Monday, January 8, 2007


Palestinian Betrayal Of The Kurds

By: Alan Dershowitz


Aug 9, 2004

I have a testing question for those who single out Israel for condemnation because of its occupation and who champion the establishment of a Palestinian state: Where do you stand on the occupation of Kurdistan and on the Kurdish demand for an independent state in their ancestral land of Kurdistan?

I can tell you where the Palestinians themselves stand. Their leadership is adamantly opposed to the Kurdish efforts to end their occupation and establish their state. The Palestinians support the occupiers, namely Syria, Turkey and Iraq, and they always have.

This should not surprise anyone, since Yasser Arafat was the first to congratulate the Chinese government "on behalf of the Palestinian people" for its brutality in putting down the demonstration and killing the demonstrators in Tiananmen Square in 1989.

Moreover, Arafat has presided over a regime that punishes dissent by murder. Forget about due process. The Palestinian leadership does not support human rights, only the rights of those Palestinians who blindly support the destructive Arafat agenda.

But where is the United Nations, the Presbyterian church, the anti-Zionist hard Left, the European community, Nelson Mandela, Ralph Nader and the others who shed crocodile tears only for the oppressed Palestinians?

Their silence with regard to the Kurds is deafening.

Is it possible that some of these groups and leaders are focused less on the oppressed and more on their alleged oppressors?

They pretend to care about the Palestinians only because it is Israel that is accused of oppressing them. They don't give a collective darn about the Kurds, because they are being oppressed by Arab and Muslim nations, just as they don't seem to care about the Tibetans, who are being occupied and oppressed by China, or the Chechens, who are being abused by the Russians.

Nor did they care about the Palestinians during all the years the West Bank was occupied by Jordan and the Gaza Strip by Egypt.

THE CASE for ending the occupation of Kurdistan and establishing an independent Kurdish state is at least as strong, and in many ways stronger, than the case for ending the occupation of the West Bank and establishing a Palestinian state. (The occupation of Gaza will soon be ended.)
There already is one state with a Palestinian majority – Jordan – whereas the Kurds are not a majority in any nation, despite the fact that there are many more Kurds than Palestinians.
The Kurds have suffered far more than the Palestinians, as many as 100,000 of them being gassed by Saddam Hussein while the world stood idly by.

The Kurds have been promised a state since the end of World War I, when Woodrow Wilson made such a commitment and the treaty of Sevres said they could have a state if a majority of Kurds supported statehood.

The Palestinians, on the other hand, have repeatedly rejected offers of statehood, first in 1937, then in 1947 and, most recently, in 2001-2004 at Camp David and Taba.

Most Palestinians, according to recent poll, would not be satisfied with a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza. They want to see the destruction of the Jewish state of Israel.

The Kurds, on the other hand, are not seeking the destruction of any existing state, only their own independence on their own land.

I support the end of the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza and the establishment of a peaceful, prosperous, democratic, Palestinian state in those areas (with some minor territorial adjustments consistent with UN Security Council Resolution 242). Most Israelis support the two-state resolution, so long as their security can be assured.

Why, then, do all Arab nations, the Palestinian leadership and many supporters of Palestinian statehood so vehemently oppose the legitimate claims of the Kurdish people?

Is it because the Kurds have not resorted to large-scale international terrorism despite the long-term occupation of their lands and the oppression of their people? Is it because those who occupy and oppress the Kurds have access to oil and Israel does not?

Or is it because the occupiers and oppressors of the Kurds are Arabs and Muslims, whereas Israel is a Jewish state?

Whatever the answers to these questions, one point is clear: There is no legitimate basis for opposing the end of the occupation of Kurdistan and the establishment of a Kurdish democracy, while supporting the establishment of a Palestinian state.

The burden of justification is on those who claim to base their decisions on high moral grounds to distinguish the two cases. If they cannot, then they stand accused of applying a double standard to the Jewish nation.

All people who favor a single standard of human rights are waiting for an answer.
Don't hold your breath.

The writer is a professor of law at Harvard University.
opyright © 2002, Kurdistan Observer


Emmunah said...


henry_allen said...

I think this is what the good professor is saying. The Kurds and the Jews of Israel really have much in common in their relationship to the Arab world. Both have deep historical roots right where they are. Both have been treated horribly by the Arabs. Both are entitled to a national home in their historical land.

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