Avigdor Lieberman’s UN speech shows the true face of Israel

Yisrael Beiteinu’s strong third-place showing in Israel’s February 2009 elections for the Knesset was met with dread and disgust from many different quarters. Avigdor Lieberman, the founder and leader of the far-right party and the current Foreign Minister, ran a campaign filled with fascist overtones as he called for “loyalty oaths” to be signed by Palestinian citizens of Israel.

But perhaps we should take a look at Lieberman again in light of his much-condemned United Nations General Assembly speech yesterday and instead feel glad that the true face of Israel is shining to the world because of his position of power.

At the UN, Lieberman called for a “long-term intermediate agreement” instead of a solution dealing with all the final-status issues, dismissed the notion that the occupation and colonization of Palestine is at the core of the conflict and proposed a deal with the Palestinians that would be “about moving borders to better reflect demographic realities.” Although Lieberman claimed that he was not talking about “moving populations,” it’s apparent that Lieberman’s plan would result in the expulsion of Palestinian citizens of Israel to a Palestinian state, all in the service of making Israel an “ethnically pure” Jewish state.

Reactions from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. Jewish leaders were swift, and the media narrative laid out is that Lieberman’s speech revealed “differences” within Israeli politics about the “peace process.” The New York Times reports today that “sharp differences within the Israeli government over peace negotiations played out in the unusual setting of the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday.”

Netanyahu’s office distanced the prime minister from the speech and said that Lieberman’s speech was “not coordinated” with Netanyahu and that Netanyahu wants “direct talks” with the Palestinian Authority to go forward.

The reaction from Netanyahu was about promoting the image of Israel as willing to sit down and negotiate for peace with the Palestinians, which Lieberman’s speech did damage to. But that’s all it was about–Netanyahu and the State of Israel’s policies are completely in line with Lieberman’s plan of ethnically cleansing the non-Jewish citizens of Israel and of continuing to colonize the West Bank.

Under Netanyahu, the Bedouin village of Al Araqib has been destroyed multiple times to make way for a Jewish National Fund “ambassador forest.” Netanyahu has presided over the continued colonization of the West Bank, despite talk of a “settlement freeze,” and that’s likely to accelerate in the coming weeks. An recent Israeli Supreme Court ruling has Palestinians in Sheikh Jarrah worried about further dispossession at the hands of Jewish settlers, and Silwan in East Jerusalem is still under the threat of home demolitions to make way for Israeli settlements and a theme park.

The list can go on and on. Actions speak much louder than words, and the State of Israel under Netanyahu has continued routine Israeli policies of land theft, colonization and slow ethnic cleansing. That’s not much different than the Israel Lieberman showed at the UN yesterday in words. Maybe that’s a good thing; the true, ugly face of Israeli policy, which the Palestinians know all-too-well, was shown to the world, further confirming that the “peace talks” are useless, and that Netanyahu is playing a public relations game for the international community while the status quo is sustained.

This article originally appeared on Alex Kane’s blog.

Posted in Israel/Palestine, Israeli Government | Tagged , , , , , , ,

{ 18 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. Bumblebye says:

    It’s probably a planned pretence so that the BigYahoo can tell the US that Lieberman’s what they’ll get if the Palestinians aren’t forced into accepting what he’s prepared to offer.

  2. VR says:

    “Netanyahu and the State of Israel’s policies are completely in line with Lieberman’s plan of ethnically cleansing the non-Jewish citizens of Israel and of continuing to colonize the West Bank.”

    I agree, Lieberman is the closest to the mirror image of Israel’s intentions. The cleansing has always been a two-fold activity of policy (which can include violence) and outright violence. If the “successes” of the policies (overt and covert) are not stopped they will accelerate, until there is a final thrust which melds the two into a final cleansing. They are not going to stop until they are made to stop.

  3. Chaos4700 says:

    Did anyone from the EU walk out of this speech? Canada? New Zealand?

    Well the United States didn’t walk out, certainly, so I suppose there was nobody for the English-speaking world to toadie up to in that regard for this.

  4. Dan Crowther says:

    I still say Joe Lieberman is worse

  5. CTuttle says:

    Ya know ya’ll should credit the US Diaspora for pushing back quickly…! ;-)

    • true enough, but while the pushback of the “US Diaspora” didn’t seem to make it to US MSM, its antidote DID.

      NPR reached back three years to compose this three-part anti-Iran hitpiece. This morning, NPR forced it down the throats and into the bloodstreams of the American public, to ramp up hatred of Iran among Americans. (Nothing like energizing the LGBT community/wedge issue in order to distract from the murderous bigotry of Liebermans).

      Peter Kenyon dredges up three-year old speech

      NPR’s Ari Shapiro and Steve Inskeep piled on with extensive coverage and quotes of Mrs. Hillary (Haim Saban’s bought Obliterator) Clinton chortling over the “sanctions” US is imposing on eight Iranian “human rights abusers,” with Treasury’s Timothy Geithner providing vocal back-up: “We don’t know if they have assets in the US that we can freeze, but other banks will not deal with them” once we can brand them as pariahs.

      How many times has Hillary Clinton voiced concern over Israel’s execution-style murder of American citizen Furkan Dogan, which a UN group judged to be a war crime? Will Stuart Levey and Timothy Geithner freeze the off-shore accounts of Haim Saban, or the American and Malaysian assets of Sheldon Adelson?

      • Citizen says:

        Hillary’s like a sturdy oak table devoted exclusively to supporting her self; she’s a perfect tool, a great asset for the house superior money buys.

  6. Tuyzentfloot says:

    But perhaps we should take a look at Lieberman again in light of his much-condemned United Nations General Assembly speech yesterday and instead feel glad that the true face of Israel is shining to the world because of his position of power.

    There is always a degree of deniability to it if Lieberman says something: it can be dismissed as “he’s an extremist, he’s not us”. This also makes him a convenient channel for floating an idea. ” exchange of populated territory” is such an idea(it means swapping out the little triangle) that has been around all across the spectrum for a decade, but politicians from the other parties will be careful not to talk about it.

    • Tuyzentfloot says:

      or have been careful not to talk about it, since it’s getting gradually more airplay.

    • exactly, Tuyzenfloot; There is always a degree of deniability to it if Lieberman says something: it can be dismissed as “he’s an extremist, he’s not us”.

      “Jews are not monolithic.”
      “If there are two Jews, you hear three opinions.”
      “It’s bigotry to suggest all Jews are the same.”

      (unless one is talking about Jewish state of Israel or Jewish Nobel prizes . . .)

      • Citizen says:

        Or the Tea Party runners and normal Republican leaders. Regardless of what Bill Kristol really thinks about Pallin (dumb shiksa) she has her uses and can be mildly applauded as speaking for the grass roots (easily fooled, ignorant,
        frustrated Americans).

  7. eljay says:

    >> At the UN, Lieberman … proposed a deal with the Palestinians that would be “about moving borders to better reflect demographic realities.” Although Lieberman claimed that he was not talking about “moving populations,” it’s apparent that Lieberman’s plan would result in the expulsion of Palestinian citizens of Israel to a Palestinian state, all in the service of making Israel an “ethnically pure” Jewish state.

    I guess Lieberman is a liberal Zionist, too!
    >> RW: I personally don’t see a conflict with intentionally adjusting boundaries if the demographics change considerably to create a smaller Israel that is Jewish majority.