Lieberman Blasts Likud Lawmakers: You Voted for Gaza Disengagement

Likud MKs criticize Lieberman over remarks about the prime minister's failed foreign policy; Yisrael Beiteinu holds its ground in moments of truth, Lieberman says.

ברק רביד - צרובה
Barak Ravid
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Benjamin Netanyahu and Avigdor Lieberman at a cabinet meeting, April 2013.
Benjamin Netanyahu and Avigdor Lieberman at a cabinet meeting, April 2013.Credit: Emil Salman
ברק רביד - צרובה
Barak Ravid

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Wednesday responded to attacks from Likud lawmakers who criticized him for remarks he made about Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's diplomacy, as reported in Haaretz.

"I heard a senior Likud official attack me for moving to the left, so I would like to say something on behalf of a senior Yisrael Beiteinu official named Avigdor Lieberman," he said.

"The Likud led the disengagement [from Gaza] and there was only one minister who voted against it at the moment of truth," he said, referring to Uzi Landau, currently of Yisrael Beiteinu. "Five Likud MKs who served then and are serving now voted in favor of disengagement. No right-wing person from Ra'anana or Tel Aviv should rebuke a right-wing man from [the settlement of] Nokdim. At the moment of truth, I know where Likud members will stand and where Yisrael Beiteinu members will stand."

Lieberman said on Tuesday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s status-quo approach to the Palestinian conflict has failed and that without an Israeli initiative the country will face a “diplomatic tsunami.”

Speaking at a closed conference at Tel Aviv University, Lieberman said that absent an Israeli-Palestinian agreement, Israel’s relationship with the European Union would deteriorate severely, which would in turn damage the Israeli economy.

“Look what’s happening with Russia,” the Yisrael Beiteinu party chairman said, referring to the EU sanctions imposed on Moscow due to its aggression in Ukraine.

Lieberman slammed Netanyahu, saying his “sanctification” of the status quo had failed.

Lieberman said he is not writing off Netanyahu or Labor Party chairman Isaac Herzog. "I will ask them to join the government that Yisrael Beiteinu will form," he said.

Lieberman added that a "broad government" would be the key to the success of the next Knesset and coalition, and the best way of avoiding elections in another two years.

The choice in the next election won't be between Netanyahu and Herzog, said Lieberman. "The alternative will be between the utopia of the left, the pragmatic nationalist camp and the extremist right that ignores reality," he said. "Yisrael Beiteinu is the pragmatic nationalist camp."

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