Prepare for War: New Israeli Foreign Minister

Lieberman douses Palestinian peace hopes in debut speech
By Ambreen Ali,  Newser User
Posted Apr 1, 2009 4:42 PM CDT
Israeli parliament member Avigdor Lieberman, who heads the ultra-nationalist Yisrael Beiteinu, is the new foreign minister.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Israel’s new foreign minister, a renowned hawk, wasted no time in drumming up war rhetoric. On his first day on the job, Avigdor Lieberman said, “Those who want peace should prepare for war,” as he dismissed his predecessor’s negotiations with the Palestinians, the New York Times reports. “Those who think that through concessions they will gain respect and peace are wrong.”

Lieberman “closed the door in the face of the international community,” responds the chief Palestinian negotiator. As head of Israel’s ultra-nationalist party, Lieberman is an important person in the new governing coalition. His hawkish beliefs contrast with those of new PM Benjamin Netanyahu, who has struck a conciliatory tone and vowed to find a more sustainable solution to the conflict.