Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Israeli minister says that Arabs must be separated from Israel

Hillel Fendel:

Just days after joining the government, Avigdor Lieberman has set the national agenda - at least for the day. His statement that Arabs must be separated from Israel has become the talk of the town.

Lieberman, Israel's Minister for Strategic Affairs, told The Sunday Telegraph's Jerusalem correspondent that the best way to achieve peace in the Middle East would be for Jews and Arabs - including Israeli-Arabs - to live apart.

The remarks drew a storm of protest from the left-wing. MK Dov Hanin of the joint Arab-Israeli Hadash party said that Lieberman should be fired for his racist remarks. Meretz MK Zahava Gal'on added, "Lieberman was always a Kahanist, and remains a Kahanist."

MK Uri Ariel (National Union), on the other hand, justified Lieberman's position: "His words about the threat presented by Israeli-Arabs to the physical existence of the State of Israel are correct. Now that he has entered the government, it remains only for us to see which of his plans he will actualize to deal with this threat."

"We established Israel as a Jewish country," Lieberman said. "I want to provide an Israel that is a Jewish, Zionist country. It's about what kind of country we want to see in the future. Either it will be an [ethnically mixed] country like any other, or it will continue as a Jewish country."

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