Israelis Campaign for Kurdish Independence and Against Yazidi Massacre at U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv (VIDEO)
A large group of Israelis, many of them Kurdish Jews, gathered in front of the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv on Wednesday to express their solidarity with Yazidis, Christians and Kurds facing persecution, genocide and violence in Iraq from the jihadist group the Islamic State.
The protesters chanted “Free Kurdistan,” in English, Hebrew and Kurdish, “Stop the Genocide,” “Biji Kurdistan,” meaning long live Kurdistan, and “Biji Peshmerge,” long live those who face death, the Kurdish military, according to Twitter and Facebook posts by Israelis at the demonstration.
The protesters demanded that the U.S. work harder to save the Yazidi minority from a true genocide and to recognize the independence of Kurdistan.
Israel and Kurdistan have a long history of mutual admiration, as two peoples seeking to live independently, while surrounded by enemies calling for their destruction.
This week, a group of Kurds joined a pro-Israel demonstration outside the White House on Saturday to show solidarity and denounce Gaza-based terror group Hamas.
In June, when Israel gave safe harbor to a shipment of Kurdish oil, Ksenia Svetlova, Arab affairs analyst for Israel’s Russian-language Channel 9 and a fellow at Mitvim, the Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies, said “those who monitor Kurdish-Israeli relations were not surprised.”
“The ties between Israel and the Kurds began in the early 1960s, when Israeli intelligence agents operated in Iraqi Kurdistan and helped local authorities,” Svetlova said. “The level of cooperation increased significantly after the fall of Saddam Hussein, with Israeli contractors and companies entering Iraqi Kurdistan and routine reports in Iraqi media about Israeli commandos training the Kurdish peshmerga.”
Svetlova wrote that a Kurdish magazine, ‘Israel-Kurd,’ published in the northern Iraqi city of Erbil in Arabic and Kurdish, explored Israeli history and politics in depth for its local audience.
“The editors explained that Jews and Kurds are more than just neighbors; they are actually close relatives who share a common ancestor – the biblical patriarch Abraham,” she said. “This view is widespread among Kurds in Iraqi Kurdistan, where many believe Abraham was of Kurdish descent.”
“Many Kurds draw close parallels with Israel, also a non-Arab nation encircled by enemies who oppose its independence,” Svetlova said. “Israel’s technological prowess, its well-armed military and the dynamic nature of Israeli society are all major draws for the Kurds, who had never stopped dreaming about an independent Kurdish state.”
Watch footage of the demonstration.