Another voice

On the second day of Sukkot, sitting next to me in the synagogue was a distinguished medical doctor, an ear, nose and throat specialist and a graduate of the Sackler School of Medicine of the University of Tel-Aviv.

During a portion of the mussaf service Dr. Gottlieb commented to me his opinion of the Kurdish tragedy.

I was delighted to listen to his remarks. It was, for me, another voice. A voice like mine which shared feelings like mine, a heart which, like mine, cared deeply for the remarkable and stalwart Kurds.

On the other hand, it disappointed me that no readers offered comments to my two-part articles of October 10 and October 13.

In them, I asked why we in Israel were not offering aid and shelter to Kurds fleeing from the monstrous bloodthirsty Turks.

Netanyahu is busy in his travel to Japan to attend the coronation ceremony of the new Emperor of Japan, Naruhito and he will hold talks with prime minister Abe.

While we have very cordial relations with Japan, Bibi’s presence at the royal palace in Tokyo will not create news of interest. He will simply be one of the many dignitaries who come to pay honor to the Emperor.

It is a shame and a stain upon our good name and humanitarian service that our prime minister is unable to raise his voice in the defense of the Kurdish people.

I believe, and I feel certain that many of my readers share my concerns for the well-being of the homeless and oppressed Kurdish people. But their voices remain sadly silent !

It should be incumbent upon our prime minister to address the question of aid and refuge to the Kurds in an address to the members of our Knesset.

We dare not. We must not remain silent in the presence of Turkish aggression and massacre of innocent civilians, among them their own small military force insufficient to protect them.

We cannot be responsible for the many slaughters of innocents all over the globe in Africa, Asia and parts of the Middle East. But the Kurdish people in Syria are close by. They are almost neighbors. And since the Kurds have never harmed us in Israel or Jews in other places, it behooves us to come to their aid now .

Several European nations have withheld weapons and military equipment to Turkey. A number of member-states in the United Nations and the European Council have withdrawn their ambassadors from Ankara as a sign of protest against Turkish attacks on the Kurds.

Israel may be one of those countries which has dispatched the Turkish diplomats back to Turkey. It is a protest, of course, but it is not sufficient.

Cutting diplomatic relations, even if temporary, with Turkey, will not resolve the suffering of the Kurdish people trapped in the Syrian battleground.

If Kurds could reach the Jordanian border perhaps they could find a welcome which will permit them to cross the Allenby Bridge into the security which Israel can offer.

Failing that, if they were permitted to seek asylum in Jordan, we could send food and medical supplies to care for them. It is our duty as Jews to show compassion for the oppressed and persecuted.

My voice will not remain silent. And I am happy that another caring and concerned voice shared my concerns.

People of Israel, my cherished country, lift up your voices and be heard. It is our obligation to help good friends and to save their lives if we can.

Tarimu et kolchem, ami. Lift up your voices, o my people !

About the Author
Esor Ben-Sorek is a retired professor of Hebrew, Biblical literature & history of Israel. Conversant in 8 languages: Hebrew, Yiddish, English, French, German, Spanish, Polish & Dutch. Very proud of being an Israeli citizen. A follower of Trumpeldor & Jabotinsky & Begin.
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