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Monday, January 8, 2007
Who (Really) Is Avigdor Lieberman?

You'd think that a column headlined "Who Is Avigdor Lieberman?" would, you know, tell us who Avigdor Lieberman is.

But Alan Caruba's Jan. 8 column manages to avoid doing that -- at least, fail to tell the important stuff. While Caruba tells us that Lieberman is a "soft-spoken fellow" who is an Israeli deputy prime minister and who "has been credited with revitalizing Likud," a conservative Israeli party, Caruba doesn't note that Lieberman is a founder and member of the right-wing Yisrael Beytenu party, who thought Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu granted too many concessions to the Palestinians.

Caruba writes that Lieberman "wants the Arabs out of Israel" and "wants Israel's Arabs to take a loyalty oath" and that he "believes Arabs would be happier living among other Arabs." Caruba calls Lieberman "radical," but he doesn't say just how radical an anti-Arab Lieberman is. According to Wikipedia:

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 noon we'll bomb their gas two we'll bomb their banks....” In 2003, Ha'aretz 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, he said that 90 percent of Israel's 1.2 million Arabs 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.

This gets closer to a correct answer to the question "Who Is Avignor Lieberman?" than Caruba's fawning, soft-pedaled portrayal.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:53 PM EST

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