Saturday, November 04, 2006
This should do wonders for Israel's reputation. The newly-minted Deputy-PM and Minister for Strategic Affairs Avigdor Lieberman (Yisrael Beitenu) has decided to shoot his mouth off to the Sunday Telegraph. Lieberman did not bother to conceal the views he has so often articulated in the Israeli political discourse, telling his interviewer straight-up that "Jews and Arabs can never live together," and that "minorities are the biggest problem in the world." How a Jew who came to Israel from Moldova can talk about minorities as "problems" requiring solutions is beyond me. The British newspaper goes on to cite Tel Aviv University political scientist Gideon Doron who describes Lieberman as "the center of a new consensus" and as evidence of a worrisome rightward shift in Israel. I am not sure whether Lieberman was elected because of his racist views and his advocacy of "transfer" or because he was the only candidate to take seriously (and be taken seriously by) Russian immigrants in Israel. Nevertheless, I find it hard to argue with Doron's claims. Olmert's decision to welcome Lieberman into the parliament and the complicity of the Labor Party and others in this is a disgrace. It is also further evidence of the myopic, unprincipled, and incompetent course followed by this government since the war with Hizbullah erupted in the summer. Political survival has become the sole imperative of those in power. Meanwhile, Israel faces unprecedented long-term and short-term threats on all fronts.
Posted by Amos at 11:09 PM