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Originally published Thursday, January 24, 2013 at 2:27 AM

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Israeli lawmaker: domestic issues must be priority

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's top ally is recommending that the next Israeli government sideline the polarizing issue of peacemaking with the Palestinians in favor of domestic issues.

The Associated Press

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JERUSALEM —

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's top ally is recommending that the next Israeli government sideline the polarizing issue of peacemaking with the Palestinians in favor of domestic issues.

The comments come as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu begins sounding out potential partners for his next government.

Lawmaker Avigdor Lieberman told Israel Radio on Thursday that focusing on domestic issues is the best way to avoid political paralysis.

Lieberman says, "If we want to founder from the outset and embark upon endless internal struggles, then make foreign policy the top priority."

Tuesday's election badly weakened Netanyahu, and he is scrambling to find coalition partners among hawkish, centrist and ultra-Orthodox parties that have made it into parliament. His top partner is likely to be a newcomer centrist party with more moderate views on peacemaking.

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