Liberman: Lack of deterrence in Gaza made world ignore us

The government's weak policies towards Gaza led the world to ignore Israel in Iran talks, Yisrael Beytenu chairman Avigdor Liberman said Saturday.

Yisrael Beytenu chief Avigdor Liberman (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Yisrael Beytenu chief Avigdor Liberman
The government’s weak policies toward Gaza led the world to ignore Israel in the talks on a nuclear deal with Iran, Yisrael Beytenu chairman Avigdor Liberman said Saturday.
“It doesn’t matter if Grad rockets that fell yesterday in the South, less than a year after Operation Protective Edge, were launched by Salafis in Gaza or Islamic State in Sinai,” Liberman said, speaking at a cultural event in Beersheba.
Liberman pointed out that “since the establishment of the state, there were threats to Israel, sometimes from Hamas, sometimes from Hezbollah, every time different names.
“What changed for the worse is not the threats, but the harm to Israeli deterrence since Protective Edge.
The harm to our deterrence means that we are ignored in the talks with Iran in Vienna and in Gaza and in Sinai,” he posited.
As for the way the IDF fights terrorism, Liberman called it “intolerable that soldiers are willing to be wounded in order not to have to undergo an investigation,” and called for the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee to hold a meeting on the topic and bring about a change in the military’s instructions so that soldiers can defend themselves.
The Likud responded to Liberman’s accusations, saying that the facts show the exact opposite of what the former foreign minister said.
“If not for the aggressive stance led by the prime minister against Iran, it would have had a nuclear weapon long ago. If not for the decision to build a security fence on the borders with Egypt and the Golan, ISIS terrorists and others would have already been able to infiltrate the State of Israel,” a party spokesman said.
The Likud also said that “because of the responsible and aggressive leadership of Operation Protective Edge, the last year was the quietest in a decade: Only 10 rockets since OPE, as opposed to 140 in the year after Operation Cast Lead in 2008.”
Liberman later commented on the world powers’ negotiations with Iran, saying that they are “not a give and take, they’re a give and give.”
According to Liberman, the tougher the Iranians are, the more they go back on previous understandings and increase their demands, and the more they get. Meanwhile, Tehran is increasing its support for terrorism, and is now being rewarded for it.
“The negotiations could be considered a farce, if only this were about something funny and not something we will cry about for generations,” he said. “History will not forgive whoever signs such an agreement.”
Opposition leader Isaac Herzog (Zionist Union) wrote on twitter that “removing sanctions on Iran can be an irreversible catastrophe.
Therefore, the agreement must include aggressive and invasive supervision.
“The agreement must give a strong response to any possibility in case it is violated by Iran or any move toward nuclear weapons,” Herzog added.