The Kurdish Struggle

Meital Fuksbrumer ‘20

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As a people without a home, the Kurds are fighting to have their own land as a place to have an independent government and to be recognized as a nation. The majority of Kurds are Islamic, and they dwell in parts of eastern Turkey, northern Iraq, western Iran, and eastern Syria. I believe that America’s supporting the Kurds is an intelligent course of action. According to The New York Post, President Donald Trump must “follow through on Administration promises to continue to supply aid to the Kurds.” I firmly agree. First, the Kurds have assisted the US in past military operations. In 2003, they helped overthrow Saddam Hussein, the former President of Iraq. Additionally, they supported American airstrikes against ISIS in 2014. By continually helping the US militarily, the Kurds display a willingness to work with the American government. In the Middle East, those positive sentiments towards America are few and far between. Many of the Middle Eastern countries, such as Iran and Syria, bear negative prejudices towards America. To have a country that values American values and is a willing ally in such an area would be a great advantage to the United States.
Secondly, as an ally to Israel, the United States should consider the benefits Israel would reap. For instance, Israeli media reported in 2004 that various meetings between Israeli officials and Kurdish politicians took place. In fact, Massoud Barzani, President of Iraqi Kurdistan, and the former Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, confirmed that there was a healthy relationship between Iraqi Kurdistan and Israel. Then, in 2006, Barzani is quoted as saying, when questioned about Israel, “It is not a crime to have relations with Israel. If Baghdad established diplomatic relations with Israel, we could open a consulate in Erbil.” These positive interactions between Israel and the Kurds have set a foundation for a future healthy alliance. Israel lacks allies in the Middle East, and the Kurds seem to be a candidate for a great and long-lasting relationship with Israel.
Finally, the Kurds have been attacked and oppressed for too long. As a country that does not turn a blind eye to suffering innocents, the US must step in and give the Kurds a land in which to live freely. They have been murdered by Arabs, Iranians, and Turks. Saddam Hussein even implemented chemical warfare against the Kurds, and killed thousands of them in Halabja. That was after the Iraqi government had promised autonomy, the right to self-government, to the Kurds, an agreement known as the Iraqi–Kurdish Autonomy Agreement of 1970. The Iraqis did not follow through on their promise, and a war erupted between the Iraqis and the Kurds. Moreso, many Kurdish villages in west Iran were demolished by the Iranian military. Ultimately, we as a people cannot stand by and watch an innocent, yet persecuted, nation be denied political independence. The Kurds would be a strong ally for the US and, like all people, deserve a place to call their own.

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Ma'ayanot Yeshiva High School
The Kurdish Struggle