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'Both principles must be honored.' FM
Photo: Gil Yohanan
Lieberman willing to adopt American pledge of allegiance
Foreign minister addresses loyalty oath bill during visit to Berlin, stresses 'we didn't invent concept of pledging allegiance to state'; tries to get Europe on board against Iran, days after rejecting its offer of assistance in peace process

BERLIN – Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman stressed Thursday that "we did not invent the idea of pledging allegiance to the state," in response to criticism leveled at the Citizenship Act amendment.

 

Asked during a visit to Berlin of the essence of the amendment, which requires non-Jewish aspiring citizens to pledge allegiance to the State of Israel as a "Jewish and democratic" state, Lieberman pointed to the American pledge of allegiance. He noted that the Yisrael Beiteinu party is "willing to adopt the American law word for word."

 

Lieberman claims that the State of Israel's uniqueness lies in its being Jewish and democratic. "Each state is unique, and the State of Israel's special quality relates to the Law of Return, which enables any Jew to become an Israeli citizen. The law outlines the country's Jewish nature," he said. "Democracy and Judaism are not mutually exclusive and both principles must be honored equally."

 

'Iran threatens world peace'

The foreign minister used his podium to get European nations on board against Iran, days after he rejected their attempts to assist in the peace process. "Iran is major threat to world peace, not just to Israel," he told reporters after visiting the Wannsee Villa, where Nazi leaders decided on the Final Solution during World War II.

 

"The Iranians may refer to Israel a lot in their statements but we shouldn't have to take on all the responsibility of dealing with Iran ourselves."

 

Nevertheless, Lieberman praised Germany's policy towards Iran. "The administration does not hesitate to encourage German companies to cut ties with Tehran, even when it compromises the country's economic interest." He further stressed that Israel is "keeping all its options open" in respect to the possibility of using military means against Iran's nuclear program.

 

The minister met with his German counterpart, Guido Westerwelle on Wednesday. According to the German Foreign Ministry, Westerwelle expressed the German government's desire to move forward with the peace process by renewing the settlement construction freeze. Israel's Foreign Ministry reported that the two also discussed the Iranian threat, among other issues.

 

 

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