TEL AVIV – Support from Iraq amid Arab turmoil over the Temple Mount has continued to pour into Israel, the Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.
Yonatan Gonen, head of Arabic-language digital diplomacy at the Foreign Ministry, said that the ministry’s social media accounts have been “flooded with pictures and messages of sympathy, support and even a desire to establish relations between the two countries,” Ynet news reported.
An Arabic-language website and several new Facebook pages have recently been created with the goal of bringing Israelis and Iraqis together, the report said.
Iraqis have come out against other Arab nations, particularly regarding “the hypocrisy of the Arab peoples.” A central argument is that Jordan and Egypt, despite having signed peace treaties with Israel, still strongly oppose any normalizing of ties with it. The report said Iraqis are advocating that it would be better for those nations to cancel the peace treaties if they are to retain their integrity. However, the advocates also say that there is nothing “shameful” in maintaining relations with Israel.
They are quick to add the newfound desire to establish ties with Israel does not come from a place of admiration, rather it stems from a deep sense of disillusionment with Arab states coupled with a wish to see terrorism eliminated from Iraq. A large number of people wrote that the Iraqi people are fed up with bloodshed and normalization with Israel will promote Iraq both economically and in the war on terrorism.
Zaid, from Baghdad, wrote to the Israeli Foreign Ministry, “All the Iraqis are with you, not necessarily out of love. Israel did not (even) throw stones at us while the Muslim Brotherhood sent suicide bombers and financed them to fight us.”
Abdullah Bassem from Baghdad posted, “A message from Baghdad to Tel Aviv: We recognize the State of Israel—the chosen and the victorious people. Fakestinians (a derogatory term for Palestinians) are traitors and terrorists. We, as Iraqis, will be happy to visit Israel and welcome a visit by Israelis to their second homeland, the great nation of Iraq.”
Bader from the city of Basra stated, “The Iraqis have suffered for years, while the Israelis have been refusing to accept terrorism for decades. The Palestinians must be expelled to countries that adopt and teach death and destruction.”
The Foreign Ministry’s digital staff responded to Bader, posting, “We share your courageous view and know that you have suffered. We are in the same boat as far as terrorism is concerned and hope that Iraq’s sons will enjoy security. As for your advice, we will never expel anyone, because we are all from the same region and there is no escape from living together. We believe in peace in the region.”
Iraqis also slammed the Palestinians for being “ungrateful.” Since the overthrow of the Baathist regime in 2003, many Iraqis view the Palestinian community with mistrust.
Last week, Breitbart Jerusalem reported that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Arabic-language spokesperson said he had received several messages of support from Iraqi citizens during the recent Palestinian unrest over the Temple Mount.
According to Ynet, individual posters even said that were the Temple Mount complex to be left in Palestinian control, it would be subject to endless terror attacks and violence.
Ofir Gendelman tweeted that several of them said they also suffered from Palestinian terrorism. According to reports, 1,200 Palestinians have committed serious attacks on Iraqi soil and killed hundreds of Iraqi citizens.
A new Facebook group called “Iraq with Israel” aims to promote discourse between citizens of the two countries.
The page’s mission states that it is run by “a group of Iraqi citizens who call for opening channels of civil cooperation between us and Israeli citizens. To this end, we launched a campaign to support the security of the State of Israel.”
“First and foremost, we firmly condemn all terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians,” they added. “As a country that has suffered and is still suffering from terrorism, we are aware of the great pain these attacks cause. Despite the tangible risk to us in managing this campaign, thousands of Iraqi citizens have joined it so far.”