Geopolitics StudiesInternational studiesMiddle Eastern studiesPolitical studies

Israel and the Kurdish illusion

Walid Abdel Hay

A careful reading of the personal background of the Iraqi president, the prime ministers, and the legislative authority does not exclude a full readiness for normalization with Israel, which can be considered a “jewel” in the crown of normalization for Israel, but this normalization will not be Arab recklessness, but rather will be a prisoner between the Kurdish gate and the Turkish pragmatism.
It is no longer a secret that the Kurdistan region is gradually opening the doors to Israeli penetration, and it is sufficient to consider the following aspects:
1- The Iraqi Kurds enjoy self-rule that has been recognized by the Iraqi constitution since 2003, and they are better off in comparison to the rest of the Kurds in the region, and their development path began with the no-fly zone in 1991, which gave them an opportunity to consolidate their status in Iraq, and after the central government’s grip on the Kurdistan region, which reached Its area is about 72 thousand km2 (16% of the area of ​​Iraq). With the year 2003, the autonomy of the Kurdistan region was established with its population ranging from 5 to 5.5 million people.And with the fall of the Iraqi regime, the Kurds felt that the opportunity was ripe to further consolidate their “entity” in its major centers in Arbil, Sulaymaniyah, Kirkuk and Dahuk, and with the turmoil created by ISIS in 2014, Israeli support for the Kurdish Peshmerga forces increased, regardless of the United States ’eyes, which opened Israel’s appetite for obtaining Iraqi oil from Kurdistan. During 2015, Israel imported 77% of its point needs from the Kurdistan region (which is equivalent to about 240,000 barrels per day), and the oil was transported through the pipeline between the Kurdistan oil wells and the Turkish port of Ceyhan. Israeli companies such as Vitol and Trafigura were coordinating the matter with the Turkish authorities to transport Iraqi oil to Ashkelon in occupied Palestine, and some oil was transported at sea from one ship to another to continue through the rest of it to the markets of France, Italy and Greece mainly.
2- The previous developments led to the delusion of the Kurdistan Democratic Party led by Masoud Barzani of the possibility of complete secession, and the referendum took place in 2017, and the Kurds voted overwhelmingly on independence from Iraq, and here floated to the surface the Turkish obsession that the “virus” of separation would lead to the outbreak in the Turkish and Iranian regions And Syria, so the four countries closed all the Kurdish outlets, and Israel was not able to save them from the impasse, and Trump did not show enough sympathy with them except within the limits of maneuvers all hovering around the encirclement of Russian influence and Syrian strangulation, and the Kurdish separation project ended in complete failure, especially since the central government invested the situation and expanded Its regions, especially in and around Kirkuk, and an agreement was concluded between the region and the center regarding the export of petroleum in a joint coordination in exchange for an increase in the region’s funds in the central general budget.
3- Frequent Western reports (New Yorker magazine, BBC..and others) confirm that Israeli soldiers oversee the training of the Peshmerga forces, including Kurdish officers from the Israeli army, as the number of Kurds in Israel is about 150,000. The operations of espionage and security cooperation have continued since the beginning of the eighties of the last century, which was confirmed by the former Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, and there is coordination between the Mossad and the Kurdish intelligence called “Parastin”.
4- It is known that the relationship between Israel and the Kurds dates back to the year 1961, and it took an official stamp declared in 1964 through Kamran Ali Badrakhan, and it continued until 1973, then the Kurdish rebellion in Iraqi Kurdistan was aborted after the Algiers Agreement, where the Shah of Iran curbed aid to the Kurds.
The current Kurdish scene:
1- Iranian Kurdistan appears to be the least active at present due to the tight control of the Iranian government.
2- As for the Syrian Kurds, they are divided into currents, the most important of which is the People’s Protection Units (YPG) that is closest to the Turkish Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF)
Based on the foregoing, the Kurds have no reliable allies in their position except Israel “and America within borders narrowing and expanding according to the developments of the situation,” and Israel may sacrifice them under pressure from the most important factors:
A- Turkey is the largest trading partner of Israel, and this is important for Israel. Israel may take advantage of its new relations with the Emirates to compensate for any shortage in oil supplies from the Kurdistan region and thus reduce the Israeli dependence on this oil, especially in light of the Emirati-Turkish quarrels.
B – The return of the Turkish ambassador to Israel since 2016 is something Israel is keen on
C- Turkey’s membership in NATO requires the rest of the members to work for the stability of each member, a matter that may push NATO countries – or some of them – to pressure Israel to stop its support for the Kurds.
Accordingly, the Kurds must reconsider their accounts in Syria, Iraq, and both Turkey and Iran … as it seems that the geopolitics will bury all their ambitions, as they alone or as a regional Kurdish bloc represent a confined entity that has no outlet, which makes strangling them available to the four regional countries .. Regardless of how legal it is or not..and the Kurds of each country must return to the embrace of their country … not because that is a right, but because it is a duty.


SAKHRI Mohamed

I hold a bachelor's degree in political science and international relations as well as a Master's degree in international security studies, alongside a passion for web development. During my studies, I gained a strong understanding of key political concepts, theories in international relations, security and strategic studies, as well as the tools and research methods used in these fields.

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