Austrian Defense Minister Norbert Darabos 370 (R).
(photo credit: Leonhard Foeger / Reuters)
Austria’s Defense Minister Norbert Darabos called Foreign Minister Avigdor
Liberman “unbearable” in an interview published Saturday, downplayed the Iranian
threat, and accused Israel of using that threat – and the Palestinian issue – to
divert attention from domestic woes.
“Mr. Liberman is unbearable for me
as a member of the Israeli government,” Darabos said in an interview published
Saturday on the website of the Austrian daily Die Presse. Saying that Israeli
policies overall were difficult for him, Darabos said he was glad Kadima entered
the government because it could “mitigate radicalization.”
office declined comment.
Austria is considered one of Israel’s harshest
critics inside the EU, along with Ireland, Belgium and Luxembourg, and was one
of only two EU countries that voted for a UN Human Rights Council decision in
March to establish a fact-finding mission to probe the effects of settlements on
Palestinian human rights. Six other EU countries abstained on the
Regarding Iran, Darabos said that Israel’s “threats”
were“unnecessary” because “Iran is not ready to build the bomb.”
Israel military step would trigger a conflagration in the region that could be
difficult to control, and would create sympathy for Iran even among Arab nations
that are critical of it, Darabos said.
Israel, he claimed, was using
“outside enemies such as Iran or the Palestinians” to “distract attention from
internal social problems.”