The new Austria beckons

Israel Beiteinu chairman Avigdor Lieberman, the big winner in Israeli elections, on what the result says about the Jewish state:

“We’ve turned into a significant party, the third largest in Israel,” Lieberman said. “It’s true that Tzipi Livni won a surprise victory. But what is more important is that the right-wing camp won a clear majority… We want a right-wing government. That’s our wish and we don’t hide it.”

“The main argument which is being waged today is not only over the borders, but rather on the character of the State of Israel as a Jewish, Zionist, and democratic state,” he continued. “These three things must be intertwined.”

“We have a way and principles, and we don’t plan on giving them up,” Lieberman said, adding that the most important thing on his agenda was that the new government be decisive against terror.

In what may prove a twist for coalition talks as ceasefire negotiations between Israel and Hamas move into an advanced stage, Lieberman firmly stated that his party would never join a government which permitted Hamas to rule the Gaza Strip.

“We will not agree either directly or indirectly to [Hamas staying] in power,” the Israel Beiteinu leader said. “It doesn’t matter which government is established.”

“Our first goal is clear, to destroy Hamas, to take it down,” he stated.

“Seven years in a row we wake up every morning, go to sleep every evening, with the news of a new Kassam attack,” Lieberman said. “That must end.”

The likely result? Bernard Avishai laments:

My bet is that Netanyahu will form a rightist government, take his chances with Washington, the collapse of relations with the PA, and riots among Israeli Arabs.

Brace yourselves.

Will the US and the world stand by if Israel puts into government avowed racists?

Text and images ©2024 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

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