Israel and Kurdistan - time for an alliance of the ages.
Israel and Kurdistan - time for an alliance of the ages.

Sometime ago, before Turkey chose first to lurch further into the deadly embrace of Islamism and later under the growing dictatorship of Recep Tayip Erdogan, I received a plea from a highly educated  Kurdish friend who was supportive of Israel's epic struggle to survive among its hostile Arab neighbors. He was devoted to the Jewish people for he knew of both the shared values and even ethnicities existing between Jews and Kurds dating back millennia.

Here is some of my Kurdish friend's impassioned letter from ten years ago, which was in reply to my American Thinker article of June 2010 titled, Israeli and Kurdish victims of TurkeyIn his reply, he uncannily warned against the then alliance of Israel with Turkey:

"I wish the Jews in Israel and abroad would know better about the policy of their leaders concerning the Kurds, because it happens in the name of Israel, and that should matter to all Jews. Turkish oppression of the Kurds is unknown to most Israelis. It is hard for me to understand how Israel's cooperation with Turkey does not take into account the misery that it imposes upon the Kurdish people who yearn, as the Jews have for centuries, to be free from terror and persecution?

in 1966, Mustafa Barzani, told a visiting Israeli emissary, Arieh Lova Eliav, that. “In truth, only the Jews cared about the Kurds.”
"Not so long ago, the Jews in Europe endured the Shoah (he used the Hebrew term for the Holocaust - VS) and they know better than anyone else the horrors of that experience.”

He went on to add the following:

"Of course it's not only Israel but the whole world that is pro-Turkish and anti-Kurdish. It is not fair to criticize Israel only, but given the history of the Jewish people, there should be a heightened sensitivity towards Kurdish suffering.

"We Kurds have shared so much culture together and we still remember fondly the Jews who lived with us for centuries. But the Turks waxed and waned in their attitude towards the Jews; sometimes they were tolerant and sometimes hostile. There are many Turks today who share Islamist ideas and proclaim hostility towards the Jewish state. Within Turkey lies the same anti-Jewish pestilence that exists throughout the Arab and Persian world.

"I remember your moving article (Who truly deserves a state? The Kurds or the Palestinians?American Thinker, February, 2012) in which you categorically made clear that the people who truly deserve an independent sovereign state are the Kurds; not the Palestinians. I also feel deeply that one day there will be an abiding and honorable alliance between the Jewish state and a free and independent Kurdistan. But arming Turkey, our people's oppressor, is morally and geographically not to Israel's advantage.

"Israel's cooperation with Turkey is, in reality, a misguided support for political Islam and its oppression of the Kurds. It undermines Israel's credibility with the only true friend it has in the Middle East."

Now in hindsight, it is glaringly obvious how correct my Kurdish friend's warning those ten years ago was. Erdogan has sought every opportunity to break Turkey’s erstwhile friendship with the Jewish state and now he seeks a veritable caliphate in the Islamic world while garnering to himself those, like Hamas, who harbor deep hostility towards  Israel.

Turkey is an enemy of both Israel and the Kurdish people. Returning to ten years ago, my friend was writing as Turkish troops were invading Kurdish territory and jet aircraft were bombarding Kurdish villages. At that time, just as now, Turkish tanks were rolling into Kurdish held territory and Kurds were dying. (Erdogans Not-So-Sublime PorteAmerican Thinker, September 2011).

He wrote with more pointed criticism of the Israeli leadership's shortsightedness during that period of ten years ago. He defended without question what he called Israel's cause and the undying truth that Jews are the rightful owners of the historic Jewish lands - now partially occupied by the fraudulent Arabs who call themselves Palestinians. But he also pointed out that, "the legitimate arguments and rights Israel has are the same rights and truths it denies in its official policy towards the Kurds. For now and for the future, everything looks black. I fear the worst for us. The whole world is against us, and on the Turkish side there is no change...."

And as today’s events are taking place, with Turkey once again invading Kurdish territory, this time in northern Syria, things do look black. During Menchem Begin’s premiership, military humanitarian aid was given by Israel to the Kurds for several years from 1965 and the United States also provided such aid. But suddenly the U.S. Government proscribed any further such assistance from both the U.S. and Israel in 1975.

Indeed, from 1961, the Jewish state was the only nation to actively support Kurdish aspirations. According to Mordechai Nisan in his booke, Minorities in the Middle East, published by McFarlane in 2002, the Kurdish leader in 1966, Mustafa Barzani, told a visiting Israeli emissary, Arieh Lova Eliav, that. “In truth, only the Jews cared about the Kurds.”  

During the period when a succession of left-leaning Israeli governments were in power, Israel supplied Turkey with UAVs, which were used against the Kurds. This was admittedly before the increasingly Islamized Turkish regime turned on Israel. Under leftist Israeli leaders, including Ehud Olmert, Ehud Barak and Tzipi Livni, the Jewish state had sadly copied the mendacious policies of other mostly European nations – namely putting political and commercial expediency above morality. These leftwing leaders should have known of the agony the Kurdish people were enduring, then as now, not only from Turkey but also from Iran, Iraq and Syria.

I remember an article by the wonderful Ruth King condemning Turkey’s appalling decision in 1941 during the height of World War 2. The Struma, which was carrying 769 Jewish refugees fleeing from the Nazi German killing machine, was forbidden to land its terrified men, women and children in Turkey. Instead the ship was cruelly forced to remain as a rotting and leaking hulk drifting off the Turkish coast. It was eventually torpedoed, presumably by a Russian submarine, with appalling loss of life.

With the reality of Israel's reconstitution as a sovereign nation in her ancestral and Biblical homeland has come the equal reality of her uniqueness within an often hostile world. Israel shares with the Kurds a familial fate. Both endure relentless aggression from their neighbors. Even though Israel lives in a terrible neighborhood and desperately seeks friends, she must never evade her unique responsibility towards the Kurdish people, who also suffer from the depredations of their hostile neighbors - by Iran, Syria, Iraq and, last but not least, by Turkey.

I also remember an article in the New York Sun on 6 July, 2004 titled "The Kurdish Statehood Exception," in which Hillel Halkin exposed the discrimination and double standards employed against Kurdish aspirations of statehood.  He wrote:

"The Kurds have a far better case for statehood than do the Palestinians. Kurdish people have their own unique language and culture, which the Palestinian Arabs do not have. They have had a sense of themselves as a distinct people for many centuries, which the Palestinian Arabs have never had. They have been betrayed repeatedly in the past 100 years by the international community and its promises, while the Palestinian Arabs have been betrayed only by their fellow Arabs."

During the tyranny of Saddam Hussein, the Kurds were gassed and slaughtered in large numbers. They suffered ethnic cleansing by the Turks and continued to be oppressed by the then Turkish government, whose foreign minister at the time, Ahmet Davutoglu, had the gall to suggest, at a meeting of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, that Turkey supports the oppressed of the world. He ignored his own government's oppression of the Kurds, but predictably named the anti-Jewish Hamas thugs in Gaza as "oppressed." On the basis of pure realpolitik, the legality and morality of the Kurds' cause is infinitely stronger than that of the Arabs who call themselves Palestinians.

In contrast, after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, the Kurds displayed great political and economic wisdom. How different from the example of the Gazan Arabs who, when foolishly given full control over the Gaza Strip by Israel’s Ariel Sharon, chose not to build hospitals and schools, but instead bunkers and missile launchers. To this they have added tunnels and the imposition of Islamic Sharia law, with its attendant and barbaric denigration of women and non-Muslims.

The Kurdish experiment, in at least the territory's current quasi-independence, has shown the world a decent society where all its inhabitants, men and women, enjoy far greater freedoms than can be found anywhere else in the Arab and Muslim world.

The Jewish state must now, more than ever, not ignore the 35-40 million Kurds, who remain stateless and shunned by the world and who seek, at last, the historic justice they have craved for centuries, nay millennia, but have been denied; an independent Kurdish state of their own.

According to an article titled "Can Israel make it alone?" written some years ago by James Lewis in the American Thinker, Lewis wrote: "Nations have no permanent friends, only permanent interests - like survival." He realized that with the stark reality of a profoundly unfriendly Obama Administration towards the Jewish state, creating facts on the ground was more important than ever. He wrote:  

"If the United States abandons the Jewish State, Jerusalem will have to seek new alliances." Fortunately that is what Prime Minister Netanyahu successfully and largely has achieved. Since then Israel enjoys the friendliest American President it has ever experienced, but there is never any guarantee that a president will succeed to a second term.

Turkey has now chosen to break its alliance with Israel and instead has sought alliances with rogue states such as Iran and Syria, along with the Hamas occupied and terrorist infested Gaza Strip. Under Erdogan it has turned on Israel with a viciousness that is quite desolating. It is a nation turning its back upon the Ataturk secular revolution of the 1920s. Instead, it is sliding remorsefully back to the 7th century mindset and cesspit that so many of its neighbors wallow in.

Israel should advance the restoration of a profoundly just, moral and enduring pact with the Kurdish people, and assistance towards creating a future independent State of Kurdistan. An enduring alliance between Israel and Kurdistan would be a vindication of history, a recognition of the shared sufferings of both peoples, and bring closer the advent of a brighter and strategically stronger future for both non-Arab nations.

Victor Sharpe’s four volumes of Politicde: The attempted murder of the Jewish state, are available at Lulu Press or on