Israel and the Palestinians should resolve their conflict by themselves without the diplomatic Quartet’s help, stated Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman. But such a step, argued journalist Jeff Barak, is impossible without US backing.
According to Barak, a columnist for the Jerusalem Post, the members of the diplomatic Quartet – the UN, US, EU and Russia – could not have been surprised by the utterances of Lieberman, who is far more hawkish than most of his predecessors.
“In the past, foreign ministers were always taking a more dovish approach to negotiations with Israel’s Arab neighbors,” Barak said. “But in this government, Mr. Lieberman is on the right of his government colleagues, and he has been making remarks like this for quite some time.”
Barak added that the Israeli-Palestinian dispute will only be solved under an international umbrella.
“Of course Mr. Lieberman is right – an ideal situation would be nothing better than the Israelis and the Palestinians to sit down together and reach a peace agreement between the two of them,” he said. “Unfortunately, history has shown that this is not going to be the case. In fact, whenever Israel made a peace agreement with another Arab country, the international community and particularly the United States has been very much behind the negotiations. Israel wants American backing for its security and the Palestinians want to know that they have the backing of the Arab world to make the compromises they’ll have to make.”
Lieberman also stated that Israel has not ruled out the possibility of military strikes against Iran. However, as Barak told RT, there is a feeling in Israel among certain members of the security establishment that Israel alone cannot solve the Iranian nuclear issue.
“Any possible strike against Iranian nuclear installations needs the umbrella of the United States,” he said. “Lieberman said something other Israeli leaders have said before: Israel alone will not be the country that has to deal with the problem of Iran’s nuclear capability.”
He pointed out that Lieberman is trying to say that Israel sees the possibility that Iran could possess nuclear arms as an existential threat and the international community has to deal with this as well.
“A nuclear-armed Iran not only threatens Israel, it threatens all of Europe, and is a danger to world stability,” he concluded.