With escalating talk of early Israeli elections, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman is trying to position himself as both a moderate candidate and a candidate appealing to the secular far right, unveiling his own peace plan.
Lieberman’s plan is a major shift in recognizing peace as either possible or desirable, two things he’s long rejected, and the plan centers around a two-state solution, with a good bid of ethnic cleansing along the way.
Lieberman is proposing that upon the creation of a separate Palestinian state Israel’s own Arab minority would be offered “financial incentives” to leave the country.
Where Israel is going to get the money to offer the sort of money needed to convince 20% of their population to leave is unclear, though the notion does have Lieberman thinking that abandoning the “Greater Israel” conceit is possible, insisting that a “unified people is more important than a unified land.”
Lieberman was already starting to position himself as less averse to the peace talks during their collapse this spring, as polls show a large chunk of Israelis approve of the peace process. At the same time, calling for the mass expulsion of Arabs seems to be designed to ensure that Lieberman’s existing far right voter base is not so turned off by the sudden talk of peace that it votes for someone else.