Liberman: Israel Needs Allies, Not 'Painful Concessions'
On Wednesday Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman (Likud-Beytenu) denounced the supposed need for Israel to make "painful concessions" to achieve peace. Liberman slammed the notion as "a pure invention of people that don't know the facts and don't know the history."
Liberman added "we evacuated 21 blossoming communities [during the "Disengagement" from Gaza and northern Samaria - ed.] ...and instead of peace we had our communities fired on."
His comments were made during a speech at the "Israel Conference for Roads to Friendship and Society" at the Sapir Academic College. Just this month Liberman returned to his post after a 10 month absence over fraud and breach of trust charges that he was recently cleared of.
Rather than on the basis of Israeli concessions, Liberman argued that countries make their decision to support or oppose Israel in accordance with their own interests.
In countries with a relatively small Jewish minority and a relatively large Muslim population, as in Europe for example, the national policy leans in a clear direction against Israel, according to Liberman. He said "there are cold and pragmatic interests and considerations that, even if I don't agree with them, I can understand them."
Responding to questions about relations between Israel and the US, Liberman spoke in favor of finding other allied countries, saying "there are enough countries that we can be a help to and therefore our foreign policy must be to search for allies."
Regarding allies, Liberman said "we need to find countries that don't need financial assistance and aren't beholden to the Arab world." He added that the thought that countries "will act for our good out of altruism is simple naivety."
The statements come during rocky times for US-Israeli ties. Analysts have said the US is turning its back on Israel in supporting proposed deals with Iran on its nuclear weapons program. Furthermore, the current US administration claims that Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria are "illegitimate."
Meanwhile Egypt, longtime ally of America, just Wednesday reportedly sealed an arms deal with Russia worth billions of dollars as its US ties have soured following former President Mohammed Morsi's ouster. The deal reportedly was meant to allow Egypt to at least reach parity with the IDF.
Liberman spoke about the Arab world as well, saying "the general trend as we saw in the Palestinian elections and the 'Arab spring' is a turn towards radical Islam which increasingly controls Arab society."