Contrary to the statements from Secretary of State Antony Blinken, the Biden Administration has no interest in expanding the Abraham Accords. The Biden Administration is only interested in appeasing Iran and the Palestinian Authority. Perhaps if the Biden Administration publicly supported this peace conference, Iraqi authorities would not be issuing arrest warrants for the conferences organizers. The Biden Administration is a joke.
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Over 300 prominent Iraqis publicly call for full peace with Israel
Unprecedented event in Erbil features Sunni and Shiite leaders and activists demanding that Baghdad join Abraham Accords; Lapid: Event in Iraq is a ‘source of hope and optimism’
By Times of Israel, September 26, 2021
Hundreds of Iraqi leaders and activists gathered in the country’s Kurdistan region on Friday to publicly call for full normalization with Israel.
The group, which includes Sunni and Shiites, youth activists and tribal leaders, said the next step after the dramatic announcement would be to seek “face-to-face talks” with Israelis.
The 312 Iraqi men and women issued their statements from a hotel in Erbil, the capital of the Kurdistan region. The conference was organized by the New York-based Center for Peace Communications, which works to advance engagement between Arabs and Israelis, and to protect activists supporting normalization.
The Times of Israel is covering developments from the conference as they happen.
One of the speakers explained that the group believes in peace with Israel “so that we might live in a stable region that brings conflicts to an end. We believe in it because we want our region to be a peaceful one, in which Israel is an inseparable part of the panoramic whole, and in which all peoples have the right to live in security.”
“We demand that Iraq join the Abraham Accords internationally,” wrote Wisam al-Hardan, leader of the Sons of Iraq Awakening movement, in The Wall Street Journal on Friday. “We call for full diplomatic relations with Israel and a new policy of mutual development and prosperity.”
The Sons of Iraq formed organically in 2005 as tribal leaders in Anbar province and ex-Iraqi Army officers allied with US forces to fight al-Qaeda.
“Some of us have faced down ISIS and al-Qaeda on the battlefield,” wrote Hardan. “Through blood and tears we have long demonstrated that we oppose all extremists, whether Sunni jihadists or Iran-backed Shi’ite militias. We have also demonstrated our patriotism: We sacrificed lives for the sake of a unified Iraq, aspiring to realize a federal system of government as stipulated in our nation’s constitution.”
Calling the expulsion of Iraq’s Jews “the most infamous act” in the country’s decline, Hardan said Iraq “must reconnect with the whole of our diaspora, including these Jews.”
“We reject the hypocrisy in some quarters of Iraq that speaks kindly of Iraqi Jews while denigrating their Israeli citizenship, and the Jewish state, which granted them asylum.”
Hardan also said that Iraq’s laws criminalizing contacts with Israelis are “morally repugnant.”
He wrote that while countries like Syria, Libya, Lebanon and Yemen are mired in war, the Abraham Accords represent a hopeful trend of “peace, economic development, and brotherhood.”
“We have a choice: tyranny and chaos, or legality, decency, peace and progress,” he wrote. “The answer is clear.”
Seven working groups will be formed in the wake of the conference to address ties between Iraq and its Jewish diaspora, trade and investment, educational reform, repealing anti-normalization laws, peace communications in Iraqi media, artistic collaborations, and supporting peace activists in other Arab countries that don’t recognize Israel.
The Abraham Accords were signed on the White House lawn in September 2020 between Israel, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates. Morocco and Sudan signed normalization agreements with Israel in the ensuing months.
Asked by Times of Israel for a response to the event in Iraq, Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said: “The event in Iraq is a source of hope and optimism. Israel is always searching for ways to widen the circle of peace and we are working with friends across the world to make that happen.”
“Normalization benefits the entire region and helps us move away from the extremism and chaos offered by negative actors towards stability, prosperity, moderation and cooperation. The Jewish people share a deep historical connection to Iraq. So to the Iraqi people we say today — we have far more that unites us than divides us and far more to gain from peace than from unnecessary conflict.”
Iraq is officially at war with Israel and is a firm supporter of the Arab League boycott of Israel. Its passports are not valid for travel to Israel.
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