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?
Silverstein has published Tikun Olam since 2003, It exposes the secrets of the Israeli national security state. He lives in Seattle, but his heart is in the east. He publishes regularly at Middle East Eye, the New Arab, and Jacobin Magazine. His work has also appeared in Al Jazeera English, The Nation, Truthout and other outlets.