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Liberman: 'Annexation is inapplicable,' government needs to initiate a plan
By TOVAH LAZAROFF
09/06/2014
Foreign minister says the government factions are at odds over how to move forward, warns a common policy must be adopted or one will be forced on Israel regardless of its best interests.
 
"Annexation is inapplicable to Israel's current situation with the Palestinians," Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu) said on Tuesday morning, as he dismissed a Bayit Yehudi plan to gradually impose sovereignty over Area C of the West Bank.

He criticized the 2014 Herzliya Conference, where Bennett floated the plan and speeches were delivered by four different party leaders, labeling it a “grotesque spectacle."

“The Economic Affairs Minister [Naftali Bennett who heads Bayit Yehudi] spoke about annexing the settlement blocs and the Finance Minister [Yair Lapid who heads Yesh Atid] threatened to topple the government if even one settlement is annexed,” Liberman said.

“They both know that there is no chance that either of these things will happen,” the foreign minister said at a public speech in Eilat.

“Annexation is a good idea, but it is inapplicable,” Liberman said.

“[Economy] Minister Bennett knows this but he thinks he can pick up a few more mandates by speaking about it."

"The Justice Minister [Tzipi Livni of Hatnua] is talking about the continuation of the Oslo Accords, 21 years after it started and then failed,” Liberman continued.

“This reminds me of a quote from Hegel that ‘governments never learn anything from history.’  “The Interior Minister [Gideon Sa’ar of the Likud] talked about the continuation of the status quo, something that simply will not work,” he said.

"The government must initiate a clear plan that has united ministerial support," Liberman said.

“The Prime Minister must do this as soon as possible because if we do not initiate [a plan] one will be forced on us that we do not want and is not in our interest,” Liberman said.

His Yisrael Beytenu party, Liberman stated, was the only one that had a realistic platform for a future agreement with the Palestinians, but he did not elaborate as to what that was.

"Yisrael Beytenu supports a peace deal as part of an overall package that allows Israel to have a good relationship with the Arab world and resolve the issue of Israeli Arab citizens," Liberman said.

"These are all issues that will be dealt with in the agreement and must be worked on simultaneously," he said.

The Middle East has changed since the Arab League Initiative was first proposed in 2002, that offered Israel normalized relations in return for a two-state solution at the pre-1967 lines. Today many nations in the Middle East face the same threats as Israel from Israel, Syria, al-Qaida and Islamic extremists, Liberman explained.

“If they want to survive they must openly cooperate with us,” he said.
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