Israel has since 1958 invested politically in the Kurdish national movement which since then has become a thorougly secular political movement as it was previously led by Muslim religious leaders. This support was based upon the Periphery strategy which prescribed Israel aligning with non-Muslims and non-Arabs respectively in the wider region. This strategy led to the founding twice of the Kurdish autonomy in Iraq as well as what eventually became independent South Sudan.
Israel’s strategy has for decades been to covertly work to set up an independent Kurdish state by struggling towards founding Kurdish-led autonomies. Israel is allied with the Kurds in Syria, Iraq and Iran but not with those in Turkey out of concern for delicate diplomatic relations with Ankara.
For decades was the message of the Mossad that Israel was merely promoting Israeli interests, i.e. weakening the regimes of Iraq, Iran and Syria, enemies of Israel. The Israeli government for the first time publicly endorsed Kurdish independence before the independence referendum in Iraqi Kurdistan in 2017.
Kurdistan is the land of ancient Media where the Assyrian-deported Israelites arrived and later became predominant in converting the local population to what became the earliest form of Median Judaism. The ties between Israel and Kurdistan span 27 centuries, these are ancient ties that bind. The Kurds were long the most pro-Israel population in the Middle East although there are now many other Middle Eastern peoples that are pro-Israel as well, including in Iran. A full third of the Kurds are still Median Jews (Alevis, Yarsanis and Yezidis) and the remaining ones, although being Muslims are descendants of Median Jews and retain Crypto-Jewish folk cultures.
Despite The Trump administration’s tragic betrayal of the KRG (Kurdistan Regional Government in Iraq) and the Kurdish-led AANES (Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria) do the Kurdish people remain overwhelmingly pro-American. The Kurds are genuine friends of America and are a reliable bulwark against the Iran-Syria totalitarian axis in the region.
The organized American Jewish community and CUFI (Christians United for Israel) should all be mobilized on behalf of Kurdish independence in the Syrian, Iraqi and Iranian sections of Kurdistan as a joint American and Israeli strategic interest indeed. Jewish and Christian pro-Israel organizations should lobby Congress and the White House to make Kurdistani independence a pillar of US foreign policy in the Middle East.
Detractors of the Kurds argue that an independent Kurdistan would become “a second Israel” and they are surely right, it certainly would as it would become another pro-American strategic platform in the Middle East, just like Israel.