Thursday, February 26, 2009

Lieberman makes his case

While I am not a supporter of Avigdor Lieberman, the chairman of the Yisrael Beiteinu party, I think it would be responsible blogging for me to provide multiple views. Here he makes the case for himself, which I think he did very well. While I do support the Left in Israel, I think Lieberman can and is willing to make the sacrifice to push the peace process forward. I hope he can make peace like Begin, not make war like Begin. Here is is an excerpt:
I stand at the head of the most diverse political party in the Knesset. Four out of our first 10 Knesset members are women. Three out of our first 10 have a physical disability. Hamad Amer is a pillar of the Druze community. Anastassia Michaeli is the first convert to enter the Knesset. And David Rotem is a religious Zionist and obviously sees Yisrael Beiteinu as supportive of religious Jews.


Another label that has been thrust in my direction is “far right” or “ultra-nationalist.” I want the State of Israel to remain a Zionist, Jewish and democratic state. There is nothing “far” or “ultra” about those ideals. I also advocate the creation of a viable Palestinian state.
If I was in charge of making a coalition, I would include him in it. For a terrible problem, one has to strive for a solution, even if it is imperfect. I just hope he has his legal issues resolved and doesn't alienate the moderate and integrated Arabs in Israel.


Comrade Tovya said...

I sit on the fence when it comes to Lieberman. Personally, I think he is a sensationalist who acts like a shock-jock to get attention. I really don't think he means half of what he says.

This whole illusion that he's the "neo-Kahane" is laughable. Kahane advocated expelling Arabs regardless of their loyalties. Lieberman simply asked them to commit an oath of loyalty to the state--which I don't see is a big deal, because lots of western nations require that.

Either way, I think an oath of loyalty is a waste of time, because anyone can give their "oath" and not mean it.

I think the Left did more damage to themselves by giving him the "Kahane" label. Before the media hype, he was just another corrupt politician being investigated... but after the stage performance in the media, he became the "Zionist Crusader"--that in reality he really isn't.

I've been called a Kahanist a time or two myself though... and I have criticized and verbally attacked the immature Kach-kids who throws rocks and curse at Arabs and Jews like sailors. I think those little punks are bad for us, and give all Jews a bad name...

I think the whole "Kahane" label gets thrown around too much really. It's an overused term that doesn't really mean much anymore. Oh well.

Michael W. said...

I agree. He's a demagogue. He's not a good statesman. I don't really think he's going to pursue the "loyalty oath" thing. But I do think he'll push for a two state solution. But him being of the Right, I don't know if he'll make any gestures to the Arabs. And lets not forget, it's going to be a Bibi led government so he's probably going to forget the two state solution.

I don't think the US administration is going to pressure the Israelis so much till the Palestinians are united - and who knows when that's going to happen.

I do think Obama has the political backing to pressure the Israeli government more to stop the settlement expansions. He has gone through the "secret Muslim" accusations and still got major American Jewish support. If you just have Rahm's face on anything Obama wants to do with Israel, he'll have US Jews support.

Obama's rise in politics is because of his successful rhetoric. He's a great politician no matter what his views really are. What can he deliver? The only thing he can deliver is "support." So whatever he and his advisers, many of whom are Jewish, decide to do, it will have a lot of support.

The Arabs have a wait and see attitude towards Obama. And I think he knows that. It is a matter of time (I say two years) till Arab pressure rises till he is forced to really pressure Israel. For rhetoric purposes, he'll have another "Annapolis" type conference where the goals are stated but nothing concrete occurs.

I think it would be wise for Netanyahu to do some concessions to Abbas such as a few hundred prisoner releases of minor Palestinian resisters and show to the Arabs that it is due to negotiations.

Since the economic conditions of the West Bank have improved, I wonder how much they are willing to risk and lose for another Intifada. They have already did a full blown Intifada with the suicide bombings. They don't have that card anymore because of the wall. It is a matter of time till they agree to a Gaza and a reduced West Bank.

I don't think the people of Umm al Fahm would rejoice in joining their brethren in a newly created Palestinian state. "Hello brothers! Welcome to hell!"