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April 10, 2003

Iraqi opposition: ties with Israel; but no place for Palestinians in new Iraq

There will be strong ties with Israel but no place for Palestinians in the new Iraq, a leading member of the Iraqi National Congress (INC) [said] late Wednesday night...

[Nabeel Musawi, right hand of INC leader Ahmad Chalabi and scion of a prominent Shi'ite family in Baghdad noted] that hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were expelled from the Gulf states after the 1991 war in retribution for their complicity with Saddam, particularly in Kuwait, where they collaborated with his enforcers in identifying key personnel after the Iraqi invasion. All were arrested, Many were never seen again.

Today, the large Palestinian community is regarded by INC leaders as a loathsome fifth column, among the most faithful and loyal followers of Saddam Hussein.

Will the Palestinians be welcome to remain in a new, post-Saddam Iraq? "Absolutely not," Musawi snaps. Nor, for that matter, will Arabs who had opposed the US-led war to deliver freedom to the Iraqi people.

And the UN? "They did not play a very honorable role when it came to dealing with Saddam," he says. "We believe the UN needs to put its own house in order before it can play a credible role here."