US to resettle 1,350 Iraqi-Palestinian refugees
The US State Department confirmed Tuesday that as many as 1,350 Iraqi Palestinians - once well-treated guests of Saddam Hussein and now estranged from Iraqi society - will be resettled in the US, mostly in southern California, starting this fall, the Christian Science Monitor reported.
It will be the largest-ever resettlement of Palestinian refugees into the US - and welcome news to the Palestinians who fled to Iraq after 1948, but who have had a tough time since Hussein was ousted in 2003. Targeted by Iraqi Shi'ites, the Palestinians, mostly Sunni Muslims, have spent recent years in one of the region's roughest refugee camps, Al Waleed, near Iraq's border with Syria in the west.
"Really for the first time, the United States is recognizing a Palestinian refugee population that could be admitted to the US as part of a resettlement program," Bill Frelick, refugee policy director at Human Rights Watch in Washington told CSM.
Considering that the US in the past was reluctant to resettle Palestinians - only seven were accepted in 2007 and only nine in 2008 - the effort could become a point of contention between Israel and the US.
For many in the State Department and international community, the resettlement is part of a moral imperative the US has to clean up the refugee crisis created by invading Iraq. The US has already stepped up resettlement of Iraqis, some whom have struggled to adjust to life in America.
The resettlement of Iraqi Palestinians is "an important gesture for the United States to demonstrate that we're not heartless," Alon Ben-Meir, a professor of international relations and Middle Eastern studies at New York University told the publication.
Alon Ben Meir?! (sounds like a very Israeli name to me) I feel a bit disoriented now. "Middle East Studies" - I hope we're not talking about yet another Saudi sponsored antisemitism and revisionism department.
Here's the best quote from the article:
But some critics say the State Department is sloughing off its problems onto American cities, especially since in this case the Palestinians were sympathizers of the Iraqi tyrant.
"This is politically a real hot potato," said Mark Krikorian, director of the conservative Center for Immigration Studies in Washington, adding, "America has become a dumping ground for the State Department's problems - they're tossing their problems over their head into Harrisburg, Pa., or Omaha, Neb."
I just hope the end result will be more assimilated pro American citizens who do not practice nor preach hatred. I can't find many reasons to be an optimist here.
Even the filthy jihadis don't want them - should the USA? They were thrown out of Iraq not for being innocent refugees, rather for being Saddam's hated pet project. Arabs should start welcoming people who were refugees 60 years ago, in Arab countries. Why didn't Saudi Arabia welcome them?
Those of us who struggled to immigrate legally to the US, not through undeserved refugee stature aren't wishing for as bad as neighbors as we could get in East Jerusalem. Pardon my lack of enthusiasm.