In Iraq, Palestinians Face Ethnic Cleansing

Aug. 11 2015

Iraq was once home to a sizable Palestinian population. But since the beginning of the Iraq war, they have been driven from their home by the thousands. Khaled Abu Toameh writes:

Since 2003, the number of Palestinians [in Iraq] has dropped from 25,000 to 6,000. Palestinian activists say the Iraqis are waging a campaign of ethnic cleansing against the country’s Palestinian population. The activists say that since the collapse of Saddam Hussein’s regime, Shiite militias in Iraq have been systematically attacking and intimidating the Palestinian population, . . . prompting many to flee.

The Shiites . . . are opposed to the presence of non-Iraqi Sunnis, including the Palestinians, in their country—especially in the capital, Baghdad. . . . Sunnis in Iraq who had opposed Saddam Hussein [when he was in power] have also been waging war on the Palestinians, in retaliation for their support for him. . . .

But what is most interesting is the complete indifference displayed by international human-rights organizations, the media, and the Palestinian Authority (PA) toward the mistreatment of Palestinians in Arab countries. The PA, whose leaders are busy inciting against Israel on a daily basis, does not have time to care about its people in the Arab world. . . . . The UN and other international bodies [likewise seem not to have] heard of the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in the Arab world. They too are so obsessed with Israel that they prefer not to hear about the suffering of Palestinians under Arab regimes.

Read more at Gatestone

More about: Iraq, Palestinian Authority, Palestinians, Politics & Current Affairs, Saddam Hussein, United Nations

American Aid to Lebanon Is a Gift to Iran

For many years, Lebanon has been a de-facto satellite of Tehran, which exerts control via its local proxy militia, Hizballah. The problem with the U.S. policy toward the country, according to Tony Badran, is that it pretends this is not the case, and continues to support the government in Beirut as if it were a bulwark against, rather than a pawn of, the Islamic Republic:

So obsessed is the Biden administration with the dubious art of using taxpayer dollars to underwrite the Lebanese pseudo-state run by the terrorist group Hizballah that it has spent its two years in office coming up with legally questionable schemes to pay the salaries of the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF), setting new precedents in the abuse of U.S. foreign security-assistance programs. In January, the administration rolled out its program to provide direct salary payments, in cash, to both the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) and the Internal Security Forces (ISF).

The scale of U.S. financing of Lebanon’s Hizballah-dominated military apparatus cannot be understated: around 100,000 Lebanese are now getting cash stipends courtesy of the American taxpayer to spend in Hizballah-land. . . . This is hardly an accident. For U.S. policymakers, synergy between the LAF/ISF and Hizballah is baked into their policy, which is predicated on fostering and building up a common anti-Israel posture that joins Lebanon’s so-called “state institutions” with the country’s dominant terror group.

The implicit meaning of the U.S. bureaucratic mantra that U.S. assistance aims to “undermine Hizballah’s narrative that its weapons are necessary to defend Lebanon” is precisely that the LAF/ISF and the Lebanese terror group are jointly competing to achieve the same goals—namely, defending Lebanon from Israel.

Read more at Tablet

More about: Hizballah, Iran, Israeli Security, Lebanon, U.S. Foreign policy