Why Israel Is Cheering On Iraqi Kurds’ Push for Independence

Children holding Kurdish flags run on the streets of Kirkuk, Iraq, Sept. 25, 2017 (AP photo by Bram Janssen).
Children holding Kurdish flags run on the streets of Kirkuk, Iraq, Sept. 25, 2017 (AP photo by Bram Janssen).
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Last week’s independence referendum in Iraqi Kurdistan drew the ire of all its neighbors, including the central government in Baghdad. Yet a bit farther afield, the Israeli government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was offering vocal support for the vote, a position that reflected decades of quiet relations between Israel and Irbil. In an email interview, Bilal Wahab, a Soref fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, discusses the history and diplomatic impact of Israeli-Kurdish ties and what Israel’s support for Iraqi Kurds means for other Kurds in the region. WPR: How far back does official Israeli support […]

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