by Barney Breen-Portnoy 06/15/2017

 Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman offered an optimistic outlook on Thursday regarding his country’s efforts to forge better ties with its neighbors.

“The word ‘peace’ is not relevant in the Middle East,” Lieberman said during a Kol Chairadio interview, according to the Hebrew news site nrg. “I’m talking about regional understandings. I reiterate: We’ve never been closer to a regional arrangement with moderate Arab countries and have never been so far from a deal of any sort with the Palestinians.”

“For the first time,” Lieberman went on to say, “those in the moderate Arab world have realized that the true danger to their rule is not Israel, but rather Hamas, Hezbollah, al-Qaeda and ISIS.”

In recent years, Israel has been quietly developing ties with the Sunni Arab axis in the Middle East. In his address last September to the UN General Assembly, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that in addition to Egypt and Jordan, which already have signed peace treaties with the Jewish state, “Many other states in the region recognize that Israel is not their enemy. They recognize that Israel is their ally. Our common enemies are ISIS and Iran. Our common goals are security, prosperity and peace. I believe that in the years ahead we will work together to achieve these goals.”

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