Arab and leftist politicians are slamming Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon for promoting a land swap that would see Arab Israelis come under Palestinian control.
Earlier Saturday, Ayalon declared that "Israeli Arabs will not lose anything by joining the Palestinian state."
MK Ahmad Tibi dismissed Ayalon's remarks, saying that the deputy FM and his boss, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, "have a basic flaw in understanding the fundamental values of democracy and civil rights."
"We are not chess pawns. We did not arrive in the country on planes and we did not immigrate here," Tibi said. "We do not wish to expel anyone…but if someone wishes to expel us, I'll say this: Whoever got here last will be leaving first. That way, there will be fewer fascists in Israel."
Minister of Minority Affairs Avishay Braverman also joined the critics, stressing that Ayalon's comments do not reflect the government's stance.
"Neither Danny Ayalon nor his patron Lieberman will determined where Arab citizens will be residing on behalf of them," he said.
'This land is ours'
Hadash's Chairman, MK Mohammad Barakeh, also slammed Ayalon's remarks, suggesting that both him and Lieberman move to France and replace ultranationalist leader Jean-Marie Le Pen.
"The French Le Pen is in ill health, and therefore he cannot keep on leading the fascists there," he said. "Perhaps it would be better for them to move there in order to continue his way."
Barakeh added that Israel's Arabs are residing on their land legally.
"We did not immigrate from anywhere. This land is ours," he said. "To my regret, most of this land had been robbed over the course of dozens of years. We are no settlers and there is no room for comparison between us and the thieving settlers in the West Bank, including in Jerusalem."
"Ayalon's words are yet another chapter in Liebermanism's new book of racism," he concluded.