Lieberman: Kerry's offer is best Israel will get - Diplomacy and Defense - Israel News | Haaretz

Lieberman: Kerry's offer is best Israel will get

But for deal to win his party's support, it must include transfer of Israeli Arab towns to Palestinian sovereignty, says FM.

Kerry in Saudi Arabia
Kerry withe Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Saud al-Faisal bin Abdulaziz al-Saud, prior to his flight to Israel. Januar... / Photo by AFP
By Barak Ravid
Published 04:34 06.01.14

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said on Sunday that Israel must accept U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s proposal for a framework agreement with the Palestinians since “any other proposal from the international community won’t be as good.”

But Lieberman also said that his party, Yisrael Beiteinu, would not support any agreement that did not include transferring Israeli Arab towns in Wadi Ara and the Triangle region to Palestinian sovereignty.

Lieberman made the comments during his speech at the annual ambassadors’ conference Sunday, as Kerry travelled back and forth between Jerusalem and Ramallah in an attempt to forge an understanding regarding the framework agreement. The secretary of state visited Jordan Sunday as well, where he met with King Abdullah, then continued on to Riyadh to meet with Saudia Arabia’s King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz. Kerry tried to enlist the support of the two nations and, through them, the backing of the Arab League for the framework agreement that will most likely present in full in late January.

Lieberman and Kerry met on Friday morning and spoke about Lieberman’s upcoming speech, among other topics. The Americans knew that Lieberman would include a positive message in his address to the ambassadors, but were surprised at the extent of support the minister expressed for Kerry’s proposals. A senior American official stated that the remarks Lieberman made are evidence that Netanyahu would have strong political backing should he decide to accept Kerry’s framework agreement.

Addressing the ambassadors gathered at the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem, Lieberman spoke almost entirely without looking down at his notes – until he reached the part about the peace process. Then, he took the pages in his hand, and read word for word. “I most certainly support a true, sustainable, and comprehensive agreement,” said Lieberman. “Even with all of the doubts in my heart regarding the true intentions of the other side, dialogue between us is important. Even when we disagree, when we don’t really trust one another, the ability to engage in dialogue and live our joint lives in a reasonable way is of the utmost importance.”

Lieberman praised Kerry for his efforts, as well as his proposals for a security agreement, and his efforts to gain Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish state. “We cannot ignore the magnitude of his efforts, as reflected in the media, at least regarding the issues that are most important to us,” said Lieberman. “I am well aware of the fact that everyone else from the international community that brought us alternative proposals did not bring us such clearcut positions on the two issues most important to us. And other proposals from the international community would be worse for us.”

However, Lieberman also presented a series of demands that he said he believes must be included in any permanent agreement with the Palestinians, most importantly, “land and population swaps,” which would see Israeli Arab towns in Wadi Ara and the Triangle region transferred to Palestinian sovereignty.

“As far as I’m concerned, a condition for an agreement with the Palestinians is also an agreement on Arab Israelis,” said Lieberman. “I know that it’s not politically correct to say so, but without land and population swaps, Yisrael Beiteinu will not support any agreement. This is not a transfer… we’re not going to kick anyone out of their homes or take their property. It’s simply moving the border so that it would be near Route 6. If someone thinks I’m referring to the Triangle and Wadi Ara they’re correct. There is no reason that they should not join their Palestinian brothers under full Palestinian sovereignty, and become citizens of the Palestinian state that they so long for.”

Lieberman added that he will not agree to the right of return for Palestinian refugees in Israeli territory, “not even one single person.” According to Lieberman, even suggesting such an option would lead to incredible international pressure to allow entry for hordes of refugees that “future governments might not be able to handle.” Lieberman added that after a Palestinian state is created, Syria and Lebanon are likely to expel hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees from their territories. “Let’s think one step forward,” said Lieberman. “Can the economy of Judea and Samaria, which aren’t exactly Switzerland or Norway, really handle another million Palestinians? Where will they live? What will they eat? Where will they work? And how will it affect Israel?”

Kerry returned to Israel Sunday evening but was not planning to hold additional meetings with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu or Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, having met both leaders extensively throughout the weekend. He is to leave the region Monday and return for yet another visit next Monday.

Kerry sounded relatively optimistic about the chances of a breakthrough agreement. During a press briefing before flying to Jordan Sunday morning, he called on Israelis and Palestinians to focus on the big picture -- reaching a peace agreement -- and not get bogged down in day-to-day conflicts. He was referring to the “blame game,” currently being played by Netanyahu and Abbas over incitement, settlement construction, and other issues. He stressed that the ideas that he and U.S. President Barack Obama are set to present will be fair and balanced, and will allow all sides to guarantee their security.


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  • 20.
    Israel accepts Arabs as citizens. Similarly Jews living in the West Bank
    can be citizens there. Not one should have to leave especially since they live on only 5% of the West Bank. Netanyahu get wise and insist that Jews living in the West Bank should be able to remain there, not for just 5 years but for as long as they like. In time the Jews will outnumber the Arabs then won't it be fun.
  • 19.
    who is he that he should bring his offers the the King of Israel
  • 18.
    Lieberman: Kerry's offer is best Israel will get?
    How about Palestinian opinion, did they accept Kerry´s offer? or only jewish opinion is more important?
  • 17.
    But for deal to win his party's support, it must include transfer of Israeli Arab towns to Palestinian sovereignty, says FM?.
    Two states solution will save israel. How Israel will be destroyed without one shot being fired? One State Solution is the answer.
  • 16.
    Lieberman became leftist
  • 15.
    Moving the frontier is a brilliant idea, providing the local population can vote on it.
    It would oblige the inhabitants of Um el-Fahm, for example, to decide whether they want to be part of Israel, or part of a future Palestine state.
  • Any decision should be first negotiated.
    in order to be respected.
  • 14.
    The only way this makes sense is if they are saying to themselves 'let the Ps have their state...then watch it fail. A P state on the WB and Jordan Valley cannot sustain all the P returnees out of 10 million who might return. The state would be pol, econ and milit unsustainable. No water, no army, no money (of its own). Its a 'pipedream'... That's the only way Netanyahu and Lieberman's support makes any sense...
  • 13.
    Shortsighted Suppositions When Not Playing With A Full Deck Of Cards Leads To A Myopic Mindset
    Shuffle in the Hamas Ace of Spades, the Khamenei King of Spades, the Pal Al Qaida Queen of Spades, the Islamic Jihad Jack of Spades, etc., and you have a lot of intractable enemies of the Jewish State coagulating to choke the very throat of Israel till it gasps its last breath.
  • You left out Netanyahu,Lieberman,Bennett and Elkin
    None of those have ever played with a full deck. If they met a full deck it would be a first time introduction.
  • The World was safer place until 1947.
    One never heard such things as: Al Qaeda, Taliban,Hizbollah El Shabab, or even Hamas.There was no radical Islam, suicide bomber, or any sort of terrorism except irgun and gangstern zionist terrorist groups before 1947.Enough is enough.
  • 12.
    reply to #6 this is why 2 states makes no sense...
    Gee whiz, sounds like the US and Mexico, and after we took half their country out of greed...
  • Without a peace agreement, the future is clear:
    The Palestinians will so outnumber the Jews that Israel will be forced to give them the vote; the first bill to pass in a Palestinian-majority parliament will change the country's name from Israel to Palestine, and the second bill will be a Palestinian 'Law of Return.
  • 11.
    As Jesus said
    As Jesus said, there will NEVER be peace without Him. This includes all Israel people who have yet to receive Him as Savior. Jesus promised there would be NO peace till He comes back again and in all His Glory. All these peace agreement fiasco's are done in vain and will NEVER work. The only last peace agreement will be made by the Antichrist and then it will only last 3 1/2 years until he reveals himself in the abomination of desolation. ~Amedeo Bianchi - Amedeo777 No Jesus, No Peace Know Jesus, Know Peace
  • as Jesus said
    you are so right and Biblical proohecy is unfolding before our eyes. The problem is, they don,t know or have never heard of Jesus the Messiah. The war is not with people, it is spiritual. Praise the Lord that the one thing that is sire and unchanging is the word of God. How vain of mere men that they think they can initiate peace with those who want the demise of Israel. they never learn from history. Hitler is gone, the Jews remain because God is the defender of the Jews. Kerry should go home
  • 10.
    How can someone talk about peace with Palestinians if Hamas rejected any peace
    and Fatah controlled media call for annihilation of Israel dally?Stop dreaming and face the fact.Palestinians want Israel territory,not peace with her.Never heard Palestinians to say that Israel is an illegal settlement????
  • 9.
    The question isn't if Israel accepts,the question is if Palestinians accept.How can someone talk about peace if Hamas rejected any peace
    and Fatah controlled media call for annihilation of Israel dally?Stop dreaming and face the fact.Palestinians want Israel territory,not peace with her.Never heard Palestinians to say that Israel is an illegal settlement????
  • 8.
    Lieberman should be transferred back to Russia!
  • 7.
    Lieberman: Israel must accept the US offer....................
    But only if I get what I want.
  • 6.
    this is why 2 states makes no sense
    Israel holds all the cards now and will continue to hold them even if some pathetic micro-state is created for the Palestinians. The FM knows that transferring Arab towns to the micro-state will in no way prevent Israel from standing over it like a hawk with the ability to do exactly as it pleases any time it pleases. A micro-state will do nothing to change the oppression of the Palestinians, only a single truly democratic state can do it. For this reason, the success of Kerry's mission is moot, the lion will still be in a cage with a house-cat. The issue that stands over all others is - can Israel remain a state for one group that is free to expel all others.
  • Apartheid or equal rights ?
    One state with equal rights for all Down with Israeli racism!
  • Carole Judaism is a religion not a race.
    don't you know anything?
  • Why two tiny Micronesian states?
    Let it be One State with equal rights. One secular state with equal civil rights for all in Ariel, Har Homa, Nablus, Hebron, Jerusalem Equal civil rights and responsibilities regardless of race, religion, or national origin, desegregated public schools for all, one person one vote, equal access to opportunities, equal mobility. Enough is enough!
  • BBB
    cannot read well. Carole wrote: one state with equal rights for all down with ISRAELI racism, and NOT Jewish religioun.
  • 5.
    If Lieberman approves Israel must be getting all it wants
    or else it will be a miracle.
  • 4.
    Israel doesn't have to accept anything.
    Israel has unlimited military power. Israel can smote its enemies to ash in seconds. What can Israel's enemies do?
  • Starve you to death with Sanctions.
  • The same was true of apartheid South Africa
    But in the end what took it down was the refusal by the rest of the world to continue doing business with a racist and oppressive regime. How do you "smote" that opponent?
  • Sanctions now!
    Impose sanctions and boycott El Al and Israeli shipping in EU? Moreover, we should simultaneously destroy Israels 5 nuclear subs. Israeli nukes threaten the while world.
  • Military might will not feed your children.
  • 3.
    There will never be peace - face it and move on world - who cares?
    EVER EVER EVER - want peace raise your children in Europe and the Americas not here.
  • Holocaust in USA
    No one cared about the Jews the first time. No one will care about the next Jewish holocaust. if Jews do not care for Pals, how should we care for Jews at the next holocaust?
  • This is FALSE FLAG post by a coward intended to damage credibility of Soothsayer
    You're caught, coward. Tragically, this is a common tactic of guile used by Zionists. Lies and dishonesty are acceptable when the agendas end justifes the means.
  • 2.
    Liebi is right that the right of return is not a practical option andcould future governments
    But as I always said on this august forum, the Palestinians are using this demand as a bargaining chip because they do not have much ammunition in their arsenal. They will give it up in return for commensurate concession. So,.give back all the West Bank, cough up money to make over the Palestinian infrastructure which you have deliberately destroyed, and give the Palestinians the right to work in Israel. Then they will be delighted to give up ROR.
  • 1.
    Does that mean that Jews do not have to be transferred also?
    Or are you just playing ball with the zios Salaam/Shalom
  • Jewish settlers are not citizens of the Palestinian state yet to be created.
    Arad Israelis ARE citizens. You may ignore this, but if you do you can't say Israel is a democracy.