Iraq’s blood-curdling bill targets Israel (and its own people)

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Assessment: A new law with the ominous title, “Criminalizing Normalization and Establishment of Relations With the Zionist Entity,” could end in lifetime prison sentences or even the death penalty for Iraqi citizens who disobey it.

Nearly 20 years after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein’s regime in a U.S.-led invasion, Iraq remains at war with Israel, as has been the case since the foundation of the Jewish state in 1948. The question persists, however, as to whether Iraq will always be at war with Israel.

Ask the Iraqi parliament that question and you will receive an affirmative answer. Last Thursday, Iraqi legislators voted overwhelmingly in favor of a new law with the ominous title, “Criminalizing Normalization and Establishment of Relations With the Zionist Entity.” From now on, any Iraqi citizen who makes contact with anyone or anything originating from Israel could well face a lifetime prison sentence or even the death penalty.

“They have said, “Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation,
That the name of Israel may be remembered no more.” Psalm 83:4

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In a statement issued following the bill’s passage, the Iraqi parliament declared that the legislation “represents a true reflection of the will of the people, a brave national decision and a position that is the first of its kind in the world in terms of criminalizing the relationship with the Zionist entity.”

It called on parliaments elsewhere in the Arab and Islamic worlds to follow the Iraqi lead by passing similar legislation that “meets the aspirations of our people.”