Lieberman has Arabs worried

Erekat: Incoming government shaping up to become the "most extremist gov't in Israel's history."

By BRENDA GAZZAR
March 18, 2009 00:31
2 minute read.
Lieberman has Arabs worried

lieberman leaving 224 88. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user uxperience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew, Ivrit
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Repor
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

The Arab world is reacting with alarm in the wake of a coalition agreement that brings Israel Beiteinu chairman Avigdor Lieberman closer to becoming the next foreign minister and grants his party other key posts. "The leader of extremism is leading diplomacy in Israel," the Middle East Online news site proclaimed on Monday. "The Netanyahu-Lieberman agreement is a slap in the face of Arab moderation," read the headline of a Tuesday article on the Egyptian news site Moheet.com. "Avigdor Lieberman: An anti-Arab racist," read another recent headline of the Lebanese newspaper Mustaqbal. Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat warned Tuesday that the next Israeli government, expected to be led by Likud chairman Binyamin Netanyahu, was shaping up to become the "most extremist government in Israel's history." Erekat is among a number of Arab officials who have branded Lieberman a racist. "Lieberman is a person who has called for the expulsion of non-Jews from Israel, and that, in my opinion, is racism," Erekat told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday. "As far as I'm concerned, people who call for the mistreatment or expulsion of other people under other pretexts are racists." Lieberman has advocated transferring heavily populated Arab areas within Israel to Palestinian sovereignty in the event of a peace deal, a move that could strip hundreds of thousands of Arabs of their Israeli citizenship. He campaigned under the slogan "No loyalty, no citizenship," proposing that all citizens, including Arabs, should pledge their loyalty to Israel as a Jewish state to maintain their citizenship. The Palestinian Authority would not consider any future Israeli government a partner for peace unless it accepted a two-state solution, accepted previous agreements and halted settlement building, Erekat said. "If someone is calling for more settlements and someone is calling for the expulsion of people and someone doesn't even want to talk about Jerusalem in the negotiations, then what can we expect from these people?" he asked. On Monday, following reports of a Netanyahu-Lieberman deal, Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit was quoted in the Arab press as saying that the "emergence of an extreme right-wing government in Israel" was a "negative factor that might cause damage" to the peace process. If such a government "implemented what they have spoken about in recent years, we will face great difficulties," he said. "We recommend exercising strong resolve" for the sake of "opposing anyone who wants to continue [building] settlements... and thwart the idea of a two-state solution by swallowing Palestinian land day after day," he was quoted as saying. "We must tell them, Stop! Otherwise, you will destroy the foundations of the [peace] settlement, and if it is shaken, the conflict will continue for centuries."

Related Content

July 19, 2018
Pro-Assad villages evacuated in deal with Syrian rebels

By REUTERS