'Israeli Arabs must find national expression in Palestinian state'

Monday, November 19, 2007 |  by Staff Writer

Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni on Sunday said that while Israel's Arab citizens will remain a part of the Jewish state, their nationalist demands must cease the moment a Palestinian state is established.

"It must be clear to everyone that the State of Israel is a national homeland for the Jewish people," and that the Arabs west of the Jordan River need to find their national expression in a future Palestinian state, Ha'aretz quoted Livni as saying.

Livni made her comment in response to a publicized decision on Saturday by Israel's Arab Higher Monitoring Committee to reject recognition of Israel as a Jewish state. Israel's Arab leadership came to that decision in response to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert insisting earlier in the month that the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state as a precondition to moving forward on the peace process.

Reacting wildly to Livni's remarks, Israeli Arab Knesset members accused the foreign minister of laying the groundwork for the mass expulsion of Israel's Arab citizens.

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