PA President Mahmoud Abbas is engaging in “diplomatic terror” against Israel,
Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman said on Friday in Singapore.
comments, in reference to Thursday’s UN Human Right’s Council decision to
dispatch a fact-finding mission to Israel to probe the settlements’ impact on
Palestinian human rights, came during a meeting with Singapore President Tony
Calling the council a “theater of the absurd of hypocrisy and dual
standards,” Liberman said he would convene a meeting of senior officials in the
Foreign Ministry to determine whether Israel should cut off all ties with the
council, and to consider lobbying other countries – first and foremost the US –
to get them to leave the body.
That, however, is not going to be an easy
chore, especially judging from a statement the US State Department issued on
Friday about the council’s activity last week.
While the statement said
the US “reaffirmed its strong opposition to a series of anti- Israel measures
that continue unnecessarily to politicize the council’s human rights agenda,” it
added that the council’s 19th Regular Session helped “spur action on a series of
important human rights situations around the world, in part due to vigorous US
“Our persistence in combating the council’s enduring
anti-Israel bias, coupled with our successful efforts to confront human rights
violations around the world, underscores the importance of United States
leadership and engagement at the Human Rights Council and across the UN system,”
the American statement said.
In reference to Iran, Liberman – on the last
leg of an Asian tour that also took him to South Korea and China – said, during
a meeting on Saturday with the Jewish community in Singapore, that the upcoming
talks between the Islamic Republic and the European powers constituted the “last
opportunity” to convince Tehran to abandon its nuclear ambitions.
said Iran’s overarching goal was political – to export the Iranian revolution to
as many countries as possible – and that nuclear weapons were merely a tool to
advance that goal.
Iran had “charismatic and fanatic” leaders, many of
whom studied at the best universities abroad, who were “using Israel as an
excuse” when their real battle was over whose values – theirs or the West’s –
would dominate the world, Liberman said.
Intelligence Agencies Minister
Dan Meridor said on Saturday that Israel wanted to see next month’s talks
between Iran and the Europeans end with Iran stopping all uranium enrichment,
removing all uranium in the country enriched beyond 3.5 percent, and agreeing to
Meridor’s comments varied slightly from the goals for
the talks Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu laid down earlier this month in
Ottawa, where he said nothing about international supervision, but instead
demanded that Iran close its nuclear facility at Qom.
on Channel 2’s Meet the Press, said that if sanctions were increased and more
countries became involved, the Iranians – already under pressure – may look for
a “way out.”
The upcoming talks, he said, may be that way out, but for
those talks not to be just about Iran buying time, “there need to be clear
Meanwhile, even though government officials said on Thursday that
Israel would not cooperate with the council’s settlement fact-finding mission, Meridor said Jerusalem would wait and see what the committee’s mandate
was, and who were its members, before making a final decision. At the same time,
he said Israel “did not have to pay too much attention” to the
Meridor said the Palestinians’ decision to push the issue was
further indication that four years ago, after rejecting an offer from prime
minister Ehud Olmert, they “decided to stop negotiations and move to unilateral
“Instead of talking to us, they prefer to pressure Israel at
international forums,” he said. “We are ready for a Palestinian state, but a
Palestinian state won’t be established at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva,
nor in New York, but through agreement with us.”
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