Following comments earlier in the week by Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak about the importance of peace with Syria, the prospect of renewed talks took a massive hit today, predictably, in the form of bellicose comments from Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman.
In his usual, confrontational style, Lieberman declared that in the next war Israel would destroy the entire Syrian government, and would drive everyone in the Assad family out of power. Lieberman’s comments were a response to criticisms from Syria that Israel wasn’t serious about peace talks.
In an effort to calm the rising rhetoric, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu quickly issued a statement insisting that Israel seeks peace talks without preconditions with Syria.
Perhaps signaling how problematic the foreign minister’s decidedly undiplomatic comments have become, Netanyahu has also reportedly issued an order to all ministers of the government not to make any other Syria-related remarks.