Juan Cole is President of the Global Americana Institute
Thursday, April 02, 2009
Lieberman and Wiping Countries off the face of the Map
Avigdor Lieberman, the Moldovan night club bouncer, is now foreign minister of Israel. The world has had a lot of fun laughing at the pronouncements of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who stands falsely accused of threatening to wipe Israel off the face of the map. But Ahmadinejad has protested that it would be wrong to kill large numbers of civilians.
In contrast, Lieberman has threatened to wipe at least two countries, Egypt and Palestine, off the map. Monstrously, he suggested bombing the Aswan Dam, which would have the effect of murdering all 80 million Egyptians and sweeping them into the Mediterranean in a vast continental African tsunami.
Lieberman promptly announced on assuming office that the Mideast peace process is dead. Well, at least we have an outbreak of frankness.
Whereas Ahmadinejad was humiliated by Columbia University president Lee Bollinger on his visit to that university, which provoked public protests, Lieberman's acceptance into the Israeli government has been greeted mildly and he was allowed to come to the Brookings Institution and meet with Bill and Hillary Clinton. Lieberman is a Central/Eastern European ultra-nationalist in the mold of Slobodan Milosevic and Jorg Haider, and it is shameful that he was allowed into the government and more shameful that this travesty has passed without a peep in the civilized world.
The The Electronic Intifada lists "Some of Avigdor Lieberman's infamous statements":
' # In 1998, Lieberman called for the flooding of Egypt by bombing the Aswan Dam in retaliation for Egyptian support for Yasser Arafat.
# In 2001, as Minister of National Infrastructure, Lieberman proposed that the West Bank be divided into four cantons, with no central Palestinian government and no possibility for Palestinians to travel between the cantons.
# In 2002, the Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth quoted Lieberman in a Cabinet meeting saying that the Palestinians should be given an ultimatum that "At 8am we'll bomb all the commercial centers ... at noon we'll bomb their gas stations ... at two we'll bomb their banks ..."
# In 2003, the Israeli daily Haaretz reported that Lieberman called for thousands of Palestinian prisoners held by Israel to be drowned in the Dead Sea and offered to provide the buses to take them there.
# In May 2004, Lieberman proposed a plan that called for the transfer of Israeli territory with Palestinian populations to the Palestinian Authority. Likewise, Israel would annex the major Jewish settlement blocs on the Palestinian West Bank. If applied, his plan would strip roughly one-third of Israel's Palestinian citizens of their citizenship. A "loyalty test" would be applied to those who desired to remain in Israel. This plan to trade territory with the Palestinian Authority is a revision of Lieberman's earlier calls for the forcible transfer of Palestinian citizens of Israel from their land. Lieberman stated in April 2002 that there was "nothing undemocratic about transfer."
# Also in May 2004, he said that 90 percent of Israel's 1.2 million Palestinian citizens would "have to find a new Arab entity" in which to live beyond Israel's borders. "They have no place here. They can take their bundles and get lost," he said.
# In May 2006, Lieberman called for the killing of Arab members of Knesset who meet with members of the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority.'
End/ (Not Continued)