Trump Aides Discuss Potential Palestinian Evictions, While Activists Shift Attention to Biden



Advisers from the Trump administration, including Jared Kushner and former ambassador to Israel, David M. Friedman, have called for the expulsion of Palestinians from Gaza and the annexation of the West Bank by Israel. This represents a shift to a more right-wing approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict than even the Trump administration’s previous policy. Despite these developments, some Palestinian-rights organizers continue to view President Biden as the real threat, arguing that his policies have already led to the deaths of tens of thousands of Palestinians.

Amplified Calls for Palestinian Expulsion by Trump Advisers

Amid Palestinian-rights activists’ criticism of President Biden, advisers from President Trump’s tenure are increasing calls for Palestinians’ expulsion from Gaza and Israel’s annexation of the West Bank. Those advisers, notably Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, and David M. Friedman, his former ambassador to Israel, suggest an intensified right-wing approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict beyond the Trump administration’s proposals. Despite this, some Palestinian organizers claim Biden is the greater threat, citing policies they believe have resulted in significant Palestinian casualties.

Mixed Reactions to Trump Administration’s Policies

Activists, including Abed Ayoub from the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, argue that Biden is more dangerous than a potential Trump re-election. They believe that if Trump were re-elected, the Democratic Party may reconsider its stance on Israel. Meanwhile, the proposals from Kushner and Friedman have caused controversy. At a forum at Harvard, Kushner suggested the potential value of Gaza’s waterfront property and proposed the relocation of Palestinians. Friedman echoed these sentiments, suggesting that Gaza’s Palestinians could emigrate elsewhere.

Plan for West Bank Annexation

Friedman has been advocating a plan, the Future of Judea & Samaria, claiming Israel’s right to annex the West Bank, a region under military occupation since 1967. This proposal challenges the longstanding American policy advocating for a sovereign Palestinian state in the West Bank. At a recent conference, Friedman dismissed Biden’s push for a two-state solution as a “dead letter.”

Biden’s Position on Israel and Palestine

Both the Biden campaign and the White House have cautiously responded to the sensitive issues of Israel’s actions in Gaza and potential outcomes. They assert that Biden rejects forced displacement of Palestinians, reestablishing Israeli settlements in Gaza, and reducing Gaza’s borders. He intends to continue advocating for Palestinian sovereignty in the West Bank and Gaza.

Activist Response to Biden and Trump

Despite Trump’s extreme rhetoric, Palestinian activists express more concern about Biden, accusing him of enabling violence. Activists, such as Waleed Shahid and Tarek Khalil, highlight Biden’s role in supplying weapons for the conflict. They argue that Trump’s comments won’t persuade them to support Biden’s re-election.

Biden’s Changing Policy

Despite Biden’s recent decision to allow the UN Security Council to call for a cease-fire in Gaza, Palestinian-rights activists remain skeptical. Ayoub argues the decision represents a policy change but criticizes continued weapon supply and funding. He maintains that Biden and Trump are not the only options and urges Democrats to consider the implications of their actions.

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