Liberman: The EU is Israel's Biggest Challenge

Liberman says Oslo Accords, status quo have both collapsed, notes EU crucial for Israel's economic interests.

Yedidya Ben-Or ,

Avigdor Liberman
Avigdor Liberman
Miriam Alster/Flash 90

Foreign Minister and Yisrael Beytenu party leader Avigdor Liberman spoke with Israel's ambassadors in Europe on Sunday, and clarified in a special Arutz Sheva interview that working with the European Union (EU) is Israel's main challenge today. 

"The Oslo Accords have collapsed," Liberman noted, referring to the series of unilateral moves the Palestinian Authority (PA) has taken against Israel. These include forming a pact with Hamas in April, and since applying to the UN, submitting a failed draft resolution for a Palestinian state, and applying to the International Criminal Court (ICC). 

"[So has the] opposite approach, of keeping the 'status quo' at all costs." 

"Our biggest challenge is not the Palestinian Authority and the Arab states, but Western countries," Liberman said. "The best example here is the [UN] Security Council vote. Of its members, three EU countries participated in the vote - and two voted with the Palestinians, France and Luxembourg, and one country, Britain, had abstained." 

Liberman stressed that Europe's views are also important for Israel's economic interests.

"In terms of Israeli exports, Western Europe has this big market," he said. "We will have to deal with Western Europe, with the EU." 

The Foreign Minister added that the EU's attitudes toward Israel are a great injustice.

"Is that right? It's not," he said. "There's a lot of injustice. Syria killed 76 thousand, 15 thousand killed in Iraq. But we need to use the saying, 'do not be just be right - be smart.' The fact that we are right here is no doubt, the question is how we deal with it." 

Liberman's comments surface days after European Union’s (EU) foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, urged both sides to return to the negotiating table following the failed draft resolution. 

"The EU renews its call for both parties to resume negotiations urgently and to refrain from any action further undermining the viability of the two-state solution," Mogherini said, according to AFP.

"The European Union will promote and support now more than ever efforts to achieve a lasting peace based on this two-state vision together with international partners, including in the region," she stressed.