Iraqi professor requests Hebrew books from Foreign Ministry

An Iraqi college professor has asked the Foreign Ministry for a shipment of Hebrew books. Ofir Gendelman of the Foreign Ministry's Arab press section said the professor sent an e-mail three weeks ago via the ministry's Arabic-language Web site, saying he planned to teach Hebrew and requested Hebrew literature and books about Israel. Gendelman said the ministry would be happy to oblige and is awaiting the professor's mailing address. He refused to divulge the professor's identity or that of his college because of concerns for his safety. Iraq and Israel have no diplomatic ties. Gendelman said Wednesday there is "tremendous ignorance in the Arab world about what Israel is, and they simply want to know more."