Avigdor Lieberman: 16 of his most outrageous statements

#InsideIsrael

With nationalist leader Avigdor Lieberman set to become Israel's new defence minister, MEE looks back over his provocative past

Avigdor Lieberman has joined Benjamin Netanyahu's coalition, as defence minister (AFP)
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Thursday 26 May 2016 2:09 UTC
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1. If you thought beheadings were only an IS specialty then think again, Lieberman is also a fan - for disloyal Palestinians anyway: “Those who are with us deserve everything, but those who are against us deserve to have their heads chopped off with an axe.”



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2. Democracy is good, as long as it doesn’t get in the way of "Zionist values": “The vision I would like to see here is the entrenching of the Jewish and the Zionist state…. I very much favour democracy, but when there is a contradiction between democratic and Jewish values, the Jewish and Zionist values are more important.”



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3. I suppose we could always pay Palestinian Israelis to leave though: "Israel should even encourage them with economic incentives."



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4. Talking of democracy, even members of the Knesset are not safe: “World War II ended with the Nuremberg trials. The heads of the Nazi regime, along with their collaborators, were executed. I hope this will be the fate of the collaborators in [the Knesset].”



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5. “I think the biggest problem of the 21st century is how to deal with minorities.” 



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6. It’s pretty safe to assume he doesn’t watch Al Jazeera: “Qatar has turned into a global problem. Al Jazeera is a central pillar of the propaganda apparatus of Hamas.”



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7. He’s not big on LGBT rights either: “Civil marriage is a very serious problem. I think that even the religious understands that we must look for some kind of a solution because we have some contradictions. I'm sure there are many solutions.”



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8. But what he lacks in love for same-sex marriage, he makes up for with a fondness for brutal rhetoric: "You have to be generous to your friends and cruel to your enemies. We are simply a society of wimps." 



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9. Taking inspiration from the atomic bombs dropped on Japan to make occupation "unnecessary": “We must continue to fight Hamas just like the United States did with the Japanese in World War II. Then, too, the occupation of the country was unnecessary.”



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10. But he’ll make sure to safeguard innocent civilians, right? “If it were up to me, I would notify the Palestinian Authority tomorrow at 10 in the morning we would bomb all their places of business in Ramallah, for example... I would not hesitate to send the Israeli army into all of Area A for 48 hours. Destroy the foundation of all the authority’s military infrastructure, all of the police buildings, the arsenals, all the posts of the security forces... not leave one stone on another. Destroy everything.”



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11. And you wouldn’t want to be a Palestinian prisoner in Avigdor’s world: “It would be better to drown these prisoners in the Dead Sea if possible, since that’s the lowest point in the world.”



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12. What about Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, surely he must be okay? He is preoccupied with diplomatic terrorism.”



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13. Former Egyptian Prime Minister Hosni Mubarak “can go to hell."



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14. But what does he think of his new boss, Benjamin Netanyahu? “He is a liar, a fraud and a crook. Those are the words I can say about our prime minister. He brazenly defrauds the people of Israel.”



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15. No really, what’s he like? "Netanyahu isn’t left or right. He has no ideology. He is the ultimate Mr Zigzag. He may be the world champion of zigzaggers.”



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16. "I’ve always been controversial because I offer new ideas."



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