Yazidi refugees face an uncertain future
Yazidi refugees face an uncertain future Reuters

"Never Again" applies not only to Jews, Jewish leaders are beginning to declare, but also to the ISIS-besieged Yezidis in Iraq and northern Syria.

Rabbi Eliezer Melamed of Har Brachah and Malcolm Hoenlein, Executive Vice Chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, are two public Jewish leaders who have come out in favor of "crying out" for the plight of the Yezidis.

Though 51 women and children were freed from ISIS captivity last week, the plight of many thousands of other Yezidis continues to be grim. They are essentially trapped atop a large mountain top, surrounded by ISIS fighters who have made it their goal to kill their males and enslave their women. Even the American bombing raids on ISIS in the region have tapered off of late, causing Yezidis and their supporters further hopelessness.

Mr. Hoenlein has raised the issue in various forums, including a radio program that he co-hosts with John Batchelor and in a guest appearance on Nachum Segal's JM in the AM radio program in New York. He told Segal that after he and others met with Yezidi leaders, "[we] walked out so shocked, so disturbed… We drew analogies [to the Holocaust] when these leaders plead with the U.S. to bomb the roads [used by ISIS]…'

"Eleven-year old girls are raped, and the males are massacred," Hoenlein said with obvious pain in his voice, "yet you don't hear the outcry… it is so horrific, yet the indifference of the world continues, and no steps are being taken; very few countries are interceding with aid and the like… I cannot understand: Where are the demonstrations? Where is the UN Security Council? It just reminds you [of what happened during the Holocaust]…" 

Rabbi Eliezer Melamed, an influential leader of the religious-Zionist public in Israel and rabbi of the Har Brachah community in the Shomron and head of its Yeshiva, has also added his voice to the cause. Acknowledging that the Jewish community in particular must be sensitive to genocidal acts, he said he "whole-heartedly supports all calls to aid the Yezidi community."

Israel has sent humanitarian workers to provide desperately-needed supplies to displaced victims of the brutal ISIS terrorist group. IsraAID supplied beds, blankets, and food to over 1,000 families in the Kurdish city of Duhok, in northern Iraq, as well as 2,000 blankets and mattresses, and powdered milk for babies.

This is but a drop in the bucket, however. Food, drinking water, clothing, medical care and more are all in critically short supply. It has been reported that much of whatever international aid is offered does not reach the Yezidis at all.

Hoenlein also bemoaned the lack of thorough media coverage of the crisis. It remains to be seen whether other leaders will join the call to save the Yezidis, and if so, how effective the calls will be.