'PA joined talks unwillingly, doesn’t want peace'

Lieberman tells FADC "The only way forward is to manage the conflict, and not to end the conflict."

By
January 9, 2012 11:50
2 minute read.
FM Lieberman at FADC meeting

FM Lieberman at FADC meeting_311. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)

 
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Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman expressed skepticism that the Palestinian Authority is taking peace talks in Jordan seriously, speaking to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Monday.

“Anyone who talks about a breakthrough with the Palestinians has no idea what he’s talking about,” Lieberman scoffed.

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The foreign minister explained that the PA only joined peace talks because they felt they could not refuse Jordanian King Abdullah, and that the Palestinians are using the opportunity to “prepare excuses and transfer the responsibility for the talks’ failure to Israel.”

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He predicted that the PA would attempt, once again, to convince the UN Security Council and the International Court of Justice in The Hague to recognize Palestinian statehood.

The key, Lieberman explained, is to “manage” the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, implying that it cannot be solved in the near future.

According to MK Binyamin Ben-Eliezer (Labor), Israel must reach out to the Palestinians, so that the world does not blame Israel if talks fail.

MK Einat Wilf (Independence) suggested that Israel start a campaign to de-legitimize Palestinian identity, just as the Palestinians have done to Israel.

Lieberman quipped that it sounds like Wilf wants to join Israel Beiteinu.



The foreign minister also told the committee that his ministry takes care of crises more quietly and efficiently than the Defense Ministry, comparing the way the first and second Gaza flotillas were stopped.

“People should realize that diplomacy is stronger,” he said, adding that Israel is not at all isolated.

Lieberman also defended the incident in which the Foreign Ministry slammed European countries as “irrelevant” for condemning Israel’s settlement policy.

He explained that the condemnation “crossed a red line,” in that they did not warn the Foreign Ministry before releasing the message, and pointed out that dozens of civilians were killed across the Middle East that same day.

“We couldn’t just let the incident pass quietly,” Lieberman said. “If we hadn’t reacted, it would have set a new, negative norm.”

The foreign minister also discussed the Iranian threat, explaining that the international community understands that Teheran has no intention to stop developing nuclear weapons.

The only way to stop Iran is by increasing sanctions on its central bank and oil industry, he said.

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