Skip to comments.Iraq:New Constitution Prevents Citizenship for Jews, Says MP
Posted on 07/27/2005 6:36:36 AM PDT by WmShirerAdmirer
Baghdad, 27 July (AKI) - The first draft of the new Iraqi constitution will prevent Iraqi Jews, stripped of their nationality in the 1940s and 1950s, from re-obtaining it, Mundhir al-Fadl, an Iraqi MP and member of the constituent assembly's constitution commisssion, has told Adnkronos International (AKI).
Al-Fadl, one of the commision members responsible for drafting the constitution's chapter on "rights and duties" explained that one paragraph of the draft says that "the Iraqi nationality is a right acquired by every Iraqi, which cannot be withheld for any reason and is the basis of his citizenship."
"All those who have been deprived of their citizenship after 8 February 1963 have the right to recover it, as they have the right to multiple nationality," the draft continues.
However, the parliamentarian, who is part of the Kurdish list, pointed out that this rules out Iraq's Jews, who were forced to emigrate from the country before 8 February 1963, the date of the coup carried out by the Baath party, who overthrew the country's then ruler, Brig Abd-al-Karim Qasim, who had taken power in a military coup almost five years earlier.
"I believe that every Iraqi citizen deprived of their nationality for any reason, political, ethnic or religious, has the right to recover it," al-Fadl told AKI. He added that "this opinion represents the majority, but not all the members [of the constituent assembly], it is contrary to the universal declaration of the rights of man and implies a clear discrimination against men on the basis of their religion," he said, affirming that "the aim of this text is clearly to prevent Iraqi Jews from recovering their Iraqi nationality."
During the 1940s and 50s the Iraqi government took away Iraqi citizenship from many Iraqi Jews, confiscating their property and capital, despite which the majority refused to leave the country they were born in and had lived in for many years in peace and harmony together with other religions.
"The first draft of the new Iraqi constitution will prevent Iraqi Jews, stripped of their nationality in the 1940s and 1950s, from re-obtaining it, Mundhir al-Fadl, an Iraqi MP and member of the constituent assembly's constitution commisssion, has told Adnkronos International (AKI). "
I think they are on draft 3 now. That clause has been removed from the latest draft.
Clearly someone proposed language which was designed to exclude Jews without actually making the exclusion explicit.
The subterfuge was discovered and is now being addressed.
Iraqi Jews will be full citizens of the new Iraq.
There's nothing wrong with living in the Seventh Century. The problem is believing in a false religion and holding a totally irrational anthropology.
Thanks for the information, glad that this clause has been removed.
How many Iraqi Jews are left in Iraq? Any? Almost all moved to Israel or America. As far as I know, the only Muslim countries that have Jews anymore are Iran and Egypt. And in both cases they are tiny communities.
Supposedly there are still a few left. It seems unlikely - it's a short trip to Israel, why would one stay?
If Iraq is to be a sovereign nation, they must be able to create and enforce their law as they see fit.
Even if we find it stupid.
The current Iraqi flag was chosen by Saddam Hussein's Ba'ath Party to signify the unity of Arab lands. For the non-Arab Kurds the flag is not only a symbol of their second class status but they also associate it with the atrocities-- including use of poison gas-- of the former regime. Many of Iraq's Arab leaders have been sensitive to Kurdish concerns. When they visit the region, they do not make a fuss over the flag.
For Iraq's Kurds, the flag episode epitomizes America's ingratitude for their role as an ally in the war to overthrow Saddam Hussein and as the strongest supporter of US postwar policies. They note that American diplomats have no qualms about calling on Shi'ite politicians who display portraits of Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini and that the United States has pushed for the inclusion of Sunni Arabs, many former Ba'athists, in the constitution drafting committee. Iraq's Prime Minister Ibrahim Jafaari was warmly received at the White House even though his party, Dawa, was on the State Department terrorist list until a few years ago for the 1982 suicide bombing of the US embassy in Kuwait.
US indifference to Kurdish sensibilities could have far reaching consequences. The Kurds are engaged in a struggle with the Shi'ite majority of Iraq's constitution drafting committee over the principles that will guide the new Iraq.
The majority draft would make Iraq a ''federal Islamic republic." Rights of women would be sharply restricted as Islamic law replaces Iraq's relatively progressive civil code on matters of inheritance, divorce, and child custody. The document is anti-Jewish, denying Iraqi Jews rights granted other Iraqis. The Shi'ite majority is even proposing to incorporate the ''marjah" -- Iraq's leading Shi'ite cleric -- into the constitution, a step that could give the Ayatollah Sistani powers similar to those Khomeini exercised in the first decade of Iran's Islamic Republic.
The Kurds oppose all these measures. They are secular and insist that any reference to the Islamic character of Iraq be balanced by a declaration that no law can violate fundamental human rights. They are proud of the progress that women have made in the 14 years of Kurdish self-rule in the north of Iraq and do not want it rolled back. They share none of the antipathy Arab Iraqis feel toward the Jews.
With a population almost unanimously in favor of independence, Kurdistan leaders insist that Iraq have a federal structure that will allow them to retain their secular, Western-oriented political system even if the rest of Iraq falls under the sway of the religious parties. They are alarmed by growing Iranian influence in Baghdad and in the Shi'ite south, and see a strong, self-governing Kurdistan as a barrier to enlarging Iran's influence.
No constitution can be approved unless the Kurds go along, and the Kurds want to be in the position to walk away from a constitution that is illiberal and too centralized. But, instead of support from the Bush administration, they feel intense pressure to make compromises so as to meet the Aug. 15 deadline.
While the Bush administration professes a hands-off policy toward constitutional deliberations, it has been lobbying hard against a provision that would give Iraq's regions control over natural resources. Having been dependent on payments from Baghdad in the past, the Kurds know that meaningful self-government requires control over their own petroleum. The Bush administration apparently believes a Shi'ite region in the south would be less favorable toward US oil companies than the Shi'ite-run Oil Ministry in Baghdad, but in reality there is unlikely to be a difference. To the dismay of the Kurds, there has been no similar American engagement with regard to the anti-Jewish or antiwoman provisions of the proposed constitution.
The United States should take a genuine hands-off approach toward the new constitution. The content is far more important than meeting the deadline for its completion, and the Bush administration should not punish America's best friends in Iraq if they walk away from a document that blatantly contradicts the democratic values President Bush now says are the reason for our continued presence in the country.
Peter W. Galbraith, a former US ambassador to Croatia, is senior diplomatic fellow at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation.
This entire provision applies to Iraqis who have left the country within the last 40 years and have been living abroad, of which there are many.
I see. Interesting.
An Iraqi politician who visited Israel was arrested, kicked out of Chalabis party; and targeted for assassination which succeeded in killing two sons. Does not bode well for relations with Israel. A report I read has Secty Rumsfeld in Iraq now because of his displeasure at al Jaafaris deals with Iran.
In February, Mithal al-Alusi paid the highest price for a chance at democracy: His two sons, ages 30 and 22, were gunned down outside his home in Baghdad. Baathists claimed responsibility. The bullets were meant for al-Alusi, 55, head of the secular Democratic Party of the Iraqi Nation. He did not have to be in Iraq: In the 1980s and 90s, al-Alusi ran a textile company in Germany. His sons went to good schools and visited the U.S. So why did he return? If we dont do it, he asks, who will?
Al-Alusi tells us that Iraqs future hinges on its new constitution, due in August, and he worries about the power of Iraqs religious parties. If they gain control, he says, Iraq could fall prey to a totalitarian Islamic government like Irans: I fear the day where we say, Bush made the change, but the winner is Iran. Then we've lost any hope of peace in the Middle East. He implores the U.S. not to abandon Iraq, but he wants America to take us seriously as a partner and negotiate issues such as a timetable for troop withdrawals. Hes even pressing for ties with Israel to fight terrorism. Al-Alusi was the first Iraqi official to visit the Jewish state. It got him expelled from the Iraqi National Congress and got his sons killed. But hes not backing down. Iraqis have only one chance now, says al-Alusi. If we lose, terrorism will have a huge support.
If they "lose", we should at least support a Kurdish state in the north and let the Sunnis and Shiites kill each other.
Good posting of reply and links, thank you for this insight and information.
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