Netanyahu Backs Off Criticism of FM

Lieberman Outraged by Criticism of Far-Reaching Speech

Yesterday’s falling out between Israel’s bellicose Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu looks to be abating, with Netanyahu looking to revise his positions to support the foreign minister who just yesterday was condemning him openly.

In his comments Lieberman insisted that peace with the Palestinians was “simply forbidden” and condemned Turks as “liars,” insisting that under no circumstances would the nation ever apologize for killing Turkish aid workers. Netanyahu, who had been trying to repair his relationship with Turkey, today insisted he agrees with Lieberman.

Going another step, Netanyahu then endorsed Lieberman’s long-standing military conversion bill, threatening a new row with his religious partners, and angrily rejected calls by his Labour partners to fire Lieberman.

In the wake of Netanyahu’s previous criticism of him, Lieberman expressed shock and outrage, pointing out that his condemnation of the concept of peace and the honesty of Turks were “no different from what I usually say.

Netanyahu’s far-right coalition is a contentious one, and losing Lieberman would make him all the more vulnerable and force him to rely even more on the ultra-religious factions. Today’s indications are that Netanyahu is willing to overlook whatever damage Lieberman does to his foreign policy goals to keep that from happening, though in the end, it may just be delaying the inevitable.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of