Lieberman Advocates Scaling Down Reliance on U.S.

YERUSHALAYIM -

Just days after a subdued return to his post of Foreign Minister when he counseled maintaining good relations with Washington, Avigdor Lieberman again made waves on Wednesday by declaring that “ties with the U.S. are continually deteriorating” and that Israel must “seek other allies,” Ynet reported.

Speaking at the Sderot Conference, Lieberman added that the Americans are facing many challenges. “[There are] troubles in North Korea, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Syria, Egypt, China — and they have their own economic issues,” he said. “Thus I ask, what is our position in the international arena?

“There is one state of Israel and 57 Muslim states. We’re in an inferior position, to begin with. Every country is looking for investment or foreign aid.”

Lieberman discussed his meeting with a European prime minister who was once a member of
the opposition: “Back then,” Lieberman said, “he talked about Israel and the whole Mideast as if he was in Yisrael Beiteinu. And now he’s adopted anti-Israeli views.

“I asked a mutual friend of ours how it happened. He said, ‘What do you want from him? He has unemployment to deal with; he’s looking for investments and sponsors.’ All these come from Persian Gulf states, Saudi Arabia or Turkey — so how can I blame him? I can understand him; I can agree or disagree, but I definitely understand him.”

Lieberman said it was important to “understand others and not whine. We have to think about how we restore our reputation in the international arena. There has to be a clear concept. We have to find those countries that aren’t looking for money, that don’t need the Muslim world, but are looking for knowledge in technology, agriculture, high-tech …. The foreign policy should be looking for diverse allies with a common goal. Enough whining and saying, ‘they should come to us.’”