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Liberman proposes ‘anti-terror coalition’ as path to peace

Defense minister says working with moderate Arab states to fight radical Islam could end conflict with the Palestinians

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's religions and Diaspora affairs correspondent.

Former CIA director David Petraeus meets with Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman in Jerusalem on January 22, 2017. (Ariel Hermoni/Defense Ministry)
Former CIA director David Petraeus meets with Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman in Jerusalem on January 22, 2017. (Ariel Hermoni/Defense Ministry)

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman proposed the creation of an “anti-terror coalition” with moderate Arab states as a path to peace with the Palestinians, during a meeting with former CIA director David Petraeus in Jerusalem on Sunday.

Liberman met the disgraced former general in Jerusalem’s King David hotel in order to discuss “security challenges — local and global — that stand before” the United States and Israel, according to a statement put out by the minister’s office.

During the meeting, Liberman told Petraeus that there was “no chance of arriving at a bilateral agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.”

According to him, attempts to reach peace with the Palestinians in that way have “failed multiple time in the last 24 years.”

The only possible solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Liberman said, was a regional agreement based on an “anti-terror coalition.”

Liberman added that the end of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict must include both land and “population” swaps, in which Arab Israeli cities and their residents would become part of a Palestinian state — a central tenet of the defense minister’s peace plan.

This July 13, 2011, photo made available on the International Security Assistance Force's Flickr website shows the former Commander of International Security Assistance Force and US Forces-Afghanistan Gen. Davis Petraeus, left, shaking hands with Paula Broadwell, co-author of "All In: The Education of General David Petraeus." (AP Photo/ISAF)
This July 13, 2011, photo made available on the International Security Assistance Force’s Flickr website shows the former Commander of International Security Assistance Force and US Forces-Afghanistan Gen. Davis Petraeus, left, shaking hands with Paula Broadwell, co-author of “All In: The Education of General David Petraeus.” (AP Photo/ISAF)

Petraeus arrived in Israel in order to speak at the Institute for National Security Studies think tank’s conference later this week.

In 2012, he stepped down as CIA chief after he was caught providing classified intelligence to his biographer and mistress.

Three years later, as part of a plea deal, Petraeus pled guilty to a misdemeanor charge of mishandling classified information. He was given two years’ probation and a $100,000 fine.

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