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The Israeli defense minister’s surprising offer

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman granted the Palestinian newspaper al-Quds an interview in an attempt to reach out to the Palestinian public while bypassing Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman is seen during a meeting with the Cypriot Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Nicosia, Cyprus September 16, 2016.REUTERS/Yiannis Kourtoglou - RTSO008
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The surprising interview that Israel’s Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman granted to the Palestinian newspaper Al-Quds and that was published Oct. 24 is helpful in clarifying which Liberman is actually sitting in the defense minister’s seat.

Pundits have written countless articles about this very issue, while foreign governments and their intelligence agencies have been keeping close tabs on Liberman’s first few months (since the end of May) in the nerve center of Israel’s military power in Tel Aviv, curious to see what direction he takes. Which of his many faces will he wear, once he assumes the position of “Mr. Security”? Will it be that of the local brute, who declares that Hamas senior official Ismail Haniyeh will have just 48 hours to live if the bodies of IDF casualties (from the 2014 Gaza War) are not returned immediately? Or will it be the “responsible adult,” who preaches the need for a regional peace initiative, supports a two-state solution, and reins in the adventurism of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the right?

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