- The Media Line - https://themedialine.org -

Rift Widens Between Israel’s Prime Minister and Foreign Minister

A public spat between Israel’s prime minister and his controversial foreign minister is again generating speculation on whether a shakeup of the Netanyahu government is in the offing. On Sunday, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman took scathing swipes at Netanyahu’s policies; the Palestinian Authority; and the Turkish government. Lieberman’s statements – calling the P.A. “illegitimate”; the Turkish “liars”; and Netanyahu “unrealistic” – were so egregious that the prime minister’s office issued a formal rebuke shortly afterward saying that Lieberman’s comments are not the policy of the government, which is “solely the one that the prime minister expresses.” The Labor party, a coalition partner representing the political left in an otherwise right-wing government, also issued a formal statement criticizing Lieberman. Nevertheless, Lieberman continues to shun the criticism and is pushing forward with his own plan that he envisions as a plan to pick up where the peace process will ‘undoubtedly fail.’ Although details of what he calls his “Plan B” has not been revealed, it is known to be Lieberman’s solution to what he sees as internal stagnation within both the Israeli and Palestinian governments; and stagnation in peace talks between the two governments. The plan is purported to give more security responsibility to the Palestinian Authority; increase freedom of movement for the Palestinians; and raise the economic level of the West Bank to parity with Israel. At that time, Lieberman believes final status talks could bear fruit.