Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas rejected Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman’s racist idea of swapping heavily Arab-populated lands in the pre-1967 borders for additional West Bank territory. According to “Al Ittihad” daily newspaper Abbas said that Liberman’s proposal was a provocation. He said the idea had not been raised in American-mediated negotiations with Israel, and if it would, it shall be completely rejected.
A fiery debate was held last week on Liberman’s proposal in the Knesset plenum. Hadash leader Mohammed Barakeh called the proposal racist, because it is intended to minimize the amount of Arabs in Israel’s final borders. He said Arabs cannot be equated with West Bank settlers because he said Palestinian-Arabs in Israel have lived on their land for hundreds of years. “There is only one place for Liberman’s proposal: The garbage can of history,” Barakeh said. “The struggle against Fascism and racism belonged to both Jews and Arabs who together will defeat these delusional ideas,” he added.