Israel’s former Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who in December 2012 was indicted on a breach of trust charge (while more serious charges like money laundering and obstruction of justice were dismissed), has been cleared of the charge after a 17-year criminal investigation. He is expected to return to his former post, the New York Times reports, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s blessing. His return signals the next chapter of a powerful, polarizing political career, with some calling him a possible successor to Netanyahu.
With Israel’s governing coalition already deeply fractured over ongoing negotiations with the Palestinians, Mr. Lieberman’s re-entry into the cabinet will undoubtedly shake things up. While his stance on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not significantly different from the prime minister’s, he has in the past embarrassed Mr. Netanyahu by declaring, at inopportune times, that any agreement is “decades” away and that the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, is a “diplomatic terrorist” and no partner for peace.
This is surely not the last we’ll be hearing of Leiberman.