Tags: netanyahu | iran

Senior Israeli Official: Obama's Focus Should Be Iran

Monday, 13 Apr 2009 09:33 AM

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

Despite President Barack Obama’s public hectoring of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government over its commitment to the peace process with the Palestinians, a senior official in the new government told Newsmax in Jerusalem that the government was “not aware of any pressure” from Washington.

“We have a great deal of respect for President Obama and his team,” Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said. “We will follow their lead in many ways, in the fight against terrorism, the fight against nuclear proliferation, the fight against the Islamic radicals and terrorists who are motivated and inspired by Iran.”

When it comes to negotiations with the Palestinians, however, Ayalon repeated in more diplomatic terms the statements of his direct boss, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, the leader of the conservative Israel Beiteinu Party.

“On the Palestinian front, our interest is to move forward in a judicious way. We are studying the accumulated experience of the past 16 years, so we don’t repeat the same mistakes,” he said.

On Tuesday, Lieberman told an Israel Beiteinu gathering in Jerusalem that 16 years of negotiations with the Palestinians had lead to a diplomatic “dead end.”

He dismissed those who criticized him for rejecting the 2007 Annapolis agreement as “trying to build a ‘Galut state’ instead of a Jewish state that would give up the national interest and national honor.”

The Annapolis agreement called for Israel and the Palestinian Authority to move directly to “final status” negotiations toward the creation of a Palestinian state, despite the election of a radical Hamas government that rejected the existence of the state of Israel.

“Galut” is a charged term in Hebrew, with connotations of living in a state of sin and distance from God. Its simplest meaning is “exile,” as Jews considered themselves to be during the Diaspora.

But Lieberman also complained that the Palestinian issue was being given too much importance, and that the government’s “focus should be moved from the Palestinians over to Iran.”

This has emerged as the central theme of the new government, one that the Obama administration will witness up close next week when presidential envoy George Mitchell returns to Israel after the Passover holiday and sets up a permanent office there.

Deputy Foreign Minister Ayalon believes that Iran is inherently vulnerable, and can be convinced to change its behavior if made to pay a high enough price.

“Iran is acting like a bully, but I believe they are bluffing, because they are not a strong country. They have a vulnerable social fabric. If they are subjected to serious pressure they could easily collapse. But so far, their intransigence has never been challenged.”

“The sanctions we have today are not working,” he said. “They are not serious. Iran continues to trade. They continue to get access to financial markets. They continue to buy the materials that are important for their delivery systems and their nuclear effort. So sanctions have to be very tight.

“With tight sanctions, they will realize there is a price to pay for their behavior. So far, Iran has paid no price for its intransigence.”

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Iranian Dissident Leader Claims Victory, Warns US

Thursday, 04 Aug 2011 16:38 PM

The leader of a dissident Kurdish organization in Iran says his forces killed more than 300 Iranian Revolutionary Guards . . .

Iran, Turkey Escalate Battle Against Iraq Kurds

Thursday, 28 Jul 2011 07:36 AM

Iran called on NATO member Turkey on Tuesday to help battle dissident Kurds in the rugged mountains along the northern b . . .

Iranian Troops Attack Kurdish Camps in Iraq

Tuesday, 19 Jul 2011 07:53 AM

Thousands of Iranian Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) troops crossed into northern Iraq over the weekend, bombarding Iraqi Ku . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved