Who is Avigdor Lieberman?

Media Briefs
November 03, 2014

Israel’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Avigdor Lieberman has the distinction of being the only Foreign Minister in the world who doesn’t live in his own country. He is an illegal settler residing in the colony of Noqdim, to the east of the Bethlehem District, between Bethlehem City and the Dead Sea.

Early Life

Born in Moldova in 1958, Mr. Lieberman immigrated to Israel in 1978 and immediately joined the most extreme segments of the Israeli society. Yossi Dayan, former secretary general of the Kakh movement confirmed to Haaretz that Mr. Lieberman was involved in meetings with his terrorist organization (Lili Galili, “Avigdor Lieberman said to be exmember of banned radical Kach movement”, Haaretz January 1, 2009). The Kakh movement was banned in the United States and even in Israel due to their extremist ideology. A former nightclub bouncer, he has a BA in International Relations and Political Science from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Political Career

Mr. Lieberman served as Director-General of the Likud Party between 1993 and 1996, the years of hateful Likud incitement against the Israeli Peace Camp, including the assassinated Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. Mr. Lieberman then served as Director General of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s Office between 1996 and 1997. Along with Mr. Netanyahu, Mr. Lieberman was at Likud when the party developed its party platform, which states that:

“The Jewish communities in Judea, Samaria and Gaza [i.e the Occupied State of Palestine] are the realization of Zionist values. Settlement of the land is a clear expression of the unassailable right of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel and constitutes an important asset in the defense of the vital interests of the State of Israel. The Likud will continue to strengthen and develop these communities and will prevent their uprooting (…) The Government of Israel flatly rejects the establishment of a Palestinian Arab state west of the Jordan River.”

In 1999 Mr. Lieberman founded the Yisrael Beitenu party (Israel My Home), an extremist right wing party committed to the colonization of Occupied Palestine and discrimination against non-Jewish citizens of the State of Israel.

The political career of Mr. Lieberman has been characterized by hate and racism. His incitement against Palestinian national rights, his proposals to forcibly expel Palestinian citizens from Israel and his references to President Abbas as “diplomatic terrorist” are all part of his repertoire.

Political Comments

  1. On Ending Occupation

    • "Today I stand before you in Jerusalem, and confirm Begin's words: the city will remain our capital and will never be divided." (Ha'aretz April 20,2010)

    • “Today I think that Israel's citizens understand why I say all the time, that there cannot be a situation in any agreement that we will give up security control from the Jordan River westward,” (Jerusalem Post, August 11, 2014)

  2. On Peace Nefotiations

    • "What we state unequivocally is that we are completely opposed to what has been and still is the guiding principle of Israel's foreign policy: 'land for peace' ... There is either 'peace for peace' or the exchange of territory and populations." (Reuters, April 1, 2009).

    • "You have to be generous to your friends and cruel to your enemies. We are simply a society of wimps." (Reuters, April 1, 2009).

    • "We cannot reach a political agreement with the Palestinians in the current negotiations ...we fool ourselves and fool the world when we say that we can reach a comprehensive peace agreement, and we have to understand that Abbas is not a partner.” (Al Ayyam Oct 21, 2013).

  3. On Palestinians

    • “We must continue to fight Hamas just like the United States did with the Japanese in World War II (…) Then, too, the occupation of the country was unnecessary." (14 January 2009, Israel National News. In a speech at Bar Ilan University, Lieberman suggested the total destruction of Gaza just like the US fired nuclear bombs to Japanese cities).

    • “It would be better to drown these (Palestinian) prisoners in the Dead Sea if possible, since that's the lowest point in the world.” (The Guardian, July 25, 2003).

    • “At 8am we’ll bomb all the commercial centers…at noon we’ll bomb their gas stations…at two we’ll bomb their banks…” (Lieberman in March 2002, at a Cabinet Meeting, proposed an ultimatum to the PLO. This was quoted by Yediot Aharonot and never denied. Earlier that year Lieberman, also in a Cabinet Meeting, suggested “If it were up to me, I would notify the [Palestinian] Authority that tomorrow at ten in the morning we will explode all their places of work in Ramallah, for example." (Yediot Aharonot, March 2, 2002).

  4. On President Abbas

    • “(Abbas) is a liar, a coward and a weakling (…) Everything he does is pure diplomatic terror. Between diplomatic terror and conventional terror, diplomatic terror is more serious" (Haaretz, September 13, 2012).

    • “The man is not a partner for anything, certainly not a diplomatic one. He has exhausted everyone, not just the Israelis, but the entire international community. Even the Arab world has tired of Abu Mazen (Abbas) (…) If we had not wasted time with Abu Mazen we would have gotten to better results. But we should not dictate to the Palestinians who should be their leaders.” (Jerusalem Post Sep 28, 2014)

    • “As long as Abu Mazen is chairman of the PA, he will lead to a continuation of the conflict. Abu Mazen has once again proven that he is not a man of peace, but rather a successor to Yasser Arafat in other ways.” (Jerusalem Post Sep 26, 2014)

    • "If there is one obstacle that should be removed immediately, it is [Abbas]" (Haaretz Oct 25, 2011)

  5. On Palestinian Citezens of Israel

    • "Those who participated on Friday in the festival to support the Palestinian people in Gaza in the village of Kabul in the Galilee should celebrate for a long time in prison on charges of treason and supporting terrorism," "The demonstrators, including Arab MKs, did not demonstrate out of human solidarity with the Palestinians in Gaza, but to express their support for the enemy who fought against Israel for almost two months. Therefore, they must be treated as traitors just like those who support any terrorist organisation. They must be tried and granted a moment of silence, as they did in the demonstration, but this time inside prison cells." (Translation from Mr. Lieberman’s Facebook Page quoted by Arabs48 website, Sep 1, 2014)

    • "I call upon everyone not to shop anymore at the stores and businesses of those among the Arab sector who are participating today in the general strike that was declared by the Higher Arab Monitoring Committee as a sign of empathy for Gaza residents and against Operation Protective Edge.” (Ha'aretz July 21, 2014)

    • “To those Arabs that took part today in the 'Nakba Day' procession and waved Palestinian flags, I suggest that next time they march directly to Ramallah” (Lieberman referring to the annual procession marked by Palestinian citizens of Israel who survived the destruction of 418 villages and expulsion of 70% of the Palestinian people) May 7, 2014.

    • "What is the core of the conflict? Wherever in the world there are two languages, two religions, two people, there are tensions and conflicts: in Québec in Canada, in the former Yugoslavia, in the Russian Caucasus or in Northern Ireland where the confessions have fought each other for many years. It is crystal clear: The more homogeneous a country is, the better it develops." (Spiegel, February 12, 2007).

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