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Avigdor Lieberman Tells Mubarak to ‘Go to Hell’

At a Knesset memorial service for assassinated right-wing MK Rehavam Ze’evi, Avigdor Lieberman reminded his fellow members that Mubarak had never made an official visit to Israel, while numerous Israeli officials made pilgrimages to Cairo.  He told Mubarak that if wanted he should come to Israel and that if he didn’t he “could go to Hell” (he said literally “go to the winds,” a slightly less obnoxious usage than saying “leych l’Azazel”).  Mubarak must certainly consider this a warm invitation and it will certainly make him overcome any doubts he might have had previously about whether he should visit the country.

In a later interview, Lieberman made the fact-free claim Egypt was waiting for a chance to mount a 1973 style surprise attack:

Egypt is just waiting for the right opportunity to move troops back into the Sinai Peninsula, while Israel is acting like a “battered woman” regarding its southern neighbor, Yisrael Beiteinu chairman Avigdor Lieberman said on Saturday in an interview with Channel 2’s “Meet the Press.”

“Egypt is waiting for the right moment to deploy its army in Sinai, in violation of the peace agreement,” claimed Lieberman, who just last Wednesday nearly caused a diplomatic incident by saying that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak could “go to hell.”

Warning that Egypt was liable to surprise Israel with an attack, as it did in 1973, he continued: “There are enough signs and enough assessments that Egypt is waiting for the right moment.”

“The people are frustrated by our loss of national honor, our weakness and self-abasement toward Egypt,” Lieberman told the interviewer. “The State of Israel is acting toward Egypt like a battered woman …

I don’t throw around these phrases very lightly, but just as Ze’evi was a Kahane-style Jewish fascist, so is Lieberman. The difference is that Lieberman is a vice-premier who sits in the Israeli cabinet and supposedly directs Israel’s police regarding Iran.  Imagine what he could do if Netanyahu became PM and gave him the defense or interior ministry portfolios?

I find it interesting that someone who rose to the august rank of corporal in the IDF assumes for himself the right to assess Egypt’s warlike intentions against Israel. I seem to recall an earlier former corporal who also was a fascist while fancying himself quite the military expert. That one almost did Europe in. Should we trust this one with Israel’s security?

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Alex Stein November 1, 2008, 11:01 PM

    “I find it interesting that someone who rose to the august rank of corporal in the IDF assumes for himself the right to assess Egypt’s warlike intentions against Israel.” I assume this means you will now be ignoring security analysis on Israel from anyone who does not rise to a high position in the IDF.

  • B.BarNavi November 1, 2008, 11:42 PM

    But Mubarak CAN GTH. Most Egyptians would agree.

  • SimoHurtta November 2, 2008, 1:03 AM

    One thing is certain Egyptians hate Lieberman and what he represents more than they hate Mubarak. Even the most influential pro-democracy Egyptians.

    I find it astonishing that a rather influential political leader in Israel speaks like that. Surely the number the few in Arab countries who believe that Israel could link itself to the region in a peaceful manner (as normal countries eventually do) doesn’t increase after such statements. Especially when the comments are made by a former and probably a future minister.

    Even more troubling is the viewpoint Lieberman and the millions of Jews supporting him to some extent represents. Surely they know that sooner or later Israel has to make peace with everybody if Israel wants to survive. The era of Israel’s relative strength is fast nearing its endpoint and hopes that 5 million Jews in Israel could be also in the future the dominant force of the region is absurd. The propaganda “we good democracy – they bad terrorists living in dictatorships” has day after day less weight when other powers are competing of Arab countries natural resource and cash reserves and lucrative markets.

  • NILI November 2, 2008, 3:15 PM

    @SimoHurtta
    “The era of Israel’s relative strength is fast nearing its endpoint and hopes that 5 million Jews in Israel could be also in the future the dominant force of the region is absurd.”

    I wouldn’t count us out. Better men than you have written off the Jewish people, and we are still striving in the world. Israel is developing faster than the Arab countries. Israel is more developed than some places in the USA. Seems like you are being a little pessimistic. We learned to have hope here (ha-Tikva).

  • Richard Silverstein November 2, 2008, 9:01 PM

    @Alex Stein: I’ll tell you one thing, I’ll be ignoring security analysis fr. Avigdor Lieberman, that’s for sure. As for the rest, I’ll do it on a case by case basis. If the analysis seems acute then even a corporal can have useful things to say.

  • Richard Silverstein November 2, 2008, 9:03 PM

    @B.BarNavi: I think you’re mixing up 2 diff. issues. As to whether Mubarak is corrupt & should be swept away by a more enlightened ruler–certainly that’s the case. As to whether a member of the Israeli cabinet should be allowed to say publicly that the leader of Egypt can go to hell–that’s quite another thing entirely.

  • Avi Benson November 3, 2008, 12:42 AM

    That Mubarrek in his decades of rule has not visited Israel should be blamed on a loud mouthed Israeli politician? Instead of addressing the fact that Egypt is supposed to have diplomatic relations since the agreements with Sadat and has not followed through on this… you choose a cheap shot in 2008 to score yourself a star and demonstrate your “impressive” pugilistic stylings…
    And then to top off your post you make a Hitler reference…. it would seem the ‘progressive’ side is much much more addicted to the Hitler Germany Genocide references to suit whatever point they are trying to make than the crowd they ironically ostracize for over utilizing it.

  • bar_kochba132 November 3, 2008, 8:35 AM

    The Egyptians, in their official media, tell Israel and Jews to “go to hell” every day, and they dissemenate Nazi-like antisemitic propaganda, every day, again, in their official state media. It’s about time that someone told Mubarak off.

  • Richard Silverstein November 4, 2008, 1:02 AM

    @Avi Benson:

    …Egypt is supposed to have diplomatic relations since the agreements with Sadat and has not followed through on this

    What does this mean? That Egypt has no ambassador? Has broken off relations? There is no law saying that the leader of every country with which one has relations has to visit you. Has Israel ever done anything to make Mubarak feel he should visit? Or wanted to visit? Then why should he?

    you choose a cheap shot

    My pointing out that a cabinet minister almost single handedly wrecked relations with one of the few Arab states that recognizes Israel is “a cheap shot?” Please, spare me.

    the ‘progressive’ side is much much more addicted to the Hitler Germany Genocide references to suit whatever point they are trying to make

    Yes, you are so right:
    Obama as stormtrooper

  • Richard Silverstein November 4, 2008, 1:25 AM

    @bar_kochba132: Oh good. Glad to see Bar Kochba is a Lieberman supporter. That will make you a far more credible figure at this blog.

  • bar_kochba132 November 4, 2008, 8:06 AM

    Richard-I am not a Lieberman supporter. He favors dividing Jerusalem, and he talks a lot and does little, although I have heard that he has gotten a lot of money for projects that benefit the Russian Olim (that is fine with me, that’s what politicians are supposed to do).
    Anyway, if relations are supposedly so good with Egypt, how can one Knesset member criticizing Mubarak singlehandedly “damage relations”?
    You ignored my pointing out that Egypt vilifies Israel and its leaders every day in its official media. Why doesn’t that “damage relations”? Please don’t use one of the two following excuses the Egyptians have been using for years :(1) Egypt has a “free press” and the gov’t has no influence over what is written in gov’t-controlled media or (2) Israel is always wrong, bad, and has it coming.

  • Avi Benson November 6, 2008, 11:22 AM

    What does this mean? That Egypt has no ambassador? Has broken off relations?

    A small office that is staffed by 1 person sometimes is the extent of the ‘public’ relations. Israel has under the table talks with many Arab nations that do and don’t “recognize” their existence publically.

    There is no law saying that the leader of every country with which one has relations has to visit you. Has Israel ever done anything to make Mubarak feel he should visit? Or wanted to visit? Then why should he?

    Well I suppose how often a leader would visit a coiuntry would depend on a number of factors.
    How long has the leader been in office? – some 30 years?
    Distance would be a huge factor. – next door
    The host country being able to provide nice accomodations and security. – check
    Having relevant and important geo political issues to discuss? – check
    Having relevant economic issues to discuss. – check
    The largest supporter of the Sinai Bedouins economically are Israeli tourists. While Israel gets very little economically from Egypt…

    As far as being extremely conciliatory towards Mubarrek?
    Israeli politicians should use discretion. However, are famous for making over the top statements – including the one who said praise Hezbollah and down with Israel (paraphrased) in the Knesset.

    I’m sure stating he ‘almost singlehandedly’ ruined diplomatic relations with Egypt is just a bit over the top?

    Further, the Middle East is known for being a place where people are pretty direct shall we say.

    And we see a lot of deference, class and discretion used in the Egyptian state run press towards Israeli leaders and and Israelis in general. Sharon eating the blood of Arab babies etc… not to mention the racist vile cartoons of Condeleeza Rice….
    Finally – many Egyptians I know would like to tell Mubarrek a lot more than to go to hell. I’m sure he’ll get over the “hurt” from Lieberman’s comment.

    My pointing out that a cabinet minister almost single handedly wrecked relations with one of the few Arab states that recognizes Israel is “a cheap shot?” Please, spare me.

    No you going to the well citing the “other coroporal” in the conversation was not not just “cheap” but rather tired as well.

    Let me clearly state - I don’t know who put up that poster of Obama (Masada 2000 crowd?) but it is offensive and stupid. And if you are styling yourself as the yin to Masada 2000s yang – well then at least you are admitting to be as base and tired as they are as the “corporal” comparison displays.

  • Richard Silverstein November 6, 2008, 12:26 PM

    @Avi Benson:

    Having relevant and important geo political issues to discuss? – check

    I think Mubarak has proven quite well that he has no need to visit Israel & little or nothing to be gained by doing so. It is in Egypt’s interest to resolve the conflict with the Palestinians & see a viable Palestinian state exist. When Israel proves willing to do so then I’m sure Mubarak will be prepared to visit Israel. Till then–why reward Israel when it has done nothing to earn such a reward??

    I’m sure stating he ‘almost singlehandedly’ ruined diplomatic relations with Egypt is just a bit over the top?

    To yr mind perhaps. But I’m taking this observation directly fr. Haaretz. Where does yrs come fr. other than yr own right wing mind? The president & prime minister of Israel were both forced to publicly apologize for Lieberman’s remarks after they were delivered. Sounds like a diplomatic crisis headed off just barely to me.

    No you going to the well citing the “other coroporal” in the conversation was not not just “cheap” but rather tired as well.

    Funny, but I rather liked it myself. Gee, I’ll have to start taking stylistic & rhetorical directives fr. you pretty soon. Better yet, why don’t I just let you take over my blog & turn it into a right wing slug fest against everything I hold sacred.

    But till then, I think I’ll use my own judgment & write & see things as I do.

    if you are styling yourself as the yin to Masada 2000s yang

    Actually, it’s offensive to me that you consider what I do in any context that is linked with that smear sheet. I am not M2K’s yin or anything of the sort. Victory Vancier & that site are in a class of hate by themselves.

    Avigdor Lieberman is the ‘righteous’ inheritor of the racist, thuggish mantle of Meir Kahane and other racists of the world. If you don’t like the analogy to the little German corporal–tough s(&t.

  • Avi Benson November 6, 2008, 8:33 PM

    Its rather odd that you chose NOT to publish my comment but then pick pieces of it out and reply to them? If this was intentional – that is rather odd and telling about YOU.

  • Richard Silverstein November 6, 2008, 9:11 PM

    @Avi Benson:

    ts rather odd that you chose NOT to publish my comment but then pick pieces of it out and reply to them? If this was intentional – that is rather odd and telling about YOU.

    No, it’s rather telling that you don’t know what you’re talking about. All first time comments are moderated (& if you’re using an IP address you’ve never used before you’re a 1st time commenter). Since you published five comments in a single day, all were moderated. As I replied to yr multiple comments individually, I approved them. Though it appears that in one case I replied to yr comment & forgot to approve yr original comment. So sue me. You’re not the only commenter who publishes comments here & I take a lot of time to reply to comments. So mistakes will happen even though I know that you find this impossible to believe.

    I have not yet replied to all hence have not approved all.

    But thanks for yr snark now all yr comments will be moderated till you can prove that you’re house-trained enough to know how to be civil in someone else’s home/blog.

  • Northern Observer April 24, 2009, 7:51 AM

    A Lieberman is the natural domestic political reaction to the growing dominance of Muslim brotherhood ideology and Iranian apocalyptic Messianism that surrounds Israel. It’s like physics. The more ‘fundamentalist’ the Gaza and Ramallah leadership becomes the more Israel will radicalize too.
    What I find so interesting about Lieberman is that for all his apparent horribleness; his statements are rather accurate, if inconvenient. He’s a man of his times.

    • Richard Silverstein April 25, 2009, 12:24 AM

      What utter narischkeit. If the Muslim brotherhood didn’t exist Lieberman would be only too glad to invent it. There was no Muslim brotherhood or Iranian threat when Meir Kahane was alive and Lieberman belonged to Kach. These hatemongers don’t need Muslim excuses for their hate. You only serve as an apologist for it.

      It’s like physics

      Ah I see. Now you’re a physicist. Where’s your degree from?

      his statements are rather accurate, if inconvenient. He’s a man of his times.

      That all depends on how ignorant and how much hate you store within your mind. You, apparently share a lot of Lieberman’s delusions though why you’d try to defend him here is beyond me.