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“Lieberman: 'freeze' Should be Removed from Our Lexicon”
by Jpost Staff   
December 1st, 2010

FM says moratorium on West Bank settlements failed and no further freezes should be considered, blames Arab-Israeli leadership for tense relations between Jewish and Arab citizens.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Wednesday said that the moratorium on West Bank settlement building was a failure, and that the idea that a permanent peace agreement with the Palestinians can be reached in the next year is not realistic.

"The impossibility of reaching a permanent peace agreement within a year is becoming more widely understood and we need to think about a long-term intermediary agreement instead," Lieberman said during an interview with Israel Radio. "Also on the issue of the freeze - we've seen that it did not lead to any breakthroughs in negotiations, it's not the answer. I think that's clear today. There are no more freezes. We should remove that word from our lexicon," the foreign minister added.

Lieberman also addressed recent polls which suggested a large number of Jewish Israelis support the idea that citizens should be required to pledge loyalty to Israel as a Jewish state.

"The people are ahead of the leadership and are braver than them as well," said Lieberman. "When you speak with the majority of ministers and MKs, everyone supports this and knows that its logical  and our reality necessitates it. When they need to stand up in front of the public, unfortunately, most of the leadership runs away from their responsibility," he added.

Lieberman blamed the Arab-Israeli leadership for the deteriorating relations between Jewish and Arab citizens. He stated that Arab leaders support of Hamas and Hizbullah, and demonstration of anti-Israeli sentiment were responsible for the tension. The foreign minister rejected claims that his own hard line stance was responsible for alienating Arab-Israelis and causing a growing rift between Jews and Arabs in Israel.

"We stand for sanity and for the right to defend ourselves," he said.

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