Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Yisrael Beiteinu Gone

With a blast of racist rhetoric, Avigdor Lieberman has pulled Yisrael Beiteinu out of the government:
"Yisrael Beiteinu chairman Avigdor Lieberman announced his party's departure from the coalition Wednesday morning, saying the rightist party would not tolerate negotiations with the Palestinian Authority on the core issues of the conflict...

"Lieberman, who served as strategic affairs minister in Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's government, said peace talks must address the issue of transferring the Israeli Arab population to Palestinian control.

"'From our point of view, the concept of land for peace is out of the question,' said Lieberman. 'The principle must be exchanges of territory and population.'

"The outgoing minister said a withdrawal to the pre-1967 borders would not bring peace or an end to terrorism. 'You know what will happen the day after we withdraw to the 1967 borders?' asked Lieberman. 'Israeli Arabs will request Palestinian citizenship, and will continue to receive social security payments from the State of Israel...'

"'Our problem is not with the Palestinians, it is with Israeli Arabs,' he said. '[Israeli Arab MKs] Ahmed Tibi and Mohammed Barakeh are more dangerous than [Damascus-based Hamas leader Khaled] Meshal and [Hezbollah leader Hassan] Nasrallah, because they operate from within.'"

Olmert's coalition now depends on Shas, which has threatened to leave if Jerusalem is discussed in negotiations, which it will be.



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