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Rudaw

World

PM Netanyahu: Israel played no part in Kurdish referendum

By Rudaw 1/10/2017
Kurdish people carry the Kurdish and the Israeli flags in the streets of the northern city of Kirkuk on September 25, 2017 following a referendum on the independence. Photo: AFP/Ahmad Al-Rubaye
Kurdish people carry the Kurdish and the Israeli flags in the streets of the northern city of Kirkuk on September 25, 2017 following a referendum on the independence. Photo: AFP/Ahmad Al-Rubaye
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated on Sunday that Tel Aviv did not play any role in the Kurdish referendum that saw a 92-percent  vote for independence on Monday.

Netanyahu’s comments come after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused the Israeli intelligence service Mossad of playing a role in the Kurdish vote.

"Israel played no part in the Kurdish referendum, aside from the natural, deep and long-standing sympathy the Jewish people have for the Kurdish people and their aspirations," Netanyahu said at the start of the weekly government meeting, Israel’s Haaretz reported. 

He continued to say that he understands why "those who support Hamas tend to see the Mossad" where it suits them, making reference to Erdogan's comment whose country publicly support Hamas, a named terrorist organization by Israel and the United States.

PM Netanyahu became the first world leader to support the Kurdish referendum on September 13, less than two weeks before the vote.

He said at the time that Israel “ supports the legitimate efforts of the Kurdish people to attain a state of its own.”

Some Kurdish people who supported the independence vote raised the flags of Israel, and other countries such as the United States and even Turkey, at the referendum rallies held both here in the Kurdistan Region and also abroad, including in the capital Erbil. This was despite  clear instructions from the Kurdish President Masoud Barzani and the High Referendum Council  that no flag other than the Kurdish flag should feature at such events.

 

Kurdish people raise the flags of Kurdistan, United Kingdom, and Turkey in an event supporting the Kurdish vote. Photo: Rudaw video

 

Erdogan said on Saturday that raising the flags of Israel at such events proved that Israel was involved.

"This shows one thing, that this administration [the Kurdish leadership in northern Iraq] has a history with Mossad, they are hand-in-hand together,” Erdogan was quoted as saying by AFP. 

 


Video shows a pro-independence rally in Duhok on September 27, 2017 with people waving the flags of Kurdistan, the Unites States, Japan, the United Kingdom, and European Union. 

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Kurdistan | 1/10/2017
Erdogan is a terrorist and Nazi that supports terrorists groups like Hamas and Isis. He is against Israel and Kurdistan independence frightens him deeply. We Kurds understand and deeply emphasizes with Israeli people, because we have same enemies (terrorist nations Iran, Turkey, Arab countries) and we have been through the same suffering as Israeli nation. God bless Israel and Kurdistan.
Mohamedzzz | 1/10/2017
THANK YOU ISRAEL. friend of the Kurds.
Serwan | 1/10/2017
If Israel was or was not involved in any way with the independence referendum I don't know but for Erdogan to say that the raising of the Israeli flag at events proved Israel was involved is both humorous and absurd just like a lot of other remarks that clown makes on a regular basis.
Proud kurd, USA | 1/10/2017
Shame on Erdogan for saying that Israel was behind the Kurdistan referendum. just because one Israeli flag was raised at the referendum rally. you can see that Turkish flag was raised also. is that mean that Turkey was involved referendum also. However we thank Israel for standing up for kurds. LONG LIVE KURDO KURDISTAN....LONG LIVE ISRAEL
DHF | 1/10/2017
Erdogan practices the same disregard for the truth and for basic logic that Trump displays toward the American people. It is a fact that some Kurds waved Israeli flags. To link that to Mossad support for the referendum is an eye-rolling example of illogic. Yet Erdogan revels in speaking that kind of nonsense because there exists a core of Turks who lap it up like mother's milk. That logical nonsense feeds their sense of aggrieved identity. It says "You're with us or you're a cockroach worthy of crushing." Kurdish independence isn't a threat to the stability of the region. Zealous authoritarian thugs like Erdogan are the real threat to regional stability because they will not countenance change unless it supports their power. It doesn't matter that the logic of Kurdish nationalism is as justifiable as the logic of Turkish nationalism. The Grand Turk of Ankara would say the earth was flat if it would resonate with his political base.
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