Lieberman: Some Reservations and Conditions
In light of the recent inundation of peace initiatives in the region - . . . – I would like to voice my reservations and conditions for any diplomatic negotiation.
On the Palestinian front, two points:
Firstly, I reiterate my position which I have stated publicly in the media, and privately to top US administration officials several times over the last six months: You can’t impose a political solution in the region before you ensure two basic prerequisites: Security for Israelis and prosperity for Palestinians.
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Secondly, any solution must take into account the status of Israeli Arabs (or as they prefer to be called, “Palestinians living in Israel”). The risk of ignoring this sector of the population is that we might find ourselves in the future with a Palestinian nation-state on the one hand, and Israel a bi-national state with over 20% minorities who have a strong, national bond to the neighboring state on the other.
In that occurrence, I predict we will either see an irridenta-type move to unite the predominately Arab Galilee and Negev desert regions with the future Palestinian state, or alternatively, a demand for their autonomy. Do not be mistaken - I am in favor of a two-state solution; not one and a half states for the Palestinian people and half a state for the Jewish people.
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Lastly, the Middle East is nobody’s playground. You don’t get to be a part of the process unless you are willing to be an integral part of the solution. This is not an experiment in political science or international relations. For example, one of the issues deemed toughest to resolve – the issue of the Palestinian refugees – can be easily put to rest by minimal investment ending their transitory status in the surrounding countries.
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