It is no secret that the survival of Iraq within its current official borders is very much in doubt. The lightning-fast battlefield victories of the extremist Sunni group the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)—which recently renamed itself the Islamic State and anointed itself as the new caliphate—have revived the old debate about a potential partition of the country. Iraq, a product of European colonial mapmaking, could split into three states: one Sunni, one Shiite and one Kurdish.
But as Iraqis fret and international observers debate the country’s future, Israelis across the political spectrum have come forth to declare their support for the establishment of an independent Kurdish state in northern Iraq.
The Kurdistan Regional Government in the north has already made a move toward statehood. Kurdish forces, the mythical peshmerga, captured the disputed city of Kirkuk, which Kurds calls “our Jerusalem,” as soon as ISIS took control of Mosul. Then, Massoud Barzani, president of the autonomous Kurdish region, announced plans for a referendum on independence, which could happen within months.