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Lieberman assaults 1948 Palestinians and invites them to return to Ramallah


A march organized by tens of thousands of Palestinians in Israel sparked anger in official and non-official Israeli circles, which prompted Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman to call on the participants to "march directly to Ramallah and … stay there".

The Association for the Defence of the Rights of the Internally Displaced in Israel (ADRID) organized a march to the displaced village of Lobbya under the slogan "Your independence day is our Nakba" to mark the Nakba day that occurred on 15 May 1948.

Lieberman made use of the traditional marches for the right of return, to incite against Palestinians in Israel, and accuse them of being a "fifth column". In an interview with Israel's army radio, Lieberman said that Palestinian protesters should continue marching out to Ramallah and live under the Palestinian Authority.

Lieberman considered them "a minority" within the Palestinian minority in Israel, noting that this minority's political and party leaders are the cause behind this uproar. The protesters make use of the Israeli freedom of expression and organisation, which is not available in any Arab country, Lieberman added.

Lieberman had previously proposed the exchange of "populated territories" between Israel and Palestine, suggesting that Palestinians in Israel be deported – so that they would live under the Palestinian Authority – a an alternative solution to keep the settlement blocs under Israeli authority.

Lieberman's remarks stirred up anger among Palestinians in Israel. The head of the global coalition of the right of return in the occupied Palestine territory, Suleiman Fahmawi, told Al-Arabi Al-Gadid ( alaraby.co.uk) that "participants in the march represented all Palestinians of Israel, refugees inside and Palestinians in the West Bank, as well as all the refugee camps. They are not a minority. "

The spokesman of the National Committee for the Defence of the Rights of the Internally Displaced Palestinians in Israel added that "It is Lieberman who represents a minority. He came from Russia; he should so go back to it. As to us, we were born here and will stay here until the return of refugees. "

He pointed out that "this is the 17th march to be organized by the Committee for the Defence of the Displaced. He called for opening the way for refugees to return to their mother land Palestine.

On his part, the head of the parliamentary group of the National Democratic Assembly, Jamal Zahalka, commented on Lieberman's remarks, saying: "We are the indigenous people of the country, while Lieberman is an immigrant. It is ironic that an immigrant suggests for the country' sons to leave their country; this does not exist anywhere in the world. "

He added: "We know that what we do makes racists, like Lieberman, angry, and this in and of itself proves that what we are doing is right."

The head of the "bloc of the Democratic Front," Knesset member Mohammed Barakeh, suggested that Lieberman move to his hometown.

Barakeh, who descends from the village of Saffuriyya, said that Lieberman's words "represents an institution, not an individual mood. It represents an entire government, and puts Israel in the heart of the apartheid."

In turn, an MK for the Islamic Movement of South, Masood Ghanayim, said that Lieberman needs to learn a lot of history. "This is the land of Palestine, and the Zionist movement expelled us from our land by force," he added.

"It is our right to raise the Palestinian flag, and we will stay on our land, we were born here and this is our home," Ghanayim said.

The leaders of political parties and movements in Israel have said that Lieberman's remarks do not represent him alone, but they constitute a policy and aconvictions inside the Israeli government and among the wide range of Israeli society.

These circles do not see any harm from or problem with with a new episode of deportation, as long as it reduces, the "Arab demographic burden" in Israel , and it legitimizes Israeliis' presence in settlements under Israeli control.


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