Daily Israel Report

Liberman: I'm willing to be Evicted – for Peace

Foreign Minister said that there is 'a huge and substantial difference' between his views and Bennett's
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 2/9/2014, 8:58 AM

Liberman and Kerry
Liberman and Kerry
Reuters

Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, who lives in the Judean community of Nokdim, said Sunday that he would be willing to be evicted from his home as part of a peace deal that would establish a state of “Palestine” alongside Israel.

"I would be willing to vacate my home if I believe that we have a permanent agreement,” he told IDF Radio. He warned, however, against a repeat of the Oslo Accords, which he called “full of holes.”

"I support a diplomatic agreement, but one that also includes an exchange of populations,” he added. “I do not think that I am acting in a way that is moderate and conciliatory,” he said, when asked if he had changed his political stripes, from a hardline nationalist to a believer in a softer approach.

"I am comporting myself in a realistic and completely pragmatic fashion,” he explained. “There is nothing new here. I am neither the 'responsible adult' nor the 'angry young man' – these stigmas are unnecessary.”

Yet Liberman may be making a conscious effort to distance himself politically from Jewish Home leader Naftali Bennett, who appeals to a nationalist base. He told the military radio station that “a huge and substantial difference” separates his views from Bennett's.

"Kerry is a true friend of Israel, he leads the process correctly and has the right to think differently from that of belligerent Naftali Bennett," Liberman said a week ago. “All I hear is a competition of who can be more blunt and belligerent against Kerry.”

Speaking to reporters on Friday, US State Department Spokeswoman Jen Psaki commented on Liberman’s statements and said, “We certainly welcomed his remarks and his sentiment and the importance of the peace process, and it’s a reflection of, of course, the belief of many people in Israel that a two-state solution is the right outcome at the end of this process.”

She added, “It certainly is a powerful statement and a powerful message given [Liberman's] history and his background on these issues and where his view was. It doesn’t mean there’s an end to opponents for a two-state solution, an end to opponents of a peace process, but certainly, we’re hopeful that we can get back to the focus on the difficult issues at hand.”