(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman came out against his coalition partners who want to apply Israeli law – as opposed to military law – to Israeli towns in the West Bank, in a speech he gave to Yisrael Beytenu activists in Petah Tikva Tuesday.
“Every day I hear the ‘applying sovereignty festival’… but in the end nothing comes of it. They are damaging settlements and causing diplomatic harm,” Liberman stated.
“We have to be smart and not look to provoke. Everything has to be done quietly, wisely and with determination. When Begin passed the Golan [Heights] Law, all three readings [in the Knesset] took place in one day, without fanfare.”
In recent days, Education Minister Naftali Bennett, Bayit Yehudi MKs and the Knesset Land of Israel Caucus have campaigned for moving Ma’aleh Adumim, near Jerusalem, from military rule to Israeli law. Bennett has talked about the election of Donald Trump in the US as an opportunity for Israel to abandon the two-state solution and annex Area C, meaning all Israeli towns in the West Bank.
“Maybe a few people are getting more votes, but it’s a diplomatic loss,” Liberman said of the efforts.
“We, as Yisrael Beytenu, represent the pragmatic Right.”
The Defense Minister described his party’s position as “diplomatic flexibility and tough on security, and first of all, we have to be smart.”
Liberman began his speech with comments about UN Security Council Resolution 2334, saying it “is not for peace, not for solving the conflict, not for negotiations – it is blatantly anti-Israel, with the most miserable timing.”
As for the upcoming international conference on the Middle East in Paris, Liberman said: “It’s not a conference, it’s a tribunal, and Israel won’t be there.”
“It’ll be a new version of the Dreyfus Trial, but the accused won’t be one Jew; it’ll be the whole State of Israel,” he added.
Liberman also pointed out that the Paris conference and an upcoming Security Council meeting about the Middle East are planned for the week before Trump’s inauguration.
“That looks biased, intentional and anti, meant to cover for [US President Barack Obama and French President Francois Hollande’s] failures in the Middle East,” he stated.
Bayit Yehudi responded saying "Liberman himself filed a law in favor of annexing Ma'aleh Adumim, so instead of talking and babbling he should focus on stopping terrorists salaries."