FM: Iran with nuclear bomb will seek occupation of Gulf

Lieberman tells 'Newsweek' that best approach to conflict is "exchanging territory and populations," says biggest threat to PA is Hamas, not Israel.

December 23, 2010 09:16
2 minute read.
FM Avigdor Lieberman plants a tree in Itamar in Samaria1

lieberman pastoral 311. (photo credit: Tovah Lazaroff)

The "right approach" to dealing with the conflict in the Middle East is not "peace for territory" but "exchanging territory and populations," Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said in an interview with US magazine Newsweek, released Tuesday.

Lieberman told Newsweek that he thinks all of the right wing, including Likud, and perhaps the majority of the Labor Party support this approach.

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When asked what would happen, under his plan, to Israeli Arabs living in Israel who are loyal citizens to the country, the foreign minister said: "Every day, every week, you have another case of Israeli Arabs that are taking part in terrorist activity. You have the leaders of the Israeli Arabs, their intellectual and municipal leaders, saying they will never recognize Israel as a Jewish and Zionist state."

Speaking on Iran, Lieberman compared President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to Hitler, saying that the situation is "Exactly like in the ’30s. Everyone knew that Hitler was a problem, and the Western world sacrificed Czechoslovakia. Not enough sanctions [have been imposed] to prevent them [Iran] from acquiring nuclear capability."

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Lieberman said that is Iran acquires a nuclear bomb than "It’s clear that the first step will be occupation, de facto or de jure, of the Gulf countries," adding that Iran will seek to overthrow the Saudi dynasty.

Asked where Israel fits in within this scenario, Lieberman said, "We’re next, you know. It’s like Hitler. First there was Czechoslovakia and afterwards Poland. But after that the Jews paid the heaviest price."

Returning to peace with the Palestinians, the foreign minister commented that, "The Palestinians, when they speak in a closed meeting with you, they understand we’re not the enemy. The only one they can trust at the end of the day is Israel. What you have in the Middle East is tension not between Jews and Arabs, not between Israelis and Palestinians, but between the radical wing and the moderate people. The biggest threat for [Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam] Fayyad and [PA President] Abu Mazen is not Israel, it’s Hamas and [Islamic] Jihad."

Lieberman stated that he is the "mainstream" when told that people see him as a radical in the Israeli context. "When I started with my vision, I was really a small minority. Today we’re the third [largest] party in Israel," he said.

The foreign minister concluded by saying that if the Palestinians turn to the UN Security Council to ask for recognition of a state in 1967 borders, all the agreements signed since Oslo will be nullified, and that "they have have much more to lose than Israel from this step."

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