Iraqis Declare Support for Israel in Social Media Messages to Netanyahu Spokesperson
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s spokesperson for the Arab media reported on Sunday that he had received several messages on social media from Iraqi citizens expressing support for Israel during the violent Palestinian campaign to end the Jewish state’s control of access to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
“I received quite a few messages of support for Israel from Iraqis who condemned Palestinian terrorism b/c they suffered from it as well,” Ofir Gendelman – who represents the prime minister’s office in contacts with Arabic-language media – tweeted.
Gendelman’s post was accompanied by photos of the messages of solidarity in Arabic with Iraqi passports placed alongside them, as proof of origin.
In another tweet in Arabic, Gendelman expressed his “thanks and greetings” to the Iraqis who sent him messages.
Throughout the quarter-century of Saddam Hussein’s Ba’athist dictatorship, extremist Palestinian groups enjoyed rich financial and operational support from the Baghdad regime. Documents discovered by US troops in Baghdad in 2003 demonstrated ample support of Saddam’s backing for Palestinian terrorism – including payments to the families of suicide bombers and other terrorists, in much the same policy as is currently operated by the Palestinian Authority (PA).
In the 1970s and 80s, both Iraq and its rival Syria competed to support some of the most violent Palestinian terror groups – including the Black September organization, which carried out the massacre of 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics, and the shadowy Fatah Revolutionary Council of Abu Nidal, which murdered six diners and wounded 22 more in a gun assault on a kosher restaurant in Paris in 1982.
Since Saddam’s overthrow in 2003, the Palestinian community in Iraq has been viewed with suspicion by many Iraqis, who regard them as supporters of Saddam, as well as the Shi’a terrorist militias, who distrust the largely Sunni Muslim Palestinians. According to a 2015 commentary by Palestinian journalist Khaled Abu Toameh on the status of Palestinians in the Arab world, the willingness of Palestinian leaders to accept the support of Arab tyrants has merely worsened the predicament of their people.
“Not only do the Arab countries despise the Palestinians, they also want them to be the problem of Israel alone,” Abu Toameh wrote. “That is why, since 1948, Arab governments have refused to allow Palestinians permanently to settle in their countries and become equal citizens.”