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Monday, March 16, 2009

A step backwards for Israel; a step forward for EU

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/mar/16/avigdor-lieberman-israel

Hardliner Avigdor Lieberman set to become Israel's foreign minister

"Israel needs to explain that the demand for a Palestinian state and the refugees' right of return is a cover for radical Islam's attempt to destroy the State of Israel." Lieberman was a member of the current Israeli government, but walked out in January last year as soon as peace talks restarted with the Palestinians. (from the article)
You can see more gems from Lieberman in my Feb 16, 2009 post.

Sometimes "no partner for peace" is thrown around without much thought. For example, if Israel wants Palestinians to lay down arms, accept occupation, inequalities, injustice and apartheid, but Palestinians hold out for human rights, food, shelter, safety, and justice; Israel declares it has no partner for peace. In the new Israeli FM, Avigdor Lieberman's case, the term is more than adequate!

Solana and the EU are light-years ahead of the US here. Even though the statement is pretty mild, predictable and entirely reasonable, this is no doubt considered radical, biased and maybe even anti-Semitic. The EU appears to have actually set a boundary for this rogue state! We are far too terrified of the repercussions ("Will I get re-elected if I'm on AIPAC's blacklist???") to do any such thing to promote peace and justice.
"We will be ready to do business as usual, normally with a government in Israel that is prepared to continue talking and working for a two-state solution," he said. "If that is not the case, the situation would be different." (from the article)
Heaven forbid Israel should be held accountable for anything or held to any standard whatsoever! This isn't even talking about accountability. They just have to commit to work for peace. Guess that is too much to ask.

One might argue that the EU statement is more biased toward Israel if you buy into the thinking that a two state solution is now impossible. All they have to do is commit to the two state solution and -poof!- we have political formaldehyde just like the Gaza disengagement (looks like a goodwill gesture, actually is the opposite). Opposing the EU/Quartet/Roadmap/US in the two state solution is making them look kind of silly and belligerent at the moment even though agreeing to it would get them what they want without exposing themselves. Guess the current leaders are no Sharon or Weisglass. But they weren't exactly great at hiding motives all the time- I'm still trying to reconcile surgical precision and 1 ton bombs.

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