Israeli Arab Leaders Reject ‘Land Swap’ Plan

Expelling Villages to Palestine Is 'Ethnic Cleansing'

Israeli Arab leaders have insisted that they oppose the proposed “land swap” segment of the peace deal, which would see a number of Israeli Arab villages “traded” to Palestine for the major settlement blocs.

Arab MP Mohammed Baraka said the proposal reflected Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s “racist designs against Israeli Arabs,” while others termed the plan “ethnic cleansing.”

Lieberman has been the chief advocate of the deal, and has never really disputed the idea of ethnic cleansing, saying he would oppose any deal that doesn’t see large numbers of Arabs sent to Palestine.

Though many Israeli Arabs have been offended by the proposal, polls also show a significant percentage of them are open to the idea of eventually transferring into an independent Palestine. They just want to decide that themselves instead of being forcibly expelled.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.