April 28, 2008 - 6:15pm

MK Uri Ariel on Sunday called on the government to encourage Israeli Arabs to "willingly emigrate" from Israel and from large cities within it, so as to solve the problematic situation of the country's minorities.

The National Union MK made a speech during a first-of-its-kind conference dealing with the issue of Israel's minorities as well as with "the creeping Arab occupation", and said "the issue of Arabs living within the State of Israel should be addressed."

Ariel, who serves as faction chair, welcomed the conference's initiative and said it marked "the beginning of a process in which participants acknowledge the problem, before possible solutions are implemented."

Ariel added that "positive signs can already be seen in the presence of core Jewish groups that stabilize the situation in cities and help prevent the drain of the Jewish community."

He further emphasized that he spoke for himself alone and did not represent his faction, although the issue of voluntary emigration is part of his party's platform.


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