Lieberman at Thursday's press conference
Photo: Yaron Brener
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, currently embroiled in a scandal involving the former ambassador to Belarus, held a press conference Thursday in which he addressed criticism for his positions on various issues.
Lieberman said he hoped he would be able to bring new bills on conversion and civil marriage to a government vote on Monday.
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"This is the first time we have been able to announce a breakthrough. We have reached an agreement with rabbis Shlomo Amar and Ovadia Yosef regarding these issues," he said.
When asked why his reforms had taken so long to reach a government vote the minister said, "When we signed the coalition agreement we wrote that there would be a time period of 15 months to implement both laws."
Lieberman also responded to criticism of his proposal allowing Israelis to vote in absentee ballots, and said his party would propose a bill prohibiting those convicted of security-related crimes from voting.
"I don't understand this unfair assault on Yisrael Beiteinu regarding the right to vote abroad. I've seen the attempt to turn this law into an expatriate law," he said.
"Why should the spy Mordechai Vaanunu have the right to vote, while my friend who studies in Italy doesn't? Why is it that the 80,000 Israelis abroad who are model citizens can't vote?"
Lieberman also addressed the issue of the Iranian nuclear program, expressing little hope for the West's attempt at dialogue. "At this rate I am becoming concerned about the Security Council's ability to make serious decisions regarding the Iranian nuclear program. In contrast, the Iranians are determined to go all the way," he said.
"The only alternative for the Security Council is to do what the US did to Cuba. It will destroy the Iranian regime within a year."