The future of Arab-Israeli towns in the Triangle

Much inflammatory rhetoric and talk about transfer has been said lately regarding the future of the Israeli-Arab towns in the Triangle, a conglomerate that includes 260,000 Arab Israelis.

None of it matches the reality.

Benjamin Netanyahu disavowed this idea: “There won’t be a transfer, PM says of proposal to make communities in northern Triangle part of a future Palestinian state. We need to erase the idea of transfer. There is no transfer. There won’t be a transfer. No one, Jewish or Arab, will be uprooted from his home”. (Times of Israel, February 20, 2020, “Netanyahu disavows Trump plan idea to redraw border around Arab Israeli Towns”)

Benny Gantz rejected this idea: “Touring Arab Israeli towns, Blue and White leader says no citizens will be forced into future Palestinian state in population swap … I want to take this issue off the table and state that no Israeli, Jewish or Arab citizen will be coerced into another country.” (Times of Israel, February 11, 2020: “Gantz: Joint List won’t be part of my coalition, which will implement Trump plan”: February 11, 2020)

The Israeli Arabs do not support it either: Shakib Ali says: “I am positive that there is not one Arab citizen of Israel who wants to live under the control of any Arab ruler in any Arab state, including the State of Palestine.” And Shakib Ali continues: “In Arab society, there is even a saying that ‘Israeli Jewish hell is better than the paradise of the Arab states’. Yes, the Arab states have civil equality among its residents, but you will not find liberty and or freedom of speech. There is neither human dignity nor liberty nor a high court of justice. An Israeli Arab who is used to demonstrating and yelling in Rabin Square in Tel Aviv against the policy of the government and those who lead it would not be able to do that – and survive – in Damascus or any of the Gulf States.” (Ynet, February 9, 2020, “Israeli Arabs are Israeli, not Palestinian”)

So, who is in favor of this idea? Avigdor Liberman. (Times of Israel, January 8, 2014, “Liberman defends his population transfer plan”).

Liberman’s party, Yisrael Beitenu, is projected by the latest polls to gather 6 Knesset seats out of a total of 120 seats (Jerusalem Post, February 28, 2020, “Final polls before the elections: Netanyahu inches closer to 61 seats”). This corresponds to a mere 5% of the Israeli electorate. This is much less than the percentage of people in the US that opposes equal rights to blacks, Jews, Latinos and other minorities in the United States of America. So, if Israel is such an awful country, where does this leave the United States of America?

About the Author
Jaime Kardontchik has a PhD in Physics from the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology. He lives in the Silicon Valley, California.
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