Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman has asked France to help put Israel in touch with various moderate forces that he said were rising in the Arab world. During a meeting in Brussels on Monday, he also stressed Israel’s stance against Hezbollah obtaining chemical weapons from Syria.
Liberman told French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius that he regarded some of the forces that have surfaced during the uprisings in the region as “new, educated and liberal,” and said France could fulfill a historic role if it mediated between them and Israel.
The foreign minister did not specify which countries he was referring to, but he may have been thinking of Libya, where Islamist politicians were defeated by secularists in parliamentary elections last week, and of opposition forces that have coalesced in several Arab countries.
While radical forces have gained power in many countries across the Middle East, “the Arab spring brought with it a new and young force,” the foreign minister told Fabius. He said members of this new generation understood that not all their problems stemmed from Israel, but rather from an unjust allocation of resources within their countries.
The Yisrael Beytenu head reiterated Israeli concerns over the possibility of non-conventional weapons from Syria falling into the hands of terror organizations, namely Hezbollah.
Though “Israel is not interfering” in Syria, any attempt to transfer chemical weapons to the Shiite group “would be crossing a red line,” Liberman said. In such a case, “Israel would not restrain itself from acting forcefully.”