Will Iraq Regognize Israel?


Thomas Carothers raises a test case for the Iraqi democracy: "[I]s it really likely that a majority of Iraqis, if allowed to express their opinions freely, would push now for recognition of Israel?" If the popular will everywhere else in the Arab world is any indication, the answer is obviously no. It might be possible if the recognition were part of a new version of last year's Saudi peace plan, though even then it's doubtful that any recognition would reflect a majority of Iraqi opinion. Ahmed Chalabi has said he would recognize Israel, but he shilly-shallies when pressed on the issue, and he also asserts that "the new Iraq will be a main supporter of the Palestinian people." (Meanwhile, an apparatchik in Israel's national infrastructure ministry says that the undemocratic kingdom of Jordan may consider re-opening a Mandate-era oil pipeline from Mosul to Haifa.)