Sunday, February 15, 2009

Lieberman to be denied US visa?

Haaretz’s Akiva Eldar brings the bracing newsthat the Obama administration is contemplating denying U.S. visas to any Israeli politicians who were members of Kahane Chai. The party is designated by both the U.S. and Israel as a terrorist organization. The most prominent individual affected would be Avigdor Lieberman who, Haaretz claims, was a party member briefly after he arrived from his native Moldova:
…The State Department is evaluating…reports that MK Avigdor Lieberman, head of Yisrael Beiteinu, was a member of the extreme right group Kach. It appears on a State Department list of terrorist organizations.

If the Obama administration confirms the report that appeared last week in Haaretz, and which was not denied by Lieberman, the Yisrael Beiteinu leader may not be granted a visa to enter the U.S. The close cooperation between Israel and the U.S. on matters of strategy, defense, economics, commerce, tourism and transportation means that ministers charged with relevant portfolios often visit the United States.

A new MK, Michael Ben-Ari of the National Union, confirmed that he had been a member of Kach while it was headed by Meir Kahane and may face similar restrictions.

Clearly, no Israeli government would be willing to include such a person as a senior minister since not only would Lieberman be persona non grata with the U.S. government, he would embarrass the hell out of the government in its relations with others in the international community.

I would like every progressive who doubted whether Obama would make a difference when it comes to his Israel-Palestine policy compared to Bush, to reflect on whether this sort of report could possibly be imagined coming from our former president’s administration.


At 10:00 PM, Blogger Frank Partisan said...

It is laughable in a way, that Avigdor Lieberman, is given a cabinet post, to rule over nothing.

My comrades wrote: So far, though, other than big words, Lieberman's populism has achieved nothing concrete. In the last government, he was Olmert's poodle, dancing on his hind legs for a cheap treat. He sat quite obediently in a government that promised to evacuate settlers unilaterally, and did nothing against the strengthening of Hamas, all in return for an artificial ministry, created just for him, with no authority whatsoever. The fact that he recently commented that he intends to demand for himself the Foreign Ministry, illustrates the fact that his status will not change in the future, as the Foreign Minister in Israel has very little political influence, especially on security issues, which were the core of Lieberman's populism.

Although his powers will still be very restricted, some dangerous reforms and acts will be carried out to appease his supporters. These reforms can only push further the contradictions of Zionist capitalism, causing an almost inevitable explosion.

At 1:58 PM, Blogger Gert said...

It would be hilarious if he was appointed Foreign Minister because it would be impossible not to meet some US officials. And how would they feel meeting a real, elected fascist?


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