Lieberman at UN: Peace Decades Away, Can be Based on Land Swap
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman told the nations of the world Tuesday that peace between Israel and the Palestinian Authority would not be achieved anytime soon. The Prime Minister's Office said Lieberman was not speaking for the Prime Minister.
In his address before the United Nations General Assembly, Lieberman said that a peace treaty dividing the Land of Israel between Jews and Arabs would not be signed in the next few decades. The sides would do best to reach a long term temporary agreement at this point, he explained.
Lieberman said that a long term temporary agreement will enable the Palestinian Authority to achieve economic growth and enjoy freedom of movement. It will make it possible, he added, for new generations of Jews and Arabs who are not raised on hatred and incitement, to reach peace several decades hence.
A permanent agreement, Lieberman said, must be based on land swaps that would involve population swaps. Lieberman stressed that he was referring to redrawing the borders in a way that reflects demographics, and not to actually moving populations from their current locations.
The PMO said that Lieberman's speech was not coordinated beforehand with the Prime Minister. In a response to journalists' questions, the PMO said that “the Prime Minister is the one directing the diplomatic negotiations in Israel's name.”
Lieberman also said that those who say that a solution to the Iranian threat depends on a solution to the conflict between Israel and the PA has things backward. Defeating the radical regime in Teheran, he explained, would also bring down Hamas, which receives its marching orders from Iran – and make peace more attainable.