December 30: Lieberman strikes a nerve

The outgoing Slovak ambassador talks about values, while your editorial calls for our foreign minister to be fired for calling a spade a spade

Lieberman strikes a nerve
Sir, – There is an interesting juxtaposition of items on the first page of your December 28 Comment & Features section.
On the right, the outgoing Slovak ambassador talks about values (“A country is more respected when it stands up for its values”), while on the left your editorial (“Lieberman gives the PM no choice”) calls for our foreign minister to be fired for calling a spade a spade and refusing to grovel in the face of Turkey’s insults and attacks .
Readers can make their own choice between the two.
Sir, – Regarding the headline for the piece on the outgoing Slovak envoy, I dare say that Foreign Minister Lieberman has done exactly that, while Prime Minister Netanyahu has tried to cater to everyone while pleasing no one.
The Palestinians rant and rave everyday on everything negative about us, with just a whimper of rebuke from anyone, including this paper. Lieberman is the only one who dares say the truth.
Compromise does not seem to be part of the vocabulary of the Palestinians or, may I say, of the Turks. All they want is total capitulation to their demands.
In addition, if you call for the firing of Lieberman, you should at least call for the firing of Defense Minister Barak, who on a daily basis calls for splitting Jerusalem, contrary to Netanyahu’s oft repeated statements and against the will of the people.
Sir, – Kol hakavod to whomever wrote the December 28 editorial.
It’s a great thought, but I’m afraid not what the prime minister will do.
In almost any other country, such chutzpah on the part of the foreign minister would get him thrown out, almost immediately! But not here. Everything the writer has written is true and well-meant, but he or she has forgotten one small item: This is Israel, under a Likud-Yisrael Beiteinu government, not some real country. Here we do all kinds of crazy things and then holler when someone complains! But who knows – maybe what Lieberman says and does is what Bibi wants to say and do, but can’t because he is prime minister and must maintain a modicum of decorum. Whatever the story, don’t bet that Lieberman will be out any time soon.
Sir, – Undoubtedly, Foreign Minister Lieberman’s remarks are at odds with Prime Minister Netanyahu’s official statements.
Nevertheless, every word Lieberman says is true and has to be said by someone. Throwing him out of office will not change this.
While we all wish our prime minister the best of luck in attempting to resuscitate our erstwhile friendship with Turkey as well as in making peace with his Palestinian partners, Lieberman’s “let’s call a spade a spade” tactics provide a good counterbalance for our government’s appeasement-style policies and, in my opinion, must be allowed to continue.
Mevaseret Zion
Sir, – Foreign Minister Lieberman characterized the Turks as liars making “false promises,” proclaimed the Palestinian Authority as an “illegitimate government,” and verbally slammed Prime Minister Netanyahu. Netanyahu’s office countered that the country’s position is the one expressed by the prime minister.
This is far from the first time Lieberman has flogged foreign policies that are radically opposed to those of Netanyahu.
If Netanyahu is serious – that there is one foreign policy agenda – it’s time his government sends one foreign policy message.
It’s time to replace Lieberman with someone who doesn’t repeatedly require “cover” from the PM’s office.
Or, is Lieberman doing Netanyahu’s dirty work, playing “bad cop” to the prime minister’s “good cop,” and articulating policies that are too hot and career-limiting for Netanyahu to articulate himself?
O’Connor, Australia
Sir, – What’s wrong with our prime minister, Labor party and general population? Don’t we know that the only government official with the guts to speak the unadulterated truth is Avigdor Lieberman? He is the only one who tells it like it is. All the others try to put a polished cover on the facts.
Deep down, we all know that the PA doesn’t want peace. The Palestinians still incite, they still demand preconditions, they still refuse to talk directly to us, they still want us to return to an indefensible position, they use artificial means to become a state instead of legitimately negotiating for one.
Lieberman sees through these false positions and isn’t afraid to speak up. It’s time our leaders tell the world the facts and not hide them in mumbo jumbo political statements.
Sir, – How hypocritical it is of Labor cabinet members to call on Binyamin Netanyahu to punish Avigdor Lieberman for sharing his thoughts on Turkey and the peace process (“Prime minister rejects Labor’s call to punish FM,” December 28) when Defense Minister Ehud Barak is in Washington on a monthly basis spewing his own party’s left-wing agenda in regard to talks with the Arabs.
That being said, I do agree that all ministers should disseminate only the official government stance on issues when speaking in public. One of the main problems with Israel’s hasbara efforts, in my opinion, is the fact that Israel time and time again has so many voices saying so many different things that it’s difficult to siphon out was is or isn’t official policy.
Gall to whine
Sir, – The chief legal adviser for the Association for Civil Rights in Israel slams the “unusually harsh” punishment meted out to Jonathan Pollak (“Founder of Anarchists Against the Wall sentenced to three months for 2008 Gaza bike protest,” December 28).
Pollak’s followers have the gall to whine over minor injuries sustained confronting police, while ignoring the innocent men, women and children targeted by suicide bombers or shot at point-blank range before the security barrier was constructed, as well as the thousands upon thousands of Muslims murdered and maimed on a daily basis by their co-religionists in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India ,etc.
Still, sentencing people like Pollak to an extended period working in hospitals or establishments caring for those who have suffered so tragically could be slightly more effective.
Cost of leaving
Sir, – Regarding “US reports surge in resident Israelis” (December 28), I cannot explain all the possible reasons. However, I do know that for many, sadly, the reason is economic.
I know of many people who could not make it in Israel and left for other countries, not only the US. Many of them came to make a life here but could not manage.
Some even tried more than once.
If we want to solve our significant “brain drain” problem and attract new immigrants, we must find a way to make life here affordable.
Sir, – So, the Palestinians want us to freeze all development in Samaria and Judea as a pre-condition to entering into further talks. I would suggest that the Waqf freeze all development on the Temple Mount as our precondition.
The law firm mentioned in “A country is more respected when it stands up for its values” (Comment & Features, December 28) should be Baker & McKenzie, and not as written.