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Solving Israeli-Palestinian Crisis No Magic Bullet

Israeli Strategic Affairs Minister Avigdor Lieberman reacted strongly and directly to the new UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon's statement that resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the key to peace throughout the Middle East. Lieberman offered bluntly that resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict won't stop Iran, the key player in terrorism throughout the region.

Lieberman read in Tuesday's Jerusalem Post that in an interview with the South Korean Hankyoreh newspaper, Ki-Moon followed the lead of his predecessor, Kofi Annan, by focusing on "Palestine."

"If the issues with the conflicts between Israel and Palestine go well, [resolutions of] other issues in the Middle East, including Lebanon, Iran, Iraq and Syria, are likely to follow suit. I will meet with the concerned parties as soon as possible," Ban said in an interview posted on Hankyoreh's English Web site.

Lieberman said he found himself "deeply concerned" by Ki-Moon's premise that resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict would prompt resolution of the Iranian threat.

"I have never heard Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad call for territorial compromises from Israel, but rather for the total and unconditional annihilation of the Jewish State," Lieberman wrote. "I have never heard Mahmoud Ahmadinejad call for negotiations between Israel and Palestinians, yet I have heard his repeated calls for wiping Israel off the map. Ahmadinejad's vision for a 'new Middle East' is one devoid of a Jewish State or any Jews at all."

He went on to say that "If [Iran is] allowed to achieve nuclear weapons, the entire free world will pay a heavy price - Israel will be the first, and will pay the heaviest price, but Iranian aggressiveness will not stop there."

Perhaps Lieberman should have stopped there. He went on to call for the Secretary General to immediately revoke Iran's membership to the United Nations, a move surely to cause more deaf ears among the world body than would have perhaps otherwise been the case. Perhaps.