Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman hosted his Spanish and French counterparts on Sunday, and expressed to his guests deep disappointment with Europe’s double standards toward Israel.
Lieberman is known to not hold his tongue when he has a problem with the international community, but polls in Israel consistently show that he genuinely speaks for a majority of Israelis.
And he did not hold back in the least when he told French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner and Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Moratinos that Europe needs to mind its own business, and stop pressuring Israel to meet dangerous conditions for a phony peace.
“I don’t expect you to solve the problems of the world, but I certainly expect that before you come here to teach us how to solve conflicts, you will deal with the problems in Europe and solve those conflicts,” said Lieberman.
The Israeli explained that while Europe thinks it knows best what Israel must do for peace and security, in its own backyard the Cyprus, Serbia-Kosovo and Caucasus conflicts continue to rage. Succeed in ending those conflict, said Lieberman, and “we will listen to your advice.”
Lieberman suggested that European involvement in the Israeli-Arab conflict is less about brokering peace, and more about securing perceived European interests.
“In 1938, the European community decided to appease Hitler instead of supporting Czechoslovakia and sacrificed them [sic] without gaining anything,” Lieberman said. “We will not be the Czechoslovakia of 2010. We will ensure the security of Israel.”
And it’s not only Europe that is guilty of this, Lieberman noted. He said it appears as if the entire international community is trying to make up for its peace failures everywhere else by forcing an imprudent deal down Israel’s throat.
“What about the struggle in Somalia, North Korea, Zimbabwe, Afghanistan and Sudan?” he asked. “Instead of talking now with the Arab League about the future of a referendum in Sudan, or discussing the explosive situation in Iraq in 2012, the international community is applying great pressure on Israel.”
The worst part, said Lieberman, is that the international community knows exactly where these ill-fated peace efforts are heading - toward increased violence and eventually another Arab Muslim invasion of Israel. Historically, international efforts to broker peace in the Middle East by pressuring Israel to surrender land have only resulted in the rise of Muslim extremists like Hamas and an increase in violence.