Why does the world ignore dictators in Iran and Syria but interferes with democracy in Israel, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman wondered out loud in his Independence Day remarks to members of the diplomatic corps Tuesday. President Shimon Peres was present during his speech.
The Foreign Minister said, “The repression that has met the demonstrations in Syria, Yemen, Libya and elsewhere in the region can not possibly be justified. However, it remains confusing why the international community intervenes in Libya, but not in Syria or Iran. What conclusions are we to draw from this seeming inconsistency?”
He added that Israel is an “island of stability in a chaotic region,” noting that while Israeli “institutions have stood the test of time, especially in this dangerous neighborhood, the bloody reaction to those who seek change in our region has not surprised us.”
Lieberman also delivered salvos at the Palestinian Authority for its insincerity concerning peace with Israel and its incitement of terror. He criticized Hamas for mourning the elimination of Al-Qaeda terror leader Osama Bin Laden and for not changing its charter that calls for the destruction of Israel.
Lieberman also questioned the sincerity of the Palestinian Authority’s seeking a mutual agreement with Israel in order to establish the PA as an independent country.
“That an organization with a charter that calls for the destruction of the State of Israel through violent Jihad – and aspires to a world without Jews, not just Zionists and Israelis, but Jews – should be thought of as partners to Fatah tells us more about Fatah than it does about Hamas.
“The fact that Hamas mourned Bin Laden’s death, as much as they celebrated 9/11, condemned America and called him ‘a Muslim and Arabic warrior’ and prays that bin Laden’s “soul rest in peace”, further demonstrates the kind of people Fatah is now calling its partners and equals in government”.
Lieberman emphasized that the Fatah party, headed by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, as well as his administration, “continues to glorify terrorists, including the naming of the Palestinian presidential offices in Ramallah after arch-terrorist Yihye Ayyash, a square in the government compound after Dalal Mughrabi, who participated in the Coastal Road massacre and rewarded the family of the mastermind of the terrorist attack which resulted in the death of dozens of Israelis enjoying a Passover Seder in Netanya.”
Turning to the “diplomatic process,” the Foreign Minister pointed out that Abbas’ recent offer to talk with Israel in return for a three-month freeze on building for Jews in Judea and Samaria and much of Jerusalem is “very strange,”
He explained, “When the Israeli government decided on a moratorium as a unilateral gesture a year ago, Abbas and the Palestinians rejected it completely. However, now they are exerting pressure for a moratorium that they previously rejected…. It is clear that they are only looking for excuses to avoid meaningful talks that will lead to a comprehensive solution.”
Lieberman offered Abbas “immediate talks without preconditions [and] no new moratorium in Jerusalem or Judea and Samaria. Not for three months, not for three days and not even for three hours.”
He advised Israel’s enemies that they have more to gain by looking “at Israel’s achievements in finance, hi-tech, science and industry” and cooperating with Israel than they can gain by “engaging in conflicts.”
He concluded with a message to Israel’s enemies: “The ball is in your hands.”
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