As per the Times of Israel and other sources, Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman has been up to his old plain speaking tricks again.
Speaking at a conference of Israel’s European ambassadors, Liberman denounced the attitudes of European lawmakers as comparable to a century-old anti-Semitic hoax.
“The lies told during debates in the European parliaments are reminiscent of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” Liberman said, referencing the document that claims a Jewish plan for world domination, which has been used as a canard for anti-Jewish attacks.
Liberman singled out Sweden and Ireland, both of which recently passed parliamentary votes calling for recognition of a Palestinian state, and likened their actions to the 1938 Munich agreement in which Britain and France ceded control of the Sudetenland region to Germany in an appeasement that ultimately failed to prevent World War II.
“The behavior of Sweden and Ireland toward us is comparable with that which led to the breakup of Czechoslovakia,” he said.
Lashing out at the Palestinians over their bids to impose terms on Israel at the United Nations Security Council and to pursue war crimes allegations by joining the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Liberman said this proved the Oslo Accords had “failed.”
There will be many Israelis, including political foes, who will agree with the general thrust of what he is saying. I would have been more critical of the French behavior, with the bizarre vote in favor of a resolution they plainly, previously thought was unacceptable.
All of that having been said, two things are noticeable about the quotes now being attributed to the feisty Foreign Minister.
First, he is shying away from criticizing Netanyahu. Even if Liberman’s party is going to be shredded at the election, he does not want to put at risk the potential of another role in a coalition with Bibi.
Second, although he is not directing any venom at Netanyahu, this next quote is very telling:
He also called for Israel to take the initiative in launching a peace process, instead of reacting to Palestinian moves.
There are a lot of good things our Prime Minister has done. And, as I have said before, part of the reason he is hated in foreign corridors of power, is because he has been so successful at protecting Israel and its people. But – and it is a bloody great, big, monster but – he has not done enough to achieve peace.
Put aside for now whether peace is attainable – and, yes, I am a skeptic – and see if you can identify one proactive measure Israel has taken to get closer to peace. I cannot think of any. All that has been done has been done in response to pressure, mostly from the US.
Bibi should have been out there, campaigning for peace, putting forward proposals, arranging summits, meetings, negotiations, whatever. But at the very least doing something. This is the home of innovation, after all!
Bibi’s failure is why I hope he is not returned to power. Liberman’s failure to put the boot into Bibi is why I think the Foreign Minister might just be up to be part of a new team to do more in that arena. Partly, that’s because it is difficult to see one man who could adequately fill Bibi’s shoes. (Though this may be wrong. We do not know how any of the contenders will manage. Or not.) But a decent team… Now there’s a thought.