Stepping in a Kurd

CONTEXT: The purpose of this blog is to provide historical background to the current situation in the Middle East. The history will be provided through video and audio recordings of my late father, historian Dr. David Neiman.

 Six years ago I posted a video on YouTube about the ancient kingdom of Assyria. I had no idea what a firestorm of comments this video segment would ignite. It seems that the mention of the geographical region of “Kurdistan” was incendiary. Since the video was uploaded, pages and pages of comments have been posted. Some are angry rants and others are detailed explanations of the history of the region. When this lecture was recorded in the year 2000, it would have been impossible to predict the central role the Kurds would play in the unfolding crisis in the region. The comments shed light on the deeply entrenched prejudices, hatreds and conflicts that revolve around the Kurdish people and the area in which they live. Here are a few samples:

  • Kurds are nothing but Gipsies without a home and they are CONSTANTLY killing us Assyrians, we don’t fight back because it is against our Christian religion to. But still they keep murdering us, and we keep escaping.
  • The Assyrians DIED out! these 28% of Kurds in Iraqi Kurdistan are these Old Assyrians who got Kurdified.
  • Neither Syrians/Arameans nor Chaldeans were Assyrian. Assyrians were a Chaldean group of Akkadians who raped people in Ancient Kurdistan and were just SUBHUMANS.
  • its KURDISTAN you like it live with Kurds in peace if you don’t like it go live with Arabs in Basra, done. its a fact that it’s KURDISTAN my friends.
  • Kurds don`t have anything to do with the ancient history of Assyria!
  • Iraq was part of the Persian Empire for centuries. Iraq was an abomination created by the occupying British; it is not a country that has any historical basis. The so-called Iraqis are all descendants of illiterate, nomadic goat-herders. Forget the Gypsies of Kurdistan, forget the goat-herders of Iraq, this entire region belongs to Iran!
  • Why would he claim that today, Assyria is Kurdistan? It makes no sense at all… Kurdistan as a modern day state in the 21st century globalized world does not exist… it only exists as a region in some parts of Northern Iraq and does not even extend to Nineveh, Ashur and Nimrud (Assyria)… Clearly this doctor is twisting historical facts for his own and *their* own political interests… undermining the Assyrians and cornering them by distorting their history.
  • Well, that is not strange at all because this doctor is a Jew, They support the Kurds to steal Assyrian homeland. They don’t really care about the Assyrians, so it doesn’t come by surprise to me when he marginalize the Assyrians and use the dirty term “Kurdistan” on the Great Assyria. Yes, he is twisting historical facts for sure and he work for his own political Jewish interests. Jews needs help from another people in the middle east and the best choice for them is kurds – at least for today.

The seemingly innocuous comment that prompted this fury occurs about 18 seconds into this video segment which concentrates not on the Kurds, but on ancient Assyria:

About the Author
Becky Neiman is a writer, producer, director based in Los Angeles. She has directed music videos, worked in advertising in New York and Los Angeles, and produced and directed the feature documentaries "Anne Stewart: A Most Successful Failure" and "Orphans of Apollo". The recordings of her father's lectures have been produced as audiobooks and video.
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