By Diliman Abdulkader, AFK Co-Founder and Spokesperson
We realize the Middle East is rapidly changing, old alliances are no longer viable, and new relationships are developing. We, American Friends of Kurdistan (AFK), strongly believe the Kurds are critical components in this transformation. We provide a rational and tailored approach to the Kurdish question, covering all parts of Kurdistan. In addition to the Kurds, AFK believes it is in the US national security interests to stand by our allies like Israel.
Kurdish-Jewish Ties are Strong
Kurdish-Jewish ties are historical and solid. The Kurds aided thousands of Jews to flee Iraq in the early 1950’s after the violent reaction of the Iraqi government to the establishment of the State of Israel. Today there are an estimated 200,000 Kurdish-Jews in Israel. Synagogues still stand in the Autonomous Kurdistan Region of Iraq, but it is unclear if a Jewish community remains. Israel is known to have covertly trained Kurdish forces dating back decades, especially when Saddam Hussein dictated Iraq.
Israel Supports Kurdish Independence
Kurds were promised a state of their own after the fall of the Ottoman Empire, and over 40 million Kurds reside in Iraq, Iran, Turkey, and Syria. However, Iraq, Iran, and Syria do not recognize Israel, and the Kurds in those countries are forced to abide by these failed policies. Turkey looks more like Iran than ever, led by its Islamist authoritarian dictator, Erdogan. Israel, in contrast, was the only country to recognize the Kurdish independence referendum of 2017, and has provided economic and political support to the Kurds dating back at least to the era of Golda Meir.
Kurds Believe in Religious Freedom
The Kurds are known to be pro-American, pro-western, and pro-Israel. The majority of Kurds are Muslim and believe religious freedom is essential to a stable and secure society. The Kurds come in many forms, Muslims, Jews, Christian, Zoroastrian, Yezidi, and more. Perhaps this is why the Kurds are often targeted by the regimes of the region. The ties to their Kurdish identity and strong desire for preservation of their culture, language, and history is something we have in common with Israel. There is great potential in the Kurdish-Israeli alliance.
American Friends of Kurdistan (AFK) is a newly established advocacy and education organization based in Washington, DC. AFK was created to enhance American-Kurdish relations, where for too long the alliance has seemingly been ignored. AFK is independent, bipartisan, and unaffiliated with any governments, political parties, or politicians, whether foreign or domestic. We ask for your support in ensuring AFK is a lasting institution.
Visit our site and learn more www.americanfriendsofkurdistan.org.