by Victor Sharpe
Sometime ago, before Turkey chose to lurch further into the deadly embrace of Islamism, I received a plea from a Kurdish friend who remains supportive of Israel’s epic struggle to survive among its hostile Arab neighbors. He is also devoted to the Jewish people for he knows of the shared ethnicities believed to exist between Jews and Kurds dating back millennia.
Here is some of my Kurdish friend’s impassioned letter from two years ago, which uncannily warned against any alliance 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?
“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.
“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 pestilence of anti-Semitism that exists throughout the Arab and Persian world.
“I remember your moving article in which you categorically made clear that the people who truly deserve an independent sovereign state are the Kurds; not the Arabs who call themselves 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 at the time was.
Turkey is now an enemy of both Israel and the Kurdish people. In a previous letter, as Turkish troops were invading Kurdistan and jet aircraft were bombarding Kurdish villages in northern Iraq, my friend was more pointed in his criticism of the Israeli leadership’s shortsightedness. 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 Arabs. 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….”
Coincidentally, Ruth King, a freelance writer who is a columnist for several magazines, urged those who read, “feelgood stories about Turkey” to remember the ship, Struma. In 1941, while carrying 769 Jewish refugees fleeing from the Nazi German killing machine, it was not permitted to land in Turkey and sank with appalling loss of life.
With the reality of Israel’s reconstitution as a sovereign nation in its ancestral and biblical homeland has come the equal reality of its uniqueness and isolation within a hostile world.
The rush to bash Israel by hypocritical national leaders and the falsehoods perpetrated by international news agencies such as the Associated Press (AP) despite the video tapes and pictures showing pipe wielding, masked thugs, screaming “kill the Jews,” while beating up Israeli soldiers — armed at first only with paint ball guns — is despicable. Thugs, Islamists, and jihadists claiming to be “peace” activists aboard a Turkish ferry boat, with the Turkish Prime Minister’s own direct collaboration, should be an indictment of Turkey, not Israel. But this is not a moral world.
The international outpouring of imbecilic hatred towards the embattled Jewish state for merely trying to defend its citizens from a future maritime pipeline delivering lethal weapons and deadly missiles into Gaza to be used to kill Jewish civilians is one of the most depressing indictments of humanity. In this, Israel shares with the Kurds a familial fate. Both endure relentless aggression from their neighbors. Even though it lives in a terrible neighborhood and desperately seeks friends, Israel must not evade its unique responsibility towards the Kurdish people, who also suffer from the depredations of their hostile neighbors — especially Iran, Syria, and last but not least, Turkey.
The Jewish state, now undergoing what individual Jews endured for centuries — a bloody and irrational persecution – must now, more than ever, not ignore the Kurds, who remain stateless and shunned by the world and who seek, at last, the historic justice they have craved for centuries but have been denied; an independent 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.” With the stark reality now of a profoundly less friendly Obama Administration, it is more important than ever to see what he wrote: “If the United States abandons the Jewish State, Jerusalem will have to seek new alliances.”
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. It has turned on Israel with a viciousness that is desolating to watch. 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.
The Turkish regime is allowing ant-Semitic films and documentaries to be broadcast relentlessly, thus poisoning the minds of both its secular and Islamist population. One need only hark back to the demonization and vilification spewed against the Jews for years under Hitler in Nazi Germany to see how most Germans behaved and what horrors resulted.
Whether or not President Barack Obama continues to act negatively towards the Jewish state, any new Israeli alliances should include the restoration of a profoundly just, moral and enduring pact with the Kurdish people, and assistance towards creating a future independent State of Kurdistan. That may be the silver lining from the present international flotilla of xenophobic hatred presently sailing towards Israel’s shores.
Victor Sharpe is the author of Volumes One and Two of Politicde: The attempted murder of the Jewish state, available at LuluPress or on Amazon.com