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Residents of Umm al-Fahm affirm Arab-Israeli identity

Residents of Umm al-Fahm say that, regardless of their affiliation with the Palestinian cause, they identify themselves as Israeli citizens and object to a land-swap plan that will annex them to a future Palestine, as Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman suggests.
A general view shows the Israeli-Arab city of Umm al-Fahm December 26, 2012. Disillusioned, disappointed and divided, Israeli Arab voters will traipse to the polls next week in ever dwindling numbers, aware that none of their community will have any say in how the country is run. Picture taken December 26, 2012. REUTERS/Ammar Awad (ISRAEL - Tags: POLITICS ELECTIONS) - RTR3CHRA
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In the villages and towns of "The Triangle" — where several Arab localities are concentrated (including Umm al-Fahm, Taibe, Tira and Kfar Kassem) — the talk of the day revolved around Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman's statement only. The statement, in which he proposed to transfer the towns and villages of the Wadi Ara Triangle to the Palestinians, caused an uproar. Even though many people are convinced that there is no chance in the world that Liberman’s program will be implemented, the sense of anger and insult are enormous. Especially since they did not hear anyone condemn this proposal: not Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who they believe probably supports his foreign minister’s plan; and not even Israel’s left-wing movements.

Suddenly, about 300,000 residents of the Wadi Ara Triangle, and the rest of the Arab citizens of the State of Israel, understood that not only is their loyalty shrouded in doubt but also their very citizenship.

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