Saturday, January 2, 2010

FM Lieberman to ambassadors: Enough groveling - "we will not turn the other cheek"

(Ynet)."In the acceptable codes of the Middle East, concepts such as 'national pride' have a very important value. You don't have to provoke or incite, but there must not be an attitude of groveling or self disparagement," the foreign minister said on Thursday, concluding a ambassadors' conference held in Jerusalem last week.

Lieberman continued, "I have seen some ambassadors who identify with the place in which they serve so much that they keep trying to explain the other side. This is the wrong approach. The time of groveling is over, we will not look for pretexts for conflict or friction, but we will not turn the other cheek."

The foreign minister demanded that "every thing have a response, this is the policy I demand of you ambassadors. The ambassadors must have good relations and respect the hosting party, and should not look for provocations, but we will not tolerate insults and abuse."

He also slammed the Palestinian leadership for demanding more Israeli concessions before returning to the negotiations table. "Enough hypocrisy," Lieberman said, "We do not have to pay any additional price in order to talk with Abu Mazen (Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas). We have paid enough, and have made many gestures and steps, but we have received nothing in return.

"On the contrary, just this week I saw a serious complaint by the Palestinians to the UN secretary general of a violation of freedom of religion. We cannot speak of a new era while at the same time a death sentence is handed down to a Palestinian for selling land to the Jew, with the order being signed by Abu Mazen himself."