Secret delegations from Iraq visit Israel

Three delegations from Iraq have visited Israel in recent months, according to TV report.

Ben Ariel ,

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu
Hadas Parush/Flash 90

Three delegations from Iraq visited Israel in recent months, the last of which arrived in Israel within the last month, Hadashot TV reported on Sunday.

The delegations included a total of 15 influential people from Iraq, including local religious leaders, both Sunnis and Shiites.

According to the Hadashot TV report, the delegation met with Israeli officials, visited the Yad Vashem Museum and met with academics and organizations related to Iraqi Jewry.

The visits were made possible in part because, compared to the generally hostile Arab world, Iraq has a relatively favorable attitude toward Israel.

Last month, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu attended a conference of Israeli ambassadors at the Foreign Ministry, and told the diplomats, "When I meet with Arab leaders, they say to me, 'We have security and economic interests, and we also want to enjoy the fruits of progress, and we will not mortgage our normalization with the State of Israel to the whims of the Palestinians.'"

Netanyahu added at the time, "This does not mean peace agreements yet, but it certainly says that a situation could be created in which our progress toward normalization and peace, instead of what we always thought, peace with the Palestinians to the Arab world, could actually be the reverse. It would be good if there was an agreement with the Palestinians, but it cannot be the condition. We are not conditioning our cohesion with the Arab world – normalization, on peace with the Palestinians."