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Wikileaks: In ’06, Lieberman told US ambassador of need to transfer Palestinians from Israel– and US says nothing

Israel/Palestine
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Wikileaks has released a cable from 2006 of a meeting between the US Ambassador to Israel–then Richard Jones– and Avigdor Lieberman, who was not yet the Foreign Minister, merely the leader of the rightwing party, Yisrael Beteinu. What is shocking about this cable is that the American ambassador is disturbed by Lieberman’s frank call for ethnic cleansing and loyalty oaths for Israeli Palestinians, who are a separate “nation” from the Jews. And the ambassador says that such calls violate American values of diversity. But our government never expresses this outrage– not even when Obama comes in. We stick by Israel regardless, though we are informed directly of officials’ racist plans. Highlights mine:

From the cable:

SUBJECT: RIGHT-WING LIEBERMAN UNABASHEDLY ADVOCATES TRANSFER OF ISRAELI ARABS

Right-wing Yisrael Beiteinu party leader Avigdor Lieberman told the Ambassador January 31 that separation of Israeli Jews from Israeli Arabs is necessary in order to promote Israeli security and maintain Israel’s Jewish identity. To accomplish this, Lieberman proposes that Israel redraw its border with the West Bank through negotiations to place some Israeli-Arab population centers that are close to the Green Line within Palestinian territory, and to include some Israeli settlement blocs within Israel. He also would require that all Israelis — Jews and Arabs — take an oath of loyalty to the state or lose their citizenship. …

Only Solution is Separation

Lieberman underlined his view that to avoid conflict, a separation of Israeli Jews from Israeli Arabs must occur. He said his proposal for such a separation is based on the Cyprus model, where, he said, the island’s Turks are separated territorially from the island’s Greeks. Lieberman said that the roadmap makes a mistake by advocating a two-state solution, wherein Israel retains two peoples within its borders, Jewish and Arab, while the Palestinian state retains only Palestinians. Lieberman asserted that states that are composed of different “nations” continue to experience conflict. The Ambassador noted that the United States maintains its diversity without experiencing such conflict….

Lieberman said that under his proposal, Israel would negotiate a shift in its borders with the West Bank to place Israeli-Arab population centers, such as the city of Umm el-Fahm, in the Palestinian territories, and some Jewish settlement blocs near the Green Line within Israel. (Note: Lieberman did not indicate what would happen to Jewish settlements, such as Ariel, located deeper within the West Bank. End note.) Lieberman claimed he has had meetings with Palestinian leaders and that they expressed willingness to consider this type of land swap. In response to the Ambassador’s query, Lieberman said that the actual border would be the result of negotiations with Egypt, Jordan, and the PA…

Asked about the status of Israeli Arabs living throughout Israel and in mixed cities, Lieberman acknowledged that this is “more complicated.” He advocated that all Israelis be required to take a loyalty oath, and that those who refuse be stripped of their citizenship.

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Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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