Recognizing Israel Is a Dangerous Distraction for Iraq

Recognizing Israel Is a Dangerous Distraction for Iraq
Protesters burn representations of Israeli flags during a demonstration in support of Palestinians in Gaza, Baghdad, Iraq, May 15, 2021 (AP photo by Khalid Mohammed).

Editor’s note: This is the web version of our subscriber-only weekly newsletter, Middle East Memo, which takes a look at what’s happening, what’s being said and what’s on the horizon in the Middle East. Subscribe to receive it by email every Monday. If you’re already a subscriber, adjust your newsletter settings to receive it. 

Iraqis will vote on Oct. 10 for a new parliament at a time when the country faces uncertainties about a host of crises, from the resurgence of the Islamic State terror group and the looting of the country’s treasury by corrupt militias to the future of the U.S. military presence in Iraq.

So it might come as a surprise that over the weekend, Iraqis were abuzz over a controversy about the country’s relations with Israel, provoked by remarks at a conference that took place Friday in the ancient city of Erbil.

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