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Saturday, 14 March 2009

Israeli neo-Nazi politician Avigdor Lieberman stokes fears in Israel and abroad

Israel's next foreign minister has called for drowning Palestinian prisoners in Dead Sea and that Israeli Arab politicians who meet Palestinian leaders should be executed.

An Israeli politician who based his election campaign on baiting the country's Arab minority, drawing accusations that he is a racist demagogue, now seems likely to become the Jewish state's top diplomat.

U.S., European and moderate Arab officials have maintained public silence on the issue of Avigdor Lieberman's ascent, but privately acknowledge serious concern.

An emerging coalition deal expected to be wrapped up in the coming days would anoint Lieberman foreign minister at a time when Israel's international image is suffering from its bloody war in Gaza and last month's election of a hawkish government likely to be at odds with would-be Mideast peacemakers. More