No I am not surprised. Avigdor Lieberman saying I also advocate the creation of a viable Palestinian state is proof he was infected some time ago with the disease of conventionalism. When politicians are on the cusp of power but not sensing victory they grasp for support. Lieberman needed to reach a wider audience to win. The path was to secure the land of Israel loyalists yet also win over those sort of pragmatic folks who don't yet see or understand the nature of the divine in the land of Israel. Lieberman went wobbly - his biography title: From Bar Bouncing to Policy Bouncing.
Lieberman's move was predictable. As a leader of a non-religious party, (also calling for civil marriages) Lieberman is not held to the standard of consistency (to be fair much of the Israeli political world can not be measured by this indicator either- contradiction is the life force that makes Israeli governments). The YNET article below characterizes Lieberman's opinion of the peace process, negotiations and Pali Independence as based upon false assumptions. Then, he was not a kingmaker. Now, he can own the peace process, the prestiege, the White House visits, the constant attention - so it makes sense to him. Today, Lieberman has revised his assumptions. No doubt many of his voters from a mere few weeks ago are revising their own assumptions, wishing they had voted for National Union. And as measured by the world media's own conventional wisdom, I bet many are scratching their heads this morning. (see below)
I could be cynical and conspiracy minded enough to say that Lieberman stands accused with Sharon, Olmert, and Livni of sacrificing the policies of the country and the trust of the voters as leverage for political gains and/or posturing in light of pending criminal investigations. But that maybe going to far. Maybe.
While many in Israel and around the world are questioning Lieberman's inconsistency, Aryeh Eldad, speaking for the frustrated around the world summed it up “Only ostriches and illiterates should be surprised. Throughout the campaign we said that Lieberman is not the true Right.
Nationalists Blast Lieberman’s ‘Palestinian State’
Adar 3, 5769, 27 February 09 12:08by Gil Ronen(IsraelNN.com) Yisrael Beiteinu leader Avigdor Lieberman’s article supporting the creation of a ‘Palestinian state’ was ill-received in the nationalist camp, with some accusing Lieberman of deserting his former positions on the subject and carrying out an about-face.
The ‘Mattot Arim’ action committee reacted by saying that had Lieberman made the statements in support of a ‘Palestinian’ state before the elections, “the Yisrael Beiteinu party would have gone down from 15 mandates to 9.” [Yisrael Beiteinu went up to 15 mandates from 12 in the last Knesset. -ed.]
Mattot Arim clainmed that before elections were held, Yisrael Beiteinu gave them a written, clear-cut statement that opposes the establishment of a ‘Palestinian’ state.
The group noted that Lieberman made that commitment public in several ways, including a full-page advertisement in the Jerusalem Post. “In addition, at least three party candidates confirmed before the election that the party opposes a Palestinian state: Danny Ayalon, Uzi Landau and David Rotem,” according to Mattot Arim, which also cited similar statements on the Yisrael Beiteinu website and in the media.
Terror Victims’ group Almagor said that “nothing has improved since Lieberman cooperated with the terror victims on explaining the dangers” of such a solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict.
MK Aryeh Eldad (NU) said, however, that “Only ostriches and illiterates should be surprised. Throughout the campaign we said that Lieberman is not the true Right. His diplomatic plan includes transferring sovereign parts of the State of Israel to the Palestinian.
Hardline populist Lieberman could be surprise kingmaker in Israeli election - hit piece from Guardian
Israel election: profile of 'kingmaker' Avigdor Lieberman - Telegraph
Mr Lieberman thinks that what we call the "peace process" has been a mistake from the start. Put simply, Mr Lieberman rejects every facet of President Barack Obama's thinking on the Middle East. When the nationalist leader has real power in Israel, the country could find itself on a collision course with America's new administration.
The Palestinians and their Arab brethren are determined to destroy Israel, he believes. Giving them a state along the 1967 borders that used to contain Israel would only whet their appetite for more.
Instead of leading to a settlement, the peace agreement that America and Europe would foist on Israel would only weaken the Jewish state and embolden its Arab neighbours to fulfil their destiny and eradicate the "Zionist Entity".
"The peace process is based on three false basic assumptions," Mr Lieberman has explained. "That the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the main fact of instability in the Middle East, that the conflict is territorial and not ideological, and that the establishment of a Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders will end the conflict."
Lieberman: Territorial concession concept failed - YNET
"Israel needs to explain that the demand for an independent Palestinian state and the refugees' right of return is a cover for radical Islam's attempt to destroy the State of Israel," he stated in the document.
Lieberman OpEd - IMRA