Avidgor Lieberman is known as an outspoken politician who generally shuns the prevalent politically correct culture, but on Monday Israel’s foreign minister reached new heights, or is it lows, in his conduct vis-à-vis the media – by flushing the toilet during a radio interview.
Senior Israeli officials often submit to interviews from their homes, especially when approached by morning shows on the radio. In the past, an interview with Opposition Chairwoman Tzipi Livni was interrupted by a radio turned on in the backdrop, but on Monday listeners were treated to entirely different background sounds.
In an interview with the Reshet Bet radio station, Lieberman was addressing the latest round of fighting against Gaza terrorists, while apparently sitting in the bathroom. Referring to Hamas, the minister said “we know who we’re dealing with,” and shortly thereafter the sound of flushing could be clearly heard in the background.
Lieberman, who has been fighting off accusations of corruption, may be indicted in the coming days. Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein is expected to announce as soon as Tuesday the charges against the foreign minister, which will apparently include fraud and breach of trust, but not bribery.
Lieberman’s associates told Ynet Monday that he “has already clarified that there is no connection between political and coalitional issues and legal issues.” His party, Yisrael Beiteinu, says he will not resign before a court hearing in any case.
The “bathroom incident” prompted great discussion on Ynet’s Hebrew site, with talkbacks divided between those supporting Lieberman and downplaying his actions to readers upset by the foreign minister’s conduct.