Sunday, November 05, 2006

Israel’s Deputy Prime Minister Suggests Arabs Wear Yellow Crescents?

The strange state of Israel appointed a well known ethnic separatist to the Deputy Prime Minister spot. After taking office a week ago, Avigdor Lieberman promptly revealed his previously stated positions on Arab/Jew separation in the Jewish state.

In an interview with Israel's Army Radio, Lieberman said there was no hope for peace between Israel and the Palestinians, so physically separating the two peoples was the best solution. He said Israel should give Israeli Arab villages near the West Bank to the Palestinians - stripping many of the residents of their citizenship in the process - in exchange for Jewish settlements in the West Bank. The Arabs remaining in Israel would be allowed to keep their citizenship if they passed a loyalty test. Arabs make up roughly one-fifth of Israel's population.

"The answer is exchanges of land and populations and making a homogeneous, Jewish country as much as possible," said Lieberman, who lives in a West Bank settlement. "I don't know why the Palestinians deserve a country that is clean of Jews ... and we are becoming a binational country, where 20 percent of the population are minorities. If we want to keep this a Jewish, Zionist country, there is no other solution," he said.

The surprise is that Israeli politicians acted as if this information happened to be new. The race to distance themselves from Avigdor resembled Republicans after the Mark Foley scandal broke.

Ehud Olmert, the Israeli Prime Minister recruited the racist Mr. Lieberman to shore up his shaky coalition. After welcoming him to the fold, Olmert assigned his new deputy to handle “strategic threats” Israel faces including Iran, Hezbollah and the Palestinian issue. Avigdor’s comments put the already on life support peace processes underwater, which is likely where the PM wants them until “bombs over Tehran”. Then in a largely symbolic move, Olmert will jettison Lieberman as he works on his preferred two state solution with the Palestinians.

As for the title, all Avi wants is for Arabs to sign a loyalty oath (as he is saving the yellow crescents for later). One needs a system to know who failed the loyalty test...

No comments: