Monday, March 16, 2009

Lieberman to become Foreign Minister (updated)

Bibi still has negotiations ahead of him, but Avigdor Lieberman is certainly at the front to the train. (Lieberman is secular and his avowal of civil marriage offends the Jewish fundamentalists, so Netanyahu still has some tough bargaining to do with the so-called religious parties.)

For comparably preposterous appointment in the U.S. context, imagine David Duke as Attorney General or Rush Limbaugh as Secretary of State. The new Netanyahu government should help to drive a stake through the claim that the U.S. and Israeli are linked by a robust affinity of interests.

Lieberman, often described in Israel as a racist, resides in Noqedim, a West Bank settlement. Recall that one of President Envoy George Mitchell's objectives is to see a halt in the continuing colonization of the West Bank by Israeli settlers. Fat chance!

Some European reaction.

And this from Ken Silverstein: Uzi Arad, who is expected to serve as national security adviser in the next Israeli government, has been barred from entering the United States for nearly two years on the grounds that he is an intelligence risk. Mr. Arad, a former member and director of intelligence for the Mossad, Israel’s spy service, is mentioned in the indictment of Lawrence Franklin, a former Pentagon analyst who pleaded guilty in 2005 to providing classified information about Iran in a conversation with two employees of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).

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