Middle East

law criminalising ties with Israel slammed as ‘window for normalisation’

Iraqi writers and politicians have condemned a new law ratified by parliament that criminalises ties with Israel because, they argue, it includes a “window for normalising ties” with the occupation state, Arab48.com reported on Monday. This “window” is the allowance of exchange visits between the two countries for religious reasons with the permission of the interior ministry.

“This is a dangerous gap in the law as it could be used as a door for normalisation, espionage and an implicit recognition of the Zionist entity,” said the Secretary General of Al-Nujabaa Movement, Akram Al-Kaabi. Having to get permission from a government ministry in Baghdad to let Israelis enter Iraq means that Israel is a “recognised entity,” he explained.

Former MP Abdul Amir al To’aiban said that he rejects the law which criminalises normalisation of ties with the occupation due to its exceptions. “These exceptions,” he insisted, “preserve the normalisation of ties.” The law, he pointed out, allows Israelis to visit historical and religious sites in Iraq, and allows Iraqis to visit Israel under the pretext of visiting Jerusalem.

According to journalist Salam Musafer, the law was passed by parliament because Iraqi MPs “fear the Americans.”

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