Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman continued to publicly rebuke Europe on
Wednesday, telling a hall full of diplomats attending The Jerusalem Post
Diplomatic Conference in Herzliya that many world leaders would be willing to
“sacrifice” Israel in an instant.
“I am compelled to tell the truth,”
Liberman told the ambassadors and diplomats from around the world at the end of
a 20-minute address that slammed the international community for taking a biased
approach to the Israeli-Arab conflict.
“My sense is that all the promises
and commitments to Israel’s security are mere words. When push comes to shove,
many key leaders would be willing to sacrifice Israel without batting an eyelid
in order to appease the radical Islamist militants and ensure quiet for
themselves,” he said.
This was the second time in as many days that
Liberman slammed Europe for roundly condemning Israel for announcing settlement
construction and planning projects but giving Hamas and the Palestinian
Authority a free pass for genocidal threats and the glorification of
Liberman’s critics attribute his harsh criticism to the
upcoming election and the assumption that tough talk to the world plays well
with his constituency. His supporters, however, argue he is simply responding to
blatantly unfair treatment of Israel by the EU that was manifest in the bloc’s
disappointing vote at the UN General Assembly on last month’s PA statehood bid,
and its tepid reaction to recent Hamas calls to destroy Israel while being
extremely critical of Israel for announcing settlement construction plans and the planning of homes in E1.
“Despite announcements from Hamas
leaders that they will not accept or respect agreements with Israel, and their
intention to destroy Israel, the Europeans decided to place pressure only on our
side,” he said.
Liberman charged that the world closes its eyes as the
Palestinians name streets, squares and sports tournaments after suicide bombers
and arch-terrorists, as the PA sentences to death people “caught” selling
property to Jews, and as Hamas smuggles arms into the Gaza Strip.
speech to Yisrael Beytenu activists on Tuesday, Liberman said that some European
foreign ministers, whom he did not name, argued at the EU foreign ministers
meeting in Brussels on Monday against adding a tepid denouncement of recent
Hamas calls for the destruction of Israel into their statement slamming Israel
for announcing construction of settlement units and planning on E1.
Israel Radio report on Wednesday identified the four foreign ministers as coming
from Ireland, Portugal, Denmark and Finland.
While Israel faces “constant
threats to wipe us off the face of the earth,” repeated attempts to infiltrate
its territory from Sinai, and tens of thousands of missiles from Hezbollah, the
world, Liberman bemoaned at the ‘Post’ conference, obsesses about the
Palestinian issue. He termed the number of international organizations and UN
bodies created to deal with the Palestinian issue
Explaining this “obsession,” Liberman said that “time after
time the international community is forced to denounce [Syrian President Bashar]
Assad, Iran, the Taliban, al-Qaida, global jihad and Sudan. However, because of
their need for Arab oil in the Muslim world markets they try to show objectivity
and balance by looking for excuses to denounce Israel.”
Israel was not
willing to sacrifice its vital national interests and become a “second
Czechoslovakia,” he said.
“All expressions and promises of commitment to
Israel’s security from all around the world remind me of similar commitments
made to Czechoslovakia [in 1938], and the pressure made on the Czech president
to partition the Sudetenland.
After all the promises and guarantees that
were provided, Nazi Germany occupied all of Czechoslovakia, bringing an end to
its existence,” he said.
Liberman, who has said he would like to continue
on as foreign minister if – as is expected – Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu
forms the next government, said it was not clear to him “by what right the EU
comes to us to preach about how to make peace, especially without a clear record
of success in achieving peace in places like Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Syria,
Libya and Yemen.”
Further, he said, they have not had great success
solving problems in Europe, such as in Cyprus and Kosovo.
lowering the bar of expectations regarding a peace agreement with the
Palestinians, Liberman said that “the best we can hope for today is to maintain
security and economic cooperation with the Palestinians; to improve their daily
life and keep the situation under control."