MK Avigdor Lieberman, who recently stepped down as Foreign Minister, said Monday that peace was possible – but that it would take a great deal of patience.
Video: Natan Epstein
Speaking at the annual meeting of the World Jewish Congress Monday evening, Lieberman said he believed that Israel and the Palestinian Authority could resolve their differences. However, he insisted, imposing peace would not work.
“We have to change the order of things, First we must ensure security and only afterwards discuss specific political issues. I believe that helping the Palestinians economically is in Israel's greatest interests, because solving the conflict will only be possible when we solve the problem of mass poverty in the PA.”
The issues were very complicated, Lieberman said, “and they cannot be resolved in the 8-10 months everyone thinks is needed.”
Regarding Iran, Lieberman said that the recent “softness offensive” by new Iranian President Hassan Rouhani was designed “just to buy time, following the North Korean model. The biggest problem with the Iranian nuclear program is not that it could cause tension between Israel and Iran, but that it is pushing the development or acquisition of nuclear weapons by many countries in the region.
"It is in the international interest to halt the Iranian program that is threatening the stability of the whole Middle East,” he said.