Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said on Monday that a solution to the Israeli Palestinian conflict should include stripping Arab citizens of Israel - including lawmakers - of their citizenship.
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In a Facebook post, Lieberman said that "any attempt to resolve the Palestinian issue on the basis of land for peace is destined to fail," suggesting that the only "way to achieve a lasting settlement is by territorial and population swaps as part of an overall regional settlement.”
"There is no reason for the establishment of a Palestinian state without a single Jew – 100 percent Palestinians, while Israel should be a bi-national state with 22 percent Palestinians. There is no reason why Sheikh Ra’ed Salah, Ayman Odeh, Basel Ghattas or Haneen Zoabi should continue being Israeli citizens."
Salah, the leader of an Islamist group, has been jailed in the past on allegations of calling for violence, while the other three people are Israeli Arab lawmakers of the Joint List party, who have come under criticism in the past for their activism and criticism of Israel.
Lawmaker Ayman Odeh, the leader of the Joint List, said in response that “the supposed responsible adult member of Netanyahu’s extremist right-wing government is the one who proposes a forced transfer of civilian population.
"The government of settlers knows the Arab minority would play a key role in a campaign to change the government, therefore they threaten obsessively to strip us of our citizenship. “
“The Joint List shall flourish and grow in the next elections whether Lieberman and the other madmen on the right like it or not, to the point of gaining the critical weight necessary to oust them from government,” Odeh said.
MK Ghattas responded that “there is no doubt that Lieberman, an immigrant from Moldova, doesn’t understand the meaning of a homeland or its native people.
Under any possible future settlement there will be neither room for any land-grabbing settlers in a Palestinian state nor any room for racists the likes of Ivet. The Palestinians living today in Israel are the masters of the land, and Lieberman is just a passing guest.”
Lawmaker Issawi Freij (Meretz) said that after having given up the triangle area – the site of a cluster of Arab villages along the West Bank border – “Lieberman is now ready to give up Haifa, as well, the hometown of MK Ayman Odeh. Perhaps this is the defense minister’s way of finding a solution to the ammonia tank issue.”
“The fact that the defense minister of Israel calls to strip parliament members of citizenship only because they are Arabs, pushes Israel even further away from the norms of democratic rule toward a dictatorship that persecutes its citizens and seeks to deny their citizenship,” Freij said.