Incoming Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman is a racist who will hinder regional peace efforts, an aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Wednesday evening.
Yasser Abed Rabbo said Lieberman constituted "an obstacle to peace" and that he would "harm Israel first of all." "We are not obligated to hold talks with a racist hostile to peace like Lieberman," Abbas' aide said.
Oh, and like the Palestinians don’t possess a racist bone in their mouths…I have been waiting a long time to use this expression which often gets quoted at me when I would complain about the Palestinian leadership in progressive circles…one does not make peace with one’s friend but one’s enemies. Someone needs to send the PA the memo.
Ynet carries some of the highlights of Lieberman’s inaugural speech as Israel’s Foreign Minister:
Concessions are not the way to make peace, incoming Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Wednesday during the changing of the guard ceremony at the Foreign Ministry. "Those who think that through concessions they will gain respect and peace are wrong," the new minister said. "It's the other way around; it will lead to more wars."
(…)Lieberman, who will also serve as deputy prime minister, delivered an aggressive speech, noting that "by uttering the word peace 20 times a day we won't make peace. Those who want peace should prepare for war and be strong," he added. "There is no country that made concessions like Israel. Since 1967 we gave up territory that is three times the size of Israel. We showed willingness. The Oslo process started back in 1993 and to this day I have not seen that we reached peace."
Lieberman added that Israel is not obligated by the Annapolis conference, but rather, only by the Road Map initiative. However, responding to the new minister's remarks, a senior US official said the Obama administration remains committed to a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Lieberman also turned his attention to Egypt
"Egypt is an important element in the Arab world and in the world in general," he said. "I will certainly be happy to visit Egypt, but I'll also be happy to see Egypt's leaders visit here, including the Egyptian foreign minister. I respect others and I want them to respect us; I'm in favor of the principle of reciprocity."But Yvette has some harsh words for the bureaucrats in his department by “telling them that workdays start at 7:30 am and that the daily evening meeting will be held at 10 pm.”
I am so going to enjoy Lieberman's term as Foreign Minister. I can't think of a more entertaining Israeli politician. And he hasn’t even put in a full week yet! I would be remiss if I didn’t point out Lieberman is quite correct concerning Israel’s obligations towards the Annapolis Accord as it was never ratified or accepted by either the Israeli Cabinet or the Kessnet. Olmert never dared put it to a vote. And not only was Annapolis not ratified by the Israeli government; Hamas did not sign on and without Hamas’ implicit agreement, the accord is just another meaningless document.
The full text of Lieberman’s speech can be found here.