Americans for Peace Now (APN) today sounded the alarm over the imminent appointment of Israeli serial provocateur and extremist firebrand Avigdor Lieberman as Israel’s new Minister of Defense. APN's President and CEO Debra DeLee commented:
“Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu is today once again showing the world that he puts politics and personal political survival above the national security of Israel and its people.
“Avigdor Lieberman has a long and ugly track record of irresponsible, reckless, and deliberately inflammatory rhetoric and actions. As foreign minister in Netanyahu’s previous government, he caused severe damage to Israel’s foreign interests, creating crises in Israel’s relations with regional and global allies.
“As defense minister, Lieberman will be responsible for Israel’s most important national security assets – its military and its intelligence agencies. A politician who has been described many times as a ‘pyromaniac’ will now, in effect, be second in command in Israel, with a decisive vote over issues like whether to start a new war in Gaza or Lebanon, or whether to bomb Iran. This is the same man who was described in April 2016 in an official Likud statement as, ‘a man who has never led even one soldier to the battlefield, who has never taken a military decision, who has not sat through one Cabinet meeting from beginning to end…’
“Moreover, this hate-monger who lives in a settlement located deep inside the West Bank, will also become for all intents and purposes the absolute ruler of the West Bank and Gaza, which remain under the overarching authority of the Defense Ministry’s ‘Civil Administration.’ Every plan for settlements, every regulation pertaining to the daily lives of Palestinians – all will come under his authority.
“Longtime Likud MK Benny Begin hit the nail on the head yesterday, when he called this appointment ‘delusional’ and said it ‘reflects a lack of responsibility towards the security forces and toward Israeli citizens.’
“As the American sister organization of Israel’s Peace Now movement, a movement started by Israeli officers and soldiers, APN is particularly concerned at the prospect of tainted relations between Israeli politicians and the military, and at the prospect of Israeli politicians abusing the IDF in the service of an irresponsible political agenda that jeopardizes a future two-state settlement between Israelis and Palestinians and endangers Israel’s security.”