Avigdor Liberman’s view on Israel’s fundamental questions

Yisrael Beytenu head provides his perspective on various issues facing Israel, including conscription, Netanyahu, Gaza and more.

Liberman at the annual conference of the Center for Security and Democracy (photo credit: ODED ANTMAN)
Liberman at the annual conference of the Center for Security and Democracy
(photo credit: ODED ANTMAN)
Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigdor Liberman spoke on security, military conscription and the current political climate on the second day of the Center for Security and Democracy conference hosted by the Israel Democracy Institute (IDI). Liberman is currently the kingmaker in the ongoing political deadlock between Blue and White and the Likud.
Liberman, whose refusal to modify a bill regarding conscripted service for ultra-Orthodox youth, said that "the existing bill isn't ideal, but it’s the best attainable compromise. The ultra-Orthodox MKs blocked the law because of their own internal conflicts.”  His stance on the bill was a major catalyst for Israel's second election of 2019.
"We’re the only country in the world that funds an education system [among the ultra-Orthodox] that bans English and math," he added. "We're creating a new generation of needy, poor people. This madness must stop."
The Yisrael Beytenu leader also discussed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s current legal woes, insisting on the importance of the legal process, saying that “the right forum to decide the legal fate of the prime minister is in court. I hope that he is found completely innocent. This all must be handled in a responsible and [proper] manner." 
Liberman also noted that the upcoming pro-Netanyahu rally on Tuesday evening “is unnecessary and will not contribute to our national or social resilience."
On the prospect of a third election within one year, Liberman said that “if we go to elections, there will be different results. There will be clear results in favor of one of the blocs."
Lastly, following the recent flareup in Gaza between Israel and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Liberman argued that, "there is a deterioration of Israeli deterrence. This weakness is projected outwards. Our enemies have learned to leverage their ongoing conflict with Israel for economic gain. We reward violence with funds and other concessions; we pay a price… Netanyahu, who spoke out against a coalition with the Joint List, has formed one with Hamas. He coordinates with them; we saw this during the recent conflict. He prefers to buy quiet from Hamas and pay 'protection' to a terror organization to ensure quiet.”
Other speakers at the conference discussed civilian-military relations, politicization of the IDF and the notion of shifting from the conscription model to that of a professional, volunteer army.