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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Arab world screwing their own people

Nothing demonstrates the hypocrisy of the Arab world more than the fate of some 2300 miserable refugees from Iraq who are stuck on the Syria/Iraq border. From the UNHCR:

AL TANF, Iraq-Syria Border, October 30 (UNHCR) – The UN refugee agency has rushed assistance to hundreds of ... refugees stuck in camps on the Iraq-Syria border after heavy rain and flooding caused chaos and misery.

Rainstorms on Tuesday night left tents inundated with water and sewage, possessions soaked and electricity supplies cut at Al Tanf, a settlement housing almost 800 people in the narrow no man's land between Iraq and Syria. The small mosque was damaged by fire, but there were no human casualties

"This is the closest to hell I can imagine," said Mutassem Hayatla, a UNHCR field officer who stayed in the camp during the downpour. "With no electricity, the camp was full of the sound of crying, terrified children. We did our best, but it was a blessing when the night was over."

Nine-year-old Aya said she was terrified. "The lights were all off, there was water everywhere. My mother was crying. She is pregnant and the baby will come soon. Please get us out before my brother is born. I am scared he will die if we have to live here after she delivers."

The situation was even worse in Al Waleed, a nearby camp hosting more than 1,400 refugees just inside Iraq, where more than 100 families were left homeless after their tents were destroyed in the storm. UNHCR was rushing supplies on Wednesday to both sites, but it was taking longer to get to Al Waleed due to security considerations.

Some of the refugees have lived at Al Tanf for three years, barred from entering any of the countries neighbouring Iraq. "We cannot go forwards, nor back. We have a road on one side that threatens our children's lives daily, a high wall on the other; in front and behind we have two impenetrable borders," explained Abu Ziyad, a member of the Al Tanf refugee committee.

"Our only hope is resettlement. For the sake of our children, our wives, our elderly, we beg you, please get us out of here," he pleaded.

The Arab world has 325 million people and 5 million square miles. Why can't they find room for these poor people?

Because, even though they had been in Iraq for decades, they are considered "Palestinians."

And Arab countries will do anything possible to avoid resettling Palestinian Arabs in their countries. The reason they say is because it would fracture Palestinian unity, but the real reason is because they would rather use them as cannon fodder in the fight against Israel's existence than to treat them as if they have any human rights.

Some countries have taken in some of these Iraqis of Palestinian descent: Iceland, Brazil, Chile, Canada. But save for a PR-based offer from the Sudan, no Arab country has offered to let them in, even as refugees.

Syria has (very reluctantly) taken in 1.2 million Iraqi refugees, but they refuse to allow these 2300 to come in.

Because their great-grandparents lived in Palestine.

The brotherhood of the Arab peoples is something to behold.