By CiFWatch editorial team.
In her review of books about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on September 13th for the Irish Times Lara Marlowe made an egregious error.
When discussing Avigdor Lieberman and Yisrael Beiteinu Marlowe wrote:
“Avigdor Lieberman was a nightclub bouncer in his native Moldova, then a baggage handler at Ben Gurion airport. Today he is Israel’s foreign minister. His Yisrael Beiteinu party advocates the deportation of the survivors of 1948 and their progeny, 1.6 million Palestinians who hold Israeli citizenship.” (emphasis added)
This is false. Lieberman has mentioned the possibility that, in the context of a final peace treaty between Israel and Palestinians, both sides may want to agree to a mutually agreed upon land swap (change in borders), whereby the map would be redrawn to grant some existing Israeli territory to the new Palestinian state. Thus, some Arab citizens of Israel who currently live in those areas will become (by virtue of the change in borders) citizens of the new Palestinian state.
This would only involve a couple hundred thousand Arab Israelis (those living in majority Arab towns near the border with the West Bank) and couldn’t in any respect be reasonably characterized as “the deportation” of “1.6 million Palestinians” – a figure which reflects the total number of Arab Israelis currently living in the state.
Lieberman’s idea of a limited population exchange in the event of a final peace deal is laid out in Haaretz and Wikileaks
From these links it is clear that the claim that Lieberman calls for the deportation of 1.6 million Arab Israelis is not true.
After a compliant by CiFWatch to the Irish Times the newspaper yesterday published a correction and clarification in both the print edition and online which reads:
“A book review in the edition of September 13th stated that “(Israeli foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman’s) Yisrael Beiteinu party advocates the deportation of the survivors of 1948 and their progeny, 1.6 million Palestinians who hold Israeli citizenship.” Deportation is not Yisrael Beiteinu policy. Mr Lieberman favours a “transfer” of land and population whereby Israel would annexe settlements in the West Bank and some Palestinian-Israeli towns near the border would be given to the Palestinian Authority, to “separate” Jews from Muslims. Mr Lieberman would also like Palestinians who are citizens of Israel to take an oath of loyalty to Israel as a Jewish state or be stripped of their citizenship. He has predicted that “very few” Muslim Arabs would sign such an oath.”
We thank the Irish Times for making the correction and clarification.