Iraqis express surprising rise in support for Israel

The fact that most bombings in Iraq are committed by Palestinian terrorists could be the reason why a flood of positive messages has reached Israel from Iraq. They point to a surprising surge of support for normalisation with Israel. Ynet News reports: 

Against the backdrop of the events on the Temple Mount
and the recent terrorist attacks,
the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem was very surprised to see a dramatic increase in the number of Israel sympathizers in Iraq.

Yonatan Gonen, head of Arabic-language digital diplomacy at the
Foreign Ministry, who also runs the Foreign Ministry’s Facebook and
Twitter accounts, said that the ministry has been flooded with pictures
and messages of sympathy, support and even a desire to establish
relations between the two countries.

In
addition, several new Facebook pages were opened, and even an
Arabic-language website was created to bring Israelis and Iraqis
together.

The reactions include harsh criticism of “the hypocrisy of the Arab
peoples,” with an emphasis on the Egyptians and the Jordanians, whose
countries have signed a peace treaty with the State of Israel.

One of the main arguments raised by the respondents on the
matter is that if they oppose normalization with Israel, they should act
to cancel the peace treaty with Israel before they start complaining.
Another central argument is based on the approach that normalization
with Israel is not shameful, as long as the interests of both countries
are preserved.

At the same time, some respondents admit that the desire to
establish relations with Israel does not stem from their love for the
country, but rather from their disappointment with the Arab states and
their desire to eliminate terrorism in their country.

For example, Zaid, from Baghdad, wrote to the Israeli Foreign
Ministry, “All the Iraqis are with you, not necessarily out of love.
Israel did not (even) throw stones at us while the Muslim Brotherhood
sent suicide bombers and financed them to fight us.”

Abdullah Bassem from Baghdad wrote, “A message from Baghdad to Tel
Aviv: We recognize the State of Israel—the chosen and the victorious
people. Fakestinians (a derogatory term for Palestinians) are traitors
and terrorists. We, as Iraqis, will be happy to visit Israel and welcome
a visit by Israelis to their second homeland, the great nation of
Iraq.”

Bader from the city of Basra wrote, “The Iraqis have suffered
for years, while the Israelis have been refusing to accept terrorism for
decades. The Palestinians must be expelled to countries that adopt and
teach death and destruction.”

The scene of an attack in Baghdad, in which 55 people were murdered, carried out by a Palestinian terrorist.

The scene of an attack in Baghdad, in which 55 people were murdered, carried out by a Palestinian terrorist.

The Foreign Ministry’s digital staff responded to Bader, saying, “We
share your courageous view and know that you have suffered. We are in
the same boat as far as terrorism is concerned and hope that Iraq’s sons
will enjoy security. As for your advice, we will never expel anyone,
because we are all from the same region and there is no escape from
living together. We believe in peace in the region.”

An interesting and recurring point in the reactions of the Iraqis who
wrote to the foreign ministry is that the State of Israel is an
existing reality and a fait accompli, and it is a shame to waste energy
and resources in an attempt to change this reality. Quite a few even
wrote that the Iraqi people are tired of killing and bloodshed, and that
normalization with Israel will promote Iraq economically and help
rebuild it.

Many have also harshly criticized the Palestinians as
“ungrateful,” after reports that no less than 1,200 Palestinians have
committed serious attacks on Iraqi soil and killed hundreds of Iraqi
people. Individual responders even went so far as to say that if the
Al-Aqsa Mosque was controlled by the Palestinians, it would become an
arena of terror attacks and bloodshed.

On the other hand, there are Iraqis who told the foreign ministry
that every self-respecting Iraqi is committed to fighting Israel and to
“liberating Palestine and Jerusalem.”

Bashir, for example, wrote, “I, as an Iraqi, think that
hostility to Israel is a duty just as we must fast and pray. The victory
of our Palestinian brothers is a must. We— Sunnis and Shiites,
Christians and members of all ethnic groups—love Palestine.”

“It seems that the Iraqi people are divided on the matter, but the
very fact that such opinions are voiced openly and without fear
indicates that this is not a negligible phenomenon,” said Gonen. “It is
clear that if such opinions were uttered 20-30 years ago, the people who
expressed them would be probably hanged.”

Read article in full

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

About

This website is dedicated to preserving the memory of the near-extinct Jewish communities, of the Middle East and North Africa, documenting the stories of the Jewish refugees and their current struggle for recognition and restitution.

Point of No Return

Jewish Refugees from Arab and Muslim Countries

One-stop blog on the Middle East's
forgotten Jewish refugees - updated daily.