Lieberman: ‘Butcher’ Assad’s removal is ‘ultimate goal’

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Lieberman: ‘Butcher’ Assad’s removal is ‘ultimate goal’

Israel's defence minister has called on Syrian leader Bashar Al Assad to be removed from power as an ultimate goal

Syrian President Bashar Al Assad.
Syrian President Bashar Al Assad.

The removal from power of Bashar Al Assad is an Israeli interest and ultimate goal, Israel’s defence minister said amid claims that troops loyal to the Syrian president were perpetrating a massacre in Aleppo.

Avigdor Lieberman made the remarks, which constitute an unusual departure from Israel’s policy of nonalignment in Syria, on Thursday in Eilat, where he was speaking before participants of that city’s Limmud FSU conference on Jewish learning.

“Assad is a butcher who has massacred people,” Lieberman said, adding: “The State of Israel has said ‘never again,’” a reference to the rejection of genocidal policies following the Holocaust perpetrated by Nazi Germany and its allies against Jews during the Holocaust. “This massacre, occurring in plain view with chemical weapons, is morally unacceptable.”

But Lieberman said that Assad’s removal was an “ultimate goal” for Israel as opposed to an immediate one.

Many thousands of people, including a large number of civilians, have been killed during the fierce fighting in Aleppo between Assad’s forces and rebels who have controlled parts of the city for the past four years.

More than 3,000 people were taken out of the fighting zone on the first day of the evacuation on Thursday, but the United Nations said that as many as 50,000 are still trapped, the BBC reported Friday.

The U.S. accused the Syrian government of carrying out “nothing short of a massacre” in the city.

“The only remaining question is whether the Syrian regime, with Russia’s support, is willing to go to Geneva prepared to negotiate constructively, and whether or not they’re willing to stop this slaughter of their own people,” U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said.

Syria and Russia have repeatedly denied targeting civilians.

Assad on Thursday hailed the “liberation” of Aleppo after more than four years of fighting, saying that history was being made.

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...


Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.


There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.


In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.


Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more: