Even before the echoes of Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman's scandalous speech at the United Nations had died down, Lieberman was back showing the world the ugly face of Israel.
Israel's number one diplomat did not make do with rudely preaching to his high ranking guests from Europe, Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Moratinos and his French counterpart, Bernard Kouchner. In a rude violation of the rules of diplomatic conduct, his bureau was quick to share with the public the unpleasant things he told the ministers.
It was reported yesterday that the two called Lieberman to protest the release of the content of their talk and to stress that the foreign minister had breached their trust. Lieberman was quick to announce that he only "made it clear that he had no intention that his words appear to be a reprimand," but stressed that he did not apologize to the two ministers.
Lieberman's flawed behavior, which repeats itself, raises suspicion that the leader of Yisrael Beiteinu has transformed the foreign service of Israel into a springboard for advancing his lot in the right wing. At a time when the prime minister, ministers, ambassadors and even the president are trying to explain to leaders throughout the world that Israel seeks an agreement quickly with the Palestinians, the foreign minister does not miss a chance to present them as delusional.
It has reached the point that shortly after Benjamin Netanyahu told the two European ministers that he believes it is possible to reach agreement within a year, Lieberman told them that whoever says so is naive.
The decision to appoint Lieberman as foreign minister is repeatedly proven to be one of Netanyahu's most damaging mistakes.
Every additional day that the prime minister allows Lieberman to hold the post of foreign minister and represent Israel in the world's capitals, he makes this error more evident.
The prime minister cannot evade his responsibility with the unconvincing excuse that his foreign minister did not show him his UN speech ahead of time, or with the political argument that Lieberman's party is an essential component of the coalition.
The prime minister bears the ultimate responsibility for the foreign relations of the State of Israel, which were nurtured with a great deal of work over many years. He will have to answer for their demise.
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