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Israel MPs discuss a bill to promote the establishment of a Kurdish State

May 22, 2018 at 4:45 am

Kurdish independence supporters take to the streets waving Israeli flags after Israel stated its support for Kurdish independence. [Hamit Hüseyin/Anadolu Agency]

Israeli parliamentarians from the Likud and Yisrael Beiteinu parties began a debate in the Knesset on Monday to examine ways in which Israel could help the Kurds establish an independent state in Syria, Iraq, and Turkey.

The official Israeli radio said that the Knesset members from both parties submitted a proposal for an agenda on this issue to the Knesset.

It pointed out that this proposal came against the background of the deterioration in relations between Tel Aviv and Turkey, the expansion of Iranian power in the region, and the opposition to the establishment of an independent Kurdish state as a sovereign state.

The radio quoted Knesset member Yoav Kish (Likud) as one of the initiators of the proposal, saying that in light of  regional circumstances recently created, it is clear that an independent Kurdish state is an Israeli interest.

“There is a Kurdish minority in Turkey, Syria, and Iraq. All these countries are hostile to Israel, and certainly adding Iran, which also affects the region. That is why we need to strengthen the Kurds and lead a process that ultimately leads to the establishment of an independent Kurdish state that supports Israel,” he said.

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The Israeli radio noted that it is no accident that Tel Aviv was the only state in support of the secession of Kurds and the establishment of an independent state in northern Iraq, and publicly supported last year’s Kurdish referendum on secession.

Last week, Zionist Union MK Itzik Shmuli launched a bill in which Israel recognizes the Armenian and Assyrian genocide committed by Turkey during the First World War.

The Hebrew radio noted that more than 50 members of the Knesset from the coalition and the opposition signed a petition demanding the inclusion of a bill to recognize Israel’s Armenian massacres on the Knesset’s list of actions.

It is noteworthy that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had earlier expressed Tel Aviv’s support to establish a state of Kurdistan.

It is stated that the attention of Tel Aviv to the Kurdistan region and its transformation into a state that penetrates the countries of Iraq, Iran, Turkey and Syria, is not new. Indeed, this interest dates back to the sixties of the last century when the former Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion adopted the theory of what he called the “Third Ring” or “Minority Alliance” in the region, which mainly targeted Jews and Kurds.

In August 2015, the British Financial Times reported that 75 per cent of Israel’s oil imports came from Iraqi Kurdistan, which reveals the extent of cooperation between Israel and the region.

The Israeli support for the Kurdistan region is not limited to the purchase of oil, but extends to a larger economic cooperation. In its November 19, 2014 issue, Maariv newspaper revealed that Israeli companies are acquiring a lot of investments inside Kurdistan, especially in the fields of energy, construction, telecommunications, and security consulting.