Knesset members from the Right slammed Strategic Affairs Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Monday for voicing his support for the transfer of Arab neighborhoods in east Jerusalem to Palestinian Authority control.
"Lieberman is the new (Yossi) Beilin," National Union-NRP chairman Zevulun Orlev said. "He has shown his true colors. Apparently, a man who had presented himself as a rightist, is no more than a leftist who holds opinions similar to those of (MK) Zahava Gal-On."
Orlev said Lieberman and his party, Yisrael Beitenu, backed Vice Premier Haim Ramon's plan to divide Jerusalem as part of a future peace agreement with the Palestinians.
"He is shaming the Right," Orlev said, "he can continue telling us that he was referring only to land-swapping until the cows come home, but in actuality he and his fellow party members support Ramon's plan for the division of Jerusalem."
MK Arieh Eldad, also from the NRP, said "I suppose the next time Lieberman criticizes the Left and attacks the Arabs, 72 hours later he will also agree to return the Palestinian refugees to Israel."
Likud MK Gilad Erdan said the minister's comments were detrimental to the peace process.
"It's unfortunate that leaders who once belonged to the national camp lose their faith in Israel's ability to fight for sovereignty in the capital (Jerusalem) and release statements that perhaps earn them momentary popularity in the media and the Left but severely hinder Israel's chances for peace because they encourage the Palestinians to increase their demands."
"Orlev and Baruch Marzel have become irrelevant … They are not even able of making it beyond the required minimum of votes to be in the Knesset and all they have left is to attack Israel our Home," Lieberman said in response.
Lieberman said his back of plans to transfer land to the Palestinians did not constitute concessions. "Land concessions will bring neither peace nor security. The conflict between us and the Palestinians is not territorial. We are ready to exchange territories and people," he said.
He ruled out Israel agreeing to accept Palestinian refugees who fled Palestine in 1948.