Is there a name for a group of individuals numbering in the millions who believe in equality for all its members; a belief in their inherent right to life and freedom; a belief that they should be allowed to live in peace on their historic lands and that the world should welcome them to the larger group of nations? No, it is not us Jews. It’s the Kurds.
As I have said for many years now, and more recently, in the space of the Times webpages, we should be doing more to help our Kurdish friends. Not in secret, but openly. And not because we will gain anything from our assistance, but because they share our humanity and our love of life and because they have embraced their vast measure of pain with an equanimity I have rarely seen, except perhaps, in our own people.
Historically speaking, we owe the Yazidi Kurds our thanks for their belief in one God which Abraham brought out of Ur milennia ago. We owe the Jewish Kurds who number in the hundreds of thousands our thanks for giving us a culture rich in music, dance and cuisine and a love of life coupled with a fierce belief in defending their freedoms. I challenge you to tell the difference between any female YPG fighter or IDF woman soldier should their uniforms be exchanged. I guarantee you that you could not tell the difference as both share the same determined fighting spirit which is quite visible in their eyes and body language. We also share the same kind of grace under pressure from the rest of the world who would try to dislodge us both and deny us our rightful place in history. When there are demonstrations in Europe supporting the Kurds, there is often an Israeli flag displayed. Why? Because unlike any other group on earth, the Kurds do not hide their admiration for Jews or the State of Israel.
Why mention the Kurds in the pages of a Jewish-and Israeli-focused paper? Because they deserve our support in the face of annihilation by the Turks and our erstwhile friend in name only, Recip Tayyip Erdogan. The Kurds are quick to depict the Turkish leader for life Erdogan as Adolph Hitler and with very good reason. It appears that only the Kurds noticed Erdogan moved his army into the seam border area of Syria two days ago. Usually folks do that sort of thing when they are commencing a war or widening one that already exists. Erdogan has made it clear he does not want a Kurdish presence in Turkey. To that end, he has supported Daesh with military advisors and weaponry. Insofar as the Kurds have captured these same advisors and have broadcast their identification papers in the media, it is hard to deny this fact, but Erdogan still tries. Only God knows why. It does not help matters when our Prime Minister meets with Erdogan and shows support for continued trade and financial support between our two countries. Given the Turks’ track record in recent years, this is not an alliance that Israel needs. We are supposed to be a light unto the nations; not life support for the dark forces of this earth.
Should we care when Daesh re-enters the town of Kobani that they were forced out of months ago dressed in YPG uniforms who then proceed to murder innocent women and children in the hundreds? Was this a tactical necessity or revenge? Should we pay any attention when Daesh implements the same fighting tactics as Hamas and Hezbollah? Are we so comfortable in our own territory we can ignore the beasts at our doorsteps? If you can’t answer these questions without feeling squeamish, it is time to devote more attention to assisting our friends, the Kurds, before they have another massacre on their hands to clean up or worse, we find Daesh entering Jerusalem from Jordan.