Attitudes toward Israel are shifting in the Arab world. This has a lot to do with Iran becoming a common enemy. But it has even more to do with average Arabs finally realizing that the Jewish state is not their enemy (accompanied by a serious decrease in support for the "Palestinian cause," which still seeks to destroy Israel).
Twenty years ago, Iraq would have been listed as one of Israel's most intractable enemies in the Arab world. Under Saddam Hussein, Iraq fired dozens of ballistic missiles at Tel Aviv, the kind of direct attack few other Arab states have dared to attempt.
But today, evidence regularly points to average Iraqis taking a positive view of Israel, and even lamenting the mass exodus of their country's ancient Jewish community.
Israel's Foreign Ministry has reported a number of times in recent years that around half of the Arab commenters on it's Arabic-language social media pages are from Iraq, and the vast majority of them are supportive of the Jewish state.
Recently, a group of Iraqis decided to establish a "virtual embassy" in Israel via Facebook.
"Continuous dialogue will inevitably lead to peace!" reads the lead post on the page "The Virtual Embassy of Iraq in Israel." The page has thousands of followers, and each post seems to garner a large number of Shares and comments.
The Facebook page is an initiative of Project Bright Future, which lobbies Iraqi authorities to officially end decades of shunning Israel and to normalize relations with the Jewish state.
In the October 2017 issue of Israel Today Magazine, we spoke with the project's director, Ali A., who assured us that there are "millions of Iraqis" who today love and support the Jewish state.
"Project Bright Future was founded in 2011 to establish relations with Israel on the basis of friendship and common interests," Ali A. explained at the time. "Our mission is to prepare the ground for this strategic relationship by establishing channels of communication. We believe that Israel is not our enemy."