Former Israeli defense minister Avigdor Lieberman said Monday (July 9) ‘Our conflict is with the entire Muslim world, with the entire Arab world.’
Speaking at a campaign trail meeting in Kiryat Ono, the Yisrael Beiteinu party head described the “conflict” as “three-dimensional” – “with the Arab countries, with the Palestinians and Israeli Arabs.”
“We do not have a separate conflict with the Palestinians, and anyone who claims so, does not understand what he is talking about or is being deliberately misleading,” he said.
“Our conflict is with the entire Muslim world, with the entire Arab world,” Lieberman declared.
The comments were originally carried by Zman Yisrael, the Times of Israel’s Hebrew-language sister site, “and approved for publication by Liberman though the event was billed as closed to press,” according to the Middle East Monitor.
Lieberman told the attendees that “the arrangement must be three-dimensional and simultaneous with the Arab League, with Israeli Arabs and with the Palestinians”, adding: “Any attempt to reach a separate agreement with the Palestinians or the Arabs of Israel will fail.”
As noted by the report, Lieberman has long called for a permanent settlement to include redrawing Israel’s pre-1967 boundaries so as to remove major population centres of Palestinian citizens.
The former minister also routinely attacks the “loyalty” of Palestinian citizens of Israel. On Monday, Lieberman “lashed out” at Palestinian parliamentarians, saying it was “total madness” that Israel “tolerated elected representatives in the Knesset who sided with its enemies”.
Religion cannot be separated from state in Israel
Earlier this month, Avigdor Lieberman said that it was impossible to separate religion from the state in Israel.
On July 2, speaking at the Herzliya Conference, Lieberman said: “When we talk about relations between religion and state, I say that religion must be separated from politics in the State of Israel. However, it is impossible to separate religion from the state.”
In May, Lieberman opposed joining a government headed by Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with the ultra-Orthodox parties, which he called a “[Jewish law] government”, Israel’s Haaretz newspaper reported.
Lieberman and the ultra-Orthodox parties have been in a dispute over the military conscription bill which would force ultra-Orthodox men studying the Torah, who are currently exempt from service, to join the military.
Lieberman has criticized the pre-military preparatory programs of the religious community, saying “they are developing into private religious militias”.
Lieberman called to separate the pre-military academies from the Ministry of Education and put them under the full supervision of the defense ministry.
Who is Lieberman?
Lieberman is a Soviet-born Israeli politician who served as the Defense Minister of Israel; on November 14, 2018 Lieberman announced he was handing in his resignation due to a ceasefire versus Gaza which Lieberman said was “surrendering to terror.”
He served as Israel’s Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2009 to 2012, and again from 2013 to 2015. He has also served as member of the Knesset and as Deputy Prime Minister of Israel.
He is the founder and leader of the secular-nationalist Yisrael Beiteinu party, whose electoral base are overwhelmingly Russian-speaking immigrants from the former Soviet Union. As a result of the arrival in Israel during the 1990s of more than one million Russian-speaking immigrants, Yisrael Beiteinu has regularly played the “king-maker” role in Israel’s coalition governments. [Wikipedia]