Sunday, September 14, 2008

Iraqi MP punished after visit to Israel

Hopes of normalised relations between Iraq and Israel were dashed when the Iraqi Parliament voted to suspend the immunity of one of its members following his third visit to Israel. The comments thread following this Jerusalem Post report show, however, that Mithal al-Alousi does have his supporters among Iraqi readers:

Iraqi legislators said Sunday that parliament had voted to lift the immunity of a Sunni Arab lawmaker who visited Israel.

Alusi at the funeral of his...

Alusi at the funeral of his two sons who were killed in an assassination attempt in Baghdad in 2005.
Photo: AP

The parliament has also banned Mithal al-Alousi from traveling outside Iraq or attending parliamentary sessions, they said.

Sunday's punishment was confirmed by Osama al-Nujeif, a Sunni Arab lawmaker, and Haider al-Ibadi, a Shi'ite lawmaker.

The two men said al-Alousi's trip was illegal and a humiliation for Iraqis who see Israel as a historical enemy. Without parliamentary immunity, al-Alousi could be subject to prosecution.

Al-Alousi, chairman of Iraq's Democratic Party, surprisingly arrived at a conference on terror in Herzliya last Wednesday, calling for the establishment of a joint intelligence network with Israel and the United States.

"In Israel, there is no occupation, there is liberalism," Al-Alusi said to the sound of roaring applause."

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Reuters article

Interview with the Jerusalem Post

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