MESOP Kurdistan – Israel justice minister: It’s time for an independent Kurdish state / INSS Conference

By Rudaw – 20 Jan 2016 – ERBIL, Kurdistan Region—Israel’s Justice Minister, Ayelet Shaked called for the establishment of an independent Kurdistan and regional cooperation between the two states.“It is time to help them,” said Shaked according to Times of Israel. She referred to the Kurds as “an ancient, democratic, peace-loving people that have never attacked any country.” The justice minister who was speaking at an annual INSS security conference in Tel Aviv on Tuesday, added: “We must openly call for the establishment of a Kurdish state that separates Iran from Turkey, one which will be friendly towards Israel,”

Shaked highlighted shared interests between Israel and Iraqi Kurdistan, particularly in fighting jihadist groups in the region.Despite close cultural ties and Israel’s sizeable Jewish Kurdish community, there is no official diplomatic relations between the two.This is not the first time top Israeli officials express support for the creation of a Kurdish state. In a speech at Tel Aviv University’s Institute for National Security Studies in 2014 Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, “We need to support the Kurdish aspiration for independence. They deserve it.”