Israel wants peace, but it won't be Palestinians' 'sucker,' Liberman says

Foreign minister tells Israel Radio that Palestinians must rescind their application to world bodies for talks to go on.

April 8, 2014 09:05
1 minute read.
avigdor liberman

Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman speaks at the 2014 Jerusalem Post Annual Conference, April 6, 2014.. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman told Israel Radio on Tuesday that Israel will agree to return to the negotiating table with the Palestinian Authority on condition that Ramallah rescind its application to 15 international treaties and conventions.

In an interview with Israel Radio, Liberman said that while he favors negotiations, he will not be “a sucker.”

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“We won’t agree to the Palestinians acting unilaterally without exacting a price from them,” the foreign minister said.

Liberman blamed PA President Mahmoud Abbas for the breakdown of talks. The foreign minister said that Abbas applied for membership in international treaties just as both sides were on the verge of completing a deal for a prisoner release.

Liberman told Israel Radio that while Jerusalem was ready to discuss all the outstanding issues, it was not going to accept a Palestinian demand that the talks be devoted exclusively to the issue of the borders of a future Palestinian state.

The foreign minister also reiterated his view that he wants to see the current coalition led by Binyamin Netanyahu remain intact. The Yisrael Beytenu chief criticized Hatnua MK Amram Mitzna for calling on his party to quit the government if the negotiations with the PA aren’t extended.

“A major general in the reserves who is a member of the coalition supports the Palestinians instead of the Israeli government,” Liberman said. “This is irresponsible behavior.”

Mitzna’s Hatnua colleague, Environmental Protection Minister Amir Peretz, came to his defense and criticized Liberman. Peretz wondered why Liberman singled out Mitzna yet refused to criticize “far-right” ministers in the Likud and other parties for lashing out at Netanyahu and for issuing housing tenders beyond the Green Line while negotiations are ongoing.

Peretz told Israel Radio that in his view, there was no point in placing blame for the failure of the talks, but that efforts should be made in reviving the negotiations.

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