Iraqi officials have declared in a televised debate that no Jew of Iraqi origin now living in Israel will have his citizenship restored to him. But all Jews had their Iraqi citizenship revoked after three months, regardless of where they resettled. (What of Jews who might have gone to Israel at first, and now live in North America?). Do not expect Iraq’s antisemitic policy to change: no Jew who left Iraq after 1968 (even those who fled to the West) has been compensated for lost property, either. (With thanks: Lily, Flor)
MEMRI: General Fadhi Alwan Kazem, the head of the
Citizenship Department in Iraq’s Ministry of Interior, said in a March 17, 2019
debate about citizenship for persecuted minorities that aired on Al-Iraqiya TV
(Iraq) that Jews are a special case with “political aspects” that
should not have a right to return to Iraq or to Iraqi citizenship if they had
been kicked out from Iraq in the past. Iraqi MP Hussein Al-Iqabi said that
since Israel is an enemy of Iraq, Iraq cannot allow Jews with Israeli
citizenship to hold Iraqi citizenship, but that Jews who have no Israeli
citizenship or loyalty to Israel do not constitute any problem.
Host: If tomorrow a Jew comes and says: “You drove me out [of Iraq]
but I am an original Iraqi. Add a clause to [to the Nationality Law] and let me
return.” Will you do it?
Fadhi Alwan Kazem: I will not do it.
Fadhi Alwan Kazem: The Jews are a
special case with political aspects…
Host: Your colleague here says that they are not Iraqis…
Fadhi Alwan Kazem: They are not.
Hussein Al-Iqabi: This is
a special case…
Host: What do you mean by that?
Al-Iqabi: This is not a legal issue but a
political one, under the responsibility of the government. In my opinion, when
the Jew who was an Iraqi citizen became an Israeli citizen… Israel is an enemy
of Iraq. The legitimate rights of the Muslims and Christians over Palestine
have been usurped by this country, which is based on oppression and injustice.
We cannot allow for an Iraqi citizen to hold the nationality of a country that
is an enemy of Iraq and in a state of war with it. This country usurps the
rights of our Palestinian brothers. We cannot tell these people to come here
today. But if they do not have an Israeli nationality, it is a different story.
If they do not have an Israeli nationality or loyalty to Israel, they are just
like all the [Iraqi] Christians, Yazidis, Sabians, and so on.