Avigdor Lieberman is a typical secular hawk, which is a curious breed. He is aggressive, but non-religious. Jewish nationalism also means as little to him as to everyone else: what is the nationalism of a nation which forgot the last time when it had a state, and which doesn’t even constitute a supermajority in its state now? Lieberman, therefore, lacks specific goals. He offers to give Arabs large parts of Galilee and the Arab-settled parts of Judea. He accepts a Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria, so the notions of the Land of Israel and Judaism are irrelevant to Lieberman.

His only solid goal is driving the maximum number of Arabs from Israel. On that point, he lacks the principled positions of Rabbi Kahane (unconditional transfer) or Rehavam Zeevi (buying out the property of the Arabs who agree to leave). Lieberman opts for a politically correct solution of territorial exchange with the Palestinian state, swapping Arab-populated regions of Israel for Jewish settlement blocs on the lands controlled by the Palestinian Authority. Like most half-measures, that one is unworkable.

First, Israeli Arabs don’t want to become Fatah Arabs. They reject Fatah’s right to conduct territorial exchange on their behalf. If the territorial exchange appeared on the negotiating table, the Arabs from soon-to-be-swapped areas would move to other areas of Israel. Nothing precludes those villagers from moving, say, to Jaffa, where they won’t be subjected to a population exchange.

Second, a territorial swap will create the familiar situation of divided families. Any extended Arab family would always have relatives on both sides of the border. The position of the Israeli Supreme Court on such matters is well established: the Israeli government is expected to provide the Arabs opportunities to meet. So the border traffic would be huge, and would pose a high security risk.

Three, the territorial exchange would bring us to the 1947 UN map, which we fought against in the War of Independence. That plan created several hardly interconnected Jewish enclaves surrounded and interspersed by Arab enclaves. Such a state was of course doomed. Lieberman’s plan would create an even worse map, as the Arabs spread mightily out of their 1947 locations.

Four, Lieberman’s plan ignores the problem of illegal construction. Israeli Arabs have actually settled territories several times larger than their zoned locations. Demolishing that massive illegal construction in a politically tolerable way is impossible, and abandoning such huge areas to the Palestinian Authority is impractical.

Five, kibbutzim and Arab villages in Galilee, as well as settlements and Arab towns in Gush Etzion, are so intermingled that separating them for the purposes of territorial exchange is impossible. A border which includes Jewish villages and excludes Arab ones would look like a drunkard’s path on the map. Such a border would be indefensible, and a security liability.

There is a fundamental contradiction between realpolitik and nice politicking: viable politics is never nice. Arabs from the exchanged areas (in Lieberman’s plan) would not like to leave and would have to be deported. So why not deport them without land?