Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Photo: David Buimovitch/AFP
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – The Prime Minister of Israel has reportedly expressed his support for an independent Kurdistan.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed a “positive attitude” towards an independent Kurdistan state emerging out of northern Iraq, according to a report in the Jerusalem Post on Sunday.
He made the comment in a meeting with a visiting delegation of 33 US Republican congress members, telling them the Kurds are a “brave, pro-Western people who share our values.”
The Kurdistan Region and Israel do not have official relations but have enjoyed friendly ties.
The Kurdish Jewish Community (KJC) says Jews around the world welcomed the decision to hold a referendum on independence.
“On behalf of the all Kurdish Jews in Kurdistan and diaspora, we call upon all the free and genuine nations in Mesopotamia, we call upon the significant and distinguished people, we call all the political parties and social groups to put an end for suppression, mass atrocities, displacement, occupation, destroying civilization, history, and our existence, and for the sake of our future generations to serve humanity and live in a peaceful society, let altogether vote and say (YES) for independence of Kurdistan,” read a statement from the KJC in June.
Shiite leaders have argued that Israel will support the Kurdistan vote in order to undermine the Iraqi nation
“Israel has always sought to have a strong base in the Middle East and, because of this, supports holding referendum, dividing Iraq, and creating divisions among the Iraqi people,” Ammar al-Hakim, head of the Shiite National Alliance, told Iran’s parliament speaker in July.