One of Israel’s most outspokenly hawkish and divisive political figures, the ultranationalist politician Avigdor Lieberman, has been offered the post of Defense Minister. Donald Trump is probably getting ready to tweet his approval.
FT Benjamin Netanyahu has offered Israel’s defence ministry to his hardline rival Avigdor Lieberman, in a move set to consolidate the prime minister’s hold on power and shift his government — already one of the most rightwing in Israeli history — further to the right.
The 57-year-old Soviet-born Lieberman has advocated the toppling of the Palestinian Authority, the introduction of the death penalty for terrorists, as well as the transfer of Israeli Arabs into the Palestinian territories.
Mr Lieberman has called on Israel to retake the Gaza Strip, from which it withdrew in 2005, to stop the militant Islamist group Hamas from attacking Israel.
With Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts in a deep freeze, Lieberman’s addition to the government would push any hopes of reviving talks further into the distance. Netanyahu is already facing criticism from his closest allies, the US and key European countries for not doing more to revive talks.
Below is a video from the rabidly anti-Israel (George Soros-funded) left-wing Jewish group – “J Street” – from a few years ago in opposition to the appointment of Avigdor Lieberman as Israel’s Foreign Minister. FYI: A group the White House recently identified as a key surrogate in selling the Iran nuclear deal gave liberal Jewish lobbying group J street $576,500 to advocate for the deal.