'Leaders of 3 big parties should draft diplomatic plan'

Lieberman proposes that if the leaders could agree on what to offer Palestinians, 80% of Israeli citizens, Diaspora would also agree.

By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
April 14, 2011 01:59
2 minute read.
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman.

Avigdor Lieberman 521. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozlimski)

 
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Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu should write an Israeli proposal for a final-status agreement to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict together with Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and opposition leader Tzipi Livni, Lieberman proposed on Wednesday at a convention of his Israel Beiteinu party.

Lieberman said that if the leaders of the three largest parties could agree on what to offer the Palestinians, 80 percent of Israeli citizens and the Diaspora would agree as well. He clarified that he was not calling upon Livni to join the Netanyahu’s government.

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“The upcoming United Nations General Assembly in September [that is likely to consider recognizing a Palestinian state] requires all of us to do some soul-searching without regard to coalition and opposition or electoral or personal considerations,” Lieberman said. “I think the solution is not a matter of concessions or public diplomacy but in unifying the nation. To translate this bombastic headline into practical language, the leaders of the three largest parties must sit at one table, and not discuss forming a new coalition but rather a proposal for a final-status agreement.”

Lieberman said that achieving such internal unity would demonstrate Israel’s determination to the world.

“This would be much stronger than any decision in the UN,” he said, dismissing the international body as “an organization with a long history of condemning Israel while relying on regimes like that of Iran, North Korea, and Zimbabwe.” Lieberman said past concessions by Israel did not aid the effort to explain the justice of Israel’s cause. Even Israel’s best spokesman could not succeed in making the international community realize that a Palestinian state must be created only via negotiations and not via a unilateral declaration, he said.

The foreign minister also called for toppling the Hamas regime in the Gaza Strip. He said this demand was in the coalition agreement and that he expected it to be honored.

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“The goal of Israel should not be quiet for the residents of the South, but rather no quiet for Hamas,” he said. “When there is quiet, the Hamas uses it to build up its arsenal. Our goal must be to topple the regime in Gaza.”

In a speech to Kadima activists in Or Yehuda, Livni turned down Lieberman’s offer to write a diplomatic plan with Netanyahu and himself. She said the only solution for Israel’s diplomatic challenges was initiating elections.

“An election is the only supertanker that will save Israel,” Livni said, referring to a plane Netanyahu rented that was used to extinguish the Carmel Forest Fire in December. “The Netanyahu-Lieberman- Barak government lost its legitimacy long ago, and every day that passes strengthens this understanding.”

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