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An enigma wrapped in a mystery

Reader comment on item: Avigdor Lieberman's Brilliant Debut

Submitted by Ken Besig (Israel), Apr 2, 2009 at 14:09

Avigdor Lieberman is first and foremost a Russian, as Churchill so concisely put it, an enigma wrapped in a mystery. There is no doubt that Mr. Lieberman is much more hard line and realistic regarding both Israeli and Palestinian Arabs than most native Israelis and is thus far less likely to put up with their bad faith negotiations and deal with them from a position of power rather than weakness and appeasement.

Mr. Lieberman is also much more moderate than one would first expect, in that he has also publicly stated that he would give up his own home in the Territories if it was required in the context of a legitimate and enforceable peace treaty with the Palestinians. Mr. Lieberman also sat in the Olmert Kadima government for quite a while, even when he knew that all of Mr. Olmert's diplomatic efforts towards the Palestinians were a complete waste of time.

His remarks on taking control of the Israeli Foreign Ministry were certainly unexpected and do seem to indicate that Israeli foreign relations are going to take a hard turn to Realpolitik and tougher negotiating stances. His remarks were also met with the usual hysterical Arab whining and complaining about the death of the "peace process", the end of negotiations, the need for international pressure, and even various remarks stating that Mr. Lieberman's comments were no less than a declaration of war on the Arabs. God help us, but I am not making this stuff up.

Even worse, some Left wing Israeli politicians, newpapers writers, and political pundits, even those who are ostensibly part of the Likud governing coalition, echoed some of the more extreme and ridiculous Arab criticisms of Mr. Lieberman. Go figure.

I voted Likud by the way, but I and most of my Likud friends, were deeply and positively impressed by the clear and uncompromising stance articulated by Mr. Lieberman during his campaign, and would have voted for him except for the fact that we knew that only the Likud could be expected to form the next government.

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