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April 23, 2014 / 23 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Avigdor Lieberman’

Iran Deal Marks Vast U.S. Israel Gap on Existential Issues

Sunday, November 24th, 2013

Israel’s freshly reinstated foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman on Sunday morning told Army Radio he was unhappy with the signing of the deal between Iran and the West. “There’s no dismantling of the centrifuges and no shipping out of the country of the fissile material from the uranium,” Lieberman said.

Instead, he complained, “there is recognition of Iran’s legitimate right to enrich uranium, despite its blatant disregard for every possible agreement. As soon as they enter a nuclear arms race, all the countries of the region will follow.”

Lieberman suggested the Iranians “possess enough material to produce several bombs, not just one.”

Asked if Israel will attack Iran in light of the new reality, Lieberman said, “You must understand that this brings us to a new reality, us and the Saudis as well. Anyone who follows their reactions would realize that this isn’t just our concern, but the concern of all the states in the region. It looks like we’ll have to make decisions – with all the options on the table.”

Lieberman also pointed out that “when you see the smiles on the faces of the Iranians, it’s clear that victory is theirs. The one making decisions there is still Khamenei.”

Sources in the prime minister’s office told Ma’ariv that this is a bad agreement, which “awards Iran everything it desired – both a significant reduction of the sanctions and preserving the most significant components of its nuclear program. The deal enables Iran to continue enriching uranium, and lets it keep all its centrifuges making fissile material for a nuclear weapon.”

The same sources added that the deal does not require the dismantling of the heavy water plant in Arak, repeating Israel’s point that keeping Iran under continued economic pressure would have yielded a much better deal that included degrading Iran’s n uclear capabilities.

Minister of Intelligence Yuval Steinitz said on Sunday that “Israel cannot partake in the international celebration which is founded on Iran’s con job and on self deception.”

According to Steinitz, “the last minute changes are far from satisfying us, and the deal was and remains a bad deal, making it harder to reach a suitable solution in the future. Like the failed deal with North Korea, the current deal will most likely bring Iran closer to getting the bomb.”

Nevertheless, the minister said that “despite our disappointment, we’ll continue to insist on our positions and to work with our friends in the U.S. and the world to seek an inclusive solution that will feature a real and complete dismantling of the Iran’s military nuclear infrastructure.

Finance Minister Yair Lapid told Army Radio that “it’s a bad deal. I’m concerned on two levels: one, about the deal and its ramifications, and two, because we’ve lost the ear of the world. Our role is to be the ones who issue the warnings. We have 6 months, at the end of which we must be back at a situation where the Americans are listening to us the way they used to.”

Minister of the Economy Naftali Bennett said that “if in five years a nuclear suitcase explodes in New York or Madrid, it will be because of this deal. We woke up this morning to a reality in which a bad, very bad deal had been signed in Geneva.”

Bennett warned that Israel is not obligated to keep a deal which threatens its very existence.

Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon also warned that “all the options are still on the table and Israel has the duty and the ability to defend itself.”

Likud MK Moshe Feiglin said the deal was “an Iranian Munich agreement. like Czechoslovakia back then, which was not allowed to participate in the discussion, and its fate was determined by the Western powers, Israel today is also looking on from the sidelines and seeing its national interest being sacrificed by the Western powers.”

Likud MK Reuven Livni suggested that “the American attempt to calm us down worries me the most.” He noted that “undoubtedly, this deal reflects differences between us and the west and the U.S. which are not merely tactical but strategic. This is a dangerous agreement which prevents war only for the time being but does nothing to remove this option off the table.”

Metetz Chairperson Zehava Gal-on and Communist MK Dov Haanin both praised the deal, saying it would now free Netanyahu up to reaching a deal with the Palestinians.

See? Every cloud has a silver lining, and every serious political article must offer some comic relief.

Speaking of comic relief, here are John Cleese and Peter Cook in their immortal sketch “Peace in our Time.”


Showcase ‘Price Tag’ Indictments Turn Out to Be a Witch Hunt

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

A Jerusalem court has thrown out “showcase” indictments against three supposed “price tag” vandals and has hung another black cloud over the police and the office of the Attorney General, all of whom appear to be on a witch hunt.

The latest black eye for government prosecutors was dealt by Jerusalem Court Judge Avital Chen, who ruled there was no basis for charges that three youth from Samaria were planning to carry out some sort of attack  on Arab property.

The rejection of the government case came only a short time after a three-judge Jerusalem court unanimously ruled against the government’s charges of breach of public trust against Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who has been hounded on various charges for more than a decade.

Many rightwing leaders have charged that dozens of police arrests of supposed price tag vandals are an attempt to blame innocent people for crimes that they say are being carried out by Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) agents trying to make the nationalist movement look illegitimate.

Considering the increasing number and severity of price tag vandalism, the accusations against the Shin Bet sound like self-righteous paranoia.

On the other hand, leftwing activists have accused government prosecutors of purposely treating price tag vandals with soft gloves and failing to convict even one of them over the past three years. Given the proven cases of Arabs damaging their own olive orchards and then blaming Jews, it is not impossible to believe that the Palestinian Authority has ordered the “price tag” operations.

The indictments that were thrown out by the Jerusalem court are the first ones ever to be filed against supposed price tag vandals.

Three young Jewish boys were arrested in September 2011 while they were carrying tools, approximately 300 feet from a vehicle that was not theirs but in which police found bottles of gasoline. Police rejects the youth’s claims that they were using the tools for renovations on a nearby structure.

The police put one and one together and came up with what they thought was two. Government prosecutors at the office of the Attorney General also thought they had done their math and put together their first indictments that were supposed to show that they finally had the goods on price tag culprits.

The court also did its math and flunked the police and prosecutors.

Michael Ironi, a lawyer for the legal aid Honenu organization, said after the court decision, “It is a shame that the Attorney General’s office chose to conduct a trial against the defendants. From the beginning of the case the evidence seemed weak and circumstantial. The suffering caused to the defendants is also regrettable.”

Honenu attorney Rehavia Piltz, who assisted in handling the case, stated, “Even from the beginning it was obvious that much ado was being made out of nothing and now the court has confirmed. It is unfortunate that in the process leading to their exoneration the rights of innocent youths were severely injured over a long period of time.”

The chase after Lieberman and dozens of alleged price tag vandals, despite being unsuccessful, also has a price tag.

“For over two years our lives have been a nightmare,” said one of the youth who finally was exonerated.

“They kept us in remand under severe conditions and falsely accused us of serious crimes,” he added. “If we had not had a religious appearance and the police and the Attorney General’s office had not been so eager to achieve ‘accomplishments’ at the expense of tarnishing the reputation of an entire population, we would not have gone through such a difficult, tortuous legal battle over something we never did.”

Police arrested two of the youth shortly before the Rosh HaShanah holiday in 2011 and convinced the court to extend their remand on the eve of the holiday. The third youth was charged the day after the holiday.

The name of “hilltop youth” in Judea and Samaria  has been muddied with accusations that have never been backed up with indictments, until the “showcase” charges that proved to be unfounded.

Every time a nationalist looks the wrong way at the police or says a bad word about Peace Now, leftwing leaders and media scream “Rabin,”  continuing 18 years of slander against all national religious Jews, and particularly their rabbis, for the assassination of Yitzchak Rabin by Yigal Amir, who lived in metropolitan Tel Aviv and not in Judea and Samaria.

It is no secret that Shin Bet agents infiltrate into communities in Judea and Samaria to incite youth to break the law and then fall prey to being informers to save themselves from prosecution.

It is hard to believe the rightwing claims that Shin Bet agents have carried out all of the price tag attacks to undermine the nationalist movement.

But it also is hard to believe that police continue to harass youth, often with middle-of-the-night arrests, and prosecutors cannot come up with even one indictment that holds any water.

The only missing key in the puzzle is the failure of most national religious leaders to conduct a campaign in their communities and yeshivas to preach against violence and anti-Arab vandalism.

If Jews indeed are guilty of the vandalism and if the police and prosecutors cannot do a better job than they did after investing thousands of hours to nail Lieberman for nothing, something is rotten in the office of the Attorney General.

Who Is the Sovereign in Israel?

Thursday, November 14th, 2013

After 17 years of investigations and trials, criminal charges were dropped against Israel’s former (and future) foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, in a unanimous court decision. Lieberman’s experience forces us to face a serious question: Who is the sovereign in the state of Israel: the people, by means of their elected officials, or bureaucrats who appointed themselves?

I have decided to visit the elected mayor of Nazareth Illit, Shimon Gabso, who is currently under house arrest for corruption charges. I know that I will be accused by some of chasing after votes of Likud Central Committee members; the accusers will try to make me look guilty of corruption. But I am going.

I am not chasing after anybody. I will gain nothing from Gabso, as I believe in his innocence and that this is a classic Dreyfus case. But the real question has nothing to do with the guilt or innocence of the newly reelected mayor of Nazareth Illit. Just as with Lieberman, the question is: who is sovereign in this state? The electorate who places candidates in office, or a band of self-appointed bureaucrats who proclaim themselves lords of the land?

The lords of the land attempted to prevent the residents of Nazareth Illit from voting for Gabso. But the people of Nazareth Illit – heaven help us – disobeyed the lords of the land and nevertheless elected him. Now the lords are teaching the sovereign – the people – a humiliating lesson.

In a media-saturated operation, they have chosen to arrest Gabso just days after the election. They even had the audacity to demand a court order to distance him from City Hall for 30 days; in other words, precisely the critical days when he is supposed to get his municipal coalition together and begin to work in earnest. As far as they are concerned, Nazareth Illit can go to the dogs. The main thing is that they have the last word. They, not the voters, will remain the sovereign.

These lords must understand that the people have had their say at the ballot box. They must allow Gabso to fulfill the public’s wishes. I deem that all investigations and indictments against elected officials should be postponed until their terms are over. I can say this now because I wrote the same thing in a column about one of the politicians for whom I have nothing but contempt: the post-Amona Ehud Olmert. This is what I wrote in May 2008, in a column entitled “Judicial Tyranny”:

 

It is not proper to investigate a prime minister while he is in office. Not that I have anything good to say about Ehud Olmert. I know that he is corrupt and I have absolutely no good wishes for the prime minister responsible for Amona. But based on principle, there is a serious flaw in the fact that he is being investigated while in office.

What has actually taken place here is that a very small group of judicial officials – a group that was not elected by the public and whose motives are completely unknown – suddenly decides to investigate the man whom the public has elected to lead the country. In other words, a collection of technocrats has more power than the public. They can depose the officials elected by the public – as they see fit.

I do not know why they have sunk their fangs into Olmert and his unexplained wealth. But that is not important. What is important is that the power to choose leaders has been removed from the public and placed firmly under the control of the “rule of law gang,” as former justice minister Chaim Ramon so aptly described them.

An elected prime minister or government minister should have immunity from police investigations for suspected offenses committed before his election. Unusual cases should be brought before the Knesset, where a special majority would have to authorize an investigation. When the official in question finishes his term of office, the investigation would proceed. The media should be allowed to continue to report on findings pertaining to the case, and the public should be allowed to decide whether to vote for the official once again.

If we do not insist on proper judicial conduct now, we will surely pay for it later when the “rule of law gang” will depose yet another (probably rightist) government.

 

Avigdor Liberman, Tough Foreign Minister, is Back

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

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.”

Court Acquittal of Lieberman Could Wreck Obama’s Peace Train

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013

A Jerusalem court verdict in two weeks on a breach of trust charge against Knesset Member Avigdor Lieberman could cause a diplomatic explosion in the talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority if he is acquitted.

If found guilty, Lieberman can kiss his political career goodbye.

Lieberman vacated his office as Foreign Minister late last year after he was indicted for allegedly using his position to help advance Ze’ev Ben Aryeh as ambassador to Latvia as a reward for divulging to Lieberman details of an investigation against him. Ben Aryeh ultimately was not appointed to the post.

Lieberman and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu agreed before last winter’s elections that he would return as Foreign Minister if acquitted. In the meantime, the Prime Minister is acting Foreign Minister.

The return of Lieberman as Foreign Minister is the last thing U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry wants. Justice Livni Tzipi Livni is in charge of the negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, and Kerry could not have asked for anyone better

Livni, a former Likud hawk, has staked her political future as the caddy for the Obama administration’s bags. He shouts, Jump!” and she asks, “Foot first or head first?”

If Lieberman gets off the hook, he and Livni will be biting and scratching at each other. Lieberman has repeatedly said the peace talks are a waste of time given Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas’s refusal to accept anything less than everything.

Lieberman Slams NYT for Attacking Netanyahu

Friday, October 4th, 2013

Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Chairman Avigdor Lieberman compared an editorial by The New York Times that was critical of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s U.N. address to a headline published in September 1938 that praised the Munich Agreement for granting Adolf Hitler “less than his Sudeten demands.”

“Today, The New York Times attacked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for his speech [Tuesday], saying he was inciting to war and thwarting chances of peace with Iran,” Lieberman wrote on his Facebook page. “In 1938 the very same New York Times reported with excitement at the peace deal between Britain and Nazi Germany, over how Hitler got less than what he demanded. … How did this ‘peace deal’ sit with the Nazi dictator—we all know. So of course it is preferable to stand up for the State of Israel’s crucial interests, and [it is preferable] for The New York Times to attack you than it is to end up like Czechoslovakia in 1938.” The Munich Agreement was a settlement that permitted Nazi Germany to annex parts of Czechoslovakia along the German border. Lieberman attached a clipping of the 1938 headline, along with a picture of “historic European peace meeting,” juxtaposed alongside the recent editorial about Netanyahu’s speech.

The Times editorial accused Netanyahu of “sabotaging diplomacy” and said the prime minister was “eager for a fight.”

“Mr. Netanyahu has legitimate reasons to be wary of any Iranian overtures, as do the United States and the four other major powers involved in negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program,” the Times wrote. “But it could be disastrous if Mr. Netanyahu and his supporters in Congress were so blinded by distrust of Iran that they exaggerate the threat, block President Obama from taking advantage of new diplomatic openings and sabotage the best chance to establish a new relationship since the 1979 Iranian revolution sent American-Iranian relations into the deep freeze.”

Lieberman ‘Promotes’ Erdogan as the New Joseph Goebbels

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s latest anti-Israel propaganda gimmick that the Zionists were behind the ouster of Mohammed Morsi qualifies him as the successor to Nazi Propagandist Joseph Goebbels, Likud-Beiteinu Knesset Member Avigdor Lieberman said Wednesday morning.

Lieberman, who is suspended as foreign minister pending the outcome of criminal charges against him, told Army Radio that Erdogan “has continued Goebbels’ ways. Those who apologized before Turkey should do some soul-searching; so should those who attacked me and Yisrael Beiteinu for our criticism over Israel’s apology.”

He was referring to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s bowing to President Barack Obama’s request to express sorrow to Turkey for the IDF’s defensive counterterror action that killed nine terrorists aboard a flotilla ship headed to break the maritime embargo on Hamas-controlled Gaza in May 2010.

Erdogan stated Tuesday that he has “evidence” of Israel’s being involved in the military coup that ousted Morsi last month. His “evidence” was a statement  by French philosopher and author Bernard-Henri Levy, at a meeting before the 2011 elections in Egypt, with Tzipi Livni, who at the time was leader of the Kadima party which headed the Opposition in the Knesset.

Levy told Livni, “If the Muslim Brotherhood arrives in Egypt, I will not say democracy wants it, so let democracy progress. Democracy is not only elections, it is also values.”

That was enough for Erdogan, who has excelled at being even better than U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry for viewing the world through his own ego.

“What is said about Egypt? That democracy is not the ballot box. Who is behind this? Israel is.,” he triumphantly said. “We have the evidence in our hands. That’s exactly what happened.”

White House spokesman Josh Earnest called Erdogan’s accusation “offensive, unsubstantiated and wrong, while the Egyptian military government said his statement was “very bewildering,… baseless… [and] not accepted by any logic or rationale.”

Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor stated, “This is a statement well worth not commenting on.”

This was not the first time that Erdogan and  his government have jumped on the “Blame Israel” bandwagon.

Following anti-Erdogan protests earlier this year, the increasingly paranoiac prime minister blamed the demonstrations on an international conspiracy.

In case there was any doubt as to who was behind it, his Deputy Prime Minister, Besir Atalay made it clear that it is the “Jewish diaspora,” but he later said he had been misunderstood.

Given Erdogan’s track record of failure, he will not reach the depths of Goebbels, Lieberman notwithstanding.

Erdogan’s brilliantly idiotic views on foreign policy continued to astound everyone except himself. He has a record of choosing the wrong friends .

Turkey was Israel’s closest Middle East ally and trading partner for years until the end of 2008, when the IDF launched a three-week Operation Cast Lead counterterrorist campaign to stop, at least temporarily, Hamas missile fire on southern Israel.

Erdogan saw the international outcry over Israel’s “disproportionate” action as an opportunity to hook up with the radical Islamic movement that aims for domination over the entire Muslim world.

He scorned Israel while warming up to the Ahmadinejad regime in Iran and to Syrian President Bassar al-Assad.

The flotilla clash put  Turkish-Israeli relations in the deep freeze, with Lieberman leading the Israeli criticism of Erdogan.

Turkish media and its movie industry then launched a series of vicious anti-Semitic programs that would have pleased Goebbels. Movies and television programs incited hatred against Israel and Israelis, who began staying away in droves from what once was their most popular foreign tourist spot.

Assad’s butchery made Erdogan realize that he made as big mistake, and the prime minister turned 180 degrees to condemn him. He also belatedly discovered that Ahmadinejad had succeeded in isolating itself from the entire world except for Assad, Russia and China, the latter two countries having a vested interest in Iran’s nuclear power development.

Erdogan then looked to Israel and promised, or threatened, several times to visit Gaza, each time being forced to postpone his plans.

Erdogan welcomed the Muslim Brotherhood government, seeing it as another ally in his new-found Islamist desires, and in his view, Israel is getting in the way.

Lieberman: Gives Abbas What He Wants and He Will Ask for More

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013

Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas will not be satisfied even if Israel surrenders to all of his territorial demands, said Avigdor Lieberman, chairman of the Yisrael Beiteinu faction of the Likud-Beiteinu party.

“Let’s assume theoretically that Israel would return to the 1967 borders,” he told Voice of Israel radio Tuesday morning. “The next day, there will be news demands.

Lieberman also warned that if Israel were to surrender all of Judea and Samaria, Hamas take control just like it did in Gaza.

 

 

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/lieberman-gives-abbas-what-he-wants-and-he-will-ask-for-more/2013/07/23/

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