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Avigdor Liberman's Moment of Truth

On the eve of his trial, former Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman will probably leave politics and return to the business world if convicted; if acquitted, he will resume his quest to become the Israeli right's leader, writes Ben Caspit.
Former Israeli Foreign Minister and head of the Yisrael Beitenu party Avigdor Lieberman attends a Likud-Yisrael Beitenu campaign rally in the southern city of Ashdod January 16, 2013. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's right-wing Likud party, allied with the nationalist Yisrael Beitenu party, continues to lead opinion polls ahead of Israel's Jan. 22 parliamentary election. REUTERS/Amir Cohen (ISRAEL - Tags: POLITICS ELECTIONS) - RTR3CJ8V
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Set to begin on Sunday [Feb. 17] a trial at the Jerusalem Magistrate Court could herald the end of an era in Israel’s politics. Former Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman will face an extended panel of three judges who will seal his political fate. If acquitted, Liberman will become the Israeli Dreyfus, having been persecuted for 15 years by the law-enforcement agencies until proven innocent. This will serve as a powerful lever, helping Liberman fulfill his aspiration and climb the last rung on his way to the top. If convicted of moral turpitude, Liberman will dissolve into the business world, prompting many in the local and the global political world to utter a great sigh of relief.

The former foreign minister exhibits great confidence. Analyzing, strategizing and conducting pretrial war games, his attorneys talk about no less than “total acquittal.”

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