(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
Yisrael Beytenu leader MK Avigdor Liberman on Tuesday harshly criticized Israeli Arabs who mourned the founding of Israel on Independence Day, saying that this provided further proof that they should be made citizens of the Palestinian Authority in any future peace agreement.
Liberman's comments came after thousands of Israeli-Arabs took part in the annual "Right of Return" march near Umm al-Fahm in the Wadi Ara region of central Israel. The march mourns the founding of Israel on its Independence Day and calls for the right of return for Arabs who fled their homes or were expelled during the 1948 Independence War.
Balad party leader MK Jamal Zahalka took part in the march, referring to Israel's celebration of its Independence Day as "a dance on Palestinian blood and a provocation of Palestinian feelings and denial of their tragedy."
Liberman responded Tuesday, stating that "the march of hatred of the Israel-haters and followers of the path of the Mufti of Jerusalem, which took place in Wadi Ara in mourning of the establishment of the State of Israel, is added proof that any agreement with the Palestinians must also include within it Israeli Arabs."
The former foreign minister stated that "an agreement that does not include this will not be a 'permanent agreement' but rather a 'ceasefire' until the next round and until furutre claims from this direction."
Liberman called on the government to adopt this idea as policy and clearly state it as Israel's intention.
"The situation in which those who enjoy and take advantage of Israel's democracy and freedom of expression in order to mourn its creation, and at the same time stays silent in the face of the massacre of Palestinians in Syria, proves their hypocrisy and their true goal," Liberman said.
"These people need to find their place as citizens of the Palestinian Authority, with which they identify and whose flag they wave, and to receive from it their 'national insurance' and unemployment pay," he added.Reuters contributed to this report.