Yisrael Beiteinu leader Avigdor Liberman addressed, in an interview with Srugim, the reports that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is trying to reach a compromise and criticized the government. In addition, Liberman discussed reports about agreements with Saudi Arabia and the security situation in the country.
"We saw what was the result of the last agreement that Gantz signed with Netanyahu"
What do you think about the reports of discussions at the President's residence?
"Netanyahu, as always, is fooling everyone. I don't know if there are any agreements there, but it's clear that leading up to the hearing tomorrow, he wants to present an image that he can provide the goods. And that's what Gantz asked him about; he wants to show significant progress."
Did Gantz not completely close the door this morning?
"Gantz has already signed one agreement with Netanyahu, and they also tried to cement that agreement through legislation, and we saw what the outcome was."
Even if this President relies on the agreement, from your perspective, it's not acceptable?
"No, because it's clear that as long as Netanyahu is leading the pyramid, there is no significance to any partners, and nothing can really be done."
"Why do Hamas leaders in Gaza enjoy immunity?"
Lieberman continued to criticize the government following the recent terrorist attacks: "Look, we're talking about Netanyahu and a right-wing government, and already seven rockets have been fired from Jenin towards the Gilboa region, and no one is getting excited. Soon, the Gilboa region will be called the Jenin Envelope. After every attack, Hamas congratulates, in most cases even takes responsibility, and does anyone get excited? Why are the Hamas leaders in Gaza enjoying immunity? It's complete insanity."
They will say that the wave of terror began in the previous government, and there is not much difference in the policy then and today?
Lieberman responded, "It has never been on such a scale. Look at how many casualties there are in every attack. A year and a half ago, there was no shooting from Jenin towards the Gilboa. We acted exactly as necessary according to the recommendations of the security echelon."
"He claims he is a staunch right-winger, but we see what happens with the tents that Nasrallah established on the northern border, and we see that he dares not even talk about targeted assassinations of Hamas leaders who take responsibility and celebrate the killing of Jews. Also, regarding the conditions of the security prisoners' imprisonment, we see that he is afraid to act."
"You have a full right wing government, who's bothering you?"
You agree with Ben-Gvir on this topic?
"Where does Ben Gvir come into this? In the government of Netanyahu, the Katbi report on the conditions of the prisoners existed before Ben-Gvir was even around. Since 2016, they have been trying to advance this even before Ben-Gvir. Even with Han al-Ahmar he pledged that he would deal with it, and it did not happen."
What do you think about Palestinian construction in Area B? "
There is no governance; look, this is Netanyahu's policy. In 2019, the Shamgar report was submitted, why aren't they making efforts? Since 2012, he has prevented the adoption of the Shamgar report regarding the release of prisoners. What do you blame the previous government for? You're on the right now, there's no Meretz, no Labor, no Mansour Abbas. Who is bothering you?"
"The last thing that interests Saudi Arabia is the Palestinians"
In the talks with Saudi Arabia, Tzachi Hanegbi said that they would be willing to make concessions to the Palestinians: "He is ready for concessions with the Palestinians. The question is, where are his partners?"
If there is an agreement with Saudi Arabia, will you support it?
"The Palestinian issue is just a cover, it's a way to hide behind the shadow. In my estimation, the last thing that interests the Saudis is the Palestinians. What happened is that they called for it [a meeting with Palestinians] and asked him to arrange some minimalist document on the Palestinian issue and they passed it to Israel."
"What they are demanding here is a certificate of approval for their nuclear program. Why do they suddenly need nuclear power plants when they have plenty of oil? All nuclear programs started with a power plant for peaceful purposes. That's how it was with the Iranians, and that's how it was with North Korea. They initially approved human resources, gained knowledge, and then focused on their nuclear program."
"Netanyahu is willing to sell everything, he has no red lines"
Lieberman continued to elaborate on his stance regarding the Saudi issue: "Even Iran did not demand that uranium enrichment be done on Iranian soil. Here, they are demanding it to be on Saudi soil. It's clear that this is a military program, and what we are supposed to pay is in the security of Israel in the long term... Netanyahu is willing to sell everything, as far as he's concerned, there are no red lines."
"In Israel, everyone is excited; you can fly and shop cheaply. It will improve the mood in the upcoming survey, and it's in exchange for sacrificing Israel's security in the long run. What needs to be clear is that if we allow this, it's a crazy nuclear arms race throughout the entire Middle East. All the other players will join in, and it will be very difficult to tell them no if we said yes to the Saudis. It's a complex story."
In summary, Lieberman criticized the government, saying, "This is a government that is the most failed in the history of the State of Israel in all areas, especially in the field of security. When Netanyahu's sixth government was formed, he talked about Iran, about governance. Look at what's happening now. Since then, Iran has engaged in dialogue with the West, received 6 billion dollars into its bank accounts, and renewed diplomatic relations with Saudi Arabia."