JERUSALEM (JTA) — The Israeli political party Yisrael Beiteinu’s new campaign slogan pushes the idea of swapping land on which Arab-Israelis live to a future Palestinian state for West Bank land.
The slogan, “Ariel for Israel, Umm al-Fahm to Palestine,” was unveiled Thursday. The party’s other slogan is “Tachles, Liberman.” Tachles is a Yiddish expression meaning telling it like it is, and Avigdor Liberman is the party chief.
Umm al-Fahm, which is near Haifa in northern Israel, is the largest Arab-Israeli city and has a population of almost 50,000. It is known for its Arab nationalism and sympathy for the Palestinian cause.
Ariel, a city 25 miles east of Tel Aviv, is the largest Jewish settlement in the West Bank with a population of approximately 18,000.
Liberman, Israel’s foreign minister, for many years has called for a transfer of Arab-Israelis as part of an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal. He said at a news conference Thursday that the Yisrael Beiteinu party would emphasize the Israeli-Palestinian conflict during the campaign.
Arab-Israeli Knesset members should move to the Palestinian Authority and lose their citizenship when the new state is formed, Liberman said at the news conference.
“There is no reason why all those inciters and representatives of terrorist groups in Israel’s Knesset should not move to the Palestinian Authority. Haneen Zoabi, Ahmed Tibi and Raad Salah — there is no reason why they should continue to be Israeli citizens,” he said.
Arab-Israelis who are loyal to Israel can stay, he added.
Liberman told reporters that he and members of his party would not discuss the corruption investigation in which several party leaders and supporters were arrested or questioned last month.