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Proposed state of Greater Kurdistan / Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked Photo credits: South Front / Al-Masdar

The concept of Greater Kurdistan has once again been brought to the geopolitical forefront.

The proposal was made on September 7th by former Israeli Defence Chief Maj. Gen. Golan during a meeting of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. It was then reiterated first by Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked and then Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Maj. Gen. Golan’s claim was that the formation of the new state would increase stability in the region, reasoning that uniting the “unsophisticated” Kurdish people would bolster defences against Iran, a country he described as having:

a nice academic infrastructure, nice industry, good scientists, many talented young people. They are very similar to us. And because they are similar to us, they are much, much more dangerous

This attempt to gerrymander the geopolitical landscape is part of a fresh package of tactics being employed by Israeli policymakers, which also includes the Zionist state forging an unlikely alliance with the Saudi Arabian regime.

This sudden spirit of cooperation between the two ideologically-polarised nations is viewed with surprise and suspicion due to Israel’s animosity and aggression towards neighbouring state of Palestine.

Palestine is one of the most religiously homogenised countries on Earth, with close to 100% of its population following the Sunni interpretation of Islam. The state of Saudi Arabia  – ostensibly, at least –  also considers itself as subscribing to the Sunni doctrine. Yet the Saudi priorities evidently lie with the acquisition of Israel as a regional ally against Shia Islam country Iran, rather than with the welfare of Palestinian Sunni suffering under apartheid.

This willingness to work with Israel not only exposes the Saudi kingdom’s true dogma of Wahhabism, but also demonstrates how religious differences are not the sole source of hostilities in the region; more that creed is utilised as a weapon in order to divide, conquer and rule.

The re-emergence of the Greater Kurdistan debate coincides with the seventieth anniversary of the partition of India and birth of Pakistan, and as such offers opportunity for comparison. The name Pakistan is an acronym chosen to reflect the nascent country’s aspirations to be inclusive; to exist as a refuge for the myriad ethnicities living under oppression in India. The P represented the Punjab, the A the Afghanis, the K stood for Kashmir, the S for Sind, whilst Tan denoted Baluchistan. The acronym can also be translated as an Urdu word meaning ‘”land of the spiritually pure and clean”. Furthermore, the suffix – istan is translatable as the Farsi word for ‘place’.

A lot of thought went into it.

Not that the transition was peaceful. To this day there is little love lost between the two countries, with their MAD-enabled nuclear capabilities the most likely reason behind a relatively lengthy – if fractious – stab at peace. Indeed, according to one theory, the whole purpose of partition was to help better control the region post imperialism.

The hypothetical country of Greater Kurdistan would encompass areas populated largely by the Kurdish territories of Syria, Iraq, Iran and Turkey. The sparse distribution of the Kurdish people is a consequence of their traditionally nomadic culture, with their origins in pre-Islamic Iran. 

It says something of the Israeli government’s mentality that a simple seizing of desired land in order to form a new country might be a reasonable route to stability and peace.

Iraqi officials have already vetoed the venture, perceiving the mere concept as a military threat and ruling a proposed 25 September referendum on Kurdish independence as illegal. However, the Kurdistan Regional Government is resolute in its determination that the referendum will proceed, intensifying military operations in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region in preparation for the use of force should it be needed to facilitate the ballot.

Should the Kurds vote for independence and – emboldened by the support of Israel – begin military campaigns to obtain their ‘rightful’ swathes of Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Syria, many further frontlines will be drawn in the warring region. Wahhabist ISIS would run amok amongst the chaos.

It is not a situation conducive with stability. It is a situation that would sit well with Saudi and Israeli ambitions for regional supremacy, with one feasible outcome of an independent Greater Kurdistan operating essentially as a second Zionist state in the Middle East.

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