Lieberman slams Netanyahu’s lack of leadership
Foreign minister says no cohesion in cabinet, each minister going in his or her own direction.
“The economy minister spoke of annexing settlement blocks and the finance minister threatened to disband the coalition if such a plan is approved. They both know they are talking about something that will never happen.”
Why does Lieberman say it will never happen. Is this the reality? Ted Belman
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman criticized Monday the lack of coherence in the government’s proposed policies on the Palestinians, attacking Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for not leading his cabinet and demanding that he formulate a plan that would represent the entire coalition.
“What happened yesterday, when four senior ministers gave public addresses one after the other with each proposing a different political solution, was a grotesque performance,” said Lieberman at an Institute of Certified Public Accountants conference in Eilat.
Lieberman added that “one minister spoke of annexation, another minister spoke of deliberation, a woman minister spoke of segmentation, and the last spoke of stagnation. That is not a government policy. We need to cut down and adopt a single political plan to bind all parts of the coalition.”
The Yisrael Beiteinu chairman called on Netanyahu to lead in formulating such a plan. “We need to do this as soon as possible, because if we do not do it of our volition we will be dragged towards what we do not want and what is not in our best interest.”
Lieberman addressed the emerging conflict between Economy Minister Naftali Bennett and Finance Minister Yair Lapid. “The economy minister spoke of annexing settlement blocks and the finance minister threatened to disband the coalition if such a plan is approved. They both know they are talking about something that will never happen.”
The foreign minister emphasized that he supported the idea of annexation but that “it was not feasible. Even Minister Bennett knows that, but he thinks it is worth saying to maybe get two more seats (in the Knesset).”
He also criticized Hatnuah Chairwoman Tzipi Livni’s remarks: “The justice minister speaks of continuing the Oslo Process, 21 years after it was started and failed. It reminds me of Hegel’s observation that ‘governments have never learned anything from history.’”
Lieberman also addressed Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar’s remarks at the Herzliya Conference: “The interior minister spoke of continuing the status quo and it simply does not work. It’s like in soccer, if you do not initiate and are always defending, you eventually concede a goal.”
The foreign minister stressed that he supported a negotiated agreement with the Palestinians, “but only as part of a package which also solves our relations with the Arab world and the issue of Israeli Arabs. It must be part of a package deal.”
Lieberman added: “In the Middle East everyone is afraid of everyone and we need to bring everyone to the negotiations table in one fell swoop and solve everything simultaneously. The situation today is not what it was more than 10 years ago when they first proposed the Arab Peace Initiative. It is no longer quiet in the Arab world.”