Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman faced criticism from colleagues in his Likud
Beytenu faction Monday for his surprisingly dovish statements to ambassadors
He told the ambassadors that any alternative offer Israel would
receive from the international community would not be better than what US
Secretary of State John Kerry, whom he met on Friday, would offer Israel. He
also suggested that the border would be close to the Trans-Israel
“He spoke his opinion, not mine,” Agriculture Minister Yair
Shamir, Liberman’s number two in Yisrael Beytenu, told The Jerusalem Post. “If
he continues speaking that way, yes, it could bother me.”
Likud MK Moshe
Feiglin warned Liberman that by encouraging negotiations with the Palestinians
and concessions to them he was harming the Jewish state.
minister is damaging Israel,” Feiglin said.
“Talking about giving up any
part of the land of Israel brings terror and the delegitimizing of Israel abroad
that endanger Israel’s existence.”
Liberman also faced criticism from the
Left. Former prime minister Ehud Olmert said Liberman’s dovish statements were
“refreshing,” but that they were canceled out by him adding that he would oppose
any diplomatic deal with the Palestinians that did not involve an exchange of
“Most Israelis understand, and I think Liberman must
understand too, that there is no chance to make peace by removing the
citizenship of Israeli Arabs in the Triangle and Wadi Ara region,” Olmert
A source in Yisrael Beytenu responded to the criticism by saying
that Liberman had not changed his views but was acting differently in part
because he has a much better relationship with Kerry than he did with his
predecessor, Hillary Clinton. He said Liberman would continue expressing his
views whether or not they were popular.
“He’s a statesman, not a populist
trying to scrape for a few votes,” the Yisrael Beytenu source
Politicians on the Left urged Netanyahu on Monday to make the
concessions necessary to bring about a diplomatic agreement.
who is familiar with what is happening in the diplomatic process, I can tell you
it’s real,” Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid told his faction.
“There’s a real
opportunity, closer than meets the eye, to reach a solution. We shouldn’t miss
Opposition leader Isaac Herzog met with Kerry Monday
morning for an update on the details of the diplomatic process.
expressed confidence that Kerry could succeed in bridging the gaps between the
“Kerry is determined to advance a diplomatic framework, he
pays attention to details, and believes he can reach an agreement soon,” Herzog
said. “It’s not easy, but he’ll do what he can to create the atmosphere and pull
the right levers to enable an agreement. I told him we will do what we can to
enable a breakthrough in the near future.”