Israeli support for Kurdish statehood is a poisoned chalice
Video     Photos     Pakistan     World     Islam     Health     Crime     Islamic News     Business     Society     India     Travel     Middle East     Sport     sci/tech      Contact      RSS

Masroor Jhangvi disqualification: LHC orders rehearing of petition

Rise of Dollar: Is Pakistan economy at collapse?

Russia's new weapons capable of making whole continents lifeless

Runaway UAE princess went ‘missing’ with former French spy

Obfuscating report on Agonies of Shia-Hazra community by NHCR – Aamir Hussaini

Pakistan acquires powerful missile tracking system from China: report

Sharifs’ trial: JIT report may be treated as evidence

Can Pakistan and Russia eliminate ISIS?

China’s Silk Road fires up Iran’s rail revolution

Killing Iran nuclear deal will lead to war, Merkel warns Netanyahu

26 killed in Kabul as IS suicide bomber targets Nauroz celebrations

Report finds French arms sales to Saudi and UAE could breach international law

What goals driving Bin Salman’s US visit?

Islam poised to overtake established Christianity in UK, reports Guardian By

Rao Anwar arrested from Supreme Court's premises

Khadim Rizvi on the dock: Is Pakistan getting hard on religious powers?

Bodies of 39 Indian workers kidnapped by Daesh found in Iraq

Senate rejects bill to end US aid for Saudi war in Yemen

A criminal silence : The misery of Pakistani prisoners in Saudia

US policy shift: From threatening to appeasing Pakistan

Trump asks Saudi crown prince to share kingdom's wealth by buying more American weapons

Afghan Special Forces Slaughter Farmers in Chaotic Errant Attack

Morsi is not an ordinary prisoner, British MP warns Egypt

The Russian tilt: Can Pakistan bring Russia back to the seat of Super power?

The Afghan endgame: Did Pakistan clear the way for US and Taliban secrete talks?

Why did Pakistani woman meet Indian cricketer Shami in Dubai?

The real rulers of Pakistan

Saudi Arabia beheads Indonesian migrant worker

Document: US paying militants to capture territory in N Syria

US Senate to vote on ending Washington’s role in Saudi war on Yemen

Iranian FM Javed Zarif’s interview by Hamid Mir highlighted economic opportunities that must be capitalised

False case registered against innocent Shia Muslims at ASWJ’s behest

Anti-Terrorism Court orders arrest of TLP chief Khadim Rizvi, others in Faizabad sit-in case

Ghouta civilians say militants used them as Human Shields

Pleasing US: Muhammad Bin Salman's so called moderation drive

Iranian official urges dialogue between Yemen factions

The Bajwa Doctrine: from chauvinism to realism

Behind Faizabad Dharna: ISI spills the beans

Hundreds of Israeli Forces Deployed in Iraq

Iraqi forces capture senior Daesh leader near Mosul

Putin Furious After Britain Says He Ordered Attack

India forces continue to use inflammable chemical in IOK

Surgical strike again: Is India really carry out a surgical strike on Pakistan?

Republican senator expects Trump to pull out of Iran deal

Has Pakistan completely eliminated Haqqani network?

Positive overtures: Did Ghani realize importance of Pakistan?

Yemeni snipers carryout successful operations in the kingdom's soil

Pakistan doing bare minimum to contain Taliban: US official

Bin Laden Corpse Pictures Are Fake, Says Navy SEAL

Growing Chinese influence in Pakistan irks United States

At daggers drawn: Is Pakistan going to close diplomatic mission in India?

Diplomatic standoff: Envoy ‘won’t return to India till ties improve’

Britain, France, Germany propose new sanctions on Iran: Report

Belgium regains control of Saudi-run Mosque over fears of promoting extremism

Abid Boxer: The Hanging sword on Shahbaz Sharif

Sunni party leader urges Pakistan government to accept Iranian offer

Real aliens have been discovered in Peru+Video

UAE-Saudi disagreement in Geneva puts Yemen’s unity at risk

Bahrainis demand withdrawal of Saudi-led occupation troops

French judge issues arrest warrant for daughter of Saudi king

Why Zardari dumped Raza Rabbani

Full-scale genocide in Myanmar; 10,000 Rohingya Muslims were killed in a month

Raiwind Attack: A grim reminder to Tableeghi Jamat

Saudi crown prince hiding mother from King Salman for 2 years: Report

Does Riyadh hold a nuclear weapon?

Raheel Sharif lands in Lahore after Saudi prayer leader's visit

Daesh, LeJ terrorists to be tried in military court for bombing at Qalandar shrine

Trump caught between Saudi Nuclear ambitions, Israeli Opposition

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, UAE directed 1996 foiled coup against Qatar

SC indicts Tallal Chaudhary for contempt of court over anti-judiciary speeches

Tillerson’s firing shows US will take harder line toward Iran nuclear deal: Analyst

IMN says Nigeria will keep Zakzaky detained until he dies

Biting the masters: Why did TTP attack Tableeghi Markaz?

Britain expels 23 Russian diplomats over alleged chemical attack on ex-spy, Cuts diplomatic ties

Raiwind Blast: Two dead multiple wounded

Iran Foils Suicide Bombings With Pakistan’s Assistance: FM Discloses

How PML-N lost the Senate?: An Inside story

Inside Zareef's visit: Would Pakistan Join Chahbahar port?

Toothless HRW and sheer violation of human rights abuse in Saudia

Looting the Pakistan: The Pakistanis who have offshore properties worth millions

Palestinians boycott US forum as Arabs meet Israelis

Saudi cabinet approves atomic policy ahead of bin Salman’s US visit

Head of US Central Command signals support for Iran nuclear deal

British scientist Stephen Hawking dies at age 76

Trump: The US has foolishly wasted $7 Trillion in the Middle East

Nine times Nawaz Sharif was too cute

Yemeni Army Destroys 300 Saudi Tanks, Military Equipment, Fires 20 Missiles in 2 Months

Islamic Jihad Military wing warns Israeli regime of attack against resistance

Trump-Netanyahu-House of Saud triangle a threat to world peace: MWM chief

'Punish a Muslim' Game Spreads Across U.K. in Letters

Iran and Pakistan bonhomie: A joint message for India and Israel

Saudi Arabia leads flood of arms imports to Middle East: Study

Washington will act unilaterally on Syria: US envoy to UN

UN expert says Myanmar's crackdown on Rohingya bears 'hallmarks of genocide'

Kathmandu airport crash: 49 dead as US-Bangla plane veers off runway

Former under-19 Shia hockey player taken into custody by Rangers

Trump invites Qatar to Camp David Summit

Netanyahu: Gulf states consider Israel an ally

Opposition candidate Sadiq Sanjrani sworn in as new Senate chairman

Who was a shoe attacker? Nawaz Sharif in the eye of storm

2017-09-13 07:35:04

Israeli support for Kurdish statehood is a poisoned chalice

With the referendum on proposed Kurdish independence just two weeks away, the stage is being set for the gravest political and potential military crisis in post-Baathist Iraq. Months of intense lobbying by Iranian, Turkish and even American officials and interlocutors has failed to dissuade the Iraqi Kurdish leadership from staging this catastrophically divisive referendum.

In his combative interview with the BBC, the president of the autonomous Iraqi Kurdistan region, Masoud Barzani, left no doubt that the referendum is the first formal step in the march toward full independence. More ominously, Barzani appeared to acknowledge that plans to officially annex Kirkuk may well spark a major war.

Every regional and extra-regional power, including the United States, is opposed to Kurdish statehood, with one exception. Israel. Whilst sections of the Iraqi Kurdish media are jubilant at this rhetorical support, Kurdish leaders will have to carefully weigh up the pros and cons of Israeli support before they formally declare statehood.

While Israel will undoubtedly prove a strong ally of an independent Kurdish state, it is the support it is willing to offer in the run-up to independence that will prove decisive. Even rhetorical Israeli support will drastically inflame the situation and bring the Kurds into armed conflict with the pro-Iranian Shia militias massed to the south of Kirkuk.

A peripheral policy

Israel’s support for nationalist Kurdish movements is strong and long-standing, dating back to the early 1960s. This policy is part of Israel’s “Alliance of the Periphery” doctrine, which in short amounts to developing strong ties to non-Arab states on the periphery of the Middle East with a view to combating the Arab boycott of the Jewish state.

Whilst the periphery doctrine was originally aimed at Turkey, Iran and Ethiopia, with time it expanded to incorporate non-state actors, principally the Kurds, whose quest for statehood Israel has consistently supported for decades.

Analysis centred on the putative “collapse” of the periphery doctrine is likely to prove premature. Whilst it is true that Turkey can no longer be regarded as a reliable Israeli partner, this will motivate Israeli strategists and operatives to seek out and develop new peripheral partners. Moreover, the peripheral policy survived its biggest crisis nearly forty years ago when almost overnight Iran went from an informal Israeli ally to the most vociferous enemy of the Jewish state.

Given this chequered history of missteps and strategic miscalculations, analysts are right to be wary of how useful this periphery doctrine is. However, as long as Israel’s occupation of Palestine continues to draw strong Arab, Muslim and broader international opposition, Israel will seek to identify and develop stealthy means by which to undermine, isolate and eventually exhaust this opposition.

It is in this context that leading Israeli strategists, including former foreign minister Shlomo Ben-Ami, push the case for Kurdish independence, primarily by trying to align Kurdish statehood with the interests of the United States and the West in general. This devious perspective is entirely in keeping with the perennial Israeli policy of equating its own core interests with that of the West. In this instance, Israeli diplomacy and wider lobbying efforts will try to sell Kurdish independence to policymakers in Washington, by presenting it as the best long-term strategy to contain Iranian influence in Iraq.

The road to war

Apart from strong rhetorical support, what practical steps can Israel take to support the Iraqi Kurdish quest for statehood? This is a vexing question, as on the face of it Israeli influence in Iraqi Kurdistan is practically non-existent. This author spent the first half of 2009 in Iraqi Kurdistan working as a journalist and despite widespread rumours didn’t uncover any evidence of Israeli involvement in Kurdish affairs.

Yet this influence surely exists, particularly at the security and intelligence level. It is in part due to the Israeli connection that the Kurdish intelligence agency, the Asayish, has developed into one of the most capable intelligence agencies in the Middle East. In keeping with Kurdish national aspirations, the Asayish has grown in reach and capability, not only spying on regional countries, but even managing to run modest operations as far afield as the United Kingdom.

Indeed, qualified Kurdish independence in Iraq now seems all but inevitable. This appears to be the assessment of US intelligence services, Washington’s stated opposition to the issue notwithstanding. Qualified independence in this context implies highly contested statehood, lacking widespread international support and drawing immediate internal and external opposition.

The most immediate opponents to Kurdish statehood in Iraq are the Shia paramilitary forces, who alongside their political patrons in Baghdad, have deep-seated interests in Kirkuk, which is home to a sizeable Shia Turkmen population. The collapse of the Iraqi army in the face of Daesh’s sweeping advance in June 2014 has significantly changed the military security landscape in Kirkuk and the immediate areas to the south, bringing the Kurdish Peshmerga and Shia paramilitaries into dangerously close proximity.

The Shia paramilitaries, organised as Popular Mobilisation Units, reportedly maintain six military bases close to Kirkuk and are poised to engage the Peshmerga militarily should the need arise. From a purely speculative point of view, limited military engagements may follow the independence referendum as a means of deterring the Kurdish leadership from taking further steps toward formal independence.

From a broader strategic perspective, Israeli support for the Kurdish cause is a poisoned chalice for Kurdish nationalists in so far as it makes a sustainable Kurdish state unacceptable to Iran and by extension to its Shia allies in Iraq. But judging from Masoud Barzani’s combative rhetoric, he appears to be willing to take the risk.


Mahan Abedin

Tags:   Iran ، Israel ، Kurdistan ، Kirkuk ،
From other agencies (RSS Reader)

Varsities ink MoU

- The News