Sunday, April 12, 2009

Syrian Envoy Prefers Lieberman

Syria's ambassador to the US, Imad Moustapha, not only wants to press forward on regional peace talks, but says he prefers Avigdor Lieberman as a partner to Tzipi Livni:
"At least Lieberman is candid. He exactly says what he believes in. Tzipi Livni and her colleagues were talking all the time about their desire to make peace while committing the atrocity in Gaza or doing other similar things in the Palestinian territories."

I have three, contradictory, reactions to this. The first is to take it at face value: Lieberman can be a Nixon in China, and Israel's neighbors recognize this. The second is the cynical approach: Syria prefers Lieberman because Syria knows that it can play the good guy without actually taking the risks necessary for peace: no matter how intransigent they are in any negotiations, Lieberman makes for a better bad guy on the world stage.

And the third reaction is to simply not care about motives: anything that keeps parties talking is a good thing to hear.

1 comment:

chingona said...

In terms of No. 1, taking it at face value, it seems to me it's not just that Lieberman can be "Nixon in China" as that his position on settlements and two-state actually makes sense and has some internal logic, whereas the policy of most proceeding governments as been one of say one thing and do another. With Lieberman, it's "what you see is what you get." I can see how that would be preferable.

I don't know. I was cautiously optimistic when Hamas was elected (I didn't think Fatah could actually deliver on a deal, even if they signed the paperwork, and I thought the responsibility of actually governing might moderate Hamas). We all see how well that worked out.

But certainly, talking is better than not talking.