I just learned via Mondoweiss that Connecticut Senator Joseph Lieberman was in Jerusalem yesterday meeting with Avigdor Lieberman of the rightist Yisrael Beiteinu party. Jerusalem Post and Haaretz both have the story.
Yisrael Beiteinu set up the meeting to promote the idea of making Avigdor Lieberman the Foreign Minister in the next government. Joe doesn’t exactly endorse the idea, but doesn’t seem opposed:
“Though we’re not related by blood, we are privileged to hold positions in two great nations,” the senator said after the meeting. “I wanted to meet Lieberman, because he will play an important role in the next government, so it’s important that we in the US get to know him well.”
I find it outrageous that a United States senator is legitimating Yisrael Beiteinu, which is well known as a far right party. Of course Washington will have to have cordial relations with whatever government is formed in Jerusalem, but Senator Lieberman should at least wait until we know who comprises that government. Because this yesterday’s photo op at the King David is essentially campaiging for Lieberman to get the job as Foreign Minister.
But the worst part of the whole article comes in this quote from Yisrael Beiteinu spokesman (and former ambassador to the US) Danny Ayalon:
“I told him that we are the most Americanophile party,” Ayalon said. “We support drafting a constitution, an American system of government, and instituting a pledge of allegiance like America has.”
Yeah. Sure. Because when Lieberman says that he wants to make Arab citizens of Israel take a loyalty oath, he’s just talking about standing up at the beginning of homeroom class. Asshole.