NPR host Siegel serves as moderator for Avigdor Lieberman at Saban gala

Israel/Palestine
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Robert Siegel with Avigdor Lieberman
Robert Siegel with Avigdor Lieberman last night in Washington. Photo Natasha Mozgovaya

The Saban Forum, which is named after the ardent Israel supporter Haim Saban, was held last night in Washington. And National Public Radio host Robert Siegel served as a moderator for the rightwing foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman, above. Lieberman, an immigrant to Israel from Russia, has called for transferring Palestinians out of the Jewish state and for Israelis to have to take a loyalty oath to the state. From the event’s announcement:

The 2012 Saban Forum begins on Friday evening with a gala dinner, and will feature a discussion with Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman at 6:30 p.m., moderated by NPR’s Robert Siegel.

I can’t wait to watch the session and see how tough Siegel’s questions were. Haaretz’s Natasha Mozgovaya reports:

At Saban Forum, Lieberman accuses Abbas of Palestinian disunity

Avigdor Lieberman seemed in good spirits on Friday night. Opening with a joke, the foreign minister emphatically declared “I am on the right!” when he and NPR radio journalist Robert Siegel sat themselves on stage at the annual Saban Forum, which took place over the weekend at the Willard InterContinental in Washington D.C.

By the way, look who Haim Saban, who gives tons to the Democratic Party, was sitting next to (below). So Bill Clinton should be named the new US envoy on the conflict, as Richard Wolffe and Bernard Avishai have suggested? How balanced would he be? (You can also see Nancy Pelosi canoodling with Ehud Olmert at Mozgovaya’s Facebook page.)

Haim Saban with Hillary Clinton
Haim Saban with Hillary Clinton, by Natasha Mozgovaya

P.S. In the wake of the historic Palestinian vote at the U.N. on Thursday, I’ve heard two largely-irrelevant promotions of Israeli culture on NPR: yesterday a story about Jerusalem restaurants that don’t accept the Kosher certification rules, and today a story about Amos Oz and his daughter Fania Oz-Salzberger, writing a book about the Jewish tradition of the word. It really is in the water over there.

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