Lieberman fires back at NY Times
Times editorial calls Lieberman appointment "unwise" and "damaging."
By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
November 1, 2006 19:06
2 minute read.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Israel Beiteinu leader Avigdor Lieberman was sworn into his new posts of deputy prime minister and minister for strategic affairs on Monday night after 9:30 p.m., but he still had time his first night in office to fire his first shot as a minister.
Lieberman, who is in charge of strategizing against strategic threats, already responded to an attack that night - not from Iran or the Palestinians - but from the New York Times.
Burning Issues #9: The Lieberman factor
The newspaper printed an editorial on October 25 that called Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's decision to bring Lieberman into the cabinet "unwise" and "damaging." It compared the move to Hamas's refusal to reject terrorism, calling both "obstacles to peace."
"Creating new obstacles to peace with the Palestinians is the last thing Israel needs after the Lebanon fiasco," the editorial said.
In a letter dated Monday that was published on Wednesday, Lieberman accused the New York Times editorial board of "old thinking" and said it is time to "go back to the drawing board" to re-evaluate the goals of the peace process.
"The Middle East peace process has failed miserably, and trying to breathe new life into an already defunct process is not the way to go," Lieberman wrote. "Israel needs a new direction. I suggest that we redefine our goals and focus on bringing security and stability to the Middle East instead of setting our sights on an unrealistic, unattainable fantasy."
Lieberman decided not to respond to a satirical column published in Ma'ariv on Wednesday that compared him to Adolf Hitler. The column, written by satirists Shai and Dror, made predictions about Lieberman's tenure, from his first day in office until 30 years later.
In the column, after 10 years in office, Lieberman complained about not having enough coal for trains and after 20 years about the IDF not completing an invasion of Poland.
"You have no right to judge me," Lieberman said after 30 years in office according to the column. "I did everything democratically. The nation supported me, Olmert allowed me to be a minister, Peretz didn't oppose and things developed from there."
Lieberman received a more positive portrayal in this week's edition of the British magazine, The Economist, which ran a story under the headline "the lion joins the lambs."
After deciding that he gave too many interviews in Israel over the past month, Lieberman has decided not to give any more for a while. But he intends to respond positively to an interview request he received from Al-Jazeera's new international English network, provided it runs on the network's Arabic channel.