Mar. 29, 2019
- Kurds: Golan “Must Remain Israeli” – Rachel Avraham
Following Kurdistan’s independence referendum, only one country recognized the right of the Kurds to declare a state – Israel. The Kurds appreciated Israel’s gesture. They are one of the few Muslim peoples who proudly wave Israeli flags at rallies. Due to the history of persecution that they experienced under Syrian President Bashar Assad, the Kurds more than anyone else in the Muslim world support Israel and are open to recognizing Israel’s claim to the Golan.
In recent days, a Kurdish delegation from Iraq and Syria visited Israel as guests of the Safadi Center for International Diplomacy, Research, Public Relations and Human Rights and the Kurdistan-Israel Friendship Association, which seeks to strengthen the bond between the Kurdish and Jewish peoples. The Safadi Center is headed by Israeli Druze former diplomat Mendi Safadi.
Dr. Hussein Saudo from Afrin, Syria, described his visit to Israel’s Sheba Medical Center: “We saw Israeli humanitarianism in action, how they treat children from a foreign country free of charge, how Israel invests in technology to save children who would otherwise die, and what I was impressed the most by was that most of the team, who were Jewish, were treating children from Kurdistan, Gaza, Syria and other countries, which caused me to cry tears of joy.”
He added that, in light of his visit to the Golan, he understands why Israel holds onto the territory: “The Golan Heights is a pearl of stability in the region only because it is controlled by Israel and there is no reason for Israel to give up those territories. The Golan Heights must remain under Israeli control in order to preserve regional security.”
Safadi believes that most Druze living in the Golan will accept Israeli citizenship once the international community recognizes Israel’s annexation of the area. The 2018 attacks in As-Suwayda, Syria, just 70 km. (40 miles) from the Israeli Golan, where ISIS massacred 258 Druze and abducted 14 Druze women and girls, demonstrate the critical importance to the Druze of Israel keeping control of the Golan. The writer is president of the Dona Gracia Mendes Nasi Center for Human Rights. (Israel Hayom)