Lieberman: the Strong Survive

Spanish Foreign Minister unhappy with Israeli counterpart's remark that before lecturing Israel, Europeans should solve their own problems.

Tags: Anat Kam
Gil Ronen , | updated: 3:33 PM

Israel news photo: Flash 90

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman responded Monday to European criticism by saying that “we have to say the truth without fearing and without blinking. We must remember that in the Middle East, the weak do not survive, only the strong.” To drive through his point regarding the hypocrisy of Europeans who criticize Israel's policies, he noted that European countries have passed laws against burkhas for Muslim women, he while Israel has not.

He was speaking at a meeting of his Knesset faction, Israel is Our Home.

The spat between Lieberman and the Europeans began during a meeting he held Sunday with his French and Spanish counterparts, Bernard Kouchner and Miguel Moratinos, in Jerusalem. “Before you teach us how to resolve conflicts here,” he told the guests, “I expect at the very least that you solve all the problems in Europe.”

Lieberman added that “In 1938 the European community decided to appease Hitler instead of supporting the loyal ally Czechoslovakia, and sacrificed it without gaining anything. We have no intention of becoming 2010's Czechoslovakia and will insist on Israel's vital interests.”

Moratinos said Monday that Israel “recognizes Europe's involvement in the diplomatic process in the Middle East” and added that, if the European Union did not wield as much influence as it does on the region, “it is possible that our friend Minister Lieberman would not have reacted as he reacted.”