OCCUPIED JERUSALEM — Israel’s foreign minister said Monday that some Arab Israelis should be stripped of their citizenship and placed under Palestinian sovereignty as part of any final peace deal.
Avigdor Lieberman made the comments before a meeting between Israeli and Palestinian peace negotiators later Monday in Jordan — their second session in a week after a 15-month breakdown in talks.
Speaking to reporters at parliament, Lieberman reiterated his stance that resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has to involve redrawing Israel’s borders to put some Arab communities under Palestinian sovereignty. In return, Israel would receive West Bank territory.
“Any future agreement with the Palestinians must address the matter of Arab Israelis in the formula of territory and population exchanges,” Lieberman said. “Any other arrangement is simply collective suicide. This has to be clear and I think it is time to say these things out loud.”
Lieberman has pushed a series of legislative proposals that critics say are anti-Arab, including a failed attempt to require Israelis to sign a loyalty oath or have their citizenship revoked.
About one-fifth of Israel’s 7.8 million population is Arab. Arab Israelis are citizens, in contrast with their Palestinian brethren in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. But they often suffer discrimination in Israel and frequently identify with the Palestinian cause.
Arabs accuse Lieberman of racism.
see on JORDAN TIMES