Stafford sent this in (written by our old friend Jackie) - which is interesting because hatred of Israel in the Mid East is such a transient thing - as the Abdullah Plan shows. If Israel but actually had a just peace with the Palestinians the whole Islamic World would change it's perspective. But Isrfaelis like to suffer I guess - else this would have all long ago been resolved.
Text of report by centrist Israeli newspaper Ma'ariv on 21 September [Report by Jacky Hugi: "From Kurdistan, With Love"] An overwhelming majority of the Kurds in northern Iraq support close relations with Israel, and view them as vital for shaping the future of the nascent Kurdish state - this is shown by an updated poll conducted by a polling institute based in Arbil, capital of the Kurdish region, the full details of which have reached Ma'ariv.
According to the data, 87.5 per cent of the respondents believe that there are deep and historical relations between the two peoples - the Kurds and the Israelis. 61.4 per cent of them call upon the autonomous Kurdish government to launch talks in the economic and cultural areas with Israel, as a preliminary stage to full relations. Most of them (60 per cent) even reject secret relations, as is customary in some Arab states, and demand that they be made public. The poll was conducted by the Point institute for polls and strategic studies, and it questioned 1,000 men and women in the large cities Arbil, Sulaymaniyah, Duhok, Mosul and Kirkuk. The pollster who conducted the poll, researcher and journalist Khader Domli, believes that the results have effectively decided the question of the Kurdish public's desire for relations with Israel. This is contrary to the official position of the Kurdish leadership, according to the time is not yet ripe for this. "This poll showed that a large percentage of Kurdistan's citizens, which reaches 68.4 per cent, believes that the Kurds would benefit from strengthening their ties with the State of Israel," Domli writes in the conclusions of the study, "perhaps the reason is that many respondents believe that Israel will forever remain strong and a major player in shaping policy in the region. "The pollsters also queried the respondents whether it would be best to sever ties with Israel altogether. Only nine per cent responded in the affirmative, and the overwhelming majority (71.4 per cent) said "no." In addition, most Kurds (59.2 per cent) believe that Israel sees them as a strategic ally, as in the past. Finally, nearly 67 believe that the relations with the State of Israel have an important role in building the independent Kurdish state, which will be established in the future. Q: Are there historical ties between the Kurdish and Israeli leaderships? Yes: 87.5 per cent; No: 2.6 per cent; Don't know: 9.9 per cent Q: Do the ties with Israel have a role in accelerating the establishment of a Kurdish state? Yes: 66.9 per cent; No: 11.8 per cent; Don't know: 21.3 per cent Q: Should the Kurds' ties with Israel remain secret? Yes: 21.3 per cent; No: 60.4 per cent; Don't know: 18.3 per cent.