At the Munich Security Conference this month, Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman declared his commitment to the two-state solution and reiterated his vision for a diplomatic resolution to the conflict based on a regional arrangement with land and population swaps. Lieberman has studied history, and it appears the foremost intellectual and historical lessons he has learned stem from the experiences of European nations.
Indeed, after World War Two, millions of people in Europe were forced to emigrate from their isolated ethnic, religious, or national regions, and join their geographically distant brethren; and in the wake of the murderous atrocities, sovereignty over numerous enclaves changed hands. In Arab countries as well, “coexistence” between ethnic groups and minorities was characterized by destruction, murder and migration, as the world stood idly by.
Anyone listening to the rhetoric from members of the “Joint Arab List” can readily identify the components of national, religious and security-related discord being sown by the Arab community’s publicly elected officials, along with the Islamic Movement of Israel. While Israeli governments over time have worked — or at least tried — to embrace the Arab public as equal citizens, Arab MKs have worked to ingrain in their constituency a sense of separatism and bitterness, in the hopes of bringing upheaval to our doorstep as well.
“Joint Arab List” representatives claim that Israel’s Arabs are part of the occupied Palestinian people, living in a Jewish state that has been forced on them. In their words, the Zionists are plotting to exile them from their lands within the framework of a “transfer,” which is why the “authorities” define them as an enemy to be met with discrimination, racism and apartheid.
They do not identify with the national flag or anthem and manipulatively dub Israel “Inner Palestine.” The Arab members of Knesset define themselves as a “native” minority and the lawful owners of the land, which was “raped” and usurped by the invaders. Thus, they strive to annul the Jewish state and turn it into “a country of all its citizens.”
Lieberman’s proposal of land and population swaps is not a transfer. Rather, it is a daring offer that has stunned the inciting Arab MKs, exposing their hypocrisy, lies and double-speak. In essence, Lieberman is giving them their hearts’ stated desire and is offering to help them actually realize the fruits of their incitement: Things are so bad for you here with us? By all means, be part of “Palestine.”
The defense minister is essentially proposing to incorporate the large settlement blocs into Israel, and as compensation to the self-proclaimed Palestinians, to “transfer” parts of itself by moving the border fence to the west of those Arab villages and towns that sit adjacent to the future Palestinian state. What could be more logical? Those Arabs — along with all their lands, homes and assets — would converge with independent “Palestine” and free themselves of the “occupation.”
Not so fast. The Arab MKs and their constituents do not want to “free” themselves of this Israeli “hell,” not for the Palestinian “garden of Eden,” Islamic State or any of the murderous Islamic states surrounding us. They would rather live in Israel, slander it, and suckle its milk.
MK Ahmad Tibi, who has crowned himself the future prime minister of “Isra-stine” — once Israel drowns under the wave of Palestinian demography — is opposed to “liberation” and to uniting with “Palestine” as its leader, preferring instead to remain “occupied” as an adviser to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Last week, the secretary general of the Hadash party in the Joint Arab List, Mansour Dahamsha, rejected Lieberman’s “racist” proposal, only because it would benefit the “occupation” (his own country): “We are willing to be annexed to Palestine but not at the cost of annexing settlements to Israel.”
They have agreed to the principle. The only question now is the price.