Palestinians Suffering From Apartheid…in Iraq

Mark my words: You won’t hears about this from the mainstream media.

Iraq has just joined the long list of Arab countries that shamelessly practice apartheid against Palestinians. The number of Arab countries that apply discriminatory measures against Palestinians while pretending to support the Palestinian cause is breathtaking. Arab hypocrisy is once again on display, but who who is looking?

The international media — and even the Palestinians — are so preoccupied with US President Donald Trump’s announcement on Jerusalem that the plight of Palestinians in Arab countries is dead news. This apathy allows Arab governments to continue with their anti-Palestinian policies because they know that no one in the international community cares — the United Nations is too busy condemning Israel to do much else.

So what is the story with the Palestinians in Iraq? Earlier this week, it was revealed that the Iraqi government has approved a new law that effectively abolishes the rights given to Palestinians living there. The new law changes the status of Palestinians from nationals to foreigners.

Under Saddam Hussein, the former Iraqi dictator, the Palestinians enjoyed many privileges. Until 2003, there were about 40,000 Palestinians living in Iraq. Since the overthrow of the Saddam regime, the Palestinian population has dwindled to 7,000.

Thousands of Palestinians have fled Iraq after being targeted by various warring militias in that country because of their support for Saddam Hussein. Palestinians say that what they are facing in Iraq is “ethnic cleansing.”

The conditions of the Palestinians in Iraq are about to go from bad to worse. The new law, which was ratified by Iraqi President Fuad Masum, deprives Palestinians living in Iraq of their right to free education, healthcare and to travel documents, and denies them work in state institutions. The new law, which is called No. 76 of 2017, revokes the rights and privileges granted to Palestinians under Saddam Hussein. The law went into effect recently after it was published in the Iraqi Official Gazette No. 4466.

The law means, simply, that Palestinians would rather live in Canada or Brazil or any European country than live in an Arab country. They have more rights in non-Arab countries than they have in Arab ones. In the former, they can at least purchase property and enjoy healthcare and social benefits. Palestinians can even apply for citizenship in non-Arab countries and receive it. But not in countries such as Iraq, Egypt, Lebanon, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. It is easier for a Palestinian to obtain Canadian or US citizenship than to get one from most of the Arab countries.

In a note of extreme irony, it is the Arab League that has advised its members not to give the Palestinians citizenship. The excuse: By granting Palestinians citizenship of Arab countries, you are denying them the “right of return” to their former homes inside Israel.

Anything to worsen the situation of those who now identify as palestinian Arabs in order to try and destroy Israel demographically.

This strategy is as transparent as it is vile.


David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media

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