Will there be peace in the Middle East? Will Israel maintain its democratic nature and respect basic human rights? Israel Beytenu (Israel Our Home) leader Avigdor “Yvette” Lieberman has the future of the state of Israel in his hands. Or so it seems these days.
Lieberman’s inclusion into the government is currently one of the most debated political issues. Actually, it has been this way ever since 1999, after he left the Likkud and founded his own, more extreme right-wing party.
Presently, Avoda (Labor) leader Amir Peretz, with the crashing majority of the party’s members, refuses to sit in the same coalition government with Lieberman’s party. This declaration (slighted by PM Olmert’s men) will probably change within the next couple of days, but at least Peretz is careful enough to state that his objection is not based on personal issues, but that Lieberman and his party owns a completely different worldview from what the present government has agreed on.
Another Avoda member, Shelley Yehimovic, was less subtle, stating that this move will be the crossing of the red line for the Labor. The most direct attack against Lieberman’s inclusion is mainly a personal one, by Arab member of Knesset Ahmed Tibi’s, claiming that Lieberman is “a sophisticated and dangerous politician who encourages hatred of Arabs among Russian immigrants.” Somehow I feel this new front would make more Israelis actually sympathize with Lieberman rather than the other way round.
But why is “Yvette” so hated, and in such a personal manner, being called a fascist and a bulldozer? He is obviously not the only right-wing Knesset member who went against the Israeli Arabs and the Arab world. I would say it’s a toxic combination of his blunt language and his extreme opinions, his name being linked to political corruption, and, if to be blunt ourselvesâ€¦ the already menacing mixture of power, money and Russian accent. Ask Gaidamak.