Palestinian Refugees Targeted by Shia Militia

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A reminder that the world is complicated and contradictory, and nowhere more so than in the Middle East: Palestinian refugees in Iraq face particularly grave security threats, including targeted killings by mostly Shia militant groups and harassment by the Iraqi government. So says a new Human Rights Watch report.

“Since the fall of Saddam Hussein’s government, Palestinian refugees in Iraq have increasingly become targets of violence and persecution,” said SarahLeah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “Shia militant groups have murdered dozens of Palestinian refugees, and the Iraqi government has made it difficult for these refugees to stay legally in Iraq by imposing onerous registration requirements.”

There are about 34,000 Palestinian refugees in Iraq, and they’ve been targeted largely because of the benefits they received from Saddam’s government and their support (real and perceived) for the Sunni insurgency. Since 2003 successive Iraqi governments have either failed to protect them or shown outright hostility. The report calls for Syria and Jordan to open their borders to the refugees, who otherwise have nowhere else to go. (Earlier this year David Enders wrote for MJ.com about the plight of the Palestinian refugees, one of whom told him, “We all just want to leave.”)

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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