BAGHDAD — Iraq’s parliament voted unanimously to activate a lapsed regulation that criminalizes displaying the Israeli flag in public, an surprising step that is available in response to a Kurdish bid to secede.
The transfer illustrates each the deep damage Iraq’s Arab majority felt when the nation’s Kurds held an independence referendum final month — and the resurgent Arab nationalism the vote has provoked.
Israel was the one nation to publicly assist the referendum for an unbiased Kurdish state in northern Iraq that passed off in September. The transfer had been strenuously opposed by Baghdad, Iran, Turkey and even the Kurds’ closest ally, the United States.
In a present of gratitude for Israel’s assist, Kurds proudly waved massive Israeli flags at huge rallies held forward of the vote. Although it appeared uncommon for the blue and white flag to seem so freely in a area largely hostile to Israel, for Kurds it was the continuation of a historic friendship.
Israel had lengthy supported Kurdish uprisings in opposition to former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.
The open show of the Israeli flag on the Kurdish rallies of their semi-autonomous area grated on Arabs and even led to conspiracy-laden feedback by some Iraqi and Iranian officers that your complete independence motion was engineered by Israel to hasten the breakup of Iraq.
Hamid al-Khudary, a lawmaker from a big Shiite bloc in Iraq’s parliament, stated he launched a movement within the legislature Tuesday to reactivate a dormant regulation that imposes a prison penalty on displaying the Israeli flag.
He stated “raising the Zionist entity flag” is a “dangerous phenomenon.”
Flying the flag in the course of the Kurdish rallies “insulted the reputation of Iraq and its people considering that Israel is an enemy state to Iraq,” he stated in a telephone interview with The Washington Post.
Iraq doesn’t have diplomatic relations with Israel and has not been a part of a latest effort by Israel and Arab nations together with Egypt and Saudi Arabia to normalize relations.
Khudary stated the movement, which additionally bans selling Zionism, obtained a unanimous vote. Iraq’s cupboard will resolve the suitable prison penalty for any breach of the regulation, he stated.
Israel’s flag has at all times been a uncommon sight in Iraq, aside from at some point per 12 months. On Quds Day, or Jerusalem Day — which is noticed on the final Friday of the holy month of Ramadan — some Iraqis present assist for the Palestinian trigger by stomping on and burning Israeli flags.
The follow was adopted from neighboring Iran, which declared the primary Quds Day in 1979.
How the reactivated Iraqi regulation will affect the custom just isn’t clear.
Kurds say they haven’t any mates however the mountains. Now they’ve Israel, and that would trigger them grief.
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