Israeli Cabinet Split on Taking Revenge for Palestinian UN Bid

Lieberman Calls for Immediate Forced Ouster of Abbas

by Jason Ditz, November 26, 2012

With the UN General Assembly expected to overwhelmingly endorse the recognition of Palestine as a “non-member observer state,” the Israeli cabinet is reportedly split on exactly what sort of retaliatory moves they should make, and when to make them.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman is leading the call for an immediate forcible ouster of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, while others say Israel is in no position to do this so soon after the Gaza War.

A moderate group led by cabinet ministers Dan Meridor and Benny Begin are calling for Israel to hold off on any move to see if Abbas tries to take action against Israel in the Hague, saying they should only oust him after such a move. Both Meridor and Begin lost badly in the Likud primary, however, so their influence is in serious doubt.

Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz is proposing a “compromise” between the two of simply seizing all Palestinian tax dollars in retaliation. This has been suggested several times, but Israel does this so often at the slightest provocation it hardly registers as a response to the more hawkish members of the cabinet, who favor more dramatic retaliation, no matter how unwise it might be.

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