Some regional countries hostile to the Kurdish question used the expression ‘the second Israel’ to define the Kurdistan Region after the referendum on Kurdistan’s independence was announced last year. In doing so, they wanted to manipulate public opinion, their policy makers, and to rally the Islamic world against the Kurds and their rightful cause.
The Arab and Islamic world view Israel as being non-believers and that is why those countries want to characterize the Kurdistan Region as the second Israel. This kind of characterization is specifically intended to draw anti-Israel forces against the Kurds. This shows the reality of a dangerous plot against the Kurdistan Region, and the Kurds should therefore look for a mechanism to protect themselves in order to survive.
In the past, countries occupying Kurdistan’s land have accused the supporters and leaders of Kurdish uprisings and revolutions of destabilizing the Middle East on the orders of Israel. Back then, they characterized only Kurdish leaders or a specific party or movement as allies of Israel. Now they characterize all Kurds as Jews and Kurdistan as Israel.
But the Kurds have consistently dismissed all these accusations by reassuring the provocateurs that Kurdistan is distant from Israel in terms of connections, and Kurds have never acted on the equation that ‘the enemy of my enemy is my friend.’
In order to dispel the doubts of these countries, the Kurds have at times even opposed Israel and shown compassion to Palestinians. But this has been in vain. Invaders have treated the Kurds worse than Israel treats Palestinians. But Kurds have never wondered what would happen if we were really friends with Israel. Would they treat us worse? Would we have been such an easy prey?
The problem is that even we the Kurds have seen Israel from an Arabic and Islamic standpoint: We are obligated to get along with invaders of the Kurdish land, but have not been allowed to deal with ‘invaders of the Arab land,’ as instigators put it.
The Kurds are currently characterized as allies of Israel without them being part of the Israeli agenda. But if the Kurds were really allies of Israel or part of the Israeli agenda, none of these countries would dare to oppress them to this extent, just as they don’t dare to do anything against Israel itself.
If that is the case, why would the Kurds not become friends with Israel? How could the Kurds become the second Israel?
It is the United States that has mainly enabled the State of Israel to stand on its feet and remain strong, despite the United States losing more than it has gained from this alliance with Israel. Israel’s oppression of Palestinians has been the source of Arab and Islamic antagonism toward the United States.
If the United States were to ally with the Kurds, only the four neighboring countries of Kurdistan would have opposed the United States (in the worst-case scenario). However, those countries are currently hostile to US interests in the region anyway.
If that was the case, the Kurds could do a lot more for the United States than what Israel has done. The Kurds could help the US even more in protecting its interests in the region.
Since the State of Israel was established, the United States has prioritized its protection. Because of this, tens of regional and world countries have turned against the United States and tens of Islamist and jihadist organizations have been founded to hurt United States interests.
The United States has had to bring its own forces to the region to protect is interests. Despite US support to Israel, the Israeli government didn’t provide direct support to the United States in the Gulf, Afghanistan and war on terrorism, under the pretext that doing so would further complicate the situation.
As an example of how Kurds can positively impact US policy and actions in the region, the Kurdistan Region cooperated extensively with the coalition in Operation Iraqi Freedom, whereas Turkey refused to allow the United States to use its territory in the Iraq war. Had Kurdish land not been used by the United States, the war would have been even tougher for the United States. Regional equations require for the Kurds and the United States to rethink strategic relations.
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of Rudaw.