Iraq and the fight for Palestine in 1948

May 06, 2021 2 min read

Iraq's history is strongly intertwined with the liberation of Palestine. Iraq took part in the war to liberate Palestine from the Zionist occupiers as early as 1948.

In 1948 European Jewish settlers proclaimed the foundation of the State of Israel. They did this after the United Nations mandated a "two-state" solution for Jews and Arabs in Palestine. For the Zionists however this was a green light to forcibly expel and murder Palestinians while confiscating their property under the guise of state foundation.  This despicable colonization is still being enacted on by the Zionist occupiers.

Iraqi grave in Jenin

For many decolonizing Arab and Muslim majority countries, this was a disgrace, betrayal and an assault on Arab and Islamic pride and independence. Egypt, Syria, Jordan and Iraq declared a war on Israel in 1948. Since 1948, liberation of Palestine has become a focal point for Middle Eastern politics for the entire Middle East political spectrum: left, right Arab nationalists, and Islamist. The occupation of Palestine was seen as the last barrier to independence in the West Asia from the former British and French colonizers, and at the same time the emerging superpowers such as the USA after World War II.

The graves of Iraqi martyrs in Jenin

Although the Arab countries - thanks to the incompetence of the Arab leadership at the time - lost the 1948 war, this was at the same time a trigger for all kinds of revolutions in the Middle East. Examples include the famous Egyptian revolution by Gamel Abdel Nasser in 1952 and the Iraqi revolution by Abdel Karim Qasim in 1958. Both were soldiers themselves during the 1948 war. To this day, we find tombs of Iraqis who fought in this war in Palestinian Jenin, which still honor the link between Iraq and Palestine some 70 years later.

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