Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Minister Lieberman Blames 'The Left' for Israel's Victimization

Strategic Affairs Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Tuesday that blame for Israel's woes can be laid at the door of the nation's leftists, whom he referred to as "Hellenists." Next week, representatives of Lieberman's Yisrael Beiteinu (Israel Our Home) party are scheduled to present
Lieberman's harsh comments came in response to a call by the far-left Gush Shalom.
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert with their own vision for Israeli territorial concessions.

"I have no claims against the Arabs, nor against the world. I do have a complaint against the leftists. All of our troubles, all of our problems, all of our victims are because of those people," Lieberman told an IDF Radio interviewer. He went on to call the left-wingers "Hellenists," saying, "They are trying to break us from within at any cost, to destroy every consensus."

Prompted by Leftist Call for Boycott
Lieberman's harsh comments came in response to a call by the far-left Gush Shalom (Peace Bloc) organization to boycott musical artists who agreed to perform in the communities of Gush Etzion (the Etzion Bloc), in northern Judea. Several well-known artists, including Idan Reichel, Ehud Banai and Ety Ankri, are appearing as part of celebrations this week marking 40 years since the reestablishment of the Etzion Bloc. A Gush Shalom statement called these artists "armor-bearers and hired guns of the settlers." In particular, the far-left group mentioned that Reichel will be the central act in Nokdim, "the home settlement of the extremist racist Avigdor Lieberman."

"When I hear that several known leftists call to boycott the artists coming to celebrations marking the 40th anniversary of Gush Etzion - to boycott them - I think I have been very mild in referring to them as 'Hellenists,'" Lieberman said. "Gush Etzion is within the widest Zionist consensus. It was the [left-wing] governments that established Gush Etzion, so to treat Gush Etzion as if it were an unauthorized outpost - that is true baseless hatred."

Lieberman went on to clarify his point: "In general, all of our problems are not because of the outside world, not because of the international community - they are because of those people. As I have always said, we had Maccabees and we had Hellenists and we had the [far-left organization] Brit Shalom. Today, we have people who go to defame Israeli soldiers who take part in various operations, there are those Israelis who are leading the British academic boycott - they are our primary problem."

In the eyes of some on the right-wing, however, Lieberman himself may be classified as "left" in that the party he heads, Yisrael Beiteinu, advocates relinquishing territory in the Land of Israel to a sovereign Arab entity. Next week, representatives of Yisrael Beiteinu will be meeting with Prime Minister Olmert to present their position advocating a new Arab state within Israel's current borders. Party officials said they will remain in the coalition only if the government respects the party's "red lines" when it comes to territorial appeasement.
Among other ideas, Yisrael Beiteinu advocates an exchange of territories with the new proposed Arab state, according to which even Lieberman's hometown of Nokdim could be relinquished and Israeli Arab towns become part of the Arab political entity.
However, several Knesset Members of Yisrael Beiteinu have voiced objections to the plan by Vice Prime Minister Chaim Ramon to link Gaza with Judea and Samaria by means of a land passage under Arab control. Party MK Yisrael Hason has called for an agreement with the Palestinian Authority (PA) to stipulate that an international authority replace the PA if it cannot meet its current obligations under the existing Oslo Accords and subsequent agreements.

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