Thursday, April 04, 2019

'Iraq will restore citizenship to Jews, but not Israelis'

 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)

Click here to see MEMRI video.

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?
General Fadhi Alwan Kazem: I will not do it.
Host: Why?
General Fadhi Alwan Kazem: The Jews are a special case with political aspects…
Host: Your colleague here says that they are not Iraqis…
General Fadhi Alwan Kazem: They are not.
Hussein Al-Iqabi: This is a special case…
Host: What do you mean by that?
Hussein 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.

See transcript in full

Whatever happened to Iraq's compensation vow?

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