What's good for the Kurds looks good for Israel

The Kurds in Syria, Turkey, Iraq and Iran are making progress towards statehood; Israel should be helping.

In several previous columns, I have pointed out that the current chaos in the Levant is creating conditions which may facilitate the fulfillment of the milennial Kurdish dream of a country of their own, which they have never had. Several recent developments have taken place in this ongoing process:

The Kurdish forces in Syria have driven out the Jihadist rebels in a pitched battle. As a result, they appear to have full control of the only oil-producing region of that country.

Prime Minister Erdogan of Turkey has warned the Syrian Kurds not to establish relations with their Turkish counterparts. Erdogan, having lost the support of the secular elements of Turkish society, the Alevis and the Gulenists, wants nothing to interfere with his attempt to make an arrangement to end the decades-long Kurdish insurgency in southeastern Turkey.

Most importantly, Kurdish leaders from Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran, recently met to discuss cooperation and coordination. This is the first time that such a meeting has taken place formally, and very significant is the participation of Iranian Kurds, which must be of great concern to Khamenei and the Mullahs.

For Israel, this development gives promise of being very positive. The Kurds are Muslims, but they are not Arabs, and they have had excellent informal relations with Israel. Syria and Iraq are, of course, destabilizing themselves, but destabilization of the current anti-Israeli regime in Ankara, and especially any problems that the Iranian regime may have because of the Kurdish resurgence, can only be for the good.

Is there anything Israel can and should do to encourage this development? Certainly informal contacts should continue and offers of commercial and technological support should be made, if they aren't already.

Any independent Kurdistan would be landlocked, whether it covered all the Kurdish areas or only some. The use of the Israeli port of Haifa would be of great value to such an entity, as it is to Jordan now.

There are so many opportunities arising in the region as a result of the widespread instability, it is truly a shame that time, effort and resources apparently must be devoted to the useless, and indeed counter-productive, Israeli-Palestinian "talks". Perhaps Mr. Abbas and his cohorts will solve that problem by refusing to negotiate.

Inch'Allah!

Norman A. Bailey, Ph.D., is Adjunct Professor of Economic Statecraft at The Institute of World Politics, Washington, DC, and a researcher at the Center for National Security Studies, University of Haifa.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on August 1, 2013

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2013

5 Comments
View comments in rows
Update by email about comments talkback
POST
Comments
Your name
Please insert your name
Content
Hyperlink in a new window Hyperlink Right Left underline italic bold Bulleted List Ordered List Face1 Face2 Face3 Face4 Face5 Face6
Your comment

Thanks
You comment was recieved and soon will be published.
In posting comments, I agree to abide by the Terms of Use
Globes encourages lively and frank debate, but posts that the editors consider merely abusive or otherwise inappropriate will be removed. Report inappropriate content
Thank you for posting your comment, which will be reviewed for publication.
Loading Comments...load
Load more comments
MORE FROM GLOBES
Benjamin Netanyahu Netanyahu: The boys were kidnapped by Hamas

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu threatens "dire consequences" following the kidnapping.

Benjamin Netanyahu Questions over police response to kidnapping

Hours passed before a search operation was launched. Netanyahu holds Palestinians responsible.

Benjamin and Sara Netanyahu Netanyahu bought furniture at public expense - report

"Yediot Ahronot": Attorney General is investigating if Netanyahu family bought furniture for its Caesarea private home.

Binyamin Ben-Eliezer  picture: Tamar Mitzpi Binyamin Ben-Eliezer questioned by police again

Ben-Eliezer's son Yariv is also suspected of receiving money from Avraham Nanikashvili.

Ruby Rivlin Reuven Rivlin elected president

Rivlin defeated Meir Sheetrit 63:53 in the second round vote in the Knesset.

Meir Sheetrit Meir Sheetrit discloses owning five homes

The Presidential candidate has bowed to public pressure and declared his assets.

Binyamin Ben-Eliezer  picture: Tamar Mitzpi Police find $600,000 cash in Ben-Eliezer's bank

The source of the money found in Binyamin Ben-Eliezer's safety deposit box is unclear.

Ruby Rivlin Presidential candidate Ruby Rivlin discloses assets

Dalia Dorner also disclosed her wealth, but Meir Sheetrit refused.

Dalia Itzik Dalia Itzik bought Tel Aviv home for NIS 4.6m last year

The Presidential candidate and former Knesset Speaker also owns two apartments in Jerusalem.

Erel Margalit The venture capitalist who wants to transform Israel

Labor MK Erel Margalit tells "Globes" about his plans to improve the Start-Up Nation.

IDF soldier Combat cameramen disprove Palestinian propaganda

A unit of highly trained combat soldiers uses cameras to document military operations.

Turkish bizarre

Truth is proving stranger than folktale as Turkey's spins out of Prime Minister Erdogan's control.

Prof. Zvi Eckstein supports NIS 3.30-3.40/$ floor rate

The former deputy Bank of Israel Governor is the first senior figure from the financial system to advocate a floor rate.

2014 will be year of change

Forces reshaping the Middle East are coming to a head, with Russia taking a close interest, and the West seemingly indifferent.

Gains and losses for Middle East secularists

Recent developments in Egypt, Syria and Turkey have clarified some issues, and obfuscated others.

Robot warfare Developing robots for warfare

Israeli research sees the future battlefield dominated by robots and unmanned devices.

Geneva changes Middle East strategic map

As the consequences of the nuclear agreement with Iran emerge, regional powers are scrambling to adapt.

Egypt has no time to lose

Unless economic reforms are introduced quickly, the country is liable to relapse into Islamic extremism.

Strange goings on in Turkey

Two recent decisions by Turkish prime minister Erdoğan make it look as though he is losing his grip.

See you in six months, Rouhani

Israel may look isolated over the nuclear deal with Iran, but the cards could yet fall its way.

China is changing

The Third Plenum of the Communist Party of the Peoples' Republic of China marks a turning-point in all areas of Chinese life - with consequences for Israel.

French gov't proposes building 2 Tel Aviv light rail lines

The Green Line from Herzliya to Holon and the Purple Line from Kiryat Ono to Tel Aviv would cost NIS 30 billion to build.

Israel's factious coalition looks wobbly on Iran

Besides US opposition, the state of Israel's government makes an attack on Iran unlikely.

Budget cuts threaten 10,000 defense industry jobs

Senior executives warn many factories are in danger of closing due to the drying up of defense ministry's orders.

Twitter Facebook Linkedin RSS Newsletters גלובס