(Reuters) - Israel’s incoming foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, has stirred controversy over the years with comments about Arabs, notably Arab Israeli citizens and also Egypt. He once suggested Egypt’s Aswan Dam might be bombed and last year he said the president of Israel’s Arab peace partner could “go to hell.”
Following is a selection of quotes from Lieberman, head of the Yisrael Beitenu party:
2009 - “No loyalty, no citizenship” -- Lieberman’s election slogan calling for legislation to require Israelis, including Arab citizens, to swear loyalty to the Jewish state.
“What we state unequivocally is that we are completely opposed to what has been and still is the guiding principle of Israel’s foreign policy: ‘land for peace’ ... There is either ‘peace for peace’ or the exchange of territory and populations.”
(Referring to his proposal to trade Arab-populated parts of Israel to a Palestinian state in exchange for Israel annexing Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank)
“You have to be generous to your friends and cruel to your enemies. We are simply a society of wimps.”
2008 - “Time and time again our leaders go to Egypt to meet (President Hosni) Mubarak and he has never agreed to make an official visit here as president. If he wants to talk to us, he should come here. If he doesn’t want to come here, he can go to hell.”
2007 - (To an Israeli Arab fellow member of parliament:) “You are an ally in the Knesset of terrorists. I hope that Hamas will take care of you and all the rest once and for all. Don’t worry, your day will come.”
“If Israel has to deal with the Iranian threat by itself, it can do so.”
2006 - Speaking of Israeli Arab legislators who support the Palestinian cause: “The fate of the collaborators in the Knesset will be identical to that of those who collaborated with the Nazis. Collaborators, as well as criminals, were executed after the Nuremberg trials at the end of the World War Two. I hope that will be the fate of collaborators in this house.”
2001 - “Mubarak continues to act against us and to travel for consultations with Saddam Hussein. If he carries out his threat and puts forces into the Sinai, it would be an example of a (crossing) of the red line to which we would have to respond strongly, including by bombing the Aswan Dam.”
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