Why Israel (and Jeffrey Goldberg) are championing the Kurds

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The other day Jeffrey Goldberg at the Atlantic championed the Kurds against Turkey, a post headlined, “Turkey Kills Dozens of Kurds, World Shrugs.” Goldberg wrote, “I’d organize a flotilla in support of the Kurds, but I’m afraid no one would join.”

I would never suggest that Goldberg’s positions are orchestrated–no, the majorettes cut their own moves–but isn’t it interesting that according to this Asia Times’ analysis by former Indian ambassador M K Bhadrakumar, Israel is trying to pressure its former ally Turkey, which now supports the Palestinian statehood initiative, by making common cause with two populations Turkey has oppressed, Cypriotes and Kurds! Here’s some of the Kurd analysis (thanks to Mark Wauck):

Leading Israeli defense specialist David Eshel commented in August about the upsurge of Kurdish insurgency in Turkey’s eastern provinces:

“The entire Kurdish people could take advantage of the ongoing Arab Spring and prepare the ground for a long-anticipated Kurdistan, linking up with Iraq’s ongoing autonomy, the Iranian Kurdish enclave and perhaps even the Syrian Kurdish minorities … With the Arab world in total turmoil, lacking any orderly leadership, the Kurds could finally achieve their sacred goal for independence, after decades, if not centuries of desecration and oppression … the ongoing ‘Arab Spring’ could eventually shift into a ‘Kurdish Summer'”.

Israel estimates, however, that the Kurdish problem makes Ankara vulnerable to American and European pressure tactic and an exacerbation of this could politically weaken Erdogan and bring him to his knees.

And here’s the Cyprus part:

The two-day visit by the Foreign Minister of Cyprus, Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis, to Tel Aviv, which ended on Thursday, was much more than a routine call. The minister had just assumed charge in Nicosia and headed for Israel as soon as her customary first visit to Athens was out of the way.

Quite obviously, Nicosia and Athens (which has an ancient grudge to settle with Ankara) put their heads together and assessed that Israeli regional policies are on a remake. Cyprus and Greece have had indifferent ties with Israel, but a compelling commonality of interests is sailing into view. …

The statement issued by Netanyahu’s office virtually underscored that Israel has a convergence of interests with Cyprus with regard to Ankara’s perceived belligerence. Netanyahu said Israel and Cyprus had “overlapping interests”. The statement said Netanyahu discussed with Kozakou-Marcoullis “the possible expansion of energy cooperation given that both countries have been blessed with natural gas reserves in their maritime economic zones”.

…The Israelis are pinning their hopes on Cyprus turning out to be a prize catch, being a member of the European Union, which works by consensus and is shortly expected to evolve a common stance apropos the expected Palestinian move at the United Nations General Assembly session in New York in September, seeking recognition for their “state”.

This explosive diplomatic issue haunts Tel Aviv (and Washington) and the stance that Cyprus takes at Brussels could be a diplomatic windfall when the mood in Europe is increasingly empathizing with the Palestinian case for statehood.

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