26 September 2017

Bibi on Kurdish referendum: zigging and zagging

Politics is a tough business, crossing a minefield is nothing compared to it. It was barely ten days ago when Bibi, ahead of everyone else, declared his unequivocal support for the Kurdish independence.

Israel supports the establishment of a Kurdish state, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday, as Kurds in Iraq gear up for a referendum on independence that lawmakers in Baghdad oppose.

Israel has maintained discreet military, intelligence and business ties with the Kurds since the 1960s, viewing the minority ethnic group -- whose indigenous population is split between Iraq, Turkey, Syria and Iran -- as a buffer against shared Arab adversaries.
Well, it didn't take long for another zig (or zag, whatever).
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu barred the Israeli government from commenting on Monday's Kurdish independence referendum in Iraq, two officials said, after his September 13 endorsement of Kurdish statehood irked Turkey.
Of course, there were a few developments since the Bibi's rush to support the Kurds. First of all, no one else joined the sentiment. The opposite is rather true: powers that be, of all kinds, including the countries that are rather on the opposing ends of the political globe, unanimously rejected the Kurds' plea for independence. It is not only the parties directly threatened by the outcome of the referendum (Iraq first of all, but also Turkey and Iran, having in mind their own Kurds possibly joining the exodus).

And then there was Bibi's latest visit of USA, which included a meeting with the POTUS and, most probably, with other VIPs. I bet that Bibi was told off regarding his hasty declaration of support, seeing as how US State dept doesn't share this enthusiasm at all.

Thus the sudden change of direction. Of course, the precarious existence of people oppressed for hundreds of years isn't a big factor in the political calculations. To be fair to Bibi, this consideration wasn't weighing too heavily on the minds of all other world politicians who refused to support the referendum and to promise assistance to Kurds.

To be even more fair to Bibi (!), there might be another consideration that the Ynet article mentioned:
But Kurdish officials said such rhetoric is unsolicited and damaging. ”Our adversaries attack us as a ‘second Israel in the region’ and this kind of Israeli talk contributes to that,” one Kurdish official said.
Indeed, the wave of conspiracy theories, ridiculous as they are, isn't very helpful to the Kurds. But then, why didn't Bibi take this into account before rushing forward with his initial declaration of support?

We know, don't we?