Jerusalem24– The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement on Friday condemning a new Iraqi law criminalizing normalization of relations with Israel.
The Iraqi parliament on Thursday passed the law titled “Criminalizing Normalization and Establishment of Relations with the Zionist Entity”, with 275 legislators voting in favor in Iraq’s 329-seat assembly.
Iraq has never recognized Israel and the two states have no diplomatic relations.
The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs statement says the law “puts Iraq and the Iraqi people on the wrong side of history and is divorced from reality. […] Leaders who choose the path of hatred and incitement harm their people first and foremost.”
The statement further claims that the normalization agreements signed between Israel and several Arab states as part of the 2020 Abraham Accords would bring “stability and prosperity” to the region and are “the future of the Middle East.”
The new legislation comes after a September 2021 conference held in Erbil in Iraq’s autonomous region of Kurdistan called for the normalization of ties with Israel. The conference was organized by pro-Israel American think-tank Center for Peace Communications and promoted by The Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
Iraq’s federal government issued a statement at the time rejecting the premise of the conference and saying it “was not representative of the population’s [opinion] and that of residents in Iraqi cities, in whose name these individuals purported to speak.”
A 2021 poll by the Arab Center Washington DC found that 7% of Iraqis support diplomatic recognition of Israel. Approximately half of those accepting diplomatic recognition further made such recognition conditional on the establishment of an independent Palestinian state.