Formerly, it was extremist politicians that formulated the proposal. In the latest iteration, however, it was the Deputy Foreign Minister, the ineffable Danny Ayalon, who articulated it. As Ynet reports:
"Israeli Arabs will not lose anything by joining the Palestinian state. Instead of giving the Palestinians empty land in the Negev, we are offering them land full of residents, who will not have to leave their homes," said Deputy Foreign Minister Daniel Ayalon in an interview to London-based al-Sharq al-Awsat newspaper published on Saturday.
Upon prompting from the reporter, Ayalon explained the philosophy behind the proposal:
When asked if he was referring to the concentration of Arab towns and villages known as the Triangle region, he said: "Yes. Why not? If the Arabs in Israel say they are proud of being Palestinian, why shouldn't they be proud of being part of the Palestinian state?
Please someone explain to Ayalon that if people who are proud of an identity had the duty to become part of the place where that identity is majoritarian, all Mormons around the world should relocate to Utah and, more to the point, all Jews around the world should emigrate to Israel. While I'm sure Ayalon would be delighted to see Argentinian Jews make aliyah en masse, I'm not so certain he would be happy with American Jews taking the same step. A Lobby-less Israel is as nightmarish a prospect as one full of returning Palestinian refugees.
By the way, I wonder what identity the Deputy FM thinks Israeli Arabs should be proud of. The country does not recognize an Israeli nationality; instead, it divides its citizens into up to six different national groups which have little in common. Hebrew could be an agglutinating factor, as is the case in other small countries like Estonia where the language defines the nation; but again, speaking the language means nothing to the State, to the point that lawmaker Ahmed Tibi, a fluent Hebrew speaker, will always be irrelevant because he's an Arab, while Avigdor Lieberman, a terrible Hebrew speaker, is the Foreign Minister.
Back on topic, what are the prospects for Ayalon's idea of disposing of Israeli Arabs? Not very bright indeed. The Arabs, plus the Ashkenazim who like to defend the fiction that Israel holds the moral high ground on blogs, constitute a solid majority that prevents (for the time being, at least) the project from bearing fruit. But if the project can't succeed, why does he wave it in the air?
When you're the majority and want to opress a minority, the easiest way is to let them know that their existence is provisional in the territory that you control. Israeli Arabs see that what was once the discourse of the most marginal elements in the society has now become mainstream; that what was once whispered is now unabashedly shouted; that the State is closing in on them with a growing arsenal of proposals to restrict their private property rights, to curtail their freedom of speech and conscience and even to "encourage" their emigration. It matters little that the projects are not enacted. The objective is that with each round of threats the Arabs will have to be thankful that the State deigned not to expel them this time.
Because this is not about ethnic cleansing; this is not about expulsion. This is about dhimmitude. This is about making sure that disposable citizens remain in that category.