Refugees International: Bring the Iraqi Palestinians here now!
Posted by Ann Corcoran on July 19, 2008
Refugees International an NGO (Non-governmental organization) that lobbies to bring more refugees to America is taking up the cause of Iraqi Palestinians caught at the border of Iraq. The reason these Iraqi Palestinians were fleeing Iraq, according to a Brookings Institution report, is that they were favored by Saddam Hussein and he encouraged their residence in Iraq. When Saddam met his fate, they fled their homes in an attempt to escape irate Iraqis who had been persecuted by Saddam’s regime. In other words, it was payback, so don’t let them make you feel guilty, they were not fleeing American military action.
Recently a plan has developed to send 3000 of these Palestinian Iraqi refugees to Sudan—a decision which has really ticked off Refugees International and their ilk. Bring them here they say:
Approximately 34,000 stateless Palestinians have lived in Iraq since 2003. Since the beginning of U.S. military operations in Iraq, many suffered persecution at the hands of the Iraqi government and other armed groups. More than 3,000 fled to the Syrian-Iraqi border, where they live in makeshift tents in the desert with limited access to basic services. Syria refuses to allow them to enter its territory and only a few have been resettled, mostly to Sweden and Chile. Failure to act on the part of the U.S. government and other resettlement countries led UNHCR to sign a tripartite agreement with the PLO and the Government of Sudan that called for the relocation of this population to a neighborhood of Khartoum.
“We must not allow this vulnerable population to be used as pawns in a greater political game,” said Younes. “The U.S. government should acknowledge the vulnerability of this stateless population and resettle them here. It is appalling that Sudan, a country infamous for its violations of international humanitarian law, has stepped in to protect these people when the U.S. would not.”
To resettle this vulnerable population expeditiously, Refugees International urged the U.S. State Department Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration to create a special category to process refugee applications. Any process should be held without prejudice to the Palestinians’ right to return to their homeland.
Note that the PLO has been involved in this. I would like to know why rich Arab countries like Saudi Arabia can’t begin to resettle Muslim refugees into their Muslim country. Or why won’t Muslim Jordan and Syria let them in?
If we take any (we probably will) lets make sure, as Judy suggested the other day, that they go to cities like Berkeley, CA! What the heck, put all 34,000 in a city that loves the Palestinian cause. Maybe the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society could get the government contract to do the resettling.
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