Posted on: April 3, 2009 Posted by: Mitchell Plitnick Comments: 0

Let’s leave aside for a moment the concerns over Avigdor Lieberman’s effect on peace with the Palestinians. What does it say about a country when this man is appointed Foreign Minister?

Avigdor Lieberman was questioned on April 2 for more than seven hours by Israeli police about suspicions of bribery, money laundering, fraud and breach of trust. This happened less than a day after he took the post. And it was not

Israels new Foreign Minister
Israel's new Foreign Minister

breaking news–these allegations had been public for many months, well before the election.

This man is not only a fascist and racist, he is also a corrupt thief, and this is no secret in Israel. No doubt, apologists for Lieberman in the United States (which, shamefully, includes such Jewish leaders as Abe Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League) will say he should be regarded as innocent until proven guilty.

In terms of a criminal conviction, that’s true. But politically, the accusations themselves say a lot, and, more than that, Lieberman’s dealings have been well known in Israel. Few there doubt he’s guilty, whether he’s ever convicted or not.

And if we’re looking for convictions, what about the fact that Lieberman was convicted, in 2001 of assault–on a 12-year old boy.

That a man like this is now in the top diplomatic cabinet post in Israel is shameful. It’s the kind of thing that one expects from petty dictatorships.

Israel is often unfairly bashed. But when a man like this is their foreign minister, how much respect do they think they deserve?