Christopher Jon Bjerknes
IN THE NEWS:
"Israel Beiteinu is a racist party which is a danger to the state of Israel, Defense Minister Amir Peretz said during the Labor faction meeting on Monday. 'The decision to appoint Ghaleb Majadle as minister is causing people to say things that are way out of proportion,' Peretz said. 'If there is a danger to the state of Israel, it is the danger [presented by] a racist party like Israel Beiteinu.'"—Gil Hoffman and JPOST Staff, "Amir Peretz calls Israel Beiteinu a 'racist party'", The Jerusalem Post , http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1167467737898&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull, (15 January 2007).
"A few hours after U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice came to Israel on another diplomatic mission, she hastened to meet with Strategic Threats Minister Avigdor Lieberman. Rice met Lieberman two days after the chairwoman of his Yisrael Beiteinu faction, MK Esterina Tartman, made crudely racist statements against the appointment (which has meanwhile been postponed) of MK Raleb Majadele as the first Arab minister in the country's history. [***] Rice's meeting with Lieberman was like giving a stamp of approval to the racist positions he and his party have adopted. It is not clear why the secretary of state saw a need to hold this meeting, which is not part of the standard protocol for her visits to Israel. Her meeting with Lieberman thus constituted a kind of American recognition of his status and his stances."—Haaretz Editorial, "Down with racism", www.haaretz.com, http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/813380.html, (15 January 2007?).
"Israeli media reported that hardline deputy prime minister, Avigdor Lieberman, told Rice that the Israeli Army will have to re-enter the Gaza Strip at some point, and that 30,000 U.N. troops are needed to secure the chaotic Palestinian territory on Israel's southern flank. Lieberman has in the past said Israel should assassinate Hamas' leadership, ignore the moderate Palestinian president and walk away from international peace efforts. His ideas do not necessarily carry weight, but Rice defended the decision to meet with him."—Anne Gearan, "Rice Says She Registers Mideast Demands", The Associated Press/WashingtonPost.com, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/01/14/AR2007011400287.html, (14 January 2007).