Lieberman says Palestinian Authority behind campaign to smear Israel 15Feb10 February 16, 2010

by Jonathan Lis  -  Haaretz -  15 February 2010


Much of the global effort to de-legitimize Israel is supported and sponsored by the Palestinian Authority, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman told a Knesset committee on Monday.

Lieberman, speaking to the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, said that the bid to smear Israel in the international community was “partially sponsored by funds Israel is transferring to the Palestinians.”

The FM’s comments came after a Tel-Aviv-based think tank claimed Israel faced a global campaign of de-legitimization.
The Reut Institute said the campaign is the work of a worldwide network of private individuals and organizations. They have no hierarchy or overall commander, but work together based on a joint ideology – portraying Israel as a pariah state and denying its right to exist.

On Monday Lieberman told committee members that “most of the suits submitted world-wide against Israel Defense Forces officers and senior officials are funded and initiated by the PA,” The FM said, adding that “the question which now should be asked is ‘Who does the PA represent?’”

“Abu Mazen [PA President Mahmoud Abbas] doesn’t represent Gaza residents since Hamas rules there, and since the PA has deferred elections three times. It isn’t certain that he can deliver the goods in peace talks,” Lieberman told committee members.

The FM also said that it was “impossible to expect us to cooperate with the Palestinians in economic and security issues while they go on filing suits and inciting against us,” adding that “I will not allow a de-legitimization of Israel.”

“I don’t trust anyone who charges Tzipi Livni or any other senior Israeli official with war crimes,” Libermand said. “They begin every conversation with European and international officials by saying they don’t trust Israel’s intentions.”

When asked by opposition leader Livni whether his statements amount to a ban on resuming peace talks with the Palestinians, Lieberman said that Israel “as a society needs to see if it is willing to accept these rules of engagement, where on one side negotiations are held, and on the other so many resources are directed against us.”

“It isn’t incidental that in sixteen years of talks no deal has been reached, even when there were leftist and centralist administrations,” the FM said, adding that “no offer can be more forthcoming than that presented by Ehud Barak in the Camp David talks. Anyone who thinks a territorial compromise can be reached is fooling both himself and others.”

Lieberman said that as of the early 2000′s the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians has become a religious one, and “as such, disallows the possibility of territorial compromise.”

“That is why the offers presented by Livni and Olmert in Annapolis cannot bring about peace. Since the dispute is a religious one,” the FM said.

“We at Yisrael Beiteinu are prepared for territorial and population swaps. These conflicts aren’t resolved by simple solutions,” Lieberman said, “and anyone saying otherwise is spreading delusions.”

When asked if his views represented government policy, the FM said that it was his “personal take, and the way I see things. We follow the government’s guidelines, but that’s how I analyze the situation.

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