West Bank settler joins Iraqi law firm to promote trade

Published October 8th, 2003 - 02:00 GMT

Iraqi industrialist Salem Chalabi has entered a joint venture with an American-born Israeli settler to promote investment in Iraq.  


West Bank resident Marc Zell holds the position of Partner for International Marketing at Chalabi’s Iraqi International Law Group (IILG), which was set up in July 2003. According to the company’s website, IILG lawyers act as international counselors to the Iraq-Baghdad Chamber of Commerce with some 300,000 members country-wide and to the Federation of Iraqi Industrialists representing thousands of indigenous factory owners. 


Salem, also known as “Sam” Chalabi, is the nephew of Ahmad Chalabi, head of the Iraqi National Congress and a prominent member of Iraq's governing council. The younger Chalabi is a US-trained solicitor and largely contributed to Iraqi policy documents for a post-Saddam Iraq.  


Zell and his family moved to Israel in 1988, making a Jewish settlement in the West Bank their home. Until recently Zell was the registered owner of IILG’s website, reported Guardian. Ownership was transferred to Chalabi’s name after the UK daily revealed Zell’s connections to the business. Existing data still shows that a member of Zell’s Jerusalem office provided the website’s content. 


In July, Israel’s Minister of Finance Benjamin Netanyahu signed a general permit authorizing trade with Iraq. The new agreement normalizes commercial and financial ties between the two countries, marking the Jewish state’s recognition of Iraq as a hostile-free nation. A group of Israeli industrial representatives reportedly made a trip to Baghdad in June in order to scope out business opportunities related to the reconstruction effort. — (menareport.com)  



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