OpinionMiddle East

Who cries for the Kurds?

The Kurds deserve a state far more than the Palestinians, but people prefer hating Israel to doing justice.

Kurds celebrate an independence referendum on Sept. 25, 2017 in Erbil, Iraq. Credit: Thomas Koch/Shutterstock
Kurds celebrate an independence referendum on Sept. 25, 2017 in Erbil, Iraq. Credit: Thomas Koch/Shutterstock
Adam Turner
Adam Turner is a foreign policy expert and national security professional with two decades of experience on Capitol Hill and in Washington D.C.

These days, it seems like no American government official, mainstream media personality or ordinary person on the street can pontificate on the Israel-Hamas war without mentioning the “plight” of the Palestinian Arabs. The pro-Hamas protesters are even more obsessive, constantly shrieking about the alleged epochal injustice being done to the Palestinians, and sometimes attacking and killing other Americans who disagree.

The pontificators depict the Palestinians as innocent people caught in the middle of a vicious struggle who should be pitied and, eventually, freed through the creation of a new state just for them. U.S. President Joe Biden himself has said that he feels their pain and has repeatedly called for a Palestinian state. But has he or any of the Palestinians’ supporters ever said anything about the Kurds? Do they protest for the Kurds, riot for them, attack and kill people for them? Do they even think about them?

The answer is certainly no.

This is a very bizarre situation. The Palestinians are a small subset of the Arab nation and have repeatedly refused a state of their own. By contrast, the Kurds are a unique people of more than 40 million souls and one of the world’s largest peoples without a state. While the Palestinians are descended from Arab imperialist conquerors, the Kurds are an indigenous people whose homeland includes much of what is now Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran. All of these modern nations have persecuted and “occupied” their Kurdish populations, though in Iraq and Syria, the Kurds have fought for and won political and some military autonomy. The Kurds have their own language unconnected to the Arabic, Turkic and Persian languages of their oppressors. In countries like Turkey, they have often been forbidden to speak this language in public. They have also been prevented from teaching their thousand-year-old history to their children. The Palestinians’ entire national identity is geared towards the genocide of another people, while the Kurds want nothing more than to be left alone.

The Kurds have been struggling for independence at least since the 1920s. They have paid a terrible price for this simple request. Over the last century, at least a million Kurds have been killed, wounded, tortured or deported from their homes. Iraqi Kurds were gassed by Saddam Hussein. In Iran, they have been beaten and murdered in the streets. Turkey’s Islamist dictator Recep Tayyip Erdoğan continues to persecute them in Turkey and make war on them in Iraq and Syria. They have been frequent victims of the Assad dictatorship in Syria. Despite the claims of the professional libelists, the Palestinians have never suffered a genocide. The Kurds certainly have.

Moreover, the Palestinians hate America almost as much as they hate Israel. The Kurds, by contrast, are deeply proAmerican. While the Palestinians became the “kept woman” of the Soviet Union, the Kurds allied with the United States as early as the 1970s. When America fought in Iraq, Kurdish groups assisted us. When the United States fought in Syria, the Kurds there did the same, serving as the main anti-Islamist group in that country’s civil war. Turkey’s Kurds are opposed to Erdoğan, who has threatened Americans with legal punishment for saying things he doesn’t care for. Polls show that the Kurdish population of Iraq strongly supports the U.S.

Unlike the Palestinians, who are genocidally racist against anyone who is not like them, the Kurds protect their ethnic and religious minorities, including Yazidis and Christians in Iraq and Syria. They have a very positive relationship with Israel.

The Kurds are not perfect, of course. Some Kurdish groups began as leftist organizations hostile to the United States and some have committed terrorist attacks, though they did not target Americans.

Nonetheless, if the United States is going to devote its valuable time, money and influence to sponsoring a foreign people and their desire for a state, the Kurds are certainly far more deserving than the Palestinians. Moreover, it is manifestly in American interests to sponsor a Kurdish state or states. It is definitely not in U.S. interests to create a genocidal terror state, as a Palestinian state unquestionably would be.

Will the United States take up the cause of the Kurds? It’s difficult to say. What is not difficult to say is that, at the moment, no one in America cries for the Kurds. They prefer to weep for terrorists and curse their Jewish victims.

The opinions and facts presented in this article are those of the author, and neither JNS nor its partners assume any responsibility for them.
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