Lieberman has made no secret of his distrust of the Palestinians. Often in the past, the firebrand has expressed that there was no point in trying to negotiate with the Palestinians; and in particular, he has little respect for President Mahmoud Abbas. Not only does the foreign minister call the PA President an “obstacle that needs to be removed,” he also hopes Abbas will make good on his repeated threats to resign.
The Palestinians didn’t like the harsh talk and therefore appealed to the U.S. and the E.U. They claim Lieberman is provoking the assassination of Abbas.
Peace talks have not progressed over the last two years and then broke down over construction of Israeli settlements. Lieberman defended the construction, noting that the settlements made up less than two percent of the West Bank and so “have never been an obstacle to peace.”
Abbas focused on his impatience and threatened to resign if something wasn’t done soon. To date, he hasn’t made good his resignation. In response to the empty words, Lieberman is quoted as saying,
“He has been threatening to return the keys and resign? That would not be a threat but a blessing, and I wish he would finally do it. Whoever comes after him will be better … there is no lack of Palestinians who studied in the West — educated people with Western values with whom we can talk.”
He continued to explain that even though Abbas is viewed as a moderate in theory, in action he honors terrorists by naming public squares after them, hands out money to the Palestinian terrorist killers just released in last week’s prisoner swap, and has called for a future Palestinian state that was free of Jews.
Yasser Abed Rabbo, a top aide to Abbas, called Lieberman the “most extreme, racist person in Israel” and “an enemy of peace” who should be “condemned by every rational voice in Israel.” He also demanded an apology from the Israeli government.
Israeli FM says Abbas is ‘obstacle’ to peace: “He’s also a contentious figure because of his support for redrawing Israel’s borders to push areas with heavy concentrations of Israeli Arabs out of Israel and into Palestinian jurisdiction. He also launched a failed effort in parliament to force Israeli Arabs to take a loyalty oath or lose their citizenship.
Lieberman said he was ‘100 percent’ sure that the establishment of a Palestinian state in the current climate would lead to rocket attacks against major Israeli population centers. Gaza militants have fired thousands of rockets at Israel since Israel’s pullout in 2005.”
World Jewish Daily: “Lieberman is not a member of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s Likud party, but rather the independent rightwing party Yisrael Beiteinu. As such, any statement he makes cannot be interpreted as reflecting the thoughts of the prime minister or of official government policy.
Nonetheless, the fact that Lieberman felt comfortable making such statements may indicate that the Netanyahu government, or at least its right wing, has soured permanently on Abbas in the wake of the U.N. statehood bid.”
Israeli Foreign Minister Accuses Abbas of Being the Obstacle To Peace Talks