In a stunning move, a disgraced former Donald Trump official, Stephen Miller, has proposed a scheme to drastically reduce Palestinians’ presence in the West Bank and Gaza by “voluntarily” deporting them from their homes.
The plan, which was outlined in a memo dated May 18, 2020, calls for the “voluntary” exit of Palestinians from areas surrounding Israeli settlements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. According to reports, the memo states that the deportations should be carried out by “Israeli and international organizations” and potential destinations for the expatriated Palestinians could include Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, and other countries in the Middle East.
The plan has been strongly denounced by human rights activists and Palestinian rights groups, who have called it “inhumane” and “depraved.” Such an extreme measure, they argue, would constitute an act of ethnic cleansing and would be tantamount to an “apartheid-like” policy.
We can only speculate as to what Miller’s motivations may be in proposing this plan. However, what is clear is that such a move would be in direct violation of international law and would likely be condemned by the international community. Additionally, it would exacerbate the already tense situation between Israelis and Palestinians and could lead to further violence.
It is important that Miller’s plan is roundly rejected, lest it be misinterpreted as a legitimate policy initiative. It is vital that this dangerous vision is rejected, and that Palestinians are given the opportunity to continue to live in their ancestral homeland in peace and security.