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Israeli Foreign Minister breaks with Netanyahu over peace talks

UNITED NATIONS--Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman on Tuesday broke ranks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's peace strategy, telling the UN General Assembly that Israel should drop plans to negotiate a peace deal within the next year, and pursue a two-stage interim pact that could lead to decades of negotiations and the redrawing of Israel's borders to separate Arabs and Israelis.

The remarks, which triggered a walkout by the Palestinian delegation, prompted an immediate disavowal by Netanyahu's office. The prime minister has vowed to participate in U.S.-sponsored peace talks with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas that aim at leading to the creation of a Palestinian state within a year.

"The content of the foreign ministers speech at the United Nations was not coordinated with the prime minister. Prime Minister Netanyahu is the one who is managing the political negotiations of the state of Israel," according to a statement from Netanyahu's office

The split in the Israel government underscored the friction within Netanyahu's coalition government, which includes Liberman's ultra-nationalist Yisrael Beitenu, over peace talks. Prime Minister Netanyahu has vowed to seek a final settlement pact that would lead to the creation of a Palestinian state within a year.

Citing the "utter lack of confidence between Israelis and Palestinians," Liberman told U.N. dignitaries that any durable solution in the Middle East, like the Balkans and East Timor, would require the separation of populations, in this case Israelis and Arabs.

"We should focus on coming up with a long term intermediate agreement, something that could take a few decades...To achieve final status agreement, we must understand that the primary obstacle is the friction between the two nations."

Liberman said that "the guiding principle for a final status agreement must not be land-for-peace but rather, exchange of populated territory. Let me be very clear: I am not speaking about moving populations, but rather about moving border to better reflect demographic realities."

The land-for-peace formula has been at the foundation of every major effort since the 1967 Arab Israeli war, with the Palestinians insisting that Israel relinquish control of all Arab land that was seized by Israel during the war.

The latest political flare-up comes as the Obama administration is seeking to resolve a dispute over the expiration of a partial Israeli moratorium on Israeli settlement activity. Israel's government maintains that a decision to extend the moratorium, as President Obama requested, could upend Netanyahu's fragile coalition government. The Palestinians, who had threatened to pull out of the talks if the moratorium expired, have agreed to continue talks.

"We will exert every effort to reach agreement for Palestinian-Israeli peace within one year," Abbas told the U.N. General Assembly on Saturday.

By Colum Lynch  | September 28, 2010; 5:55 PM ET
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If a process could be developed to negotiate on a case-by-case settlement construction process that involved both the Israeli and Palistinian parties, and some idea of a long-term land lease agreement that would permit the existing generation of Israeli settlers a home until the next generation of hopefully more emotionally distant Israelis to allow a final boundary settlement in the meantime, then a bi-partisan, flexible settlement process might be arranged to address this important deal breaking issue.

Posted by: TabLUnoLCSWfromUtah | September 28, 2010 6:23 PM | Report abuse

A combination of:
(1) “Good Cop – Bad Cop”, and
(2) the excuse for Netanyahu not to concede anything and reach an agreement.

Posted by: Provincial | September 28, 2010 7:03 PM | Report abuse

If Netanyahu is serious about peace with the Palestinians his first move should be to sack this bug-eyed windbag called Lieberman and send him back home; to Russia without love.

Posted by: abrahamhab1 | September 28, 2010 7:06 PM | Report abuse

Well I am sure glad that my family raised me to be socially conscious, so it seems that Isreal continues to exert the we can do no wrong policy when infact they just need to agree that Gaza does not belong to them. We have been taught all of our lives to share. The riches of the Middle East are vast and not to recognize the beauty that exist is for the world. You have an obligation to come to a Peace accord and don't turn back as you have done so many times. The world looks to you to do the right thing now! The Holocaust was an unspeakable tragedy that we all still feels the scars from even today in 2010. Please be the example of diplomacy that is your enherent right. You we born in the Land where our Lord Jesus was born. The profacy of his coming was foretold, his death was apart of that profacy, ignore what you call Antisemtic remarks and allow the world to recognize the brothehood you know exist in your heritage, even if it means race mixing, we are all brothers and children of God. No longer should you hoard the Love of God for yourselves if the only means you have to probigate that Love is with war, That makes no sense at all. Could it be that all good Christians are afraid to speak up! Jesus followers are now referred to as Christians not only Jewish. May God grant you the knowledge to change the things you can, and the wisdom to know the difference. Peace !

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Posted by: 1561705755 | September 28, 2010 8:26 PM | Report abuse

The shell game goes on. They only create problems, they offer no solutions other than asking for more and more money. Heck, they even boycotted Obama's speech in the U.N. Did anybody get the message? They don't want to hear it. How much in your face can you get?

Posted by: likovid | September 28, 2010 8:28 PM | Report abuse

Somebody must give a dictionary to Mr. Dumb Abbas, so he can read what does it mean the word "moratorium".
Just in case Mr. Abbas. It means that sooner or later Israel will start to build more settlements. Dumb......

Posted by: ahc10029 | September 28, 2010 8:28 PM | Report abuse

WaPo: If peace breaks out in the Middle East that'll be worthy of the front page. 'Til then 'stick it inside somewhere...'

Posted by: srb2 | September 28, 2010 9:15 PM | Report abuse

Liberman, a settler, should have been arrested for war crimes.

Posted by: timothy2me | September 28, 2010 9:16 PM | Report abuse

Liberman said that "the guiding principle for a final status agreement must not be land-for-peace but rather, exchange of populated territory. Let me be very clear: I am not speaking about moving populations, but rather about moving border to better reflect demographic realities."

No, Lieberman only talks about moving populations in front of all-Israeli audiences. Then he talks about driving the Palestinians across the Jordan at gunpoint. Even the ones who are Israeli citizens.

Notice that Israel's foreign ministry is never involved in negotiations. Clinton and Obama always deal direct with Netanyahu. Why? Because Israel's foreign ministry is run by hick Russian fascists.

Israel's act, it's impersonation of a respectable member of the global community, is wearing pretty thin these days.

Posted by: Bud0 | September 28, 2010 9:22 PM | Report abuse

Sigh . . . Israel has never honored any accord that they agreed to.
It SHOULD be obvious to ALL that Israel is shrewdly accomplishing as single goal - - - elimination and replacement of Palestinians by Jews.

That has been and still is their agenda, i.e. neoNazism.

Posted by: lufrank1 | September 28, 2010 9:58 PM | Report abuse

Frankly, I don't care if Israelis are split on the Peace Negotiation issue. This goes beyond their and the Palestinian's narrow and selfish interests. As long as the United States and other Quartet nations are going to finance much of the peace deal (running up greater debts in our nations) then we have to DICTATE terms to these intransigent parties and make them settle their disputes through a political process as opposed to war. Enough is enough. The land has to be shared, period.

Posted by: kerryberger | September 28, 2010 10:10 PM | Report abuse

Breaks ranks? Hardly!

"But sources close to Netanyahu have privately said he doesn't consider Lieberman's views to be illegitimate and does not intend to chastise him for the speech."

There is very little doubt about who is obstructing peace. What Israel wants seems to be Recognition from Arab States (they smell the money) and TRANSFER.

Furthermore, it seems Foxman is fine with the idea. The head of Anti-Defamation League who attacks everyone who look sideways to the Jews is fine with ETHNIC CLEANSING???

Posted by: dogsbestfriend | September 28, 2010 10:39 PM | Report abuse

I agree with #2 Provincial - maybe a good cop/bad cop scenario, leaving Netanyahu to continue with the talks, but without committing to anything. Hard to believe that Lieberman would be allowed to buck his PM and suggest changes in strategy, despite the coalition problems. If Netanyahu represents Israel in the peace process, he should take charge and keep his back story behind the scenes, and take control. If he is playing games, or can't keep his coalition partners in order, then he is not engaging in the peace talks in good faith. The sooner that is known, the better.

Posted by: robinx | September 28, 2010 11:10 PM | Report abuse

Avigdor lieberman should be the next Israeli Prime Minister

Posted by: Kingofkings1 | September 28, 2010 11:38 PM | Report abuse

For a minute I thought after reading the article that the title said: "Israelis Spit on Peace Talks"

Posted by: Kingofkings1 | September 28, 2010 11:43 PM | Report abuse

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Posted by: jueduifandui | September 28, 2010 11:44 PM | Report abuse

obviously there is only one solution: the one-state solution of a unified secular and democratic palestine comprising the west-bank, gaza and israel.

the current situation wherein a racist, fascist and apartheid state funded by the US taxpayer is not sustainable.

Posted by: beastlet | September 28, 2010 11:51 PM | Report abuse

The board of directors of the Olympia
Food Co-op in Washington state decided that no more apartheid israel products will
be sold at its grocery stores in the city.
Olympia is the hometown of the International Solidarity Movement activist Rachel Corrie who was killed seven years ago in Gaza - a Caterpillar bulldozer ran over her as she tried to prevent demolition of a Palestinian house.

Posted by: MumboJumboo | September 28, 2010 11:58 PM | Report abuse

Zionist propaganbda claims humanity wants to destroy israel which is a lie.
Humanity wants to transform apartheid israel to democratic israel. Mandela, desmond tutu Carter, and decent human beings agree that israel is an apartheid regime.

Posted by: MumboJumboo | September 29, 2010 12:06 AM | Report abuse

Face worldwide reality, learn the lesson and implement it.

Every group of people prefers to be governed by their own.
Artificial boarders or imposed boarders are major reasons to conflicts.
Open your eyes and brain to the world wide reality!
Arabs governed by Arabs- Jews governed by Israel

Canada-French want their state: Belgian Flames want separations. Basques in Spain.
Czechoslovakia partition in 2 states
Irish and Scotts want independence from UK .
Tibet and China.
The many wars in Africa because tribes have been separated or united by Europeans in artificial state.
Kashmir- Cyprus- Kurds in Turkey and Iraq.
The Balkan wars.
The former USSR dissolving into many states and current wars in Russia.

Avoid future similar conflicts while defining boarders between the Jewish Israel and the Arab Palestine.

Posted by: mordechayariely | September 29, 2010 2:52 AM | Report abuse

It isa clear Israel wants peace. A piece of Lebanon, a piece of Syria and the whole piece of Palestine sans their Semitic brothers and sisters the indigenous, dispossessed Palestinians!!!

Posted by: tuatha-de-dannan | September 29, 2010 7:53 AM | Report abuse

it is a fact, that one day the Israeli and the Palestinians will have to live together, or they will die together or one will destroy the other, someday soon as Europe is demonstrating ,countries and boundaries are a thing of the past . yes to some it is nice to say i am a (fill in) but in the near future for all on this earth to survive we will have to minimize or do away with individual countries and function as one country on earth,, if not this earth as we know it will probably be blown up in a nuclear war by some mad man or women, it would be a proper time now to try to bring Israel and the palatines into a condition of one country, yes both sides have bitter memories , but together they will have a bright future, there is unfortunately or fortunately no other way, both are too small economically to survive if they continue to fight , who knows it has been said that the whole is greater that the sum of its parts maybe these two sides will make more than two. when they become one

Posted by: nonsequitur | September 29, 2010 6:34 PM | Report abuse

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