Transportation Minister Avigdor Lieberman has presented Russian officials with his plan to separate Jews from Arabs, which involves exiling Israeli Arabs deemed disloyal to the state.
Lieberman described the Plan for the Separation of Nations as an alternative to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's disengagement plan, which calls for Israel to evacuate from the Gaza Strip and parts of the West Bank.
"It would be right if the Quartet, including Russia, were to support my plan out of a deep understanding that only this way - and not via baseless plans - can it actually be possible to reach an end to the conflict and the cancellation of the reasons leading up to it," Lieberman said after the weekend meeting.
Lieberman, chairman of the rightist National Union party and an immigrant from the former Soviet Union, met with Russian President Vladimir Putin's personal representative in the Quartet for Mideast peace, Alexander Galkin, and Russian ambassador to Israel Gennady Tarasov in Israel at Russia's request.
The plan is based on the idea of separating the populations and territories of Jews and Arabs, including Israeli Arabs. According to the plan, only those Israeli Arabs who feel a connection with the State of Israel and are completely loyal to it will be allowed to stay.
Sharon condemned Sunday statements Lieberman made on transferring Israelis Arabs to the territories.
"We regard [the Israeli Arabs] as part of the State of Israel," Sharon said.
Several ministers considered Sharon's statement as preparing the ground for the dismissal of Lieberman and Benny Elon, a fellow National Union minister, after the prime minister warned the cabinet Sunday that he was willing to change the makeup of the coalition so as to pass the revised disengagement plan.
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