Voluntary Departure is not Forced Displacement

Kirby Urner
2 min readOct 31, 2023

The opposite of forced displacement is not forced confinement. The opposite of forced anything is the freedom to choose.

If people have a choice to leave, then we know those who stay are really there by choice. In the meantime, we can keep pretending.

The United Nations is complicit in quashing a human right to travel the planet freely, in that even functioning nation-states (let alone dead end refugee camps) are all about keeping people penned in against their will.

Gazans are political prisoners with the whole world conspiring to keep them confined to Gaza, on the pretense that they love olive trees above all else and must be forced, like scorpions in a bottle, to battle for the right of return to their ancestral lands.

Maybe not every Palestinian wants to sucker for that stereotypical role in a great tragedy scenario devised for them by others. Let them leave the Middle East all together if they so choose. We have olive groves elsewhere, and new mosques, other temples, get built all the time.

If a given family wants to return to a rebuilt Gaza down the road, fine. I advise them to wait until the world grows out of its sick fantasies and violence-prone voyeurism first. Refuse to star in their tacky play about silly nation states (“one state solution” vs “two state solution”), which nations are nothing to be proud of in this day and age, given how badly they have failed to solve problems. I favor a “no state” solution that celebrates how much we’re not like our brainwashed grandparents.

Confining those wishing to leave a war zone under siege, an open air prison, is hardly an humanitarian gesture. That the more established states would conspire to treat them as an enslaved population that must do the bidding of bureaucratic controllers is par for the course with gypsies as well, and the plight of any stateless people. The documented assume it’s their holy right to confine and punish the undocumented. What a dubious religion, this arrogant and tyrannical nationalism.

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