Lieberman: Peace deal may take decades
In address to UN General Assembly, foreign minister says, 'New generation that will have mutual trust and will not be influenced by incitement,' must be raised before Israeli-Palestinian agreement possible. Adds: Deal must be based on 'exchange of populated territory'
Israel and the Palestinians should focus on "coming up with a long-term intermediate agreement, something that could take a few decades," Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman told the UN General Assembly on Tuesday.
"We are ready for a fair solution and we are ready to cooperate with the international community. However, we are not ready to compromise our national security or the vital interests of the State of Israel," Lieberman said in his speech.
According to the foreign minister, reaching a comprehensive peace agreement in the coming years is unrealistic. He said a long-term intermediate agreement would allow the Palestinians economic growth and freedom of movement while giving both sides ample time to "raise an entire new generation that will have mutual trust and will not be influenced by incitement and extremist messages."
Lieberman added that "the guiding principle for a final status agreement must not be land-for-peace but rather, exchange of populated territory.
"Let me be very clear: I am not speaking about moving populations, but rather about moving borders to better reflect demographic realities," he said.
Addressing the Iranian threat, Lieberman said, "Just as the Khomeini Revolution had nothing to do with the Palestinian issue, so too is the Iranian decision to develop nuclear weapons unrelated.
"In truth, the connection between Iran and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is precisely reversed. Iran can exist without Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Hezbollah, but the terrorist organizations cannot exist without Iran. Relying on these proxies, Iran can at any given time foil any agreement between Israel and the Palestinians or with Lebanon," the FM said.
"Thus, in searching for a durable agreement with the Palestinians, one which will deal with the true roots of the conflict and which will endure for many years, one must understand that first, the Iranian issue must be resolved," he said.
During his meeting with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday, Lieberman contended that the expiration of the settlement construction moratorium was merely an "excuse" for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to quit the budding peace talks between the Palestinian Authority and Israel.
"For nine months the Palestinians claimed that the freeze is a ploy, and now they have turned it into a lynchpin," he told the UN chief.
In response to Abbas' announcement that he would officially respond to the settlement freeze issue after the Arab League convenes on October 4, Lieberman said, "If the Arab League is seeking challenges to deal with, there are many in the Arab world. Hundreds of people are killed each week in terrorist attacks, and poverty and despair cry out to the heavens.
"Instead of solving these problems, the leaders of the Arab League prefer to run away from them, and blame Israel for all their internal problems. Instead of dialogue, they prefer to incite the masses against the Jews," added Lieberman.
- Follow Ynetnews on Facebook