Lieberman to propose shift in foreign policy


WASHINGTON (JTA) — Avigdor Lieberman is proposing a foreign policy shift that would move Israel away from its "lone dependence" on the United States.

The Israeli foreign minister wants to build coalitions with regions of the world that have been "neglected" in the past, the Jerusalem Post reported.

Lieberman’s policy staff has prepared a "secret memo" outlining the shift at his request, the paper reported, and the Foreign Ministry’s senior staff in the next few days will discuss "guidelines for a whole new foreign policy."

The memo urges that Israel develop closer ties with other states on the basis of "shared interests," suggests lowering expectations of an Israel-Palestinian agreement and creates a "zero-tolerance" policy for anti-Semitic expressions around the world.

It stresses that there is "no replacement for Israel’s special relations with the United States," calling the U.S. "without a doubt Israel’s best friend in the world."

"But the lone dependence on the United States is unhealthy for either side and presents difficulties for the U.S.," the memo states. By building coalitions with other states, Israel will "expand and strengthen the circle of support, something which will be a relief for the U.S. as well."

The memo also says that the Foreign Ministry has become too "consumed" by the single issue of the Palestinians, and that "has hurt Israeli interests in the international arena and in our relations with the United States and Europe." 

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