This inciteful article in Temps et Contretemps by Francis Moritz gives the background to the notorious anti-Israel law passed by 275 of the 329 representatives in the Iraqi Parliament. He says that this antisemitic law was proposed in reaction to another law in favour of compensation to Jews who lost their property in Iraq. If this law had passed, it would have meant a major setback for Iranian-backed militias in Baghdad, who are busy falsifying Jewish property deeds worth millions to finance their own terrorist activities with the proceeds . Kurdish MPs gave their support to the law in protest against the dominance of the Barazani and Talabani clans in Kurdistan. But the President of Iraq, a Kurd, still has to ratify the law. (with thanks: Penny)
When the possibility of compensation for seized Jewish property was raised, it immediately provoked an outcry, both from individuals and from the authorities. The various Shi’ite parties, unable to agree otherwise, have found a low cost rallying point. The attitude towards Israel is justified by solidarity with the Palestinians. The Iraqi Foreign Ministry stresses its “firm position and full support for the Palestinian people”. This is nothing new. Already during the Second World War, this country had welcomed the Nazis and their methods with open arms, thinking that they could drive out the British. It was a failure.
Barzani adviser Arafat Karam predicts that the “anti-Israel law” will further drive a wedge between Baghdad and Erbil. He told Rudaw TV that Kurdish votes for the law did not mean that Erbil joined the anti-Israel chorus. Haider al-Lami, a member of the former coalition led by then-Shi’a Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, justified unanimous approval for the law by citing pressure from different political quarters for normalising relations with Israel, which, in turn, further prompted the law to be passed. Incidentally, in March Tehran fired 12 missiles at Erbil because, according to Iran, the city is home to a branch of Mossad which is planning operations in Iran.
Iraqi constitutionalist Maitham Handal also sees it as a parliamentary instrument to subordinate freedom of expression to the higher interests of the state. He told Al Hurra TV that each case had to be dealt with separately under constitutional law because freedom of speech was enshrined in Iraq’s constitution. However, he also sees the danger that the law could be used to silence political opponents.
Since the war in Iraq in 2003 and the fall of Saddam Hussein, the legal situation has not been clear. Since then, rental income from Jewish real estate has gone to Iran’s Al-Quds Brigades; Jewish property is being occupied by members of Iranian-funded militias. Notably the Baghdad district of Karrada, where Jews, Christians and Shi’ites lived together, is now controlled by Shi’ite militias. The entries in the property register were made using falsified documents. These would represent billions that the state would have to reimburse and would be a setback for Iran, which considers Iraq as its vassal. There is one reservation holding back the implementation of the proposed law. It must be ratified by President Saleh, who is Kurdish andwill be under very strong pressure to do so.
Miss Iraq: Grotesque antisemitic Iraqi law demands strong response (Algemeiner – with thanks Michelle)