Israel Backs Independent Kurdish State

On Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu voiced his country’s support for an independent Kurdish state. Speaking before a Tel Aviv think tank, Netanyahu advocated for a sovereign Kurdistan in the context of a larger strategy for handling the crisis in Iraq. He described the Kurds as “a nation of fighters” that “have proved political commitment and are worthy of independence.” Netanyahu’s statement goes against the U.S. and Turkey, which have opposed breaking up Iraq. It appears to be part of Netanyahu’s plan for building moderate allies in the region. He also stated that given the current terrorist threats, Israel would need to have a long-term military presence in the West Bank. “We must be able to stop the terrorism and fundamentalism that can reach us from the east at the Jordan line,” Netanyahu said, “and not in the suburbs of Tel Aviv.”