Rassegna Stampa Elezioni Israeliane 2009

Monitoraggio attraverso i media internazionali delle elezioni in Israele del Febbraio 2009

Ex-bouncer Avigdor Lieberman muscles his way into Israeli politics

Posted by claudiacampli su 7 febbraio, 2009


A burly Moldovan former nightclub bouncer popularly known as Yvette and bearing a simmering grudge against Israel’s Arab minority is poised to become kingmaker in Israeli politics, days before crucial elections that will determine the course of an already flagging Middle East peace process.

Avigdor Lieberman, 50, the Soviet-born leader of Yisrael Beiteinu (Israel Our Home), has stormed from the country’s large Russian-speaking community to lead his nationalist party to third place in next Tuesday’s elections, according to the latest surveys.

With a tough message – “without loyalty there is no citizenship” – he has galvanised an electorate looking for a strongman to replace the ageing warriors Ehud Barak, Labour’s leader, and Binyamin Netanyahu, the Likud chief. Both are former prime ministers who have tried to cultivate a tough-guy image but who failed to live up to it in power.

Mr Lieberman, who has held minor Cabinet posts in previous coalitions, has transformed a sleepy campaign into a dogfight, roaring around the country castigating the Government for a lack of courage in finishing off Hamas. He has defined Iran’s nuclear programme as an existential threat and labelled the million or so Arabs living peacefully inside Israel as a “fifth column”.

He has demanded the death penalty for Arab Israeli MPs who meet Hamas leaders and called for the bombing of Palestinian petrol stations. Of President Mubarak of Egypt – Israel’s key partner in any deal over Gaza – Mr Lieberman said he could “go to hell”.

His fans see him as a forceful leader who can sweep away two decades of compromise, which they say has led only to more terrorism.

His detractors have labelled him a racist who will smash any hopes of finding a peaceful solution to the 60-year-old conflict with Israel’s Arab neighbours, and who will only disenfranchise Israel’s Arab population who have drawn the far-Right’s ire with their refusal to perform national service. Mr Lieberman, whose home is on a Jewish settlement in the West Bank, wants to introduce an oath of fealty to the Jewish state and compulsory national service as a test of the minority’s loyalty.

A report in the left-of-centre daily Haaretz this week said that Mr Lieberman had briefly been a member of the outlawed racist movement Kach when he emigrated to Israel 30 years ago. His party called the report a deliberate attempt to slur its leader at a time when he was surging ahead in opinion polls. A police investigation of his daughter and six aides in connection with bribery and money-laundering charges was also politically motivated, it claimed.

While Israeli Arabs are wary of Mr Lieberman’s sudden ascendancy, some argue that it shows the true face of the country. “I don’t care if Lieberman becomes Prime Minister, then the mask will slip and people will know the true face of the state of Israel,” said Hashem al-Hamid, a former Arab MP in the Knesset, or parliament. He said that a state that is first and foremost Jewish cannot also be fully democratic. “Jewish and democratic don’t go together, just like a state that is Islamic and democratic can’t be democratic,” he said.

Mr Lieberman’s recent surge has torn up the form book. Until the Gaza campaign the election was a fight between Mr Netanyahu and Tzipi Livni, the leader of the Kadima party. Ehud Olmert, the outgoing Prime Minister, had to step down as Kadima’s leader last year to fight corruption charges, leaving the inexperienced Ms Livni in charge.

“The public can’t decide between Netanyahu, who they know but don’t like, and Livni, who they like but don’t know,” Eyal Arad, Ms Livni’s manager, said. “If you had to choose between a bus driver who had a crash but now had his licence back, and a bus driver without a licence, who would you go for?”

– The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) suspended the delivery of aid to Gaza yesterday after accusing Hamas of seizing hundreds of tonnes of food aid.

The Hamas-run Ministry of Social Affairs admitted to taking ten lorryloads of flour and rice but said it was by accident. “The drivers did not know which supplies were UNRWA’s and which were the Government’s,” said Ahmed al-Kurd, Gaza’s Social Affairs Minister.

Israeli aircraft fired several missiles into the southern part of Gaza yesterday, causing no injuries, Hamas and residents said. Some of the strikes were aimed at tunnels used for smuggling.


Una Risposta to “Ex-bouncer Avigdor Lieberman muscles his way into Israeli politics”

  1. claudiacampli said

    Vi segnalo un rassicurante ritratto di Avidgor Lieberman


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