Israeli News: A Daily Analysis

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A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman

April 1, 2009--Lieberman Begins Term on a Shrill Note

The new Netanyahu administration began its term today, with an official reception at the President's Residence for all the new members of the government. From there each cabinet member headed for his or her new ministry to assume the reins.

Minister of Foreign Relations Avigdor Lieberman did not waste any time in making news. In his speech he stated that the time of making concessions is over. Peace does not come from concessions. Peace, he said, only comes from being strong, and preparing for war. Lieberman went on to say that Israel was most popular after its victory in 1967. He then stated that the Annapolis process is over, that the Israeli government never officially approved it, and therefore it does not have to continue. That is not exactly true it was recorded by the government, but not voted on. He also said that there would be no peace with Syria based on withdrawal form the Golan Heights.

Lieberman's statements created a small firestorm and proved how absurd it was to give him the position of Minister of Foreign Relations. Whether or not the abovementioned policies are those of the new government, the job of the Minister of Foreign Relation's is to present Israel's positions in the best possible light. So, on his first day on the job, Lieberman has already been a failure.

The other likely effect of his statements is the chances of a coalition agreement between Fatah and Hamas increasing. The issue of whether Hamas will abide by earlier agreements becomes less of an issue, when Israel is now renouncing earlier agreements.

The Wall Street Journal ran an excellent article today by Bernard Lewis on the need for electoral reform in Israel.-Israel's Elections System Is No Good.There is nothing really new in the article, as it is a restate of the facts, including Lewis' view that Israel has the worse system in the western world but it's worth the read.

I suggest reading my review of Martin Indyk's Innocence Abroad. It was a fascinating read and I present some of his most interesting revelations in my review.