Lieberman: Israel Must Look Beyond Abbas for Peace Partners

Foreign Minister says compromise can never be reached with Palestinian president, dismisses Abbas-Livni meet as 'private.'

Foreign Minister Lieberman at press conference in Knesset, March 25, 2014.
Foreign Minister Lieberman at press conference in Knesset, March 25, 2014. Olivier Fitoussi

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said on Saturday that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is not a partner for peace and a compromise cannot be reached with him.

Speaking on Channel 2's Meet the Press, Lieberman said that while the Palestinian Authority complains that it has no money, it pays prisoners incarcerated in Israel "thousands of shekels" a month.

Lieberman stressed the need to reach out to other leaders besides Abbas, just as the Palestinian president meets with the Israeli opposition.

"There is a business community that suffers from Abbas," he said, "and they should be our partners."

Regarding the differences with the U.S. over the collapse of peace talks, Lieberman said: "Even the best friends sometimes make mistakes, and the Americans are wrong about the settlements just as they were wrong about election in the Palestinian Authority."

"I am against conflicts with the U.S.," said the Foreign Minister. "There are good alternatives on the table."

Asked about the recent allegations that Israel is still spying on the U.S., Liebrman said that "there is no spying on U.S. soil."

Lieberman was asked about the recent meeting between Abbas and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, and dismissed them as "a private meeting." "Livni supported the cabinet's decision to freeze negotiations," he said.

In the interview, Lieberman also touched on the possibility of postponing Israel's presidential elections, saying it was "out of the question."