Lieberman: Palestinians May Try to Form Autonomous Arab Regions Within Israel

Foreign minister says there is a possibility the Palestinians may try to delegitimize Israel as a Jewish state.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Tuesday that the Palestinians' refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state raises concern that before reaching a peace deal, they would try to create autonomous Arab regions within Israel.

While meeting with Finnish Foreign Minister Alexander Stubb in Jerusalem, Lieberman also said that there is a possibility that the Palestinians may try to delegitimize Israel as a Jewish state.

Lieberman - Reuters - Oct 12, 2010

"The Palestinians' attitude towards recognizing Israel as a Jewish state forces us to insist on it," said Lieberman. He added that there is no question that Israel has the will for peace, but a question does exist regarding which road to take to get there.

During their meeting, Lieberman and Stubb discussed the Middle East peace process, as well as relations between Israel and the European Union and Israel and Finland.

On Sunday, Lieberman met with the foreign ministers of Spain and France and told them that Israel will stand up to its critics.

"In 1938 Europe placated Hitler, sacrificing Czechoslovakia instead of supporting it, and gained nothing from it," Lieberman said. "We will not be the Czechoslovakia of 2010, we will stand up for Israel's vital interests."

He also told the two foreign ministers to solve the issues in their own countries before attacking Israel.

"Solve your own problems in Europe before you come to us with complaints. Maybe then I will be open to accepting your suggestions," he told them in a dinner meeting.