Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman at a Foreign Ministry reception.
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman Photo by Michal Fattal
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Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman lashed out Thursday at Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas, saying he wouldn’t be able to last in office more than another year or two, and calling the Oslo Accords “the biggest diplomatic failure since the founding of the state.”

Abbas is “a liar, a coward and a weakling,” said Lieberman, at a Foreign Ministry reception for the Jewish new year. “If he had even a minimum of self-respect, he’d resign. All that he has left to do is blame Israel. Everything he does is pure diplomatic terror. Between diplomatic terror and conventional terror, diplomatic terror is more serious.

“Abu Mazen (Abbas) knows that he isn’t capable of making order or managing,” Lieberman continued. “He and his regime are living on borrowed time. Just as the rotten regimes in the Arab states can’t be saved, Abu Mazen’s rotten regime can’t be saved. He’s lost all credit with the Palestinians.

“It’s none of our business who comes after him,” added Lieberman. “If his successor wants to conduct a dialogue with us, we’ll conduct a dialogue.”

Lieberman also condemned the Oslo Accords on the 19th anniversary of their signing.

“We have to reassess our relations with the Palestinian Authority,” he said. “We don’t have to wait until the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Oslo Accords. Even if we would go back to the 1967 borders and evacuate all the settlements and allow them to build whatever they want in Area C, we won’t have peace or security here, only more accusations, more incitement and more delegitimization. We can and must draw conclusions and try to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of those agreements.

“It’s hard for me to see what we’ve gained. If I had to make an assessment, from my perspective there’s no doubt that we’re talking about the biggest diplomatic failure since the founding of the state.”

Lieberman also criticized this week’s decision by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz to advance millions of shekels in funds to the PA to help it with its financial difficulties.

“Only a month and a half ago we made confidence-building gestures to the Palestinians,” he said. “We saw the response we got. The highlight was Palestinian Foreign Minister [Riyad] Maliki’s speech in Tehran. He spoke about how the State of Israel conducts a systematic ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians; that gangs of settlers commit war crimes like the armed gangs in ’48 – the Hagana, for example.”