools and hospitals. Hamas, therefore, bears full responsibility for any harm that comes to Israeli and Palestinian civilians alike.

Israel is operating with utmost care to avoid civilian casualties. We are focusing on targeting Hamas and other terrorist organizations, their operatives and infrastructure. Israel is giving repeated warnings to civilians to vacate areas they are about to target, using pinpoint technologies to hit only the targeted infrastructure.

May I remind you that Israel left the Gaza Strip completely in the August 2005 Disengagement. Since then, there has been no Israeli presence, civilian or military, in the Gaza Strip.

It is clear that the Palestinian government must dissolve immediately its partnership with Hamas. Furthermore, it is important that world leaders 

condemn the ongoing rocket fire by Hamas and other terror groups towards Israeli population centers, and take action to dismantle the Hamas terrorist infrastructure. Finally, the international community should continue to demonstrate understanding for Israel to exercise its legitimate right to self-defense.

Five Points on ‘The Situation’

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

I. Palestinian duplicity did not begin the day that Yasser Arafat immigrated to Gaza City from Tunis in 1994, but the Chairman’s arrival on the scene in Israel set into motion a trend that Israel has proved unable to reverse over the ensuing two decades.

The original Oslo accord called for the nascent Palestinian Authority to create a “lightly armed” police force, in order to maintain public order but lacking the ability to pose a threat to Israelis or to Israeli police. The sides agreed that the PA police could hold 13,000 light weapons.

But that number had been exceed nearly four-fold by the time Rabin was assassinated just 16 months after Arafat’s celebrated arrival in Gaza. International observers at the time said weapons far in excess of the “light weapons” agreed upon had been smuggled into the PA.

The first time PA “police” opened fire with their brand-new, American-supplied weapons was several weeks after Arafat’s arrival. Arafat and other Palestinian spokespeople made clear that whatever peaceful process there was would be temporary.

And yet, Israel was undeterred. Senior officials such as then-Prime Minister Shimon Peres and then-Justice Minister Yossi Beilin prosecuted the Oslo process with full diligence, ignoring bus bombings and other clear signs along the way that the Palestinians were using the process to create the conditions for war, not peace. Palestinian terror was eventually met with Israeli withdrawals, and thousands of Israelis and Palestinians were maimed or killed when the storm finally hit, on September 29, 2000.

This history is relevant as Israel moves to prosecute yet another round of fighting with Hamas in Gaza. During the years Israel governed the Gaza Strip, local residents and terror operatives felt free to dig tunnels under the Egyptian border, and to smuggle weapons into the Strip from Egypt. Here, too, the process continued unabated, and the results of that police are clear. Once again, Israelis will pay the price of that police from their bomb shelters and protected rooms as the air force tries to convince Hamas to “play nice” by holding their fire.

II. Upon leaving the south Lebanon security zone in May, 2000, Prime Minister Ehud Barak warned that any attack against the international border would be treated as an act of war. At the same time, Foreign Minister David Levy warned Hezbollah not to “play with fire” by attacking Israeli civilians or troops.

But when Hezbollah responded to the Israeli pullout by kidnapping three IDF soldiers, Adi Avitan, Omer Soued and Binyamin Avraham less than six months later, Israel’s response was… non-existent.

Similarly, when Ariel Sharon evicted 1,600 Jewish families from their homes in Gush Katif five years later, he warned that the first rocket from the Judenrein Strip would be met with the “fires of hell.”

But again, it turned out that the fires of Sharon’s hell weren’t all that hot: On August 25, 2005 – less than two weeks after Sharon’s troops “disengaged” from Gaza, Arab “freedom fighters fired two Qassam rockets at Sderot. Two weeks later, on September 12, several hours after the last IDF troops left the Strip, Palestinians celebrated by burning down the synagogues in former Jewish communities and firing rockets at Sderot and Kibbutz Yad Mordechai

Like his predecessor, however, Sharon granted a free pass to Palestinians, sending a clear message that the “fires of hell” had actually turned into something closer to a grudging acceptance of the reality of rocket fire on the Israeli home front.

In both cases, the terror groups involved understood that despite exhortations to the contrary, Israel would, indeed, resolve itself to living with the attacks on its civilian population. As the saying goes: There is no second chance to make a first impression.

III. If Israel has not managed to eliminate Hamas in previous rounds of fighting, which were no less painful for Israeli and Palestinian civilians, there is no reason to expect the political establishment to give the IDF a green light to do so now. Were the political will there, the army could complete a Hamasectomy in Gaza in short order. The unhappy truth, however, is that Israel is in a painful dance with Hamas: Of course, the current situation is untenable, but it is worth remembering that Hamas is far from the worst enemy Israel could find on the Gaza doorstep.

Liberman Dismantles Partnership with Likud

Monday, July 7th, 2014

Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman dissolved the partnership of his Yisrael Beytenu party with the Prime Minister’s leading Likud party.

Liberman made the formal announcement Monday at noon, telling reporters at a news conference the impetus for the move was a disagreement over how the escalation of attacks from Gaza were being handled.

“The truth is, the [Likud Beytenu] merger never really worked well,” he said, “not before the elections, not during the elections, and not after the elections either.”

However, he made it clear he did not intend to leave the government coalition.

There have been sharp differences between the Likud and Yisrael Beytenu in how the Gaza situation should be handled, and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Liberman have traded fierce words over the issue.

“The central objective of the government is to stop the firing on the communities in the south but the argument over the way to do this should not leak out of the Cabinet,” Netanyahu said Sunday during the cabinet meeting.

Apparently Liberman decided it was preferable to free himself to say and do what he pleases as an independent entity rather than be forced to cooperate with a policy he detests as part of a merged party with the Likud.

He has demanded a ‘harsh operation’ in Gaza and a similar response to end the Arab violence throughout Israel, citing his call for a need to silence the terrorist guns as his reason for ending his merger with the Likud.

In that he is joined by Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) party chairman Naftali Bennett, who has also been calling for a wide-scale operation in Gaza to silence the increasing rocket and mortar fire.

Although Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu warned Thursday that any escalation would be met with a fierce response the IDF has been forced to restrict itself to measured air strikes that target specific terrorist targets.

Sunday night and Monday morning nine terrorists were killed in Gaza, including seven in a smugglers tunnel along the region’s border with Egypt. It was unclear whether those seven were killed by the air strike, or whether they died due to a ‘work accident’ in which a bomb they were working on exploded prematurely.

IAF fighter pilots also killed two terrorists who were in the process of launching another rocket attack against southern Israel. They attacked a total of 14 targets in two waves of air strikes overnight.

Nevertheless, Hamas and other terror groups have continue to fire rockets, mortar shells and missiles at Israel and have slowly increased the range and number of projectiles they launch.

On Monday Gaza terrorists fired an anti-tank missile across the border at IDF soldiers patrolling along the security fence as well.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/liberman-dismantles-partnership-with-likud/2014/07/07/

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