Liberman’s proposal to cure Palestinian citizens of their ‘split personality’ violates pretty much everything democracy stands for.
Headlines blazed in Friday’s Yedioth Ahronoth announcing the outlines of a peace proposal released by Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman.
It’s not clear what prompted Liberman to release the plan at this moment – campaign considerations, a brief drop in attention as the “Jewish Nation-State Law” took center stage, or a distraction from Israel’s deteriorating foreign relations as yet another European parliamentary debate on Palestinian statehood was held on Friday, this time in France.
But there is nothing new about it for Liberman, who has been pushing his principles for at least four years now. It is not a shift in any political direction. The best that can be said is that it is easy to explain: two states along 1967 lines, and Israel annexes large settlement blocs. The kicker is Liberman’s key condition of “moving boundaries,” such that large swaths of land populated mostly by Palestinian-Arab citizens of Israel would become part the Palestinian state.
He writes on the party’s website (my translation):
… the arrangement must include the land and population exchange plan. The arrangement…will allow Arab Israelis who do not identify with the State of Israel to become part of the Palestinian state. This will solve… the problem of Arabs in the Triangle and Wadi Ara…who can become citizens of the Palestinian state without leaving their homes, and it will also allow the Arabs in other parts of Israel, such as Jaffa, Acre, etc., who feel they are part of the Palestinian nation, to solve the problem of dualism and “split personality” they suffer from. They will be able to decide… If their identity is Palestinian, they can give up on their Israeli citizenship and become citizens [of Palestine]. The State of Israel must even encourage them to do so through a system of financial incentives.
It is not totally clear whether Arabs in the Triangle or Wadi Ara will be given a choice, or if they will be summarily de-patriated. It is not clear whether they will be allowed to have dual citizenship, although based on the statement about Arabs of Jaffa it seems not. Maybe the most concrete innovation in this version is the generous offer of financial incentives for Arabs to leave Israel....Read More