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Progressive unity
Attitudes toward a Kurdish-Jewish alliance

Kamal Artin
September 17, 2004

Reactions to a potential Kurdish-Jewish alliance [Sweet sin] have been interesting. While some argue that there is an ethnic linkage between the two and therefore both should strive for a much closer unity to survive among their common opponents, others insist that the Kurds are better off to keep status quo and not create new enemies!

Some from the left might argue that such an alliance is inconsistent with the decades of progressive Kurdish movement for self determination of all oppressed people and therefore reactionary. Some from the right might emphasize that such an alliance is inconsistent with religious norm and therefore sinful. It seems that both type of opponents are extreme and base their arguments on non-adoptive values.

The idea of ethnic linkage might be progressive or reactionary. The extreme left is preoccupied with the conflict of oppressed and oppressor and rightfully oppose any oppression at least theoretically. The left sees that supremacists are grandiose and believe they are of a better race and should unite to dominate others.

To counteract such a tendency, the left often supports those with a lack of confidence who might consider themselves as deserving victims of social Darwinism and find solutions only in uniting oppressed ethnic groups against the oppressor ones.

In contrary to them, the confident advocates of equality, who might be or not be from the left, might highlight that all races and ethnic groups have a common origin, that the social Darwinism does not apply to the more developed homo sapiens, and that no domination is justified.

Having said that, if an alliance between Kurds and Jews is neither based on arrogance to dominate and impose ones language, culture and values on the other, nor based on the lack of confidence to ignore values that defines one’s identity, it is nothing but a progressive unity.

The extreme religious right is preoccupied with self-centered values. With all due respect to all of those who find inner peace in a private matter such as religious praying and consider religious institutions only as places to serve humanity, obviously the behavior of many religious extremists has harmed humanity tremendously.

Either because of arrogance or lack of confidence in their own values, some religious groups insist that their values are nobler, that the strangers are infidels, less worthy, and deserve to be eliminated. The fanatics would push to assure that their religious norm becomes the law for everybody; they would even push the state to have a religious identifying name such as Islamic Republic of something. They likely cannot imagine what the world would look like if we had Confucius, Buddhist, Hindu, Christian, and Jewish Republics of something.

If the Kurds and Jews are able to put their religious values aside and focus on building a unity based on humanistic values common to all mankind, again their alliance is nothing but a progressive unity.

Despite all challenges a Kurdistan-Israel alliance might face, its development seems inevitable. Hopefully it will stimulate other peaceful alliances in the Middle East and in the world.

Kamal Artin, MD, Kurdish-American Education Society, Orange County, CA.

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