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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Palestinian Arabs in Iraq complain of discrimination

Apartheid, anyone?
Palestinian refugees in Iraq say they face widespread discrimination and have appealed to President Mahmoud Abbas to intervene.

The Iraqi Palestinian Brothers Association said Tuesday that it sent a letter to Abbas, who is in Baghdad to attend the Arab League summit, detailing their plight.

The association said Palestinians have been refused medical care in Iraqi government hospitals and must use fake ID cards to receive treatment. The Palestinian Red Crescent lacks support from the PLO and cannot provide adequate medical care, it added.

Meanwhile, some 90 percent of Palestinians in Iraq are unemployed, Palestinians are refused government jobs and young male Palestinians face particular discrimination in finding work, the association said.

The group said Palestinians were arbitrarily detained because of their nationality or because they are Sunni Muslims. Palestinian students are treated as terrorists and some have left school over fears they will be kidnapped, it said.

They said pressuring the government would not be enough to resolve the problems, and that Abbas should ask the Iraqi government to issue passports to Palestinian refugees, most of whom were born in Iraq, so they can travel internationally.

They also urged Abbas to coordinate with the UN and the president of the Kurdistan Regional Government to transfer Palestinians to Kurdistan, which it said had agreed to receive them.
By any objective measure, Palestinian Arabs in Iraq are treated worse than those in the territories (with the possible exception of Fatah members in Gaza.)

So where are the "pro-Palestinian" rallies outside Iraqi embassies? Where are the anguished articles by Arabs worried that Iraq is turning into an apartheid state? Where are the dozens of books begging Iraq to save its soul by treating its minorities equally? When is the Global March to Baghdad?

I could have sworn that the world was filled with people who are so very dedicated to the Palestinian Arab cause who would move heaven and earth for them.

I guess they are all spending all their free time to ensure that  grocery stores don't stock hummus made by a company with partial Israeli ownership. Well, that's important too, I guess.