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Monday, April 11, 2011

Lieberman becomes the government's straight shooter?

Avigdor Lieberman is the Aryeh Deri of the 2010's. Aryeh Deri was an Israeli politician (one of the founders of the Shas party) who was smashingly successful in the 1980's and 1990's, but who had allegations of corruption constantly following him. Eventually, he was convicted of bribery, and was barred from the political scene - at least until quite recently. Now, with his ban ended, he is talking of a comeback.

Lieberman's Yisrael Beiteinu party came on like a storm during the last elections, and ever since the chattering classes have been trying to hang corruption charges on him as well. Lieberman, like Deri, claims that he is persecuted because of his ethnicity (and that charge is not baseless) - Deri is a Sephardi while Lieberman is an immigrant from Moldova. And like Deri when he wanted to, Lieberman is occasionally capable of bluntly putting government obfuscation in its place.

What do I mean by all this?

On Sunday night, the government announced a 'conditional cease fire' in Gaza.
The IDF stopped its air strikes against Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip on Sunday after Palestinian terror groups cut back on rocket attacks against Israel, in what appeared to be the beginning of a shaky cease-fire. The decision was made shortly before a Kassam rocket exploded near Ashkelon. No injuries were reported and no damage was caused.

On Sunday, 13 rockets were fired into Israel, and a senior official in the Defense Ministry, who requested anonymity, told reporters that Israel decided to hold its fire as long as Hamas and the other Palestinian terror groups ceased launching attacks on civilians.
In other words, the IDF had Hamas on the run, and was on the verge of doing serious damage to the terror group, but rather than letting the IDF go in for the kill, the government decided to cease fire - so long as Hamas does - and let the terrorists live to fight another day. That's bad enough, but stay with me, because it gets even worse.
“It all depends on the other side,” the Defense Ministry official said. “If a barrage of missiles falls in a town and there are casualties, that will change the situation – but if a rocket lands in an open field we will look at that differently.”
What the.... The IDF is now saying that so long as the terrorist rocketeers continue to be incompetent boobs who can't hit anything, we will let them terrorize our population (would you want to go out for a drive or let your kids go out to play with rockets falling 'harmlessly' all around you?), but if they get lucky and hit something then, in the immortal words of the biggest boob of all - defenseless defense minister Ehud Barak (who has now merited a description previously reserved for his predecessor, Amir 'Comrade' Peretz) - 'we will know how to respond.' Give me a break....

In a Monday morning interview on Israel Radio, Avigdor Lieberman played the role of the straight shooter.
In an interview with Israel Radio, he said "Hamas is fighting a war of attrition against us. We won't come to terms with a situation in which they decide when there's quiet and when the area heats up."
But when he says, 'we won't come to terms,' he does not speak for the government in which he sits as Foreign Minister. He speaks for the Yisrael Beiteinu party which he heads.
Lieberman added that a ceasefire with Hamas is against Israel's national interests. He said he is working to implement the coalition agreement, which says that the government will work towards overthrowing Hamas.

"We are going to do what was agreed upon. We know how to get what was in the agreement and what we signed on to with Likud without threats and and without crises," he said on Israel Radio, adding that he is not interested in leaving the coalition.

"There was quiet, and Hamas took advantage of the quiet in order to smuggle more and more weapons. We remember when Kassams only had a range of 20 k.m.; today they reach Beersheba and Ashdod and in the end they'll reach Tel Aviv," Lieberman explained.

The foreign minister went on to say that Hamas has exploited the two years of relative calm since 2009's Operation Cast Lead to rearm and organize. "Hamas took advantage of the quiet in order to gain power turn a gang of terrorists into an organized army," Lieberman said, warning, "Another battalion and another company and they'll truly follow Hezbollah's model."
Yes, indeed. So why isn't Lieberman threatening to leave the government? Because Tzipi Livni and Kadima are sitting on the sidelines waiting for that to happen, as they have been for the last two years. Binyamin Netanyahu is infatuated with the idea of getting Livni to join the government, because he believes that it would ensure that his coalition will survive for its full four-year term. And if Kadima joins the government, not only will we not fight Hamas, but our government will encourage a Fatah-Hamas reconciliation to take away Israel's best card for avoiding the creation of a genocidal 'Palestinian state.'

The only hope of taking the Kadima weapon out of Netanyahu's hands is for enough Likud MK's to commit unequivocally that if Lieberman leaves the government, they will leave too and form their own party.

In the meantime, Israel's Leftist prosecutor's office is working overtime to indict Lieberman in the hope that he will be suspended as an MK until the end of the legal proceedings and that will induce his party to leave the government.

What could go wrong?

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At 10:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, the FM is in the crosshairs:



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