Hassan Ahmad Mustafa: «May Kurds authority couldn’t pay attention to the Israel-Kurd relation, but No one can prohibit it for news papers and NGOs»
Editor in Chief: Mawlud Afand
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Chvi Barzani: “I am proud to be Kurd and am in honor to be related with Kurdish affairs”
Kurds an ethnic group in their own right – genetically most closely related to Jews
Apr 2010 - No 2
There is a new letter
srael-Kurd Institute has a clear message to whom which doesnâ€™t want to accept an historical reality. It is supported by many facts, as same fate of Kurd and Jew, common interest between Israel and Kurdistan and several other items between these two sides. We try to clarify that why can not be honored of our history, culture, friends and abilities. Whole nations and countries had passed same stages; they were weak at first, but later that found support from the other nation and country, may be they get helps from some countries which hadnâ€™t many interest at all. Kurd, has the best potential to use Israel and then USA to be more strong and independent, there are many suitable conditions between them and especially Israel-Kurd. Both are suffered by their radical enemies, both are in danger with uncertain threats and fortunately both have the same enemies. Most of the Arabs, Iranian current system and Terrorists agents blocked Kurd and Jew; it makes an important necessary to break a taboo and forbidden question between Kurdistan and Israel. Open policy between Israel and Kurd can be suggested which is useful to both sides. A strong Kurdistan in the area can be used as a pressure on
Iran, Turkey and Arabs. Israel has many battle fields with its enemies. So, Kurd can take some roles of this process. Kurd can support Israel in this field and be another face on Israel against those enemies which are sure to remove Kurd nation and Israel country. In other hand, Israel can be a sample to homeless Kurds, because Jews had no place to live, but used their unity and intellectual ideas to be safe. Israel understands Kurd and its serious status, so know that haw they be solved. Kurd needs a state to collect its other separated part and other popularity in the area and even whole the world. Kurd has right to live as a nation with its state and get Israel and Jews as a modern sample. It is the Israel-Kurd Institute significance point, not more. It can be found by every Kurd speech. Is there any cause to condemn such trying? Is there any cause to be faced with some problems? According to this status, making problem to Israel-Kurd Institute just refers to those views that try to use this subject to hide some their wrong things. We are sure to continue our way without pay attention to any threat, because we know that no threat and danger can be larger than the threat on our nation and country.
Apr 2010 - No 2
Hassan Ahmad Mustafa to Israel-Kurd magazine:
«May Kurds authority couldn’t pay attention to the Israel-Kurd relation, but No one can prohibit it for news papers and NGOs» Interview: Israel-Kurd
Israel-Turkey relation had been more tensioned after Erdogan and his party in Turkey. He tries to be closed with Islamic countries and acts against Israel, but it makes him too separated from the western countries. To clarify these topics, Hassan Ahmad Mustafa Israel-Turkey relation expert mentions some important things in this stage of Turkish diplomacy.
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Israel-Kurd: what do you think about Israel-Turkey relation from the beginning? Hassan Ahmad: it is better to talk about Jew and Turk relation. Religion isn’t able to hide the truth; I know many things about Jews in Qaladze town and have many relations there which are Jew that included Muslim religious men and are known as Jewish. Talk about Jews is related to us, during the history they and Kurds were in same threats. In (1491) church court deported 200 thousand Jews and denied them, but Ottoman Turk Empire accepted them and had been a part of Turkish social, cultural and economical sector, even they get important position in government. (16th century). Israel-Kurd: we would like to talk about relation between Jew and recent Republic of Turkey in the same way as mentioned before? Hassan Ahmad: I will last my speech, relation will continue and Jews will be more and take a part of Turkey culture. I mentioned before, they had a strong relation, Erdogan and current authority in Turkey cannot impact this relation. In 1948 Israel was declared and had been informed by U.S.A formally firstly, and then Turkey was the second country which knew Israel as a formal state. It was a time to Arabian Nationalism in Egypt and their revolutions. They hated Turk and its history and Mustafa Kamal and it encouraged Turkey to be closed with Israel, but wasn’t succeeded. In 1990s, Israel-Turkey relations had an historical changing, especially by the presidency of Sulaiman Demirel, after that in 1993 Tanso Chiller cabinet the relations were stronger. Israel-Kurd: it was a time to raising the religious and
Islamic movement as Najmaddin Arbakan who was with Tanso Chiller; do you think it impacted the relation? Hassan Ahmad: No, because Arbakan came to Tel Aviv and announced two important things: 1: not be against secularism in Turkey, 2: do nothing against Turkey-Israel relation. Then, I mentioned to Medias that Islamic parties should be agreeing to this relation. It was a shame to them with Arabs and Iran, Turkish important institutions tried to fail Islamic movements by their selves. In 1996-1997 the area was covered by a military condition by Turkey-Israel military cooperation. They were strong; we remember that Sleman Demirel said “Syria should deport Ojalan, or not will remove it on the map”. Syria was clever and understood the sensitive status. Israel-Kurd: Israel and Turkey are in a strong military and commercial relation and Israeli military equipment was used against Kurd, especially there are some important protocols, what is your opinion? Hassan Ahmad: you are right; actually there are several security and military protocol, but it is a heavy topics and I just mention that these two countries signed many agreements about security and against terrorism. Israel-Kurd: what is your opinion about Israel-Turkey relation which is in tension, and Kurd as a part of the matter? Hassan Ahmad: this tension started after Erdogan and his party, Turkey Army is interested by this status, because USA supports Erdogan and called it as the most popular party in Turkey. In 2008, Israel PM Olmert went to Turkey and after returning he starter strikes against Ghazza, it was a doubt that may be Turkey is a part of the
current authority in Turkey cannot impact this relation
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plan against Palestine and Ghazza. It changed the relation and Turkey feared that may be its important role is under questioned. Israel-Kurd: about the cutting of relations, which one will be more affected, Turkey or Israel? Hassan Ahmad: turkey uses this relation just to create its Turkish aims, but there are some other military purposes which belong to government Ideology. There is another side which related to Turkey, Israel and USA relations, but at all, Turkey-Israel relation is a strategic one. In other hand, Army in Turkey wants to cut this relation in order to stop western and especially USA supporting to Turkey. Turkey has many historical enemies in Middle East, Western and Africa countries, so it needs more diplomatic activities. In other side, Israel is also in struggle with Arabs, but certainly Israel is a stronger position and has a good relation with USA. All of theme knows their important roles. Israel-Kurd: what is the future of these struggles, will solved or be worse? Hassan Ahmad: cannot be worse than now, because by the near future Turkey will get the commanding of international forces in Afghanistan, so it needs more equipment and logistic cooperation from USA. Turkey army and Israel Army decide on the matter, they don pay attention to an Islamic Party.
tus, but Kurd isn’t a strong cause to make relation and the other opportunity will be lost. Israel-Kurd: what do you think about Israel-Kurd relation by now and in the future? Hassan Ahmad: Israel is in relation with Saudi government, Jordan, Egypt and most of the other Arab countries, why this relation is denied and prohibited for Kurd? There aren’t any religious causes, if it refers to Arabs, it is illogical because may Kurds authority couldn’t pay attention to the Israel-Kurd relation, but No one can prohibit it for news papers and NGOs. A strong and intellectual relation between Israel and Kurd affects USA, because Israel has power in USA. Israel-Kurd: what is your opinion about Israel-Kurd Magazine which issued in Kurdistan? Hassan Ahmad: it refers to a brave in Journalism; Dawoud Baghstani is a brave man and broke a taboo which was odd and opens a new gate to Israel-Kurd relation. Israel-Kurd: what do you think about Israel government and KRG in future? Hassan Ahmad: this relation is related to government view in Baghdad and Kurds in Kurdistan, but some things are going to be official in future, then we can do more. For example, Kurdistan flag and military grades of Kurds in Iraq are good achievements.
Israel-Kurd: a powerful Israel and democratic Turkey how can impact the other countries in the area and the world? Hassan Ahmad: they are two democratic countries in the area, but have some religious and nationalism problems. Both are important and closed friend to USA and Israel lobby are the most powerful lobby in the world, so however USA isn’t able to neglect Israel and Jews. Israel-Kurd: how this situation is useful to Kurd, especially by the Israel-Turkey relation tension? Hassan Ahmad: there are many other causes which can help Kurds in taking policy and make a better political situation to Kurd. For example, how Ahmad Deniz can protect Kurd? Actually, it is needed to help Turkey in army, because a powerful Turkey is important to control the sta-
Demirel said «Syria should deport Ojalan, or not will remove it on the map» 5
Apr 2010 - No 2
Prof. Oufra Bengo:
ÂŤAll of the Israelis should know that in Middle East just Kurds are our closed friendsÂť Interview: Deeno Daniel
Prof. Oufra Bengo, the head of Moushi Dayan Center to Middle East and Africa Research, during an interview with IsraelKurd magazine had mentioned many important points about the future of Middle East, Iraq and Kurdistan. He observed the IsraelKurdistan relation in the future and pointed their common interests in filed of Geopolitics and Kurdistan rich infrastructure.
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«Israel helped Kurd from the beginning up to now» Israel-Kurd: can you tell some thing about yourself at first? Oufra Bengo: in 1940s was born in Halab city in Syria, our family were Jew and returned Israel in 1954. I studied from the beginning and Kurd was my last research paper. Kurd was important for me and tried to help them ever, I attended many conferences about Kurd Question in the world and especially in Europe. Also, wrote several books about Kurd, Independent Kurdistan is my hope, even a semi-independent state for Kurd which now is created in Southern Kurdistan in Federative Iraq, it makes independent easier. Israel-Kurd: as a university lecturer, what were you encouragement to write about Iraq and particularly Kurds and it is your academic field? Oufra Bengo: as I told before, it is my special field; at first, I liked to write about Iraq, I was born in Syria, near of Kurdistan, I knew that Kurds are suffered and are in struggle against their occupiers, I heard it when I was child. The state didn’t pay attention Kurds rights. From Shekh Mahmoud revolution which was against the Britain till Barzani revolution to chemical attack to Halabja, Kurds were faced whole the crimes. Israel-Kurd: you were born in Syria, what is your opinion about Syrian policy to Kurd and other nations? Oufra Bengo: firstly, Ba’ath Ideology is against any free idea including Kurd or non Kurd, or not they believed that non Ba’ath Ideology is “treacherous” one. Kurds in Syria are suffered without any simple rights in language, literature, national ceremonies and … etc. more than 200,000 Kurds are in this country and some of them hold Syrian Identity, but they are looked as foreigner and strangers. Recently, European Human Rights organizations protested such policy in Syria and Kurds started good presses to show their condition and suffering, if it continues, will take some achievements. The book of Talib Hilal shows the reality of Syrian and Ba’ath ideology which belongs to Fascism believes which are against every peaceful human. Israel-Kurd: you wrote a book in titled “Kurd Rev-
olution in Iraq - green line” how you mentioned Kurd by? Oufra Bengo: I wrote this book about Kurd history from Ba’aath authority till Halabja Chemical attack, I mentioned the political events like the Iraqi plan to kill Barzani and Autonomy Law in 1970 and the Kurds primary rights, Algeria Protocol and whole the threats again the Kurds and their country. Israel-Kurd: why don’t try to open Kurdish Language Department in Tel Aviv University as most of the other countries? Oufra Bengo: most of my lectures are about Kurd, recently some of my students tried to research about Kurd. We aren’t such the other countries to have Kurdish Department; we can just take some terms and subjects. Our studies are about political and history and the student research about Ezidi Kurds, P.K.K and Kurdistan question and related topics. Israel-Kurd: what do you think about Turkey policy with Kurd from last century till now, and you what is your expectation the future of Kurds in Northern Kurdistan? Oufra Bengo: I think Turkey is going to do some reforms and pay attention the other nations in the country. Meanwhile, it has many internal and external problems, but it is needed to do some changes in order to be accepted by U.S.A and European Union. Turkey is underlined to provide Kurd and other nation’s rights. Kurds in Turkey get their right soon, according to the reports there are 25 million Kurd people in Turkey, they have right to have national identity. As you know, DTP was a Kurdish party there, but their activities in the country and parliament had been prohibited, but there is another party. Turk and Kurd can solve their problems by dialogue. No thing will remove by deny and war, Saddam regime attached Iraqi Kurds by chemical weapon, but we saw his fate. Kurds in Turkey are glad to apply open-policy about Kurd, Turkey is in struggle with Kurds for a long time, but he had no achievements. War gave him just destroying and killing, so the war stage should be finished, because it cannot solve the matters. Israel-Kurd: can we prepare a proposal about Kurd National and Cultural Traditions and suggest to opening Kurdish department in Israeli Radio and
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«I think Iranian president Ahmadi Nazhad is a sick man»
Oufra Bengo: I am ready to prepare such proposal; I like some one help me to learn Kurdish in order to tell some of this suffered nation to international community. It is impossible to open a Kurdish sector in Israeli media channels, because Israel is multi nation, then each of them wants its own channel and it makes some thing wrong and it makes other countries in the region anxious. We like to make a peaceful status, or not Israel helped Kurd from the beginning up to now, all of the Israelis should know that in Middle East just Kurds are our closed friends. They passed many tragedy stages and they understand each others. Israel-Kurd: how you were invited to a conference in Europe (2002) as mentioned before? Oufra Bengo: Kahled Salih an Iraqi Kurd who red my writing informed me by e-mail and invited me to attend the conference before Saddams collapsing. There, I saw Hoshyar Zebari, Dr. Barham Salih, Dr. Mahmoud Osman and a number of other Kurd leaders. I helped Kurd by my writings and I will support Kurd till its flag will shake in UN Security Commission. I think Kurd authority in the southern Kurdistan is suitable to find whole the Kurd rights and help other Kurds; Kurds in other countries will get their rights and will be free soon from their occupiers. Israel-Kurd: as you know, Iran is a threat to Middle East Peace Process, your opinion about Iran policy in the area? Oufra Bengo: I believe most of the Iranian people hate this regime and it is clear to us. I think Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadi Nazhad is a sick man; he attacks Israel to remove it and denies the Jewish Holocaust Tragedy. It behaves as a child, teenager and sick person. He kills people in the street and executes them in city center, they are Ahmadi Nazhad’s deeds, but Israel is greater to be his hunt and can sting him hardly, but not now and will wait. Israel can be war with whole the world by the same time, but he avoids from cruelty and tries to make a peaceful world. Israel-Kurd: as an academician in Moushi Dayan center, what do you think about Israel-Kurd Magazine which issued in Kurdistan? Oufra Bengo: we are glad to such magazine and is important to create a relation between Israel and Kurdistan
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and develop it which is normal, because we have historical relations. Thank whole the magazine staff members and hope to be succeed to serve their nation. Israel-Kurd: we are in peace with Egypt and Jordan for many years, but there is no magazine or newspaper in these countries to mention relatin with Israel, why? Oufra Bengo: some how you know about Arab state minds, they think we were guest in our home, they try to remove and kill us, but aren’t able, so according to this condition how pay attention to publish and issue some things about Israel. All of the Israelis should know that in Middle East just Kurds are our closed friends, we expect better thing from your magazine. It is a good achievement for now; I hope the best wishes for you. I like to go and see them and am sure that Kurd can be in serve of his nation’s future. Israel-Kurd: what is your opinion about Kurd leaders in Southern part of Kurdistan and its future? Oufra Bengo: I mentioned that Kurd leaders in the south prepare to find whole the Kurd wishes. I think they will be succeed if apply their current policy. I am hopeful to do good things in future. Now Kurdistan is like an independent state and is in the stage of announcing which will be done by its suitable time. Kurd leaders know about the political events and hope them to be elated and Kurdistan be stabled.
«Kurds and Jews have same pains, so these two nations understand each others»
Israel-Kurd: how we can get and read your written subjects? Oufra Bengo: my writings will be published on Kurdish Media site in English. Mostly I have some essay to publish and will be glad to write essay for Israel-Kurd website. Israel-Kurd: thanks, hope you to support Kurd in whole the parts of Kurdistan and be Kurd’s friend as before.
«The Kurds in other countries will get their rights and will be free soon from their occupiers» 9
Apr 2010 - No 2
Israel offers any supporting to Kurd Interview: Staivan Shamzinani â€“ Newand editor in chief
Dawoud Baghstani the Head of Israel-Kurd Institution talks about Israel-Kurd relation and mentions KRG relation with Kurds in Israel, also draws attention the main aims of the Institution.
Kurds needed military and logistic supports from Israel
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Staivan: the beginning of Israel-Kurd relation and its context and what were the main causes? Dawoud Baghstani: Israel-Kurd relation refers to Kurds revolutionary stage in Iraq-Kurdistan, when Kurd was blocked and had been blocked by it neighboring countries as Iran, Turkey, Syria and Iraq. In other hand, Kurds needed military and logistic supports from Israel which lasted from 1963 to 1975. There was a common interest between Israel and Iran against Iraqi government, and it was an opportunity to Kurd. Iran tried to control whole Iraq, as we saw in Algeria Protocol between two countries. Israel tries to support Iraqi Kurd revolutionary parts in Iran, but Iran itself didn’t want to create a strong Kurdish party. Any way, some Israeli military personnel leached Kurds Peshmarga forces to help and train them against Iraqi Army. It was an important step and was related to Kurd National Security. Staivan: there is some opinion that Israel-Kurd relations refers to a short and temporary stage of history, but now there is no relation because their interests are different, what do you think? Dawoud Baghstani: I am not too agreeing with this opinion, the importance of Israel-Kurd relations is indicated by the history. Actually, Kurds enemies don’t like to have a strong relation between Israel and Kurd and it related to the internal unity of Kurds themselves. Staivan: there are some media news which mention Israel-Kurd relation in Iraq, is there any support from Israel to these two main parties and especially PDK in Kurdistan region? Dawoud Baghstani: it is about a century that Arab countries condemn Kurd that is in relation with Israel, or know Kurdistan as the other Israel. It isn’t true that Israel helped PDK or PUK. The most important thing is that, some Kurd Jews in Israel have the right to return their main land which is Kurdistan. It makes a strong relation between Kurds in Israel and us. We should try to make a political, cultural and social way to contact with them in Israel. There is no shame and fear to make this relation, because they are Kurd and are different just in religion, also there are not any religious problem in Israel.
Actually, Kurds enemies don’t like to have a strong relation between Israel and Kurd
Staivan: some news mentioned that there are some Israeli bases and military officers in Kurdistan in order to train Peshmarga forces, really are any Israeli in Kurdistan? Dawoud Baghstani: don’t know, I see Arab Medias daily that talk about this subject, but it is too normal if there are any Israeli, because there are many Iranian, Turkish, Syrian and other countries companies in Kurdistan and it isn’t any problem if Israelis came and work here and is not danger, we welcome them. Staivan: some one believes that Israel-Kurd relations make Kurds stronger in the area, what is your opinion? Dawoud Baghstani: it is right, if Kurd is able to create a political, diplomatic and commercial relation with Israel, Kurd will get power in the area, but isn’t an independent state and cannot decide about himself and is referred to central government in Baghdad. Israel supports Kurd to create a state and be useful to Israel-Kurd interests in the area, because Kurdistan has a suitable geographical location and economical infrastructure. Staivan: there are a great numbers of Jewish Kurd in Israel, some of them are in political, cultural and trade activities, how KRG can contact them and what is the importance of this subject?
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Dawoud Baghstani: actually, there are about 200,000 Jewish Kurd in Israel and are in political, cultural and commercial fields. They cannot contact Kurds in Kurdistan easily, because there isn’t any formal relation and other Kurdistan pieces aren’t free yet. KRG can not make this relation, but other NGO, journalist and liberal people can establish the relation and support Jewish Kurds in Israel, especial those people who can travel Israel can open this relation better. We as Israel-Kurd Institution help and support them and make facility. Staivan: it seems that Israel hasn’t a certain and clear policy with Kurd, what is about Israel view to Kurd and its historical struggle? Dawoud Baghstani: as mentioned before, Israel helps Kurd in any way and support an independent Kurdistan state. Regarding to the first and third number of Israel-Kurd magazine, the president Shemon Peres and Tsivi Leevni praised Kurd struggle and its role in Middle East. Staivan: some one believes that you are an agent to Mossad, the intelligence service of Israel. Or not, some wan know you as a coordinator between Mossad and PDK in Kurdistan and other Israeli officials, what is your role in this process, do you related to Israel? Dawoud Baghstani: it is wrong; I am referred to none of these intelligence services and am not any party member. I do any thing just to serve my national process every where. Staivan: Israel like to have relation with Barzani family, do you think there is any relation between them and what about this historical relation from Mala Mustafa Barzani till now? Dawoud Baghstani: regarding to the first steps of the relation, it refers to Ibrahim Ahmad, Ismat Sharif Wnili and Kamaran Badr Khan. Then, Mala Mustafa Barzani, Mahmoud Osman, Habib Faili and Shakib Aqrawi tried to develop the relation. We should see and understand our historical struggle to take freedom and neglect the enemies. Staivan: you are supervising Israel-Kurd magazine, what are your main aims to issue such magazine and are there any internal trouble and problems with you? Dawoud Baghstani: the theory of Israel-Kurd Institution in Kurdistan isn’t a new one, it refers to four years ago that a number of experts, academic and politicians people decided to create a special center to study about Israel and Jew as there is in most of the countries that are against Israel. In spite of the different between Israel-Kurd relation and other countries relation with Israel in the Middle East, but Kurd and Israel faced genocide and threaten to be killed till now. It was needed to create Israel-Kurd relation and we were encouraged to prepare the Israel-Kurd Institution in order to develop Kurdistan development in the area. Israel-Kurd Institution has magazine, website and some other projects in future. This subject is regarded as a danger matter in Kurdistan, but we will continue our activities and are in serve of our nation. We don’t pay attention the threats and will try to make stronger relation with our Israeli brothers and Israel government.
the theory of Israel-Kurd Institution in Kurdistan isn’t a new one www.israelkurd.com
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Short Biography: Was born in Northern Kurdistan in 1947 Attended Kurdish movement in 1965 Imprisoned in Abu-Ghareb prison for 9 years from 1975 Leaded his political activities in Iran and Libya 1985-1986 Worked with Human Rights Commission in Switzerland in 1988 Acted as an independent politician to solve the southern crises 1990 Manager of Maaf TV channel and magazine in Duhok in 1995 The head on central government media in 2003 The manager of Maaf TV channel and magazine in Duhok in 1995 The head of central government Media in 2003 The head of Nanaha Institution which supervised the corruptions in 2004 Now, the head of Israel-Kurd Institution in Kurdistan
To public opinion A clarification from Israel-Kurd Magazine
Obviously, the histories of whole nations are contained of ups, down, succeed and falls. We as the Kurd nation are a great part of the history and we have the same conditions. In order to declare public opinion and our later generation to know the truth and avoid from unjustified status, we are proud on our nation’s leader and great people which made Kurd’s history. Our purpose to mention such important things is just to show the truth and the historical stages as were. In spite of make clear the past events for to future and appear the experiences for the whole Kurd people. With due respect to our national leaders ho acted during the history stages. Israel-Kurd Magazine 20th Dec. 2009 *** Sagi Chori, the Israeli General which planed the battles of Rwanduz, Zozk and Handren mountains spoke to Israel-Kurd. Now, he retired as a Mosas officer, but in early of 1966-67 came Kurdistan from Israel to help the Peshmarga and Kurd army against Iraqi army. He trained Peshmarga which was under threats of occupation army. As Chori mentioned, that time for Peshmarga just Bruno gun was available against am army which had the modern army equipment and the Iraqi soldiers were more too than Peshmarga. Then, Kurd should have just Israel and needed its support and cooperation, was it wrong? The relation wasn’t useful for Kurd? These questions had been discussed and answered with Sagi Chori who was one of Mala Mustafa Barzani closest friend.
Apr 2010 - No 2
Chori: «Mosad sent me Kurdistan to help the Kurds» “In order to train the Kurd commanders I carried them to Israel by plane from our embassy”
«Barzani was sorry while a great number of Iraqi soldiers had been killed» Israel-Kurd: let to know who Chori is and how about his life? Chori: I was born in Israel; my father’s origin is from Latvia (Russia) with mother from Poland. I was grown up nearby Natanyaye city in middle of Israel. In 1952 attended a parachutist officer course and been a commander in defense army. After that I get other military grades, Helping Kurd was one of my important tasks.
Israel-Kurd: for the first time when you went Kurdistan and what was your main purpose? Chori: in 1966, the first year of Israeli helping to Kurd, then I was Mosad officer and they sent me to Kurdistan. Israel-Kurd: you were alone or some one accompanied you in that trip? Chori: I went alone, as arrived to Barzani office in Haji
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Omaran, Daived Cron the Mosad agent was there with another Israeli person who don’t remember his name now. Israel-Kurd: as reached Kurdistan you did what at first and who receipted you? Chori: I was the guest of Mala Mustafa, Idris, Masoud Barzani, also the leadership members, but Mala Mustafa wasn’t there. As asked them about him, they said Barzani went to battle fronts in Penjwen. I said let start till Barzani will return; they agreed and get my aim directly. I didn’t know Kurdish or Arabic languages, but Cron translated my speech to Arabic and they were clever and we understood each other clearly. Israel-Kurd: in you travel to Iran-Tehran how tried to help Kurd and did what? Chori: as I reached Tehran, they asked me to attend a training course for Iranian officers to learn them the elementary skills of war to be able train the Kurds at the end, but Shah didn’t accept. I asked to take Kurd commanders to Tehran to train them there, so they came and I started the course. The course wasn’t succeeding there, because Shah wasn’t interested in Kurds. I asked our embassy in Iran to take these Kurd commanders to Israel and train theme there, it was accepted and I took them to Israel by plane. I put them in a hotel near Haifa and took to our military training daily. I lasted one month, the learnt good things and later went to Tehran and then Kurdistan. Israel-Kurd: did you come back to Tehran with them? Chori: yes, I came back with them; I prepared 20 soldiers for each commander to fight against Iraqi army, because the Kurds had just Bruno not more else, but Iraqi army had modern and heavy weapon.
Israel-Kurd: after that you did what when the course finished? Chori: after that, we prepared our self to defense attacking, as the snow season was over, we planed to attack and control Haji Omaran. I had good plan to teach them and advised the commanders, also I learnt some thing from them. Israel-Kurd: about your defense forces, you had put them how and were you in battle fronts? Chori: We had planned to defend behind Rwanduz, Zozk and Handren mountains. I participated in these battles. When the enemy attacked with a huge number of soldiers and equipment, they didn’t know how control the status. For the first time held the defense line in the front from those people which were clever and experienced in shooting gun. They were not much, but acted well and defended the enemy’s attacks. Israel-Kurd: How about place and amount of Iraqi army? Chori: they were six parts in Ali-bag and Khalifan area and expected to be more than 10,000 soldiers. They were supported by tank and air forces and were trained and skillful. I was a parachute officer and knew that Iraqi army waited to spring to attack the mountains, so I prepared some groups to defend, especially that I had some information about Anti-Terror operations. Israel-Kurd: as you met Barzani, you talked about what and he asked what? Chori: I saw Barzani every day, I went to help them and Mosad advised me to help Kurds in order to be able fight against their enemy. Israel-Kurd: as Barzani returned from Penjwen, how you talked about your last military plan? Chori: when he returned, came and met Miki and me, I discussed the plan, but I wish all of the others thought as him, Barzani was leader
Chori, Mustafa Barzani and Idris Barzani - Kurdistan 1966
In 1966, the first year of Israeli helping to Kurd
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Barzani was leader in fact, the world finds a leader like him never in fact, the world finds a leader like him never, unfotuanlly now he isn’t with us. Israel-Kurd: after that Barzani accepted you plan, how you started the attacks? Chori: according to the plan, when the Iraqis started to attack, we had prepared defend lines. They couldn’t use air forces to control the mountains, some where even the ways were dangerous to Iraqi soldiers, Kurd is known to shooting, and they defended the area. I told them to wait when the soldiers reached front then shoot them. We were on the top of Han-
Barzani said “it was too much killed people, I am not satisfied with such killing, I know that they are obligated to be sent to battles, I don’t like fight with Arab, I am against the Iraqi government system
dren and Zozk, told them don’t shoot on the tanks, because our placed would be revealing. Kurds knew their area, so they had more chance to be succeeded. Iraqi armies were about 3,000 soldiers, I asked Malazm Yousif to command the battle, but unfortunately he was martyr. Israel-Kurd: after those succeeding, what was your next plan, was Barzani satisfied with your activities? Chori: yes, Barzani was too satisfied with me, but he was uncomfortable with the killing of a great number of enemy’s soldier. After the battle, the attacks on Kurdistan had been stopped, we were surprised. Later we knew that Abdul-Salam Aref burned in his plane and Abdul-Rahman (his brother) became the president, he asked Barzani to stop the conflict and go to negotiate. I told Barzani that beside your negotiation we will fight, but he said that how we can negotiate and fight at the same time. Israel-Kurd: was Iran helping Kurds to give military equipment? Chori: Kurds had little equipment, told the Iranian where the equipment is, they said that we sent to Penjwen, it seemed to neglect their promise to help Kurd and didn’t like to help Kurd, they told me that finish your affairs and return your country. Israel-Kurd: how you were in contact with the Kurdish leadership and country officials? Chori: I had a friend which worked in Motorolla Company, I asked him to tell me which communication instruments are more useful, and He introduced me an instrument which was useful and could cover 40 k.m. I wrote a report to Mosad and advised them to buy such instruments, the bought a number of these instruments and I presented them to Idris Barzani and he gave the commanders in front of the battle, they were too useful and Iraqi government didn’t know it soon. From Israel told me to return, but I said that I should complete and finish my plans to Barzani then come back, when we controlled the Garoui Omar Agha. Israel-Kurd: were the fourth part of Iraqi army in Kurdistan, you did what with Masoud Barzani and what was the role of Miki? Chori: Miki and Masoud Barzani instituted Parastn Security department. The army was too active and I suggested attacking the forth part of them which were in Handren Mountain. Most of them were killed, as the equipment reached us from Iran, Barzani said “it was too much killed people, I am not satisfied with such killing, I know that they are obligated to be sent to battles, I don’t like fight with Arab, I am against the Iraqi government system. Israel-Kurd: by the ending of the war how you returned to Israel and why came back Kurdistan again? Chori: at the end of May 1966 I returned to Israel, attended a training course in USA for one year, and then came back to Kurdistan before Kurdistan battle in 1967. Barzani sent me letter when I was in Ramata-
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I am honored that a great Kurd leader wrote me a letter by his hand writing Goulan. I safe this letter and am honored that a great Kurd leader wrote me a letter by his hand writing. Before go to Korek mountain I suggest to attack the Iraqi army, but Barzani mentioned that we can not hold talk and battle in the same time, but I said to him you fight with them and we (me with Masoud and Idris Barzani) try to negotiate with them but he refused. Israel-Kurd: when you returned Kurdistan by Barzani’s invite? Chori: I was in Ramat Gulan when Mossad chief called me and said that Barzani said “send me Chori”. So I prepared my self when the attacks against Kurdistan were started in 1974. As reached Barzani he said that
enemy attacked us and should do some thing. We planed and could break enemy’s battles. Unfortunately, Iran and some Arab countries treaty the movement had been suspended. Regard to Barzani who actually was a famous man and rare leader in the world. Israel-Kurd: Are there some other things to Israel-Kurd magazine reader? Chori: I have regard to Israel-Kurd magazine staff and wish them the best. My last hope is to see Masoud Barzani for once again; he is a good leader for Kurd and Iraq in this stage really. Also, Dr. Mahmoud Osman, I saw him too much and hope the best health for him.
Mustafa Barzani’s later to Chori - 23.07.1967
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Kurds an ethnic group in their own right – genetically most closely related to Jews Ferdinand Hennerbichler explores the history of the Kurds from their origins to the present day
As the Kurd conflict has currently reached a new high point in world politics, wieninternational is presenting the book “Die Kurden” written by Ferdinand Hennerbichler, a member of its staff.
urds were not originally Iranians, even if they speak an Iranian language today, but an ethnic group in their own right descended from original inhabitants of the Middle East. Genetically they are most closely related to Jews.
This is the basic conclusion of the book “Die Kurden”, a comprehensive history of the Kurds from their beginnings until the present day – compulsory reading for all those who seek to fully understand the background to the long conflict involving the Kurdish people and particularly the critical stage it has reached at present. For experts at the RMIB Geoscience publishing company in the Netherlands it is the “most important new publication about the Kurds”. In international expert circles the work by Ferdinand Hennerbichler is being cited as a standard reference work on the subject.
Kurds were not originally Iranians, even if they speak an Iranian language today www.israelkurd.com
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About the book According to recent genetic studies, Kurds are very closely related to Jews. Despite what many people believe, they were not Iranians, even if they speak an Iranian language today. There were Kurds in the regions they inhabit long before the oldest of the Indo-Iranians who live there today. Kurds originally spoke their own pre-Indo-European language and they did not adopt Iranian until the middle of the first millennium before the Christian era. Even the Iranian they speak today has very old roots (such as full ergativity) and is unique in having links with Basque. Basque is a living pre-Indo-European language, and the oldest Kurdish could therefore be as old as Basque, dating back to 2,500 years before the Christian era. Population geneticists have also discovered that Kurds are the descendants of the oldest Stone Age farmers in Kurdistan. Their ancestors thus co-invented modern agriculture around 10,000 years before the Christian era and helped to develop and disseminate Indo-European languages. Moreover, leading international researchers such as Ariella Oppenheim, Almut Nebel and Marina Faerman in Israel have demonstrated that the closest genetic relatives of the Kurds are the Jews. Armenians are close relatives of both. All three ethnic groups belong to the original civilisations in the Middle East and Asia Minor. Name: The name Kurd goes back to the Sumerian word for mountains “kur” and means mountain dwellers. Kurdistan means Kurd land and has been used only since the 12th century. The oldest words for the land of the Kurds (such as Karda or Kurda) were in use 3,000 years before the Christian era. In the 2nd millennium BCE one of their kings was also called “Kurdish Hammurabi”. The original homelands of the Kurds are in the partially hard to access mountain regions of the Taurus and Zagros in south-east Anatolia, northern
Kurdish areas rich in oil and gas
Kurdish parliament in Iraq
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Mesopotamia and north-west Iran. Population: There are no verifiable data as to the number of Kurds in the world today. Estimates range from 25 to over 35 million, making the Kurds the largest stateless ethnic group in the world. More than half of the Kurds live in Turkey, several million in northern Iraq and north-west Iran, and there are some hundred thousands in Syria and the Caucasus states. In Europe there are more than a million Kurds and Austria has around 150,000, where they are regarded as being well integrated. Religion: The Kurds are not militant religious fanatics. Most of them are Sunnite Muslims, and there is also a small minority of Shiites. For the most part they were forced to convert to Islam in the early Middle Ages. There are also various syncretic religions among the Kurds, beliefs that reconcile the contents of different religions. Some of them go back to archaic sun worshippers and Zoroastrianism, which is regarded as the precursor of monotheism. In the first century Kurdistan played an important role in the spread of Christianity in the Middle East. The oldest Christians formed their original communities and churches above all in the region around Arbil, the present-day Kurdish capital, in northern Iraq and into Iran. Kurds gassed decades ago by the British and Turks Many people might not know that when the Kurds were gassed by the Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein in the 1980s it wasnâ€™t the first time they had suffered that fate. Shortly before the death of Mustafa Kemal (1881â€“1938), founder of republican Turkey, the Turkish army used poisonous gas against the Kurdish rebels in the mountain region of Dersim in eastern Anatolia in the late 1930s, despite the fact that Turkey had signed the Geneva Protocol banning chemical weapons following the deaths caused by poisonous gas in the First World War. And in the 1920s in Iraq, 65 years before Saddam Hussein, the British used poisonous gas against rebels. They were acting at the time as the world custodians in present-day Iraq, then still called Mesopotamia, and had a League of Nations mandate for their acts. They promised freedom for Mesopotamia but in reality they put it under the yoke of the
Iraqi Kurdish victims of poison gas attacks in camps in Turkey in the 1980s
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new state of Iraq, which was cobbled together in London from Shiite regions in the south, Sunnite regions in the centre and Kurdish regions in the north. The guiding personality in Great Britain at that time was Winston Churchill (1874-1965), initially Minister of War and then Colonial Secretary. Literally the entire population of the new Iraq, Schiite and Sunni Arabs and Kurds alike, rebelled repeatedly in the 1920s against the British colonisation plans and were bloodily put down on several occasions, in some cases with the use of poisonous gas. It was certainly used against rebel Arabs, but whether Kurds were also victims is still in dispute today. There are witnesses that claim that it was the case. In northern Iraq the Kurds were nevertheless able to achieve limited independence, at least for a time.
The Kurds were not so successful in Turkey
Genocide in Turkey The Kurds were not so successful in Turkey. After the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in the First World War, the Treaty of Sèvres provided for a ministate in south-east Turkey, which was to be united on the basis of a free referendum with the Kurdish territory in northern Mesopotamia to form a larger Kurdish state. It never came about. The Treaty of Sèvres was not ratified and never entered into force. It was the victim of the new situation that Mustafa Kemal and his republican troops created on the battlefield. Mustafa Kemal had originally promised the Kurds equal treatment and limited independence if they helped him to free Turkey from foreign troops. The Kurds helped him, conquering cities like Urfa, but were subsequently abandoned and their rebellions were brutally quashed. Turkey prohibited a Kurdish national identity and made it a punishable offence, which it remains today. The Swiss historian Hans-Lukas Kieser speaks of Kurdish genocide in Turkey. It is only in recent times, with the prospect of Turkey’s accession to the EU, that the anti-Kurdish laws have been relaxed. After negotiations have repeatedly stalled, the Kurd conflict is escalating again in Turkey and its impact is being felt as far as Austria.
A typical Kurdish village in the Zagros mountains in the border region between Iran and Iraq
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Kurdistan is always in my heart I am eager to meet its leaders Translation by barzan ibrahim
An interview with (Navi Noaam khaskeel) the former director of Nationality and Passports in Northern Israel, currently head of an organization for supporting Soldiers.
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Brief profile My name is Navee Naoom khaslika i was born in Baghdad in1934. My parents are Kurds from the town of Koesingaq who had moved to Baghdad long time before my born. In Baghdad we used to live in a district called Dahdawan before moving to Al-Bataween so I had to move to another school where most of the students were Sunni Arabs with fewer shiest. I used to take part in sport activities and i would perform really well, i even took part in Olympic competitions where the King used to attend in person When we moved to Al-bataween we both a 3 storey house for 10 000 Dinars and there i learned swimming and in my spare time i would go swimming with my friends. It was around the year1948 when i started my education which coincided with the establishment of the state of Israel. Some reactionary Arabs started a propaganda campaign against Israel and Jews .we were subject to some harassment with no worth mentioning effect on our daily life. I used to be a student in a very high standard school called Franklin, not any student would be privileged to study there. then i moved to shamash secondary school. Close to our house was based the intelligence agency CID. I remember that every day i would watch a large number of people brought there, they were dressed in Kurdish outfits and Barzanian red turbans, they were those Kurds who had taken part in the Kurdish revolution and Republic of Mahabad and were being transferred to the deserts of southern Iraq. At those days i was only 15 years old. In 1951 we were flown to Israel. Our plane landed in loud airport in Tell Aviv. Our life there wasnâ€™t easy at all. Israel was a newly established state, and we who left behind the luxury of our house had to live in a tent. Not every family would be so lucky to get a Tent. It was then when I started to work. It was arduous since I was not used to work before. When I was asked what I could do my answer was that I was an Iraqi new comer, and that I had been a student in the first class of the institute of primary school teachers in Iraq. I had a little of both English and Hebrew languages and i was able to make them understand me so they send me to (cubed kholeem,to), Department of levy in the local hospital. Everybody had to pay a monthly tariff in order to get his health checked. Later I was conscripted into the military service so I had to leave my hospital job and during my service in the military I worked on improving my Hebrew
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they were dressed in Kurdish outfits and Barzanian red turbans
Israel-Kurd: When in Iraq had you known any Jews who were senior officials? Yes my uncle in law (Nakhoom) was a high rank employee in a Bank and when he moved to Israel he settled in Tel Aviv. Also, my cousin worked for along time in the Railway services. Israel-Kurd: When you completed your Military service how did you come to join the Department of Nationality and passports at the interior ministry? After I had finished my service, I went to the jobcentre and because of my previous experience through my job in the hospital I was sent to city of Haifa for some checks and tests which I passed with high degree so I became an employee in 1954 untie I reached the post of Director general and I am now retired since 1999.
These relations are deeply rooted and it became even stronger during Barzan revolution.
Israel-Kurd: Can you remember giving assistance to your fellow Kurds when you were an employee of the interior ministry? At those times Israel was newly founded everything was rare and rationed through coupons we used to issue. Each family would get food bought from markets in accordance with its number, and children would get no share of tea, Kurds used to come and say that they would give tea to their children before they themselves had to drink so I would help them out in every possible way. Israel-Kurds: In the 60’s when Barzani visited Israel did you manage to see him? No I wasn’t honoured to see or meet him, at the time I was still a junior employee but I had the news of how warmly he was received, my heart is always with Kurdistan and I am eager to meet its leaders. Israel-Kurd: When you were a Director did you visit Sinai in Egypt? Yes during the 6 days war Senai peninsula was seized and i went as far as Suess channel, there were Badu tribes who had been denied any help by the Egyptians so we decided to do that and i ordered a team of 10 to be set up to enlist them and give them assistance. I stayed there until i accomplished my mission. Israel-Kurd: after your retirement how did you come to be the head of this organization? I had already been working as the deputy chairman of the Agency and when he died in 1999 i took over. What is the job of this Agency? Our main job is to help solders, financially assisting poor solders families. Our sources are Donators, Companies and Jewish organizations abroad. Israel-Kurd: how you weigh Kurdish-Israeli relations? These relations are deeply rooted and it became even stronger during Barzan revolution. Now I feel that there is a mutual well to take these ties to the highest possible levels and make them more open. I believe these relations to be of benefit for both sides. Israel-Kurd: can our paper (Israel-Kurd) play any role in advancing these relations? I believe it to be the true bridge between Kurds and Israel and i want to demand its publishers to distribute it in Israel. Also, to issue English version of it to insure more popularity amongst Israeli’s and makes them more aware of the Kurdish cause. I am confident that Kurds do like Israel, but not all Israelis’ think the way i do.
I am confident that Kurds do like Israel, but not all Israelis’ think the way i do. www.israelkurd.com
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Mossad’s retired general Aliayzar Jeffery speaks to Israel-Kurd magazine
I hope that Israel opens a consulate in Erbil and that I become the first consul
ossad’s retired general ( Aliayzar Jeffery ),who is known as ( Jayzi-Ghazi ) among the Kurds talks in a special interview to the Israel-Kurd magazine about a number of important issues including the relations between the Kurds and Israel during and after the ( Aylul - September ) revolution . Aliayzar, who is now busy with writing his memoirs about the Aylul revolution and the years he spent with the Peshmerga in the mountains of Kurdistan, He had a strong relation with Malla Mustafa Barzani. He was amazed by Barzani’s character. Aliayzar has published his memoirs in a book entitled (I am a Kurd) that traces the Kurdish revolutionary movement from the beginning until the downfall of the revolution in 1975. This book will be translated by the Israel-Kurd staff into Kurdish and will be published soon in Kurdistan.
Barzani became a general three times, In Mahabad , another in the military academy in Russia, and once in Israel 25
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Israel-Kurd: Who is Aliayzar ( Jayzi-Ghazi )? Aliayzar: as I was born, I named (Aliayzar Jeffrey). All of my colleagues call me by this name. When I attended school in ( Tibaria ), I had a friend whose name was also ( Aliayzar ), so my friends decided to call me ( Jayzi ) and call him ( Leski ) to distinguish between us. When I started working for Mossad, I had to pick a pseudonym. So I chose (Jayzi). When I was in Kurdistan, they were calling me by (Ghazi). Israel-Kurd: (Ghazi) is an Arabic name, why did you choose it? Aliayzar: we are closed to Arabs and our work is mostly with them, so I chose it to avoid being recognized or identified.
of Israel send you? Aliayzar: Firstly, I have to say that there is no such thing as “your own desire”. This is military command, and it must be obeyed. We could only ask a few questions. Actually, I was delighted to be sent to Kurdistan and I was lucky in this mission. My father was a Kurd, form the Iraqi Kurdistan. My mother was a Moroccan. I, with most of my colleagues at Mossad, were willing to come to Kurdistan. At the end, we came and I became the head of the Israeli envoy to Kurdistan.
Israel-Kurd: What ranks did you achieve in Mossad? Aliayzar: We weren’t working for ranks at the beginning. We were like government civil officials. Later, everyone was ranked according to ability and courage. I held the (Tat-Aluf) rank in the Israeli military which is level-1 general. I held this position until retirement.
Israel-Kurd: How long did the Israeli envoy stay in Kurdistan and until when were you the leader of this envoy? Aliayzar: The Israeli envoy stayed for 1 year in Kurdistan. In this period, it achieved many things for Kurds. The Israeli aid included arm and financial supplies. Through Israel, Kurds could make their voice be heard to the world, especially Europe and America. I started work in Kurdistan in the fall of 1974. I stayed there until the downfall of the revolution and I did what I could to do. I, as a Kurdish descendant, love Kurds very much. The Kurd people are very brave. They are similar to Jews in these attributes.
Israel-Kurd: Who appointed you as Israel’s emissary to Kurdistan, did you want it yourself or did the state
Israel-Kurd: How many times did you see Barzani while in Kurdistan?
Idris Barzani and general Aliayzar Jeffery
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Aliayzar: I used to see Barzani twice a week. We would talk and discuss war and I reminded him of the Israel support for Kurds all the time. I had to inform Barzani about anything I received that concerned the Kurds so that he could express his views about these issues. I used to see Massoud and Idris Barzani everyday. I also exchanged views and ideas with Abdul wahab Atrushi, Sami Abdulrahman, Dr. Mahmud Othman and others. Israel-Kurd: Why did you want to be in Kurdistan and not any other country? Aliayzar: In Mossad, we didn’t have ability to choose to where we could go. Sometimes, we would go to countries which we were against and we would go to their homes and they didn’t like to see us. You read their letters and listen to their talks without their consent. Sometimes you would face dictatorships. Anyway, you have no choice and you must obey. However, we were all happy to work in Kurdistan, because we knew that they were an oppressed nation. Israel-Kurd: You have helped the Peshmarga in using antiplane rockets and tanks, it is said that you have once hit an Iraqi military plane with a rocket, to what extent is this true? Aliayzar: I just helped as an interpreter with the instructors in the courses. I also learned like the peshmerga to shoot rockets and my hope was to strike an Iraqi plane. I recall once when a plane came and I shot a rocket, but didn’t hit it.
as a Kurdish descendant, love Kurds very much
Israel-Kurd: When you were in Kurdistan, how far did you go? Could you pass through Gali ali Bag and reach Khalifan , Harir and Shaqlawa? Aliayzar: I went as far as Gali Ali Bag, however before reaching Gali, I went to Badinan through the Bapshtian and Barzan route. I also went to Betwata through Rania. But I never went to Khalifan and Shaqlawa through Gali because the orders prevented us and it was risky. On that side of Gali, the enemy had more power than the Peshmarga. Israel-Kurd: You have helped the Peshmerga against the enemy tanks when they entered the Rawanduz valley, how did your help benefit the peshmerga? Aliayzar: (Ghazi Atrushi ) who is a close relative of ( Abdulwahab Atrushi ) was formerly in the Iraqi army. They were fearful; they didn’t know how to fight the tanks. They had anti-tank weapons like RBJ and Israeli ( Stinger ) rockets which is Russian. I helped them and told them that they don’t have a choice and they must fight the enemy, otherwise the enemy would reach Haji Omaran. They were very brave in the mountains. However, they were afraid of the tanks because they hadn’t fought them before. My friend ( lieutenant Anwar Majid Sultan) , who was previously in the Iraqi artillery and had run away , joined the revolution. In this battle , he won over the enemy
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because of the ( Stinger rockets ) which were directed at the tanks by controllers. They would hit the tanks even if they were moving. These rockets overwhelmed the enemy.
We told them that it was their decision, and that we would support them no matter what the consequences
Israel-Kurd: Why did you ask for ( Gore ) to Kurdistan again? Aliayzar: ( Gore ) was working with me as a military advisor and he was more experienced about technical issues. However, there was no one who could stay there permanently. I wanted him to remain there for helping the Peshmarga with War strategies. Israel-Kurd: How many people were there from the Israeli envoy to Kurdistan? Aliayzar: We were 10 people. Some were anti-tank and anti-plane rocket instructors. The rest were military advisors and organizers of the envoy’s daily work, because we were with the Peshmarga all the time. We were staying near Barzani’s home. At the beginning, we were accommodated with a tent, and then a house was built for us. Our guards were the Barzani’s guards. We believed iin what Barzani believed in and we didn’t fear anything. Israel-Kurd: You’ve said that you were in Kurdistan for a year, How did you write about the history of Kurds and Barzani? Aliayzar: I would record anything about the Kurdish revolution and Barzani from those who were close to him. People said: If you want to know anything about the history of Kurds, and then go to Mr. Ghazi, he knows everything about it. I collected all the details about Barzani’s leaving Sulimaniyah to Barzan, his role in the establishment of the republic of Mahabad , his journey to the Soviet union until return. All this I gathered from his old friends. Later, I published it in a book.
Idris Barzani and General Aliayzar Jeffery
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Israel-Kurd: What was your stance about the Algeria treaty against the Kurds? Aliayzar: We were against this treaty. Bazani was in Tehran when the treaty was signed. The Kurds were very upset by this treaty. They came to me and asked: what shall we do? I replied and said that we were with you in grief and happiness, and that we will support you no matter what. It is said that the Shah didn’t want to shake hands with Saddam but King Hussein, Boutafliqa and Saddat had a big role in convincing the Shah to sign the treaty. Saddam, wasn’t the only one against the Kurds, other arab states also played a role in this. Israel-Kurd: Before the Algeria Treaty, the Kurds has established a government with ministries, Was there any foreign intervention , such as you? Aliayzar: The Kurds had autonomy in some regions and they needed to control them. They wanted to establish something that resembled a state so that they wouldn’t be looked at as unable of self-governing. As a result, they decided to establish ministries that would govern the autonomic region. We told them that it was their decision, and that we would support them no matter what the consequences. Israel-Kurd: What pseudonym and passport did you use to go to Iraq? Aliayzar: I was going to Iran using my own name, and I would use a different name and passport to go to Kurdistan. The Iranians knew about it and were our allies in this. The one who was in the checkpoint on the Kurdish border knew me and he knew that I wasn’t the person in the passport, but he wouldn’t speak in fear of our safety. Israel-Kurd: Why didn’t the Iranians want to help the Kurds from the beginning? Aliayzar: The Iranians believed that Barzani was responsible for all the problems that emerged as a result of the Mahabad republic. They also be-
lieved that Barzani became a communist and an anti-Shah in Russia. They thought that if Kurds gained anything, they would stand against Iran. The Soviets did nothing for the Kurds. They were more in favor of the totalitarian Arab regimes, Iraq among them. Israel-Kurd: Barzani asked you once about what you wrote, and if it had any benefit to Kurds? Aliayzar: I said: “One day, when someone will write about the Kurdish revolution and the bravery of the Peshmarga, it will be mine.” My dream is that this book will one day be taught in all the schools in Kurdistan. There are many things in this book about the bravery of Kurds and Barzani that the new generations don’t know. I hope that Mr. Massoud takes this into consideration. Israel-Kurd: What do you think about the ( Maearef ) magazine’s survey in Kurdistan which showed that 65% of Kurds favour relations with Israel? Aliayzar: Actually 87% percent favor relations with Israel. DNA investigations have shown that Kurds and
Why is it a shame for us while other Arab nations like Egypt, Jordan, and even the Palestinians have relations with Israel? General Aliayzar Jeffery and Peshmargas
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opens an embassy in Baghdad, we will open a consulate in Erbil. Israel-Kurd: When was the last time you visited Kurdistan? I have seen photos of you from the 90s in Kurdistan. How true is this? Aliayzar: Until 1975, I was in Kurdistan publicly. But I can’t give any comments for what you say, because I can’t declassify some secrets of my nation. Israel-Kurd: Do you have a final wish? Aliayzar: I wish that Israel opens a consulate in Erbil and I become the first consul. And you, Mr. Dino, help me as a translator and advisor. I wish you all the best and I hope that Kurds establish their own country. Thanks so much
Jews are very close and that we are relatives of Kurds. We have always lived together in peace and we’ve never had any trouble. The Kurds of Turkey and Iran also know that Israel had helped Kurds for 10 years. Israel-Kurd: A few months ago, a new magazine called (IsraelKurd) was published in Kurdistan, what do you think about it? Aliayzar: I was very happy that it writes about Israel with such honesty and that it tells the truth to its people. I am proud of it. I am proud of all those who are working on it. And I am ready to help them with anything they need. Israel-Kurd: What do you think about president Barzani’s reelection for 4 years else? Aliayzar: Mr. Massoud is a diligent Kurdish politician. I have known him for more than 40 years. He is experienced and suitable for today’s Kurdistan. I hope that his people support him all the time, because there is no one who has the ability to keep them together like him. I heard Mr. Massoud himself answering a question about Israel-Kurdistan relations, he said “We don’t have relations with Israel, but my father did. Why is it a shame for us while other Arab nations like Egypt, Jordan, and even the Palestinians have relations with Israel? If Israel
General Aliayzar Jeffery near Erbil
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The Israel Lobby’s Big Problem:
People Aren’t Afraid to Criticize Israel Anymore
ight-wingers in Jerusalem keep getting more and more outrageous. But the political climate in Washington can no longer be predicted, much less taken for granted. I just ran across a couple of noteworthy quotes from members of AIPAC — the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the most powerful organization in the muchdreaded “Israel lobby” — which began its annual meeting in Washington on Monday: “We were never exposed to anti-semitism, but we heard about anti-Israel campaigns in colleges, and next year we are going to college, and we want to have the tools to deal with that,” said a high school senior, one of some 1300 students and youth at the meeting, according to the Israeli
newspaper Haaretz. Note how effortlessly this kid moves from “anti-semitism” to “anti-Israel.” That’s how AIPAC has always recruited youth: Take Americans who have never experienced anti-semitism personally and make them believe that, even if they haven’t seen any enemies, those enemies are out there, lurking everywhere, disguised as “critics of Israel,” just waiting to pounce on poor, unsuspecting Jews. But times are changing. Even AIPAC no longer tries to keep up the old fiction that criticizing Israel is, in and of itself, an anti-semitic act. There are too many Israeli Jews, who are obviously loyal to their nation, criticizing their government for that old canard to stick. So now the right-wingers have come up with a more so-
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phisticated version: “Soft” critics of Israel are OK — those who don’t go too far in their criticism — but “hard” critics of Israel are obviously anti-semites. And of course AIPAC and its right-wing partners in Israel gets to decide what counts as going too far. Apparently it’s those “hard critics” who mount the “antiIsrael campaigns in colleges,” and they’re the ones this AIPAC high-schooler has learned to be afraid of. Well, AIPAC has to have some anti-semites out there to pursue its double-barreled strategy: Incite fear to rally the troops while justifying everything the Israel government does as necessary for Jewish survival, and therefore morally justified. But what if American Jews stopped being afraid and stopped justifying outrageous Israel actions, like the recent announcement (while Vice-President Joe Biden was visiting the country) of 1600 new Jewish housing units in the occupied territory of East Jerusalem? Which brings me to the other noteworthy quote, a rather blunt one from AIPAC attendee Donell Weinkopf of New York: “I would not say that I am disappointed by the Netanyahu government. But I feel like shit. Israel did something stupid by declaring this construction. … I think that the time has come for Israel to stop biting the hand of a
friend.” Weinkopf probably tracked the incident closely. So he knows that no one has been able to turn up evidence to refute Israeli Prime Minister’s Bibi Netanyahu’s claim that the announcement, made by a far right cabinet minister, came as a surprise to him. Let’s assume it did. But Weinkopf also knows that Bibi could have reversed the decision and immediately healed any rift with the U.S. Instead, though, he merely offered Biden a meaningless apology for “bad timing” and boasted that the building project would go ahead anyway. Then Israel’s PM came to Washington, where Weinkopf and all the other AIPAC’ers heard him deliver a seemingly defiant speech. The journalist who got the two rich quotes at the AIPAC meeting heard it too and described it this way: “Unsurprisingly, his speech included every possible cliche: Death camps, the relentless persecution the Jewish people have suffered throughout history, the powerful bond between the Jews and the land of Israel and, of course, Jerusalem. … Far from being a conciliatory effort, Netanyahu’s speech was riddled with borderline provocation. … He did not present a real vision for peace or compromise.”
Apr 2010 - No 2
Kurdistan State is behind Israel Supports
urds are in danger; their history was impacted by many crises, their nation process was involved political and religious threats. No one understand Kurd’s interest and even most of Kurd’s themselves aren’t sure that look to what. Some of them pay attention to Islam and religion, some one has free national views and some of the Kurds compare their nation and country with other state and lands. Kurds see their neighboring and try to take a sample to be grown and many supports to be protected. Ideological Iranian system, Turkish Fascist government, Syrian Totalitarian state and Arabs nationalist government blocked Kurd and its homeland. Iran needs Kurd as a linker between Tehran and Arab countries, in spite of some other interests like commercial points which refers to Kurdistan region in the southern Kurdistan and political interests to make a balance between Kurd in southern and eastern Kurdistan. Kurd needs a friend to understand, support and protect him, especially in a world which denies Kurd and his question. Jews have the same condition; they had passed many critical stages. They faced genocide in Holocaust as Kurd in Halabja, they were homeless and displaced as Kurd during the history, and they were suffered by fascist systems as Kurds were suffered and …etc. There is an important difference; Jews used their forces to safe themselves for ever, but Kurds up to now are involved with their crises. Jews knew that a nation without and independent country can be saved never, so found their homeland and settled there. Kurds have better opportunity to do such thing, but the neighboring systems of current Kurdistan government try to impact Kurdish Nationalism Idea and their power emphases just to avoid Kurd from independency. An independent Kurdistan in south encourages Kurds in Turkey, Syria and Iran. So it makes a new matter for these systems which have many other crises. Israel and Jews can be regarded as the Kurdistan and Kurd, without attention to religion and other ethnics. Jews were separated in whole the world, but their awareness and interests collected them on a land which is called Israel. Kurds need to use Jews experiences that how they found power and had been strong in the world and how could control economic and financial networks. The new Israel can support Kurds, but Kurds need some basic changes in their policy. Iran is afraid from Israel-Kurd relation, because knows that a strong relation between Kurdistan and Israel impacts its interests in the area and even the world. Israel teaches any nation and country that power and independency is your right, also encourages each nation to decide about its fate, so Iranian system can not be under a neighbor that feels as a perfect nation and non related country. In other hand, Turkey never think about Kurd as a nation which has right to be independent, so how deal with a policy which be ended with Kurd’s self control. Therefore, Israel is ready to support Kurd and can neglect many of its interests in the area, but how? Kurds try to change their enemy to friend as Arab, Fars and Turk, but don’t admire their true and relay friend which are Jews in Israel. It needs a movement to show the importance of Israel power for Kurd and its country may be the process costs too much and there many political problems, but it is a reality that an Independent Kurdistan State in the Middle East is behind Israeli supporting to Kurd and its historical question. email@example.com
Apr 2010 - No 2
By: Hawar Bazyan
No one understand Kurd’s interest and even most of Kurd’s themselves aren’t sure that look to what www.israelkurd.com
“I am proud to be Kurd and am in honor to be related with Kurdish affairs”
Interview: Deeno Daniel
ecent years, Kurd-Jews participated in Israel institutions and had been succeeded. They are in high positions and active, most of them support and vote Kadima party. Chvi Bar, who is Chvi Barzani, is the municipality head of Ramatgan for 21 years. During an interview with Israel-Kurd magazine, he mentioned his early life and returning to Israel from Kurdistan in 1880s. Also he believed that Kurd and Jews have historical relation and most of the Kurds like Israel. He desires to return Kurdistan and feels that Kurdistan is near to be independent.
Israel-Kurd: let to know about Chvi Bar? Chvi Barzani: I am Chvi Barzani, my father’s name Jacob the son of Youda Barzani. My grandfather Youda came to Israel/Tabariea in 1880s. He tried to revenge some one who kidnapped one of his family’s daughters, after that immigrate to Israel which was occupied by Osmani Turks. Later, my parents born and married here, I was born in 1935 in middle of Israel near Youna village nearby Jerusalem. Now I have three children, two sons and a girl. In 1954 attended military service in Parachute sector as an officer, I took the military positions well and get vice-general commander of Israeli army. Now, I am the municipality head of Ramatgan in Tel Aviv (from 1989). Graduated in political sciences (1975), studied in Paris high schools (1968) and took several military positions. Israel-Kurd: what was your last military position in Israeli army? Chvi Barzani: during 6 Days Battle, I was one of those parachutists who controlled Gaza, then was the director of army parachute school. I Participated in Ramata Golan, Keepour (Harb-Ghafran) battles.
“We will change our nickname from Bar to Barzani which is our origin one”
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Also I was a military academician; my studies belonged to Paris (1976). After that, acted in Israeli police and was border guard force (1977-1983). Israel-Kurd: why changed your name from Chvi Barzani to Chvi Bar? Chvi Barzani: I was an army officer, some thing wrong happened in UN Security Commission between Soviet Union and U.S.A. Dived Gourion the Israel PM of that time called me and asked about may name, status was full of tension. He asked me about the meaning of Barzani, I told him my biography and origin life in Kurdistan and Barzan area, but he said “from now your name is Chvi Bar and make this ID change legal soon as is possible. I couldn’t refuse the speech of prime minister, so changed it to Bar. Now, my children will change their nickname from Bar to Barzani which is our origin nickname.
“We have diplomatic relation with Egypt, Jordan and many other Arab countries, why should avoid from relation with Kurds”
Israel-Kurd: why you didn’t accompany the Israeli group which went to Kurdistan, instead of Sagi Chori? Chvi Barzani: that time I was the manager of a military school and taught the soldiers to how can parachute. I was candidate to go Kurdistan which is my home land, I was desired to serve Kurdistan and my suffered nation, but I was busy with some other affairs and I was needed here. Aliaezar planned to send me to Kurdistan and introduced me as a Barzani to Mala Mustafa Barzani. It is my old wish to see my home land Kurdistan once again, “I am proud to be Kurd and am in honor to be related with Kurdish affairs, whole the nations of the area are independent except my nation, willing God will see it’s independent soon”. Israel-Kurd: when the Israeli group were in Kurdistan, how you helped them from that a military school? Chvi Barzani: then I receipted and helped them in the school, but Sagi Chori helped them as commander and I am proud to help them, this group of Peshmarga which were in Israel, were our guest for one month. The returned Kurdistan soon, because Peshmarga was in war against the enemy and they should come back to help their army. The learnt some military technique to fight against Iraqi army which was barbaric. Israel-Kurd: the Kurdish people of those areas which were rich in petrol and other energy sources had been displaced and Shiite Arabs were settled
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tion. Israel-Kurd: what is your opinion about Israel-Turkey diplomatic relation in the area? Chvi Barzani: we had a good relation with Turkey, but after Erdogan and his party get the power in Turkey, it impacted our relations. Turkey was known as Strategic friend in the Middle East, but now Turkey is more interested by Iran. Turkey cannot do any thing without western countries. They threat us by their embassy. They should try to calm down and clarify the condition not make it more complex. Israel-Kurd: you as the manager of an Israeli important city which had exchange stocks market, how you protect yourselves against the threats of Iranian government and its president Agmadi Jazghad against Israel? Chvi Barzani: we can control our important city and exchange stocks; we had a good plan to protect ourselves against Iran. I think
there, what is your opinion about this phenomenon? Chvi Barzani: I think Sunni Arabs aren’t just the enemy of Kurd, Persian and Turks; there were even the enemy of Shiites in Iraq which are same in base. Just the Sunnis were in power, they didn’t like to attack and kill Sunnis, so planned to kill Shiites first, then Kurds. Israel-Kurd: what do you think about the future of Kurd position in Middle East at all? Chvi Barzani: firstly, Kurds try to create and makeup an independent country which be supported by UN, then can apply its role in the area. Now Kurdistan is rounded by its enemy, I mean Kurdistan of Iraq which has many rich natural sources and brave people. Israel-Kurd: what’s your opinion about Israel-Kurd relation; do you suggest direct relation between them? Chvi Barzani: yes, Kurd is a nation and has the same right as the other nations in the world. We have diplomatic relation with Egypt, Jordan and many other Arab countries, why should avoid from relation with Kurds. Those states which we are in relation cannot be useful for Israel, till now I had never seen a Kurd burned Israel flag, but the countries which mentioned before burned our flag for several times. Kurds leader had strong and historical friendship with Jews; we had been protected by Kurds leaders when were in Kurdistan and our life and security was guaranteed, in spite their religion which were Muslim, but generally we and Kurd had a good and nice rela-
Kurds try to create and makeup an independent country which be supported by UN www.israelkurd.com
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it is better that Ahmadi Nazhad think more intellectual, Israel isnâ€™t a simple and weak country, we can be in war with whole the world, but We are not such them, we need and like peace. Israel-Kurd: what is your suggestion to solve the Israel-Palestine question? Chvi Barzani: we are agreeing to create an independent Palestinian state which refers to Fatih organization. We should know the Palestinians sole their problems at first and avoid from terror and cut military relation with Iran and Syria and be against Qaeda Organization. Then international community accepts them, if Palestinian knows Jews and Israel as a reality we can do as they want.
we can be in war with whole the world, but We are not such them, we need and like peace
Israel-Kurd: before give your book as a gift, I like to know some details about the book? Chvi Barzani: firstly, I mentioned my home land, Kurdistan and Kurdish Jews that how did live and return to Israel. Also wrote my military services and taking positions, family and as I told you before how we are proud to be Kurd with Barzani nickname. Israel-Kurd: you just as a Kurd, what is your opinion about Israel-Kurd magazine by now and in future? Chvi Barzani: I am happy as a Kurd who sees my citizen is the reporter of a magazine which attends the importance of Kurdistan-Israel relation. It was my wish, an am sorry that doesnâ€™t know Kurdish, but understand your aims from the English sector of the website. I would like to know each other and be closed friend with leaders, because our leaders are the leader of whole Kurds. I as different in religion, but a member of my society and Kurdistan hold many different religious ideas which we are a part of them. Israel-Kurd: what is your last speech to our magazine and interview? Chvi Barzani: I thank whole the writer and magazine staff member, hope the best wishes for them and hope again to have a good future. I hope to see the shaking of Kurdistan flag on an independent Kurdistan as the other countries and states. I like to travel Kurdistan which is my early desire till now.
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A short Biography: - Chvi Barzani, known as Chvi Barkway Youd Barzani - Born in Israel 1935 - The head of Ramatgan municipality in Tel Aviv - The head of Education in Ramatgan - The head of Galead department in Tala Shoumer hospital - Honorary head of Barilan University commission which is the best university of Israel. - High member of plan and engineering institution. - Bachelor degree and graduated in Political Science about State.
The Jew of his Wife
I Jamshid Ibrahim
still see it in my mind’s eye as if it was yesterday when the man smiled at me. He was middle-aged with a friendly smile which bespoke of a desire to get rid of isolation and discrimination. His wife was I think busy doing something like cooking or washing. They lived in an old run down place which looked like a room next to a stable. In fact it was more like a stable than a room. His son looked at me with skepticism but the man smiled. A friendly and inviting smile saying: welcome and thank you for seeking our contact. Yes, they were Jews of that society who had to be careful, friendly and considerate to please the others. People said they were cowards, scaredy-cats. A man whose wife had a strong personality and dominated him was”The Jew of his wife“. I was looking at them because I was curious although I remember it was just the other day when we, a group of naughty boys terrorized them by hurling old cucumbers or apples into their cave breaking whatever we hit. They hurried out in panic but we fled. We told our families, relatives and people we knew what we did and they all burst into peals of laughter and patted us approvinbgly. Still when he saw me looking at them, the man’s smile never left my mind. The picture is as vivid as ever. I wanted to say sorry please forgive me. I feel ashamed of what I did but the man’s smile appears again as if saying don’t worry when you are older you understand better and come back as a friend. They couldn’t stay longer and had to leave to their new Homeland. They wouldn’t have left if they had a choice. Homeland is where you were brought up , isn’t it?. It is time now to come back home. But this time you are not alone. You have a friend.
Apr 2010 - No 2
Building Regional Peace: Iraq and the Kurds
This article is based on a paper presented at the June 8-9, 2009 conference entitled “Israel and the Arab States: Parallel Interests, Relations, and Strategies,” jointly held in Jerusalem by the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung. A CHANGING ATMOSPHERE IN BAGHDAD For 35 years, Israel was a major target for rhetorical, ideological, and military attacks by the Ba’thi regime. Yet with the collapse of the Ba’th and the many changes that have occurred in Iraq, Baghdad’s posture toward Israel has changed significantly. The harsh anti-Israel rhetoric has all but disappeared. Similarly, the vocal and actual commitment to the Palestinian cause has been reduced considerably.
By Ofra Bengio *
Indeed, the Kurds have been playing an important role as a moderating force with regard to the Iraqi stance toward Israel
Having been Israel’s tacit ally from 1965-1975, the Kurds could now become an important moderating factor vis-à-vis Israel. The fact that since the establishment of the new regime the post of foreign minister has been in the hands of a Kurd, Khoshyar Zibari, is in itself very important. The same is true for the presidential post, which is manned by Jalal Talabani. Indeed, the Kurds have been
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The representatives of the KRG, as well as Kurdish and Iraqi exiles abroad in various different countries, could provide an important umbrella for such relations playing an important role as a moderating force with regard to the Iraqi stance toward Israel, both in the parliament and in the government. Yet, without belittling this role, it must be stressed that on the whole, the toning down of the anti-Israeli mood in Baghdad has either been due to the American influence there or because there were more burning issues to deal with. Notwithstanding these negative factors, Israel should take advantage of the improved atmosphere and changing balance of power in the region to develop ties with the more moderate forces in Iraq. Thus, in spite of the growing Iranian influence in Iraq, or even because of it, official Israel should not antagonize Iraq’s Arab Shi’a by unduly emphasizing the dangers of the Shi’i crescent. Instead, it should encourage such Shi’i figures as Iyad Allawi, Kanan Makiyya, or Naji al-Wa’ili to play a moderating role in Iraqi society as well as in the corridors of power in Baghdad. Israel is likely to find counterparts among the more secular forces in Iraq and all those who fear the deepening Iranian penetration. These may include not only Shi’a but Sunnis as well. However, quite understandably the most promising possibilities lie in cooperation with the Kurds. The potential for developing ties with Iraq lies in three areas: the political, the social-humanitarian and the economic. The easiest and most promising is, of course, the economic field, and it is here that Israel has had its greatest achievements. Still, practically speaking, any further commercial and economic deals between Israeli companies and Iraqi partners should be undertaken with the greatest discretion and caution lest they be discovered by Iranian agents and cause severe financial and material damage. SOME POSITIVE DEVELOPMENTS Legally speaking, Israel and Iraq are in a state of war. In fact, Iraq is the only Arab country that participated in the 1948 war but did not sign a ceasefire agreement
with Israel. Hence any contacts or deals between the citizens of the two countries might be considered an act of treason. To overcome this difficulty, certain moves were taken on both sides to facilitate such contacts. On the Israeli side, decrees were issued on a yearly basis, starting from 2003, allowing Israelis to do business with Iraqis. As far as is known, no such action was taken by Iraq. In practice, however, even during the Saddam Hussein era, like other Arab countries that had no relations with Israel, Israeli goods found their way to Iraq through third-party agents, allowing them to benefit from its technological know-how and other materials. After the 2003 war, Israel benefited indirectly from certain agreements that were signed with the Americans. Thus, for example, on July 11, 2005, Iraq and the United States signed a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) as a first step toward creating liberalized trade and increasing investment flows between the two countries. Since many of the transactions between Israel and Iraq were made through the Americans and for the American army, Israeli businessmen stood to benefit from the agreement as well. POTENTIAL PARTNERS AND AREAS OF COOPERATION Israel and the Kurds appear to be natural allies, with their ties going back to the 1950s, when the idea of the peripheral alliance was first launched. In fact, discrete relations have continued for most of the time ever since and this provides a good basis for promoting relations. Another important consideration is the relative quiet and security the region enjoys in comparison to other more turbulent regions. The dangers of being penetrated by Iranian agents also seems lower there than in the center and the south of the country. Similarly, the fact that the Kurdish region has opened its doors to so many companies and enterprises from all over the world makes it much easier for Israeli entrepreneurs to act there too. On the whole, one can say that there is eagerness among the Kurds for such cooperation. According to a poll published on September 21, 2009, in the Israeli newspaper Ma’ariv, 66.9 percent in Iraqi Kurdistan said they supported relations with Israel and 60.4 percent
Apr 2010 - No 2
expressed a desire for open relations. Yet this interest in bilateral ties with Israel has also been accompanied by a fear of the reaction in the Arab world in general and among Arab Iraqis in particular. Arab media criticism of the Kurds is encapsulated in such expressions as “the second Israel” or Kurdistan following in the footsteps of “Yahudistan” (“Jewishstan”). For its part, Israel, too, is willing to encourage strong ties with the Kurds, but it fears antagonizing Turkey and jeopardizing the strategic partnership with it. How can this dilemma be resolved? Kurdish leaders themselves have issued some ambiguous statements, explaining that since Arab countries were conducting business with Israel, there was no reason why they should not do so. Israeli justification to Turkey could be the same: namely that Turkey has turned itself into the lifeline for Iraqi Kurdistan, enabling companies and investors from all over the world to do business there, and Israeli companies should not be the exception to the rule. Joint Turkish, Israeli, and Kurdish companies should also be encouraged. A sine qua non for Israel’s success in this region is the improvement of its image among both the intellectual elites and the population at large. Notwithstanding the fact that the leadership of most of the parties has had contact with Israel over the years, and that there exists certain affinities between the two non-Arab nations, there remain strong reservations among the Kurdish rank and file towards Israel. This is due to the lingering historical perceptions of the Jew as being inferior even to the Christian, let alone the Muslim, and more importantly Israel’s image as a country that betrayed the Kurds in 1975 and has been supporting Turkey against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). Humanitarian aid is another important area for promoting people-to-people relations. This is true for Iraqis as a whole but especially to the Kurds. A particularly crucial field for enhancing such ties is that of medicine and medical facilities. In fact, Israel was a pioneer in this field in the 1970s, when it provided medical aid by sending Israeli doctors and medical facilities to war-torn Kurdistan.
The KRG is the safest and most secure region for Israeli activities People-to-people ties may be also strengthened through tourism. Individual Israelis, most of whom are of Kurdish origin, began frequenting Kurdistan already in the 1990s. Following the 2003 war, the circle was enlarged to include other Israelis as well. On the whole, the affinity between the two non-Arab nations has made visiting Israelis quite welcome there. President Barzani himself called on Israelis of Kurdish origin to visit Kurdistan. Still, great caution is needed due to strengthening Islamist trends in the society, especially among the youth and in the universities. The reasons for this Islamization are manifold, including corruption among the ruling elite, Iranian influence, and the years of severe socioeconomic difficulties. Whatever the causes, such trends are likely to threaten Kurdish-Israeli relations. While Kurdistan has rich water resources, problems of aridity, increasing exploitation by neighboring countries of water resources, and poor management of the hydraulic system has combined to create serious water shortages in the region. To help the KRG overcome these problems, Israeli engineers could be sent to the region to map the existing water system and suggest solutions. The banking system in Kurdistan is very primitive. The use of credit cards is still very limited and so are other banking facilities. The Jews of Iraq, who until the 1950s were the backbone of the banking system there, could play an important role in establishing such a system in the KRG. Another area in which Israel could contribute is that of the development of oil fields. This of course should be done in cooperation with foreign companies, which are already active there. Kurdish leaders also speak of a need for Israeli advisors to help unite the Peshmerga. It is currently divided into two forces: one under the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) command, and the other under the Patriot-
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Humanitarian aid is another important area for promoting people-to-people relations ic Union of Kurdistan (PUK). In the past, Israeli officers did help these forces in different ways. Still the question is if this has not become too much of a sensitive issue for Arab Iraq, the Americans, and Turkey, as they are likely to interpret such help as encouraging Kurdish separatism. On the political and diplomatic level, contacts should be reinforced through Kurdish representatives in different countries and Jewish organizations and lobbies. The Kurdish Jews in Israel, who started initiating certain moves as early as the 1990s, could further facilitate such ties due to their common language and cultural background. In fact, the KRG feels at greater ease to develop ties through the Kurdish Jews of Israel since it could claim that it was dealing with Iraqi citizens. Thus, for example, Israeli members of the Knesset of Kurdish origin were invited to Kurdistan under this cover. It goes without saying that the Americans working in Iraq may be the most important vehicle for developing such ties. However, they are also acting under severe restraints and they too would not like to appear as if they were facilitating an Israeli “imperialist onslaught” on Iraq. Similarly, the different NGO’s active in the KRG may be an important instrument, only that this should be done with the utmost discretion and prudence lest they reveal such activities to the “army” of Iranian agents found there. The representatives of the KRG, as well as Kurdish and Iraqi exiles abroad in various different countries, could provide an important umbrella for such relations. The same holds for Iraqi intellectuals both outside and inside Iraq who participate in various international gatherings. Some of them are very eager to come to Israel, and the authorities should help them do so with all the necessary prudence.
Finally, the most promising arena is the swiftly developing business community, which is eager to do business with Israel, albeit through third parties. The main dangers here lie in the corruption sweeping throughout Iraq and the ability of such businessmen, entrepreneurs, and government officials--who are the backbone of this community--to respect their commitments. CONCLUSION The war in Iraq and the changing strategic map of the region has opened new vistas for Israel in Iraq. However, these are still fraught with dangers, risks, and no small amount of obstacles. The most promising venue for such ties is the KRG: It is assumed that this Kurdish section of Iraq will continue to be part of that country and, as such, the Kurds will have an influence on the future policy course of Iraq. Yet this too is controversial as it might jeopardize relations with Turkey and because in the past such ties did not fulfill all Israeli expectations. Some Israelis have even warned of the Kurds’ “shifting sands” due to their ties with Iran, for example, which might endanger Israeli investments and other activities there. Concerning the fear of antagonizing Turkey, it is possible to say that relations with Turkey and ties with Iraq in general and the KRG in particular need not be mutually exclusive. Second, Israel should understand the tremendous difficulties under which the Kurds are acting, lower its expectations, and reap whatever benefits possible under such circumstances. Overall, the situation in Iraq is still in a great flux. Admittedly, the KRG is the safest and most secure region for Israeli activities. Still, here too, one should expect some instability in the near future, due to growing tensions between the KRG and Baghdad and the expected pullout of the American forces by 2011. Given these circumstances, Israeli activities should concentrate on economic, humanitarian, and cultural issues. They should also be low-key and far from the limelight so as not to embarrass its potential partners.
*Prof. Ofra Bengio is a Senior Research Fellow at the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies and a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Middle Eastern and African History, Tel Aviv University. www.israelkurd.com
Apr 2010 - No 2
Shi’a Wakf claims that Ezekiel’s shrine is Muslim
n the week that Jews read the Biblical story of Ezekiel’s valley of dry bones, there are resurgent fears that the Shi’a Wakf (religious endowment) wishes to turn the shrine of the Jewish Prophet Ezekiel into a mosque. Two activists on behalf of the preservation of the shrine, at Kifl south of Baghdad, Mr Maurice Shohet from New York and Professor Shmuel Moreh, an Israeli emeritus professor of Iraqi origin, sent Point of No Return an article published on 2 April in the respected Arabic newspaper Al-Hayat in London and on the Sawt al’Iraq site (The Voice of Iraq) in Baghdad. The article proves that the Islamic authorities consider that the tomb of the Jewish prophet Ezekiel is an exclusively Muslim
shrine. “That being the case, we find that we have to appeal to international authorities such as UNESCO, the US and European governments to redouble their efforts to save the Jewish character of Ezekiel’s tomb,” says Professor Moreh. Religious authorities in Iraq are determined to convert the tomb of the Jewish prophet Ezekiel into a mosque after deleting Hebrew inscriptions, according to AlHayat and Sawt al-’Iraq. But a debate is still raging about the ownership of the shrine, and some Iraqis are prepared to stand up for Jewish interests. The newspaper quotes the official in charge of the Shi’a Waqf (Endowment), Salih al-Haydari, who denies
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that the shrine belongs to the Jews. He says that the tomb is that of Dhu al-Kifl, a prophet mentioned in the Koran - proof enough that the site belongs to the Muslims. Recent excavations at the site, he claims, prove that it is not a Jewish site, although the findings have not yet been published! The Shi’a Waqf in cooperation with the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities is currently restoring the shrine. The foundations of the site have always been at risk from flooding and its minaret is in imminent danger of collapse. However Mrs Mariam Omran, director of the Babylon heritage site, points out that Iraqi Jews used to visit Ezekiel’s shrine up until their migration in the mid-20th century. “The removal of Hebrew writings and inscriptions is part of the process of erasing the memory of religious minorities who were the original inhabitants of Iraq and other parts of the Middle East,” she says. Mrs Omran says that the authorities responsible for preserving Iraq’s ancient heritage have come under pressure from Islamists to remove Hebrew words and ornamentation, in readiness for the building of a mosque
over the tomb of Ezekiel. The article points out that the tomb was not previously of interest to Muslims until 2003, when the Shi’a Waqf started campaigning for the restoration of the site. A spokesman for the Ministry of Tourism has denied reports that the character of the shrine is being altered. The tomb is being faithfully restored using original materials and old photographs, he claims. The Department of Antiquities and Heritage has allocated about 250 million dinars for restoration work and maintenance, which began in the summer of 2008. A spokesman claims that the Muslim prophet Dhu al-Kifl is the same person as the Jewish prophet Ezekiel, who was taken prisoner by the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar in 589 BC. The shrine dates back to the 14th century. The Ottoman period witnessed a struggle for control between Jews and Muslims. Most of the buildings and surrounding shops belong to Jewish families and rent is still being paid to the landlords in Israel and European countries.
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Hewa= Tikva= Hope A word to my Kurd brothers
Mala Mustafa decided always to be optimist I happen to hear some pessimistic critiques by Kurdish fellows, on internal and external situation, and I think you, my Kurdish brothers, need some words of encouragement. While being Mossad representative in Kurdistan (74-75), I remember many inspiring conversations with the legendary leader Mala Mustafa Barzani. We were discussing the situation of the war waged by Saddam Hussein, with many brigades and divisions attacking Kurdistan, no doubt a critical situation, and Mala Mustafa decided always to be optimist, a linguist invention by him to say he is both optimist and pessimist. Looking now-a-days to the situation, one must admit that there was no time in history with such a fine hour to the Kurds in Iraq. I explain it, here and there in my lectures and to the media, that in the last chaotic years in Iraq the most organized, stabilized, democratic, safe and peaceful region in Iraq is the Kurdistan region. On 2003 war Kurdistan proved to be the real â€œNorthern Coalitionâ€? to the U.S and allies, while Turkish government unfortunately hesitated in permitting the American 4th division entering through Turkey. Old Harir airfield and later Erbil airfield were placed at U.S. Army disposal, with the Peshmarga joining the operation, investing there part in blood and victims. Surely the U.S. appreciates this and later cooperation. Kurdistan region is now like an independent state without using the word, or say it full autonomy. Who would have believed it, remembering the false promises of Saddam and his predecessors? A democratic parlia-
Eliezer (Geizi) Tsafrir ment, a government, a President of the Kurdistan Region and a President of Iraq (who would have believed it), a Peshmarga well organized army, a free Kurdish education, economic development, etc. No Iraqi future solution could ignore these achievements anymore. Indeed there are still shadows to be lighted: a better understanding on part of Turkish government; removing Iran from its negative role in the area (most of Arab countries endorse this target); removing Syria from this same role; a better understanding within Iraqi government to solve problems, like Kirkukh for example, a city that was and is mostly Kurdish, despite ugly Arabization during Saddam period and his predecessors. Somebody, not very wise in Iraqi government put lately a bizarre request from Israel to compensate Iraq for Israeli bombardment of the atomic reactor 1981â€Ś not thinking about Iraqi needed compensations to Kuweit for the brutal occupation, for the missile bombardment on Israel, SaudiArabia and the Gulf, for more than 200000 Kurdish victims and many ruined Kurdish villages during the wars and Anfal etc, to Iraqi Shiite community for the many losses of generations, to Iran for the 8 years war waged on them by Saddam etc. So my friends, look forward with Hewa- Tikva (this is the Israeli national anthem)- hope for a better future, knowing that the current situation is not bad at all.
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THE ISRAELI-KURDISH RELATIONS Sergey Minasyan
n 2001 a team of Israeli, German and Indian specialists published the results of a research according to which it was maintained that the Jews were distant ethnic relatives of the Kurds. According to the results of a research done by a team of genetics headed by the professors of the Hebrew University Ariella Oppenheim and Marina Feurman, the genetic affinity of the Jewish people and the residents of the present-day Kurdistan are manifested in a more express way than between the Jews and the neighboring Arab peoples who belong to the group of Semitic languages. According to the researchers, the Jews and Kurds had common ancestors who resided in the borderline areas of the modern Iraq and Turkey. The results of this research, regardless of their scientific validity, have become yet another example, illustrating the specific relations established between the Jews and Kurds over centuries. These relations with deep historical roots have acquired special significance upon the establishment of the Jewish State against the background of the political developments in the near and Middle East.
the Jews and Kurds had common ancestors
etc. The close ties between the Kurds and the local Jews manifested themselves even when several Kurdish tribes were resettled by Shah Abbas to the region of Khorasan in the late 16th – early 17th centuries for the protection of the Persian borders; some Kurdistani Jews were resettled with them and established a small but tightly knit community. Naturally, the resettlement of the Kurdistani Jews to Khorasan was aimed at the promotion of the economic development of this region. This ethnic group of Jews has several names: the Kurdistani Jews. The Jews of Zakho, and the Assyrian Jews. The Kurdistani Jews often refer to themselves as the “anshei Targum” or the “people of Targum.” They speak the Eastern dialect of the Neo-Aramaic language akin to the language of the Babylonian Talmud.
Historical background For centuries the territory of the present-day Northern Iraq has been inhabited by the peoples that belonged to various religious, ethnic and language groups. Muslims (Kurds and Turkmen), Christians (Armenians and Assyrians), Yezidi and Jews resided in this territory together. Whereas the Kurds, Yezidi, and, partially, the Assyrians and Jews mostly lived in mountainous areas and were engaged in nomadic husbandry, the Armenians and some Jews were mainly concentrated in large cities and towns playing a key role in trade, finance and management. Both in the family and the synagogue the Kurdistani Jews speak in Aramaic dialects, while in public, in Kurdish. Some Kurdistani Jews also speak in the Neo-Aramaic language although on a limited scale. Small Arabic-speaking Jewish communities residing in the Nisebin area were also grouped with the Kurdistan Jews. Many aspects of Kurdish and Jewish culture are so interwoven that popular Jewish legends on the origin of the Kurds regard the latter as Jews. Some argued that the Kurds originated from one of the break-away tribes of Israel or related the origin of the Kurds to King Solomon,
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Many aspects of Kurdish and Jewish culture are so interwoven In cities the Kurdistani Jews were into crafts; in the country, they cultivated grapes, tobacco, wheat and stockbreeding which were rare for the Jews of other groups. The total number of the Kurdistani Jews in the mid 20th century was by different estimates 40-50 thousand. Other data are also quoted. The Israeli sources describe the following picture of the distribution of the Kurdistani Jews in Northern Iraq by 1947 based mainly on the Iraqi statistics: 3109 in Arbil province, 4042 in Kirkuk, 10,345 in Mosul, 2271 in Suleymaniye, and 2851 in Diyala province. The total of 22,618 Jews lived in the Kurdish-populated areas. Starting in the 16th century, this community was permanently present in Palestine. Over the next three centuries there were no reports about the migration of the Kurdistani Jews Later, in 1900-1926, about 1900 Kurdistani Jews migrated to Palestine, and 2500 by 1935. After World War I a small group of Kurdistani Jews settled in the Caucasus in the vicinity of Tbilisi. By the early 1980s the Kurdistani Jews in the Soviet Union numbered no more than 2000 (residing mainly in Tbilisi and AlmaAta) In the early 20th century the Alliance Israelite Universals started to open schools and carry out numerous educational programs among the Kurdistani Jews. These measures up until the foundation of the State of Israel also extended to the non-Jewish population and as a result many educated people appeared in the Kurdish regions. The Israeli-Kurdish relations after the establishment of the State of Israel With the advent of the so called “Palestine War” or the “War of Israel for Independence” in 1948-1949, the Jews came under cruel persecution by the Arab government. 1951 nearly 113,000 Jews were evacuated from Iraq. Some Iraqi Jews, mainly from Kurdistan, left Iraq via Iran and Turkey. The total number of the Jewish immigrants from Iraq amounted to about 121,000. However upon arrival in Israel the Kurdistani and Iraqi Jews faced numerous problems. Even the decades of life in Israel did not weaken the nostalgia of the Kurdistani Jews for their former motherland. Being the main source of knowledge and information on the Kurdistani political landscape the Kurdistani Jews have always played an important role in Israel’s policy with re-
spect to the Kurds. In all probability only in Israel the Kurdish ethno-political factor is appreciated with due consideration; the latter has been the subject of close attention, development and political planning. Since the mid 1960s a new phase in the Kurdish-Jewish relations has begun as hostilities against the Iraqi government began in the Kurdish-populated towns of Northern Iraq which resulted in the overt guerrilla struggle against the Baghdad government and spilled over to the adjacent countries: Turkey, Iran and Syria. It is believed that the Soviet Union was a major instigator of this turmoil. When in the late 1940s the so called “Mahabad Republic” in the North-West of Iran was defeated, one of its leaders Mulla Mustafa Barzani and his two thousand cohorts managed to break through the Iranian ambushes and escape to the Soviet Union. In 1957 the brigade staffed with the Kurds trained in Tashkent and Chirchik and headed by Mustafa Barzani was covertly deployed in the Kurdish areas of Iran. The bulk of the field commanders who proved to be combat worthy during the Kurdish uprisings in Iraq and later in other countries belonged to this brigade. The initial success of the Iraqi Kurds in the struggle against the Baghdad regime attracted the attention of the Israeli special services which regarded them as efficient allies in their struggle against Syria and Iraq, Israel’s most consistent adversaries in the region. That is why by the end of 1950s, with respect to the Kurdish minorities in Arab states, Israel pursued the policy later referred to as the “peripheral strategy. Back in the late 1930s, the initiative of establishing contacts with the Kurds belonged to an officer of the Zionist secret service Rubin Shilia, one of the leading ideologists of the “peripheral strategy.” Under the disguise of a Hebrew school student in Baghdad he organized a network of agents and established secret contacts in the mountainous Kurdish-populated regions of Iraq. These contacts proved to be very useful during the resettlement of the Iraqi Jews to Palestine via Northern Iraq, Turkey and Iran. By the end of 1950s and in the early 1960s Israel became the principal source of weapons supplies and training for the Kurds in their struggle against the government. By various estimates, thousands of Mossad agents and instructors of the Israeli army resided in the Kurdish-populated regions of Iraq at the time and conducted undercover operations.
This ethnic group of Jews has several names: the Kurdistani Jews
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After World War I a small group of Kurdistani Jews settled in the Caucasus in the vicinity of Tbilisi Israeli-Kurdish relations at the present stage The distinctive relations between Israel and the Kurds manifested themselves again during Operation “Desert Storm” held by the US and coalition forces against Iraq in 1991. It is common knowledge that after the active phase of Operation “Desert Storm” the allies instigated uprisings against the Baghdad regime in the Shiite South and the Kurdish North. These uprisings were harshly sup pressed by the government troops. The subsequent reprisals in the North resulted in a humanitarian crisis which turned tens of thousands of Kurds into refugees. Anyway, it is absolutely clear that the establishment of the Kurdish autonomy in Northern Iraq after the 2003 war and the overthrow of S. Hussein’s regime led to the commencement of a new stage in the Israeli-Kurdish relations which can be a serious limiting factor for Israel’s political contacts with the other states of the region. Nevertheless, “the Kurds count (and quite reasonably) on the support of Israel’s state structures, but even more, on the hundred thousand Kurdistani Jews who previously resided in Kurdistan. Apparently, in the future this comprehensive cooperation will be only expanding despite the counteraction of Iran and a number of Arab states. It is thanks to the assistance of the US and Israeli intelligence agencies that the fighters from the Kurdish organizations forming the United Front of the Eastern (Iranian) Kurdistan founded in March 2006 in Erbil (Iraqi Kurdistan) infiltrate into the Iranian Kurdistan. These are, in particular, the fighters of the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan, the Organization for the Struggle of Iranian Kurdistan and the Revolutionary Union of Kurdistan (Iran) attempting to weaken and overthrow the Iranian regime with the help from the coalition troops deployed in Iraq. Conclusion The Kurdish factor has always played a special role in the geo-strategy of Israel after the establishment of the Jewish State. The Kurdish-Israeli relations are a major element of Israel’s policy in the Near and Middle East, and effective leverage to exert pressure on Iraq (and to a less extent, Syria) in order to detract the attention of the Baghdad government and to prevent its active intervention into the Arab- Israeli conflict. At the same time, it should be noted that the historical and cultural nearness of the Jews
and Kurds determined by a strong and numerous Jewish community in Iraq believed to be the oldest in the world contributed to the close contacts between Israel and the Kurds. Despite the exodus of nearly the whole community from Iraq to Israel, the Iraqi Jews have retained their uniqueness, traditions and culture, and to a great extent determined the policy of Israel towards the Kurds, as well as Iraq, Syria, Turkey, and Iran. The Kurdish community of Israel also made its contribution to this matter, although to a limited extent. Signing the Algiers Accord between Iran and Iraq, and the 1979 Islamic Revolution terminated the support of Kurds by Teheran in Northern Iraq, and as a result, restricted the Israeli aid to the Kurds since the latter has no common border with Iraq. Hence, the activity of the Israeli-Kurdish contacts in the military political sphere dwindled dramatically up until the early 1990s, which, however, did not diminish the significance of the Kurdish factor in the general geo-strategy of Israel in the Near and Middle East. The situation changed again after Operation Desert Storm carried out by the US and the multinational coalition in 1991. The invasion of the US forces to Iraq in 2003 and the overthrow of S. Hussein’s regime created real prerequisites for the revival of the Kurdish factor in the political process in the Near and Middle East. As a result, naturally, the significance of the Kurds in the regional strategy of Israel has grown again. At the same time, the level of Israeli-Kurdish political relations is still greatly dependent on the stance of the Arab states, as well as Iran and Turkey.
Since the mid 1960s a new phase in the Kurdish-Jewish relations has begun as hostilities against the Iraqi government
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