Saturday, July 04, 2009

Kurdistan won't expel Jews, but can't secure them

There are no cats in America. Or are there? The embarrassing question of whether there are still Jews in Kurdistan - and what to do with them - has reared its ugly head again, according to a Kurdish reporter whose name we are withholding for his own safety (With thanks: Ami).

The government of Kurdistan is being urged by hard-line officials publically to declare that there are no Jews in Iraqi Kurdistan. Yet is is common knowledge that a number of Jewish families still remain there.

A Kurdish reporter quoted a senior source as saying: " the government will not expel any remaining Jews but equally we can’t guarantee full security for them. At the same time we will not prevent the state of Israel (from acting) if they want to take them back”.

The reporter told how last year on (Israeli) Channel 10, a program showed a Kurdish family from Shtula (sic) returning to Irbil to find their relatives. The TV program upset some Kurdish officials. The reporter tried to interview the Jewish family in question. But they were not ready to comment on the program because they were afraid of being attacked by Jihadist groups in Iraq.

In addition, there have been many reports of a few Jews still living in Baghdad, Irbil and Suleymania, but the Kurdish government does not recognize any Jewish community in the region. Central government has always overriden the Kurdish regional government on Jewish issues. Some politicians think that relations between the state of Israel and the Kurdistan Regional government - there are reports of Israeli contractors working in Kurdistan - have worsened as a result.

The remaining Jews in Kurdistan do not want to abide by Muslim religious rules (religion is passed down by the father). They believe that are Jewish through the maternal line. A few Jews from Kurdistan have contacted the Jewish Agency (with a view to moving to Israel), their 'phone calls having been recorded by the Iraqi telecommunications intelligence office.

Point of No Return adds: although almost the entire Jewish community of 18,000 left for Israel in 1950 - 51, a few mixed Jewish-Muslim families stayed on. After the 1991 Gulf war some of these moved to Israel, but there have since been instances of members of these families moving back to Kurdistan.


Victor said...

This is a real shame because my understanding is that Kurds and Jews have traditionally mixed well together (e.g. the recent book "My Father's Paradise" by Ariel Sabar). Further, I have read that when it comes to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Kurds identify more with the Jews than with the Palestinians (so I have read, and this has been supported by blogger Michael Totten). It is a fact that the Kurdish people are the LARGEST ethnic group in the world with no internationally recognized homeland. They want their own homeland and national sovereignty, but an independent Kurdish state is actively opposed by Turks, Arabs, and Iranians alike. This is how the Kurds, like the Muslim Albanians and Muslim Kosovars, come to identify more with the Jews than with the Palestinians.

NMIW said...

Just tell me in which Arab or Islamic countries do Jews live normally...just in a peace-of-mind? I have witnessed none. Yet, those same Arab or Islamic regimes are not satisfied. They insist to call or incite for the destruction of the only state for Jews, Israel.
How dare they? Well, they do when they find free world countries to ally with.

Anonymous said...

Leila is right the Arab countries find the so called free world countries on their side where it concerns their hate for Jews.

May be it is because of their hate for Jews that the Arab world once the source of enlightment and advancement turned into the most primitive society today.te

Dr.Shvan Karim said...

well,again and again the issue of Jews in Kurdistan comes to the first page of the book as an introduction.Yes,that is right and also I witnessed the program through a journalist on Israeli TV.The last Kurdish Jewish family in Erbil is true and even the authorities know about this since the program has been seen on Israeli TV.Sara Hatan returned to Kurdistan from Shtula according to the program.Yesterday on KNN TV the cheif of Kurdistan syndicate was angry and said if any journalist or media newspaper publish news like that in Kurdistan they will face punishment.The Kurdish family that has been aired on TV was Zubeda family that this family has intelligent members and masters and I think they went into hiding because the Jihadist groups are working in Kurdistan secretly.

Narin Kamal said...

That is right,Kurdistan won't expel the remaining Jews but we have to know there is no security for them,the Jihadist groups are working actively and secretly in Kurdistan.The most important point the remaining Jews can not claim their Jewishness because the former Iraqi regime ordered to collect and burn the entire Jewish documents and ID (yellow identity cards) of the Kurds so that no kurdish Jews can go to Israel or claim their Jewishness.Even though this the reality of the case,where is the Jewish Agency to help the remaining Jews in Kurdistan?.I think it is better they travel to Israel,here in Kurdistan they can not claim any thing from the Kurdish government.they(Jews) can not publicly talk or do anything.I suggest the israeli government will take them back so that they will be safe.Dr.Shvan is right,there was a TV program on Channel 10 and Sara Hatan has found her family in Erbil while they have not seen each other for more than 50 years.

Jane/London said...

when I was working in an education company in Erbil 2005-2006,I heard that the only Jewish family remained in Erbil,the Kurdsh-controlled authority(KRG)is under great pressure of the central government because of the following reasons:
1-Israeli contarctors are working in Kurdistan and training the Kurdish militia plus building an airport.
2-The Iraqi givernmnet presses the KRG to oust the remaining Kurdish Jews like Zbeda family,we know that the Arabs and its leaders are taking every side against Jews.
The former Kurdish deputy prime minister (Sami Abdulrahman) said that there is only few jews in Kurdistan and they are free if they want to go to Israel but we are not allowing them publicly declare their Jewishness in Kurdistan.

Anonymous said...


Pourriez vous me dire si ce palais habité par le roi Faycal était meublé de du mobilier anglais? Auriez vous des informations sur ce point, des photos? jusqu'a quelle date y a-il vécu?
merci de votre aide, j'enquete sur le mobilier anglais de Maple & Co fourni au Roi Faycal . said...

Could you say to me if this palace inhabited by king Faycal was furnished with the English furniture? Would have you information on this point, photos? To has what date did he live there?
Thank you for your help(assistant), I enquete on the English furniture of Maple and Co supplied to King Faycal.

bataween said...

"King Faisal was five, the fourth generation of the ruling Hashemite family installed by the British.... He slept in a drop-sided cot in a nursery furnished entirely from Maples in London and sat in a highchair for meals." From a book by Betty Sulman. This would have been in Arabia, before he got to Iraq.
I could find no mention of his furniture in his Iraqi palace, sorry.

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