Avigdor Lieberman
Israeli politician
Avigdor Lieberman
Avigdor Lieberman is a Soviet-born Israeli politician. He is currently Member of the Knesset, Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs and Deputy Prime Minister of Israel. He is the founder and leader of the Yisrael Beiteinu party, whose electoral base are the immigrants from the former Soviet Union.
Biography
Avigdor Lieberman's personal information overview.
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Israel minister dubs French peace meeting new 'Dreyfus trial'
Yahoo News - about 2 months
Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Monday criticised an upcoming Middle East peace conference organised by France, calling it a new "Dreyfus trial" and urged French Jews to move to Israel. Representatives of around 70 countries are due to attend the January 15 conference aimed at restarting long-stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts. Israel has strongly opposed it, instead calling for direct talks with the Palestinians.
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Yahoo News article
Lieberman: Demonstrate Your Credibility
Huffington Post - 4 months
I am skeptical of what Israel's Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman says as I have judged him only by his actions. For the Palestinians, however, to immediately dismiss what he said in an interview with the Palestinian daily al-Quds--that he supports a two-state solution and would lift Israel's blockade of Gaza if Hamas relinquishes its military stance--is shortsighted and self-destructive at best. And by rejecting Lieberman's offer, Hamas is doing nothing but further worsening the plight of the Palestinians living under its rule, forfeiting yet another opportunity to end a conflict that they cannot ever win on their terms. The Palestinian leadership in the West Bank, who perhaps for good reason do not trust Lieberman, should at a minimum call his bluff, if he is indeed bluffing. Instead of putting Lieberman to the test, the Palestinian Authority chose to denounce what he is offering as if it were a forgone conclusion that Lieberman and his government are simply engaged in publi ...
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Huffington Post article
Memo From Jerusalem: Tough Talk but Little Action From Lieberman as Israel’s Defense Minister
NYTimes - 4 months
Having criticized the government five months ago for its handling of security, the hard-liner Avigdor Lieberman has not done much to reshape Israeli policies.
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NYTimes article
Safran Foer's 'Here I Am' Explores Divorce Between Liberal Jewish Americans and Israel
Huffington Post - 5 months
Because of Israel's growing ethno-nationalism, embarrassment has replaced guilt as many young Jewish Americans' dominant feeling toward Israel. "Here I Am" is Jonathan Safran Foer's first novel after 11 years. Jacob Bloch, its anti-hero, after one well-received novel published when he was very young, is writing for television, and doesn't like it. His marriage which, like most marriages, started with hope, intimacy and tenderness has gradually emptied of content after 15 years, and both Jacob and Julia, his wife and future divorcee, feel that they are losing their own selves in the family they have created. The bulk of the book is composed of scenes from a Jewish family life, much of dialogue; some of it scintillating, much of it reminds of the self-consciously virtuoso writing we have come to know from Foer's first two highly acclaimed novels that made him a household name of the American - and ever more so the Jewish American - literary scene. His standing is reflected in the ...
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Huffington Post article
The Settlements: Self-Entrapment Of Existential Proportions
Huffington Post - 5 months
Israel's continued settlement activity--whether retroactively approving 'unauthorized' outposts or advancing plans for new units as was recently announced--represents yet another nail in the coffin of the peace process. The settlements have become nothing but Israel's self-entrapment, threatening its very existence. Prime Minister Netanyahu and his coalition partners, however, are not concerned about the prospective dire repercussions of settlement activity. They put the sanctity of the land above any other consideration, and view the settlement enterprise as the prerequisite to repossessing the entire historic 'land of Israel.' Netanyahu is not deterred by the criticism and condemnation from the international community. He takes the position that building new housing units is largely in settlements that will eventually be part of a final status deal in exchange for land swaps, as if he has the right to unilaterally decide which settlements will be incorporated to Israel proper wi ...
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Huffington Post article
Israel to obey settlement demolition order, defence minister says
Yahoo News - 6 months
Israel will carry out a court order to demolish the wildcat Jewish settlement of Amona in the West Bank by the end of the year, Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Thursday. "I have said before and I say again to the settlers of Amona, there is a judgement of the (Israeli) Supreme Court and we shall honour it," Lieberman said at a Jewish school in the occupied West Bank on the first day of the new school year.
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Yahoo News article
Israeli Defense Minister Compares Beloved Palestinian Poet to Hitler
NYTimes - 7 months
Avigdor Lieberman, an ultranationalist, said that Army Radio should not have aired a show about Mahmoud Darwish, who is considered the Palestinians’ national poet.
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NYTimes article
Israel's new defense minister represents a milestone for Russian-speaking emigres
LATimes - 9 months
When Avigdor Lieberman was picked by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to become defense minister, he declared he had smashed a glass ceiling on behalf of the nation’s Russian-speaking immigrant community. The Israeli satire TV program “Eretz Nehederet” had a slightly different take, portraying...
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LATimes article
Israeli Ultranationalist Sworn In as Defense Minister - New York Times
Google News - 9 months
Washington Times Israeli Ultranationalist Sworn In as Defense Minister New York Times JERUSALEM — Israeli ultranationalist Avigdor Lieberman has been sworn in as defense minister after his appointment was confirmed by parliament. Lieberman, one of Israel's most polarizing politicians, assumed the office on Monday. The post was ... Ya'alon hints at fundraising for new party in letterJerusalem Post Israel News Lieberman Sworn in as Defense Minister After Stormy Knesset SessionHaaretz Lieberman sworn in as Israeli defense minister, backs two-state solutioni24news Ynetnews -Middle East Eye -The Daily Star -Forward all 122 news articles »
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Google News article
Netanyahu Names Avigdor Lieberman Israeli Defense Minister as Party Joins Coalition
NYTimes - 9 months
The nomination was the main condition for adding Yisrael Beiteinu’s seats to Benjamin Netanyahu’s alliance, a move that underlines the government’s hawkish image.
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NYTimes article
Surprise on-air tirade questions Israeli politics
Reuters.com - 9 months
From expected and unexpected corners of israel, commentators are aghast by Netanyahu's shunting aside of his defence minister in favour of far-right nationalist Avigdor Lieberman, a move they say takes the nation in a dangerous new direction.
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Reuters.com article
Manhunt In Israel Bares Tensions Between Jewish And Arab Citizens
Huffington Post - about 1 year
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Huffington Post article
New Intifada For A New Generation
Huffington Post - over 1 year
A few days before he stabbed and killed two ultra-orthodox Jews in the Old City of Jerusalem before being shot dead, Muhannad Halabi addressed himself on his Facebook wall to his president. Mahmoud Abbas had accused Israel in his UN speech of letting extremists into the Al-Aqsa compound. "Nice speech Mr. President, but we do not recognise East and West Jerusalem. We know only that Jerusalem is one, undivided, and that every part of it is holy. Excuse me, Mr. President, but what is happening to the women of Al-Aqsa and to Al-Aqsa itself will not be stopped by peaceful measures. We were not raised to be humiliated." The 19-year-old's message was clear: the time for words is over. The Third Intifada, he said, has already started. Halabi speaks for his generation. He was born a year after the second Oslo Accord was signed in Taba, which set up an interim Palestinian self-governing authority for the West Bank and Gaza. By the age of four, Halabi should have seen a comprehensive pe ...
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Huffington Post article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Avigdor Lieberman
    FIFTIES
  • 2016
    Age 57
    Recently, Lieberman supported Azerbaijan during 2016 Armenian–Azerbaijani clashes over the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh
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    Lieberman's first action as Defense Minister was to approve equal rights for the bereaving families of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender soldiers. Avigdor Lieberman issued an official document on behalf of the Defense Ministry in June 2016, declaring that the ministry "views same-sex and heterosexual families of fallen soldiers equally, and operates in accordance with this equality so that there is no difference in recognition and rights."
    More Details Hide Details Lieberman and his wife Ella (née Tzipkin, born 16 June 1959), also a Moldovan immigrant to Israel, have a daughter Michal (born 22 June 1983) and two sons, Yaakov (born 15 March 1988) and Amos (born 14 September 1990). They live in the Israeli settlement of Nokdim, located in the Judean Desert of the West Bank, where they have resided since 1988. Lieberman stated that, despite having lived there for so long, he is willing to leave his home as part of a peace agreement. He speaks Russian, Romanian, Hebrew, Yiddish and (less fluently) English. Lieberman has a passion for Russian literature - stating that Pushkin is today celebrated more widely in Israel than he is in Russia. He often jokes about literary figures - once claiming to Putin that Pushkin was a descendent of Ethiopian Jews.
    In June 2016, Lieberman was appointed Israel's Minister of Defense, as a result of his party agreeing to join the government coalition.
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    Lieberman was appointed Minister of Defense by Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu in May 2016.
    More Details Hide Details He subsequently resigned from the Knesset under the Norwegian Law, allowing Yulia Malinovsky to replace him. Upon taking office as the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lieberman posed a clear message against application of provisions discussed at the Annapolis Conference, which stipulated the settlement of all negotiated issues prior to their implementation in the field, adding that these discussions were never ratified by the Knesset. He noted that Israel must abide, nonetheless, by the road map for peace – which held a demand for an 'End of Palestinian violence' as a first phase for furtherance of the negotiations process—as well as by the two accompanying Tenet and Zinni documents. Lieberman had previously opposed the road map at the time of its adoption. He left Ehud Olmert's government due to his opposition to the Annapolis Conference. Lieberman followed his 1 April message with concerns that "others stand over us with a stopwatch" and that responsible and serious formulations of policy will take between one and two months.
  • 2015
    Age 56
    On 8 March 2015 he stated at a conference in Herzliya:
    More Details Hide Details 'Whoever is with us should get everything. Whoever is against us, there’s nothing else to do. We have to lift up an axe and remove his head, otherwise we won’t survive here. There is no reason that Umm al-Fahm will be part of Israel.' This was interpreted by the JTA as meaning that Israeli Arab citizens who betray or oppose the Jewish state should be beheaded. However, Lieberman supports a territorial partition of Israel, whereby Israel would cut off Arab-Israeli areas and transfer them to a future Palestinian state. In 2011, Lieberman became the first Foreign Minister to sever ties with the Mossad. Lieberman ordered the foreign ministry to boycott the Mossad, stop sharing information and stop inviting Mossad officials to discussions and meetings. This was after Lieberman said the Mossad has not followed the normal procedures.
  • 2014
    Age 55
    Lieberman's mother, Esther Lieberman, died on December 4, 2014.
    More Details Hide Details Lieberman cancelled a speech that was slated for the United States so that he could attend the funeral.
    In January 2014, according to Haaretz, Lieberman would not support any peace agreement that did not include the exchange of Israeli Arab land and population.
    More Details Hide Details Lieberman stated: "I will not support any peace deal that will allow the return of even one Palestinian refugee to Israel."
    In a 2014 poll conducted in Israel, 62% saw Lieberman as a national leader.
    More Details Hide Details Yisrael Beiteinu has shown support for a two-state solution and were also noted for a secularist approach upon leading new legislation for civil marriage in Israel as well as pushing for some relaxation in the conversion process. Several commentators, however, noted that these positions do not coincide with the party's platform. These positions which are contradictory to the tradition of right wing politics in Israel had been explained by Gershom Gorenberg as that following the Six Day War, opinions were split regarding the occupied territory, where being right-wing meant a position of holding onto the territory while being left-wing addressed a high level of willingness to give that territory away. He notes Lieberman to not be a right-winger by those terms as he's talking about giving occupied lands as well as land from sovereign Israel. A polarizing figure within Israeli politics, Lieberman is quoted as saying, "I've always been controversial because I offer new ideas. For me to be controversial, I think this is positive." Lieberman has called to redraw the border between Israel and the West Bank so that Israel would include large Jewish settlement blocs and the Palestinian state would include large Arab-Israeli population centers. He proposed that Israel's citizens should sign a loyalty oath or lose their right to vote.
    On 5 January 2014, Lieberman again brought up his plan, saying that he would not support any peace plan that did not include such "an exchange".
    More Details Hide Details He said that when he talks about it, he refers to the Triangle and Wadi Ara. Lieberman supports Israeli membership in the European Union and NATO. He considers Iran a serious threat to Israel, but initially came out in favor of further political/economic sanctions and opposed a military strike, saying that he cannot imagine the implications of armed action. However, Haaretz later reported that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak persuaded Lieberman to switch sides and support an attack. While his party is sometimes described by the news media as doctrinally secular and aiming to reduce the role of the rabbinical system in government, it actually supports the continuation of the role of Orthodox rabbinical courts, but wants more nationally-minded religious people, rather than the ultra-orthodox, in charge. It does not advocate introducing civil marriage within Israeli law, but rather to find a solution to some of those who cannot marry under such laws. It does not advocate a separation of religion and state in Israeli society.
  • 2013
    Age 54
    Lieberman returned to his position as Foreign Minister on 11 November 2013, after the Israeli cabinet had approved his re-appointment to the office the previous day.
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    His trial began on 17 February 2013, and ended on 6 November 2013, with an acquittal.
    More Details Hide Details The three judges voted unanimously to acquit him. In the verdict, they wrote that while Lieberman had acted improperly in failing to inform the Foreign Ministry of his past dealings with Ben Aryeh, he was not guilty of criminal activity, as he had not been aware of the seriousness of the circumstances, and his appointment of Ben Aryeh had not been a promotion.
    In his remarks at the 2013 Sderot Conference for Society, Lieberman stated his support of multi-directional foreign policy, one that is more diverse.
    More Details Hide Details The weight of his statement came at a time when a preliminary deal between Israel and the US with Iran, which would partially freeze its rogue nuclear program, was in opposition. On 7 May, Yediot Ahronot stated that Lieberman was appointed the minister in charge of strategic dialogue with the U.S. On 17 June, he appeared in a joint press conference with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in his first official visit to the U.S. Lieberman clashed with Clinton over the issue of Israeli settlements, with Lieberman dismissing her call to end settlement expansion. Financial Times described the meeting as "one of the most tense encounters between the sides for several years". Clinton also rejected Lieberman's assertion that the Bush administration had agreed to further building in the West Bank. Arutz Sheva stated afterward that Lieberman and Prime Minister Netanyahu both have the same position of settlement expansion and for retaining Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel.
  • 2011
    Age 52
    On 13 April 2011, the State Prosecutor's Office announced that it had decided to charge Lieberman with fraud, money laundering, breach of trust and witness tampering.
    More Details Hide Details The hearing was set for 17–18 January 2012. On 13 December 2012, a CNN breaking news blog post stated that the Israeli Justice Ministry had decided to only charge him with breach of trust and fraud, and not the more serious witness tampering and money laundering corruption charges. on 14 December 2012, Lieberman announced that he was removing his immunity and resigned as Foreign Minister.
    After the 2011 Duma election, in which Russian President Vladimir Putin's party United Russia won, Lieberman was the first international politician to describe them as "absolutely fair, free and democratic".
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  • 2010
    Age 51
    On 24 May 2010 the Israel Police recommended Lieberman's indictment for Breach of Trust, regarding the suspected receipt of classified information concerning ongoing criminal investigations into his activities.
    More Details Hide Details Former ambassador to Belarus, Ze'ev Ben Aryeh was also recommended for indictment.
  • 2009
    Age 50
    In September 2009, Lieberman toured Africa to meet leaders and donate humanitarian aid, along with businessmen and officials from the Foreign Ministry, Finance Ministry, Defense Ministry, and National Security Council in an attempt to strengthen economic and trade ties and discuss the issue of the Iranian nuclear program.
    More Details Hide Details As part of his policy to create more diplomatic openings for Israel, Lieberman also sought to strengthen ties with countries in Eastern and Central Europe. In a 2011 interview, Prime Minister Netanyahu said that Lieberman had opened important places where Israel had never really had diplomatic opening to before.
    On 4 May 2009, in a press conference in Italy, Avigdor Lieberman skirted around the issue of a Palestinian state, stating that "This government's goal is not to produce slogans or make pompous declarations, but to reach concrete results," adding that the government was still in the process of formulating its foreign policy.
    More Details Hide Details On another occasion in his trip, he stated that "Nothing is going to come out of this 'Peace Industry' except for conferences in five star Hotels and a waste of money." Generally speaking, the diplomatic mission was private and subject to restricted news coverage.
    In early May 2009, Lieberman went on a European diplomatic mission, which went through Rome, Paris, Prague, and other cities.
    More Details Hide Details He met with his Foreign Minister counterparts, such as Frank-Walter Steinmeier of Germany, and he also paid his respects at Berlin's Holocaust memorial, laying a wreath at the 19,000-square-meter monument.
    On 2 April 2009, Lieberman was questioned by police on suspicion of corruption for at least seven hours at the national squad headquarters in central Israel.
    More Details Hide Details It was part of an ongoing investigation examining his business dealings. Lieberman denied all allegations. He claimed the investigation has been dragged out, and had filed a petition to the court requesting a speedy process.
    During a meeting with Egyptian intelligence chief Omar Suleiman in April 2009, Lieberman made an attempt at an apology, expressing "his respect and appreciation for Egypt's leading role in the region and his personal respect for Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Minister Suleiman".
    More Details Hide Details On 21 August, Lieberman said that it is important for Israel to make sure that the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty is upheld, and not to remain silent as Egyptian military forces enter the Sinai. Concern was raised by Israeli officials over Egyptian failure to notify Israel about the deployment of tanks in the Sinai, which violates the peace treaty. Lieberman said, "We must make sure that every detail is upheld, otherwise we'll find ourselves in a slippery slope as far as the peace treaty is concerned." As instability in the Sinai continued into the next month, Lieberman responded to calls to deploy more troops with "The problem in Sinai is not the size of the forces, it is their readiness to fight, to put pressure and to carry out the job as is needed." On 28 August, Lieberman invited Egyptian President Morsi to visit Israel, after being encouraged by Morsi'is statements in late August that the Israel-Egypt peace treaty was secure. Lieberman said, "We certainly hope to see Morsi hosting official Israeli representatives soon; we want to see him giving interviews to Israeli media; we want to see him in Jerusalem as President (Shimon) Peres' guest."
    After Netanyahu began his term as Prime Minister in March 2009, government aides met with Egyptian officials and told them that Lieberman's role should not be a reason for tension between the two countries.
    More Details Hide Details News reports had previously been issued claiming that Egypt would not work with the Netanyahu administration unless Lieberman personally apologized. The administration labeled them "inaccurate and out of all proportion". On 9 April, Mubarak invited Netanyahu to meet with him personally in Sharm e-Sheikh. Unofficial channels for discussion were also reportedly being considered.
    After the 2009 Israeli elections, Lieberman said he changed his mind in recent years and decided to support the creation of a Palestinian state.
    More Details Hide Details He wrote in a letter to The Jewish Week that he "advocates the creation of a viable Palestinian state", and told The Washington Post that he would agree to the evacuation of Nokdim "if there really will be a two-state solution". He stated in the Knesset that "reality changes" and that his shift had occurred over the last few years. In his The Jewish Week article, Lieberman tried to explain his party's "no loyalty – no citizenship" campaign by writing: "During Operation Cast Lead in Gaza, I was appalled by the calls for the destruction of the State of Israel and for renewed suicide bombings that some Israeli Arab leaders called for at pro-Hamas rallies. Although 'responsible citizenship' had always been part of our platform, I realized that this was a burning issue that had to take top priority." He stated his "responsible citizenship" platform and compared his position to the express policy of nations around the world, saying: "In the U.S., those requesting a Green Card must take an oath that they will fulfill the rights and duties of citizenship."
    Lieberman denies all allegations of wrongdoing in these cases, and claims that the police are conspiring against him. In particular, he has pointed to the proximity of his investigation to the 2009 Israeli elections and said that such investigations are "part of my routine before every parliamentary election." Allegations of bias on the part of the police have also been reported in Arutz Sheva, which reported that the investigation, which had been "ongoing for years, suddenly became active again once Lieberman left the government" in January 2008.
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    In January 2009, during the Gaza War, Lieberman argued that Israel "must continue to fight Hamas just like the United States did with the Japanese in World War II.
    More Details Hide Details Then, too, the occupation of the country was unnecessary." This threat has been interpreted by some media commentators, including Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, as an allusion to Hiroshima and Nagasaki and as advocacy for a nuclear strike on Gaza.
    Yisrael Beiteinu, which was described at times as Lieberman's "one man's party" for its media-closed meetings and party members' reluctance to give interviews, emerged as the third largest party in Israel after 2009 legislative election and on 16 March, it entered into the coalition government led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
    More Details Hide Details Lieberman was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs and Deputy Prime Minister. On 25 October 2012, Lieberman and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that their respective political parties, Likud and Yisrael Beiteinu, had merged and would run together on a single ballot in Israel's 22 January 2013 general elections. "In view of the challenges we're facing, we need responsibility on a national level. We're providing a true alternative, and an opportunity for the citizens to stabilize leadership and government," Lieberman said.
    He served as Israel's Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2009 to 2012, and again from 2013 to 2015.
    More Details Hide Details He has also served as member of the Knesset and as Deputy Prime Minister of Israel. He is the founder and leader of the secular-nationalist Yisrael Beiteinu party, whose electoral base are overwhelmingly Russian-speaking immigrants from the former Soviet Union. As a result of the arrival in Israel during the 1990s of more than one million Russian-speaking immigrants, Yisrael Beiteinu has regularly played the 'king-maker' role in Israel's coalition governments. Lieberman first entered the Knesset in 1999, and has since served in numerous roles in the government, including as Minister of National Infrastructure, Minister of Transportation, Minister of Strategic Affairs, Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign Affairs Minister, and Minister of Defense.
  • FORTIES
  • 2008
    Age 49
    In remarks in the Knesset in March 2008, shortly after the 6 March attack at Jerusalem's Mercaz HaRav yeshiva, Lieberman commented that "yesterday's attack can not be disconnected from the Arab MKs incitement, which we hear daily in the Knesset."
    More Details Hide Details Directing his comments at Arab MKs whose comments Lieberman describes as anti-Israel incitement, he added that "a new administration will be established and then we will take care of you." In 1998, news reports stated that Lieberman suggested the bombing of the Aswan Dam in retaliation for Egyptian support for Yasser Arafat. In 2001, reports stated that he told a group of ambassadors from the Former Soviet Union that if Egypt and Israel were ever to face off militarily again, that Israel could bomb the Aswan Dam.
    Lieberman resigned his cabinet position and Yisrael Beiteinu left the coalition in January 2008; he cited his opposition to the resuming peace talks, saying that "Negotiations on the basis of land for peace are a critical mistake... and will destroy us."
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  • 2006
    Age 47
    In November 2006, Lieberman, who described Arab members of the Knesset that meet with Hamas as "terror collaborators", called for their execution: "World War II ended with the Nuremberg Trials.
    More Details Hide Details The heads of the Nazi regime, along with their collaborators, were executed. I hope this will be the fate of the collaborators in Knesset." The comment was attacked as racist by Eitan Cabel, a Labor party representative, and Ahmad Tibi, leader of the Arab party Ta'al and one-time advisor to Yasser Arafat, who demanded that "a criminal investigation be initiated against Lieberman for violating the law against incitement and racism". Tibi strongly objected to Lieberman's ministerial appointment, describing him as "a racist and a fascist". Labour minister Ophir Pines-Paz, who resigned over Lieberman's appointment, echoed Tibi's remarks, saying that Lieberman was tainted "by racist declarations and declarations that harm the democratic character of Israel".
    In December 2006, he called Iranian nuclear proliferation "the biggest threat facing the Jewish people since the Second World War".
    More Details Hide Details He advocated that Israel join the European Union and NATO.
    It was initially in the opposition, but after a few months, in October 2006, Lieberman and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert signed a coalition agreement under which Lieberman became the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Strategic Affairs, a newly created position with a focus towards the strategic threat from Iran.
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    In the 2006 legislative election, Lieberman's party split from the National Union to run alone.
    More Details Hide Details The party won eleven seats, a gain from its previous six seats.
  • 2004
    Age 45
    On 4 June 2004, as the disputes over the up-coming disengagement plan grew more intense, Sharon dismissed Lieberman from the cabinet.
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    In May 2004, Lieberman was dismissed from the cabinet by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon due to his opposition to the Gaza disengagement, and Yisrael Beiteinu left the government in June in protest of the disengagement.
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  • 2003
    Age 44
    In February 2003, Lieberman was appointed Minister of Transport, and chose to resign from the Knesset to take a seat in the Cabinet.
    More Details Hide Details He maintained leadership of the party and returned to the Knesset in 2006—later, he would simultaneously serve in the Knesset and Cabinet.
  • 2002
    Age 43
    Following a series of attacks on Israelis perpetrated by Palestinian militants during a three-day period in March 2002, Lieberman proposed issuing an ultimatum to the Palestinian National Authority to halt all militant activity or face wide-ranging attacks.
    More Details Hide Details He said, "if it were up to me I would notify the Palestinian Authority that tomorrow at ten in the morning we would bomb all their places of business in Ramallah, for example." This led then Foreign Minister Shimon Peres to respond that excessive military measures could lead to accusations of war crimes and that the Israeli administration must not "escalate the situation". In July 2003, reacting to a commitment made by then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to the US, where amnesty could be given to approximately 350 Palestinian prisoners including members of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, Lieberman rejected a chance to participate in the related committee and said "It would be better to drown these prisoners in the Dead Sea if possible, since that's the lowest point in the world," Lieberman continued, according to Galei Tzahal ('Israel Army Radio'), by stating his willingness, as Minister of Transport, to supply buses to take the prisoners there. Lieberman's suggestion also led to confrontation between Lieberman and Arab-Israeli MKs Ahmed Tibi (Hadash-Ta'al), Jamal Zahalka (Balad), Taleb el-Sana, Abdelmalek Dahamsha (United Arab List) as well as then opposition leader Shimon Peres.
  • 2001
    Age 42
    On 24 September 2001, Lieberman acknowledged in the Jerusalem District Court that he attacked a twelve-year-old youth from Tekoa, who had hit his son.
    More Details Hide Details The incident occurred in December 1999 in the Nokdim settlement. His son told him that three boys hit him. Lieberman located one of the boys in a trailer and hit him in the face. After the boy fell and was injured, Lieberman grabbed him by the shirt-collar and arm, took him back to his home in Tekoa and threatened that he would attack him again if he returned to Nokdim. He was charged with assaulting and threatening him. Lieberman was convicted based on his own confession in the context of a plea bargain. His attorney asked the judges, in the context of the arrangement, to restrict his punishment to a fine amid the defendant's promise that he will not commit such an act in the future. The judge ultimately ruled that Lieberman must pay the child a compensation of 10,000 NIS, and an additional fine of 7,500 NIS.
  • 1999
    Age 40
    One claim was that Michael Cherney paid a company called Path to the East large amounts of money between the years 1999 and 2006, and that these sums were then allegedly passed on to Lieberman as a bribe.
    More Details Hide Details Other allegations concern a company called M.L.1, founded by Lieberman's daughter Michal when she was 21. These allegations concern money transferred to M.L.1 from unknown sources outside Israel; the money was later allegedly used for paying salaries to Avigdor and Michal Lieberman. Lieberman was also under investigation for receiving a bribe from Austrian-Jewish businessman Martin Schlaff.
    In 1999, Lieberman formed the Yisrael Beiteinu party to create a platform for Soviet immigrants who supported a hard line in negotiations with the Palestinians.
    More Details Hide Details The party ran for the Knesset during the 1999 legislative election, and ran on a joint list with Aliyah, a party formed by Michael Nudelman and Yuri Stern, who had broke away from Yisrael BaAliyah. The new party won four seats, one of which was taken by Lieberman. In the 2003 legislative election, Yisrael Beiteinu ran on a joint list with the National Union. The joint list won seven seats, with Yisrael Beiteinu being allotted four of them.
  • THIRTIES
  • 1997
    Age 38
    In 1997, Lieberman resigned from Likud after Prime Minister Netanyahu granted concessions to the Palestinians in the Wye River Memorandum, and expressed disappointment when Yisrael BaAliyah, a new immigrant's party headed by Natan Sharansky that had right-center leanings, did not quit the coalition government in protest.
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  • 1996
    Age 37
    After Netanyahu was elected Prime Minister, Lieberman served as Director-General of the Prime Minister's Office from 1996 to 1997.
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  • 1995
    Age 36
    Since the signing of the Egyptian–Israeli Peace Treaty, which followed Egyptian President Anwar Sadat's historic visit to Israel, multiple Israeli heads of state have visited Egypt on numerous occasions. However, Sadat's successor, Hosni Mubarak, visited Israel only once—for Yitzhak Rabin's funeral in 1995—and never participated in talks on Israeli soil.
    More Details Hide Details In 2008, while on the Knesset speaker's podium during its memorial for Rehavam Ze'evi, Lieberman raised the issue and said, "Mubarak never agreed to come here as president. He wants to talk to us? Let him come here. He doesn't want to talk to us? He can go to hell." Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and President Shimon Peres immediately apologized to the Egyptians. Lieberman accused the two of them of acting like "a battered wife". He explained his belief that the President and Prime Minister were wrong to ask forgiveness from Mubarak in that Egypt had provoked Israel just days earlier by identifying Israel as the enemy in a massive military exercise and that caricatures in the Egyptian media are akin to Nazi propaganda.
  • 1993
    Age 34
    From 1993 to 1996, following Netanyahu's election as party leader, Lieberman served as Director-General of the Likud party.
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  • TWENTIES
  • 1988
    Age 29
    In 1988, he started working with Benjamin Netanyahu.
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    Kach was barred from participating in the election in 1988 under the revised Knesset Elections Law banning parties that incited racism and was declared a terrorist organization in 1994.
    More Details Hide Details While studying at the Hebrew University, Lieberman worked as a bouncer at the student club "Shablul" (lit. "snail"), which is where he met his future wife. A year later, Lieberman was promoted to general manager, responsible for all the activities at the club.
  • 1983
    Age 24
    From 1983 to 1988, Lieberman helped found the Zionist Forum for Soviet Jewry, and was a member of the Board of the Jerusalem Economic Corporation and the Secretary of the Jerusalem branch of the Histadrut Ovdim Le'umit ("National Workers' Union").
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  • TEENAGE
  • 1978
    Age 19
    Lieberman and his family immigrated to Israel in 1978, and Lieberman changed his first name to 'Avigdor'.
    More Details Hide Details He was conscripted into the Israel Defense Forces and served in the Artillery Corps, attaining the rank of Corporal. After his military service, he enrolled in the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and earned a Bachelor of Arts in international relations and political science. During his studies he was active in the student group, "Kastel", associated with the Likud. Relations between Kastel and Arab student groups were tense and often deteriorated into violence. According to Maariv, based on the testimony of a witness who was a student at the time, Lieberman participated in a few of the violent clashes. Lieberman said that he was involved in two. Jamal Zahalka, an Arab Knesset member from Balad who was also a student at the time and active in Arab groups, claimed that he remembers Lieberman as yelling a lot but avoiding any of the rough action.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1958
    Born
    Lieberman was born to a Russian-speaking family on 5 July 1958 in Kishinev, Soviet Union (now Chișinău, Moldova).
    More Details Hide Details His father Lev (18 May 1921 – 2 July 2007) was a writer, who had served in the Red Army and spent seven years in a Siberian exile under Joseph Stalin's rule, where he met Evet's mother Esther (2 July 1924 - 4 December 2014). His parents embued him with a strong secular Jewish identity and consciously taught him only Yiddish up to the age of three. Inheriting a love of Russian literature from his father, Lieberman had dreamed of becoming a poet. Lieberman attributes his forthright personality to his youth in the large Jewish community of 1970s Kishinev, saying: "Jews were 25 percent of the population of Kishinev the 1970s... We were more affluent, better educated, and we showed it... The Jews of Moldova have this no-nonsense streak." After high school, Lieberman enrolled at the Chișinău Agriculture Institute with a hydrological land improvement major. As a student in Moldova, he won first prize for a play he wrote, and he dreamed of a literary career.
Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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