‘Our conflict is with the entire Muslim world’: Ex-Israeli Defence Minister

NEW DELHI: Former Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Monday said that any future peace deal with Palestinians must include the Arab states – and Israeli Arabs, as reported by the Times of Israel.

The Yisrael Beiteinu Chairman speaking to a crowd at a parlor meeting in central Israeli town of Kiryat Ono, described the “conflict” as “three-dimensional” – “with the Arab countries, with the Palestinians and Israeli Arabs”, adding that “the third conflict, with Israeli Arabs, is the most difficult”.

“We do not have a separate conflict with the Palestinians, and anyone who claims so, does not understand what he is talking about or is being deliberately misleading,” he said.

Pitting the Jewish state against 1.8 billion adherents of Islam and 22 Arab countries, Lieberman declared: “Our conflict is with the entire Muslim world, with the entire Arab world.”

The comments were originally reported by Zman Yisrael [Hebrew], the Times of Israel’s Hebrew-language sister site, “and approved for publication by Liberman though the event was billed as closed to press”.

Lieberman told the attendees that “the arrangement must be three-dimensional and simultaneous with the Arab League, with Israeli Arabs and with the Palestinians”, adding: “Any attempt to reach a separate agreement with the Palestinians or the Arabs of Israel will fail.”

The Soviet-born Israeli politician also routinely attacks the “loyalty” of Palestinian citizens of Israel.

On Monday, Lieberman, who also served as Deputy Prime Minister of Israel “lashed out” at Palestinian parliamentarians, saying it was “total madness” that Israel “tolerated elected representatives in the Knesset who sided with its enemies”.