No one likes Avigdor Lieberman, to hear the left tell it. No one on the Israeli left or in the American Jewish Surrender Lobby liked Avigdor Lieberman’s speech at the UN — the J-Soros Surrender Street only advocates Israeli capitulation to any enemy demand (such as building freeze in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria) ordered withoout negotiation by the Palestinians and their corner men in the White House. What an Alice in Wonderland concept — there should be negotiations but only if Israel surrenders on every major point before there can be negotiations. The Surrender Lobby never asks anything of Obama or the Palestinians, only of the Israelis. They don’t want negotiations, they want ratification of surrender. The J Street Soros Surrender gang is to Israel what Charles Lindburgh was to the free world in the 1930s.
The Palestinians and Barack Hussein Obama want a building freeze? Fine, sit down and negotiate it, don’t demand it or dictate it, as if this was 1895 and the Jews were living in their anscestral home at the mercy of the Islamist Ottoman Empire.
The Surrender Lobby kept insisting that Israel had no choice but to obey Obama’s demand that it extend the building freeze, while the Palestinians had to do, well, nothing but show up. So Netanyahu resumes building, probably realizing, finally, that Obama is the weakest president since Jimmy Carter, if not Chester Arthur or James Buchanan.
What did Obama do when Netanyahu rejected Obama’s pressure? What Obama did was offer Netanyahu all sorts of gifts and bribes, offers that Netanyahu would never have received had he listened to the Surrender Lobby and given everything up at the beginning, when the Surrender Lobby thought he must.
In comparison, there is the pride and dignity — and wisdom, and historical perspective — brought by Israel’s foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman. Here’s some of what he had to say at the Munich beer hall known as the UN:
Lieberman asserted that "More than ninety percent of the wars and war victims [in the Middle East] since the Second World War did not result from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and are in no way connected to Israel, stemming rather, from conflicts involving Muslims or conflicts between Arab states. The Iran-Iraq war, the Gulf war, the wars between North and South Yemen, the Hamma atrocities in Syria, and the wars in Algeria and Lebanon, are just a few examples of a list that goes on and on."
As for "the so-called ‘occupation,’ the settlements in Judea and Samaria and the settlers themselves…. Judea, Samaria and Gaza were under Arab control for 19 years, between 1948 and 1967. During these 19 years, no one tried to create a Palestinian state. Peace agreements were achieved with Egypt and Jordan despite the presence of settlements. And the opposite is also true: we evacuated twenty-one flourishing settlements in Gush Katif [in Gaza], and we transferred more than 10,000 Jews and in return, we have Hamas in power and thousands of missiles on Sderot and southern Israel."
And, ""The other misguided argument is the claim that the Palestinian issue prevents a determined international front against Iran…. In truth, the connection between Iran and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is precisely reversed. Iran can exist without Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Hezbollah, but the terrorist organizations cannot exist without Iran…. [I]n searching for a durable agreement with the Palestinians…one must understand that first, the Iranian issue must be resolved…."
The article in the Spectator points out that some of Lieberman’s remarks somewhat diverged from Netanyahu’s position, that the conflict can be solved within a year.
Lieberman said that because of the "utter lack of confidence between the sides… we should focus on coming up with a long-term intermediate agreement, something that could take a few decades. We need to raise an entire new generation that will have mutual trust and will not be influenced by incitement and extremist messages. As is true everywhere, where there are two nations, two religions and two languages with competing claims to the same land, there is friction and conflict. Countless examples…confirm this, whether in the Balkans, the Caucasus, Africa, the Far East or the Middle East. Where effective separation has been achieved, conflict has either been avoided, or has been dramatically reduced or resolved. Consider the cases of the former Yugoslav republics, the split-up of Czechoslovakia and the independence of East Timor…. Thus, the guiding principle for a final status agreement must not be land-for-peace but rather, exchange of populated territory. Let me be very clear: I am not speaking about moving populations, but rather about moving borders to better reflect demographic realities. …This is not an extraordinary insight [nor] a controversial political policy. It is an empirical truth."
The Spectator article noted that "One thing to point out is that Lieberman is not from Netanyahu’s Likud Party but, instead, the leader of his own Yisrael Beiteinu faction. As such, in Israel’s parliamentary system, Lieberman’s independence of Netanyahu could be seen as less jarring. This is, however, a nicety that may not be appreciated abroad…. But there may be another factor at play as well.
"Few observers believe Netanyahu is actually a convert to Pollyannaish views of Israel’s conflict with its environment. More likely, his approach to the Palestinian issue is aimed at managing the relentless pressure from a U.S. president for whom it’s an obsession, and who in his own recent UN speech devoted ten paragraphs to it compared to two paragraphs for international terror and two for the Iranian threat. It could well be that for Netanyahu, too, Lieberman’s words were a breath of fresh air. Someone needs to tell the truth."