Kurdistan: After all the suffering, hope for independence

Jews from Kurdistan demonstrate at Jerusalem US Consulate supporting independence for Iraqi Kurdistan. 'Proud to be Israeli Kurd.'

Mordechai Sones ,

Kurdi Israelis rally for independent Kurdistan
Kurdi Israelis rally for independent Kurdistan

Jews from Kurdistan demonstrated today (Sunday) in front of the American consulate in Jerusalem expressing support for Kurdistan's independence ahead of tomorrow's referendum on Kurdish independence in northern Iraq.

Yaakov Yaakov, a member of the organization of the Kurdish Jews in Israel, called on Kurdish Jews to support the Kurds' desire for independence. "Here in front of the consulate in Jerusalem we express our support with dancing and singing.

"In my opinion, the State of Israel wants a Kurdish state to arise because of the situation," Yaakov told Arutz Sheva. "There are currently almost no Jews in Kurdistan. There are Jewish women who converted to Islam, but most of the Jews immigrated in the Ezra and Nehemiah campaign in 1951. I hope that most of the Kurdish people vote for independence."

Map of area

David Kirma, who immigrated to Israel in 1951, told Arutz Sheva: "I visited five years ago and the Kurds were very happy to see me. They said they love the people of Israel and told me, 'Don't fear the Arabs, you need to be tougher with them'."

Meital Doga, second generation Israeli of parents who immigrated from Kurdistan, also came to demonstrate for independence. "We as the Jewish people can't remain indifferent to this reality and we must bring about change. We say yes to a Kurdish state. We have common interests and common enemies. My dream is to visit Kurdistan," she said.

Poster in Iraq urging vote for Kurd independence

Adel Ismail immigrated 20 years ago to Israel but his family and friends still live in Kurdistan. He testified that "before Da'ash arrived, life there was the best in the world; now there are two million refugees in Kurdistan, and my family is still there. My father went there yesterday to vote in the referendum.

"We haven't conquered any land; this is our land and the ones to decide will be the Kurds, not the Iranians or the Turks or the Iraqis. More than 100 years we are waiting for this country. We love the State of Israel and even though we are Muslim, Muslims today are slaughtering us. I hope tomorrow all of this will stop."

Pro-Kurdistan demonstration in Israel
Flash 90

Nawar Dahuki, whose wife and daughter are still in Kurdistan, stressed that "I am proud that I am an Israeli citizen and proud that I am a Kurd. And I hope I can see my wife and daughter and my family and friends who are there again. Hoping that tomorrow we will gain independence after all the suffering we have gone through with ISIS' massacre of the Kurdish people."

The following video of a symposium by Dr. Mordechai Kedar provides background to help understand the region's history and geopolitical situation: