LCCC ENGLISH DAILY NEWS BULLETIN
Bible Quotation for today/A Prayer for Help
Isaiah 33/01-09/Our enemies are doomed! They have robbed and betrayed, although no one has robbed them or betrayed them. But their time to rob and betray will end, and they themselves will become victims of robbery and treachery. Lord, have mercy on us. We have put our hope in you. Protect us day by day and save us in times of trouble. 3 When you fight for us, nations run away from the noise of battle. 4 Their belongings are pounced upon and taken as loot. How great the Lord is! He rules over everything. He will fill Jerusalem with justice and integrity 6 and give stability to the nation. He always protects his people and gives them wisdom and knowledge. Their greatest treasure is their reverence for the Lord. The brave are calling for help. The ambassadors who tried to bring about peace are crying bitterly. The highways are so dangerous that no one travels on them. Treaties are broken and agreements are violated. No one is respected any more. The land lies idle and deserted. The forests of Lebanon have withered, the fertile valley of Sharon is like a desert, and in Bashan and on Mount Carmel the leaves are falling from the trees.
Pope Francis's Tweet For today
When one lives attached to money, pride or power, it is impossible to be truly happy.
Latest analysis, editorials, studies, reports, letters & Releases from miscellaneous sources published on July 26/14
Surprising Ties between Israel and the Kurds/By: Ofra
Bengio/Middle East Quarterly/ Summer 2014/
Does Iran genuinely support Hamas and the Palestinians/By: Dr. Majid Rafizadeh/Al Arabiya/July 26/14
Lebanese Related News published on July 26/14
Geagea Says Lebanon a 'Prison with No Security', Hits Out at Aoun, Nasrallah
Nasrallah vows support for Gaza ‘resistance’
Nasrallah: Israel took advantage of kidnapping to start a war
Abolition of wanted lists not a security obstacle
Lebanese delegation leaves for Mali
Lebanon urges ICC to probe Israel, ISIS crimes
Refugee conference may be held in Tripoli
Plumbly stands by Lebanese Army
Sidon families mourn plane crash victims
Lebanon taps roots for tourism growth
Solid hotel room booking in Eid
Probe into Yaacoub death to be expanded
Gunmen Attack Army Position in Arsal
Army Fire at Syrian Jet Raiding Border Region, Hizbullah Seizes Control of Hill near Arsal
Berri Hopes Permanent Solution to Payment of Public Employee Salaries Will Be Reached
Tripoli to Host Conference for Countries Harboring Syrian
Refugees in September23
Australian Woman on Trial for 'Adultery' in Tripoli, Barred from Leaving Lebanon
Miscellaneous Reports And News published on July 26/14
'If we don't deal with this now, these threats will come to us,' senior Maglan unit member says
Israel accepts pause in Gaza
Security cabinet convenes to discuss Kerry's cease-fire proposal
Russia blind to Gaza
'If we don't deal with Gaza tunnels now, these threats will come to us'
Israel launches criminal probe against Arab lawmaker who allegedly incited against cops
IDF troops, settlers shoot Palestinians in West Bank, killing 5
Thousands take to NY streets to protest Israeli offensive in Gaza
EU reaches initial deal on Russia sanctions
Nothing left to lose
Egyptian militants say Israeli drone kills three terrorists in Sinai
Geagea Says Lebanon a 'Prison with No Security', Hits Out
at Aoun, Nasrallah
Naharnet /Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea on Friday said that Lebanon has become a “prison without walls” where there is no security or authority due to the factional “interests” of some political parties, hitting out at Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah and Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun without naming them.
“These days, I'm avoiding to talk politics in order to avoid repetitiveness, but this doesn't mean resigning from politics but rather maintaining our firm stances, because endurance is sometimes more important than action,” Geagea said at a Maarab rally marking the ninth anniversary of his release from prison.
“The Cedar Revolution freed me from prison … but nowadays we, in the Levant, are in a prison that is much bigger than the one I was in," the LF leader lamented.
He noted that prior to the Arab Spring uprisings the Arab world was in a "big prison" and "now it is trying to break free from it."
"The situations that the Levant was living were imposed through the clout of dictatorial regimes, but now it has started to write its real history. Unfortunately, this is happening with the highest possible cost and the worst possible way,” Geagea pointed out.
In Lebanon, “the government is several governments and authorities are only present where they want, while they are absent elsewhere,” Geagea added.
“We are also in a prison cell that they are always trying to put us in, although it does not have any walls. This is the worst prison. A prison without a state which is rife with bombings, weapons and suicide bombers,” the LF leader lamented.
Criticizing Aoun, Geagea said the country "does not have a president" at the moment under the excuse of "preserving the rights of Christians."
“His policies change according to his interests and his interests always come first,” he added.
“We're saying that Lebanon comes first, and he's saying I come first and last,” said Geagea.
And in an apparent jab at Nasrallah, the LF leader said “his policies are not Lebanese, his aspirations are not Lebanese and his plans have nothing to do with Lebanon.”
In 1999, the Judicial Council convicted Geagea and several other LF members of involvement in the 1987 assassination of then-premier Rashid Karami.
Geagea was tried for ordering four political assassinations, including Karami's. He denied all charges and described them as politically motivated but was found guilty and sentenced to four death sentences, each of which was commuted to life in prison.
The LF leader was then imprisoned in solitary confinement for 11 years until the parliament voted to grant him amnesty in July 2005 in the wake of the Syrian withdrawal from Lebanon.
Plumbly stands by Lebanese Army
Elise Knutsen| The Daily Star
YARZE, Lebanon: Despite the absence of a president, the international community remains committed to supporting Lebanese security services, which are “desperately stretched,” according to U.N. Special Coordinator Derek Plumbly. Engaged in maintaining internal security, counterterrorism efforts and border protection, both the Lebanese Army and the Internal Security Forces “need international support,” Plumbly told The Daily Star in an interview. Earlier this week, a video allegedly showing a Lebanese soldier explaining why he had fled to join Al-Qaeda-affiliated Syrian rebel group the Nusra Front was widely circulated. Plumbly downplayed the significance of the act. “The Army has said that this is an individual act, and I have no reason to disbelieve that,” Plumby said. “I have a lot of respect for the Army.”
The soldier in the video, believed to be Atef Mohammad Saadeddine, said he was motivated to leave after seeing the cooperation between the Army and Hezbollah and the Army’s “harassment” of Sunnis.
Plumby, however, brushed off such allegations, calling the Army “a multiconfessional institution and [it] is seen as such by the country at large.”
It has been widely reported that the Lebanese Army is coordinating with Hezbollah to secure the mountainous region outside the Bekaa Valley town of Arsal where Nusra Front fighters are known to have sought refuge. But despite Hezbollah’s classification as a terrorist organization by some foreign governments, Plumbly said this cooperation was “not a concern” for the United Nations or other international actors. And while the specter of the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) looms large across Lebanon, Plumbly suggested it was unlikely the terrorist organization would make inroads in the country as it has done elsewhere in the region. The danger ISIS poses to Lebanon, according to Plumbly, is “not an Iraq-style threat, but it’s not Twitter rhetoric.”
“You see security forces identifying people who were planning to undertake suicide terrorist attacks within Lebanon. That’s serious, but it doesn’t mean that ISIS has a sort of Syrian or Iraqi profile here,” Plumbly added. While he lauded the continued implementation of security plans in Tripoli and the Bekaa Valley even following the end of President Michel Sleiman’s term, he said the presidential vacuum was having a negative impact on all government institutions, including those charged with the nation’s safekeeping. “It’s urgent and important that things move,” he said of the election of a president. “The political atmosphere is acrimonious,” he added. “I think it’s serious, and I think that as time goes on it becomes more difficult, frankly.”
While some, notably Free Patriotic Movement leader Michel Aoun, have called for the Constitution to be amended to allow presidential candidates to be put to popular vote, Plumbly said he would be “surprised” if such a radical overhaul would be approved in the near future. With respect to the ongoing Israeli offensive on Gaza, Plumbly said that despite a number of rockets launched from Lebanon toward Israel, there was little indication hostilities between the two countries would escalate. “I think overall my sense is that there is no desire really to expose Lebanon to danger in this conflict,” he said.
Still, U.N. officials were “concerned” about the possibility of regional fallout from the Gaza-Israel conflict, which has already claimed more than 800 lives, mostly Palestinian civilians. “We have to be cautious,” Plumbly concluded. The Syrian crisis, which has brought more than 1.1 million refugees to Lebanon, also remains a high priority for U.N. officials, Plumbly said.
He expressed faith that the Lebanese authorities were capable of managing the Syrian refugee crisis, yet also pointed to the financial strain. The U.N. Refugee Agency has raised less than one-third of the funds it has requested to care for Syrian refugees in Lebanon this year.
“We need, I need, colleagues need to keep on reminding people that Lebanon is bearing a particular burden,” he said. “We’re working on talking to Lebanese authorities about how we get assistance, more assistance to those who are most vulnerable, whether they are Syrian refugees or Lebanese citizens or [Lebanese] institutions.”
Plumbly also rebuffed rumors that he would soon leave his post. “I like Lebanon, and I’m very conscious of all the burdens that it’s presently bearing,” he said.
“I’m not thinking about what I might do next. I’m here.”
Abolition of wanted lists not a security obstacle: Machnouk
Samar Kadi| The Daily Star
BEIRUT: Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk said Friday that the Cabinet’s decision to abolish wanted lists – made up of individuals named by informant tip-offs – does not deprive security apparatuses of the power to draw new lists in closer coordination with the judicial authorities. “Obviously there was a misunderstanding of the decision which scraps existing lists, but does not eliminate the prerogative [to draw new lists] which we need to redraft in a more accurate manner with the public prosecutor’s office,” Machnouk told a news conference at the Interior Ministry after chairing a special meeting for the Central Security Council. “The decision restores the judicial authorities’ rights to perform their role in this regard.”The Cabinet decision to abolish the current lists, dating back to the period when Lebanon was under Syrian tutelage, was largely aimed at easing the grievances of Sunnis following a spate of arrests in the security clampdown on Tripoli. Many people were arrested based on these lists without authorization by the judiciary. “The prosecution will take legal action to purge the lists from names of individuals who should not be there and retain the names of those who have warrants,” Machnouk said.
He added that any names of people that have been proven to have collaborated with Israel would also remain on the lists. The minister explained that most of the scrapped lists, which included around 60,000 names, were inaccurate and unjustified. He said that those whose names were on the list were unjustly denied from leaving Lebanon. Machnouk stressed that the decision did not aim at limiting the intelligence capabilities of the Army and other security services. An adviser to Justice Minister Ashraf Rifi explained to The Daily Star that while the names currently on the list were being abolished, the procedure which gathered them remained in force. “The Cabinet decision scraps lists made until July 24, 2014, it does not abolish the procedure which remains in force,” said Judge Mohammad Saab.
“It basically eliminates the files of 1,000 individuals rounded up in Tripoli’s security plan, and whose arrests under this procedure have fuelled grievances, jeopardizing the city’s stability and security, recovered after months of sectarian fighting,” Saab said.
He added that the Cabinet decision also stipulated a review of the mechanism adopted to draw the wanted lists, in order to give the judiciary an upper hand and greater control over the arrests. “The aim is to draw a new mechanism to regulate the procedure, to rely more on credible information and judicial measures, and at the same time reduce the risks of arbitrary arrests,” Saab said.
Asked how the Cabinet decision would translate on the ground, Saab said he expected a large majority of those featured on the lists to be released after being found innocent, while only those with solid evidence of incrimination will be retained by judicial order.
Swiping these names off the lists meets a key demand of protesters angry about a crackdown authorities launched in Tripoli in April to restore law and order following several rounds of sectarian fighting over the crisis in Syria. Security agencies apprehended hundreds of suspects based on the lists, while few arrests were based on judiciary warrants.
The move is expected to defuse tension in Lebanon’s second-largest city, where protesters over the past few months have accused security services of conducting arbitrary detentions that target the Sunni community. This they say is in direct contrast to security forces’ policy toward Hezbollah, which has ben playing a military role in Syria alongside Assad’s forces.
The lists first emerged during Syria’s tutelage over Lebanon, when security agencies would collect information about individuals via informants. The lists primarily targeted suspected Israeli collaborators and spies, as well as opponents of the Syrian government. “This procedure, which was introduced under Syrian tutelage back in 1990, was meant to muzzle anti- Syria rhetoric in Lebanon, and was used as a blackmailing tool against senior government employees and officials,” security sources told The Daily Star. “It is a major step to restore legitimate judicial control over arrests, which were previously done arbitrarily under the cover of national security,” the source added. The move was strongly applauded by Future Movement officials as a way breaking free from the remnants of Syrian tutelage over Lebanon.
“The decision to cancel the wanted lists is a great achievement which means the Lebanese can now express their minds freely and in all transparency,” said Future Movement Secretary-General Ahmad Hariri.
Machnouk said that the fact that the decision was unanimously approved indicated a national will to erase the trace of Syria’s tutelage. The minister said that the council approved precautionary security measures to be taken during Eid al-Fitr prayers.
Nasrallah vows support for Gaza
Hussein Dakroub/Dana Khraiche| The Daily Star
BEIRUT: Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah vowed Friday all means of support for Hamas and other Palestinian factions whom he declared victorious after 18 days of devastating Israeli airstrikes and artillery bombardment targeting the Gaza Strip. Nasrallah made a rare public appearance to address his supporters at a rally marking “Jerusalem Day and Solidarity with Gaza” in Beirut’s southern suburbs, as Israel pressed on with its military offensive against the coastal strip raging since July 8, killing hundreds of civilian Palestinians. “Today Gaza, while it is mourning its martyrs and resisting, has emerged victorious with the resistance logic. Today is the 18th day [of the Israeli war on Gaza] and the Zionists have failed to achieve any of their goals. This means that the resistance has won in the battle,” Nasrallah said, drawing cheers from the crowd assembled at Sayyed al-Shuhada complex south of Beirut. “The resistance is capable of making victory.”Over 830 Palestinians have been killed and more than 5,200 others were wounded in the Israeli offensive launched in response to Hamas militants firing rockets into the Jewish state. On the Israeli side, more than 30 soldiers and two civilians have died in the fighting.“In facing this event [war], we in Hezbollah were and will remain standing on the side of all the Palestinian people and all factions of the resistance in Palestine,” Nasrallah said. “We will not spare any means of support that we can extend and are able to provide. We feel that we are true partners with this resistance in this battle.”The Hezbollah chief warned Israel against expanding its offensive in Gaza. “To the spider’s web and the Zionists I say: In Gaza today, you are moving in a circle of failure and don’t go further to the circle of suicide or collapse,” he said.
“The spider’s web” is a term used by Nasrallah since 2000 to refer to Israel following its withdrawal from south Lebanon. Nasrallah, who had in the past addressed his supporters from a huge screen through a video link for security reasons following a wave of suicide bombings that targeted the southern suburbs claimed by Al-Qaeda-linked groups in response to the party’s military intervention in Syria, said Hezbollah was following closely the military and political developments in Gaza. “We tell our brothers in Gaza: We are with you and on your side. We are confident of your steadfastness and victory. We will do all that we must do,” he added. He urged Arab and Muslim governments to provide the Palestinian resistance with financial, political and even military support in the face of Israel’s ongoing military blitz in Gaza. He also prodded these governments to adopt Hamas’ declared option of lifting the blockade on Gaza and protect the resistance’s political leadership in the face of pressures to arrange a cease-fire without achieving this goal. Nasrallah said Israel has failed miserably in the battlefield, including on the intelligence level.
Referring to the 2006 war between Hezbollah and Israel, he said: “On the first day of the 2006 war, Israel set high-level objectives and gradually demoted such goals until it reached a point where it just wanted the war to end.” “The objective in this [Gaza] conflict is to simply destroy tunnels along the border ... but when we get to the 18th day and Israel and the world have not yet achieved a single goal in this aggression, this only means that Gaza and the resistance have won,” he added.
According to Nasrallah, Israel failed to settle the battle with its air offensive and ground operation as well as failing an attempt to reach a cease-fire with Hamas.
“When they say the resistance fired 100 rockets from Gaza that require transportation, assembling, finding a hideout, guarding them and so on, this only highlights a tremendous intelligence failure on the part of Israel,” he said. Nasrallah commended the resistance in Gaza for its steadfastness, saying it had changed the rules of engagement, adopting a tripartite formula similar to “the golden equation functioning in Lebanon.” The formula, Nasrallah explained, rested on three main pillars: fighting on the field, the people’s steadfastness and political resoluteness. “With this formula, the resistance succeeded in imposing new methods on the enemy, and that’s not easy for someone like [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu to admit,” he said. He stressed that the resistance should remain resolute on achieving its goals from this conflict, chiefly ending the siege on Gaza. “From the very first day, they hit Tel Aviv in the first rocket launching from Palestinian territories into Palestinian territories and covering the entire Palestinian landscape,” Nasrallah said. He said Hamas remained defiant “despite some Arab leaders’ calls to Israel encouraging them to continue with its war.”
“The situation will lead to imposing new equations on the enemy that need some time,” he said. “The resistance will impose a solution on Israel.”Nasrallah also spoke about Israel’s long-term plan since its occupation of Palestine to create wars, conflicts and divisions in every Arab and Muslim country to liquidate the Palestinian cause. Referring to the turmoil in the Arab world as a result of popular upheavals, he said: “This is the most dangerous phase since the occupation of Palestine because there is a systematic destruction of countries, peoples, armies and societies in the region, which started with honest popular revolutions but someone rode the wave and took it to a different direction.”“But Syria will remain standing in the face of the Zionist project while Iraq has unfortunately entered into a dark tunnel in the name of Islam,” he added.He condemned the persecution of Christians and destruction of churches in the Iraqi city of Mosul by the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS).
“In the name of the caliphate, they are displacing thousands of Christian families ... Sunnis who differ with ISIS have no choice but to declare allegiance or face slaughter, while Shiites and minorities have the only choice of being slaughtered.”
Does Iran genuinely support Hamas and
Friday, 25 July 2014
Dr. Majid Rafizadeh/Al Arabiya
Recently, Iranian President Hassan Rowani rhetorically
projected Iran’s leadership by calling Kuwaiti Emir Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber
al-Sabah, and stating that the Arab League, the Organization of the Islamic
Cooperation, and the international community, ought to take immediate and
serious steps to assist Hamas and the Palestinians.
In addition, several Iranian state media outlets and officials have attempted to
project an image of passivity in Arab countries towards supporting the
Palestinians and Hamas. On the other hand, the Iranian press and its officials
have straightforwardly referred to Iran’s unified and steadfast stance on
supporting the Palestinians.
First of all, it is crucial to point out that in reality, Iranian claims to
support the Palestinian cause are more ostentatious, showy, exaggerated, and
theatrical rather than genuine and practical, in my view.
Iranian claims to support the Palestinian cause are more ostentatious, showy, exaggerated and theatrical rather than genuine and practical, in my view
The Fars News Agency, the semi-official state news agency in Iran, was quick to boast about the letter that Palestinian resistance group Hamas wrote to Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani, asking the Islamic Republic for support against attacks carried out by Israeli forces. Khalid al-Qoddoumi, Hamas’s representative in Iran, wrote in the letter, “Given the tragic situation in the Middle-East region, unfortunately at present the situation of Palestine is not under the focus of political circles and is no longer a priority for the region and the world’s media.”
According to Algemeiner and MEMRI institute’s translation, Javan newspaper, an Iranian state newspaper stated, “The Islamic Republic of Iran is the only country in which a consensus on the Palestinian issue exists between the regime and its people. Together with popular support for the Palestinian fighters, the [Iranian] regime also provides important aid to the Palestinian fighters, including military weaponry… This measure by the Islamic Republic – arming the Palestinian groups – is carried out publicly, and not in secret, and has even been publicly emphasized by the leader [Khamenei].” Accordingly, the Islamic Republic has also provided Hamas with Fajr 5 missiles and Abadil drones before the war. However, the issue of consensus is questionable, as more and more Iranian people object to their country spending funds on Palestinians.
Nevertheless, why is the Islamic Republic attempting to project the image that Iran is the only country backing up the Palestinian cause? Why do Iranian media and its officials repeatedly imply that other countries in the region are insensitive to the plight of the Palestinians and claim that solely Iran is courageous enough to support the Palestinians publicly with total consensus?
The reasons behind Iranian leaders rhetoric to support the Palestinian cause and Hamas
The major reason, I believe, is Iran’s aspiration for regional hegemonic supremacy rather than the Iranian leaders claim for humanitarian factors as well as assisting the oppressed Palestinians.
First of all, in my view Iran supports and influences Hamas, Tehran then uses Hamas (as well as Tehran’s support for the Palestinian cause) as a tool to project its power and influence in the Arab world, I feel. The message that Iranian leaders are sending to other Arab countries is that Tehran does not only have influence in Syria, Iraq and Lebanon, but also in other Arab territories as well.
Secondly, before 1979, Iran was allied with Israel and supported it fully while receiving weapons from Israel, after the Islamic Revolution, one of Iran’s major foreign policy objectives was rivalry towards Israel. It is crucial to point out that this rivalry was not linked at all with how Palestinians live, with the Palestinian cause, or Israeli-Palestinians issues, according to my understanding. The major reason for the rivalry, I feel, was Israel’s alliance with the United States, which was the Islamic Republic’s primary enemy and focus of its foreign and domestic policy. The United States, as an enemy, has been used as a tool to oppress domestic oppositions (labeling them as U.S.-backed groups), and to advance Iran’s ideological and regional hegemonic ambitions it seems.
In order to achieve its foreign policy objective, I believe that the Islamic Republic attempted to use any potential Palestinian or non-Palestinian party (such as Hezbollah) as a tool to project its power towards the United States and Israel, not actually and genuinely to help the Palestinians or advance their cause. During the last three decades, Iran has shifted its alliance with some Palestinian political parties, favoring a party that can advance Iran’s foreign policy objectives more effectively. Iran cut off ties with Hamas a few years ago, regarding Hamas’ stance towards President Bashar al-Assad, only to resume its strategic alliance with Hamas because it did not seem to have any other alternative to advance its foreign policy, strategic and geopolitical objectives against Israel and its ally, the United States, I believe.
The third reason I can see behind Iran’s rhetorical support for the Palestinian cause is ideological. In my view, Iran aims to send a signal to other regional powers, that the Islamic Republic does not only have influence in Shiite communities (Iraq, Syria, Hezbollah) but also in Sunni nations. I believe that the Iranian leaders’ aim is to project the Shiite ruling system of Iran in order to create a sense of legitimacy not only among Shiites in the Middle East, but also among the non-Shiite Muslims, particularly the Sunnis. It can be said that Iran has long attempted to penetrate into Sunni Arab communities and project itself as a leader. In other words, I believe that the strategic, geopolitical, and ideological wellbeing of Iran as the core reasons and objectives behind Iran’s foreign policy of supporting Hamas, not the humanitarian reasons that Iranian officials, including Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, have claimed.
Surprising Ties between Israel and the Kurds
by Ofra Bengio
Middle East Quarterly/ Summer 2014
Kurdish Jews arrive in Israel. Following the establishment
of the state of Israel, Kurdish feelings toward the Jews were transformed into a
certain admiration and the urge to imitate Jewish success in the new state.
Relations were characterized by mutual trust that became an important asset for
ties in modern times. In turn, Kurdish Jews who migrated to Israel in the 1940s
and early 1950s became excellent ambassadors for the Kurds of Iraq, publicizing
and pleading their cause among the Israeli public.
In 1966, Iraqi defense minister Abd al-Aziz al-Uqayli blamed the Kurds of Iraq for seeking to establish "a second Israel" in the Middle East. He also claimed that "the West and the East are supporting the rebels to create [khalq] a new Israeli state in the north of the homeland as they had done in 1948 when they created Israel. It is as if history is repeating itself." An Arab commentator had warned earlier that if such a thing should happen, "the Arabs will face within two decades their second nakba [catastrophe] after Palestine." These contentions speak volumes regarding Iraq's threat perceptions of the Kurds more than four decades after the establishment of the Iraqi state. They also conceptualize Israel as the ultimate evil in the region. Such accusations are echoed today by some Arab media, which claim that Kurdistan is following in the footsteps of "Yahudistan" ("Land of the Jews"). Seen from the Kurdish and Israeli perspectives, these linkages and parallels are intended to demonize and delegitimize both while also implying illegitimate relations between them. The intriguing questions are therefore what kind of relations exist between Israel and the Kurds?
Do the Kurds look at Israel as a model? And what are the regional implications of such relations?
People to People Relations
Relations between Israel and the Kurds have been complex. To unravel them, it is necessary to differentiate between several aspects: people to people versus official relations; relations between the Kurds of Iraq and those of Turkey; and between secret and open relations.
A comparison between Jews and Kurds shows many similarities. Both are relatively small nations (15 million Jews and 30 million Kurds), traumatized by persecutions and wars. Both have been leading life and death struggles to preserve their unique identity, and both have been delegitimized and denied the right to a state of their own. In addition, both are ethnically different from neighboring Arabs, Persians, and Turks, who represent the majority in the Middle East. Interestingly, recent research has shown that genetic connections between Jews and Kurds are more pronounced than those between Jews and Arabs. This echoes the famous legend about the origins of the Kurds. In this telling, King Solomon, who ruled over the supernatural world, called his angelic servants and ordered them to fly to Europe and bring him five hundred beautiful women. When his servants returned, they learned that the king had passed away, but they retained the women for themselves, who
then gave the birth to the Kurdish nation. Whatever the case, similarities have brought about certain affinities between the two peoples.
Historically speaking, the treatment of Jews in Kurdistan was a mixture of tolerance toward Jewish religious rites and economic freedom along with persecution and even some rare pogroms. In earlier times, the Kurdish perception of the Jews was one of inferiority compared to the Christians, let alone to the Muslims. However, following the establishment of the state of Israel, such feelings were transformed into a certain admiration and the urge to imitate Jewish success in Palestine. At the same time, relations were also characterized by mutual trust that became an important asset for ties in modern times.
In turn, Kurdish Jews who migrated to Israel in the 1940s and early 1950s became excellent ambassadors for the Kurds of Iraq, publicizing and pleading their cause among the Israeli public. For example, following the crushing by Saddam Hussein of the 1991 Kurdish uprising, the Kurdish community in Israel, estimated then at 100,000, organized a massive relief operation for the Iraqi Kurds. They also staged demonstrations in front of Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir and called on the U.S. government to protect the Kurds from Saddam. In fact, during a meeting with U.S. secretary of state James Baker, Shamir urged the administration to defend the Kurds. Shortly afterward, an Israeli-Kurdish friendship league was established in Jerusalem with the aim of fostering ties between Israel, Jews, and Kurds worldwide. Israel's Kurdish Jews provided a bridge to other Israelis in the early 1990s when they initiated moves with the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG), facilitated by their common language and cultural background. Generally speaking, the KRG felt easier developing ties through the Kurdish Jews of Israel since it could claim it was dealing with Iraqi citizens.
On another level, from the 1990s on, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) maintained relations with Kurdish officials since "pro-Israel Jewish activists viewed support for the Kurds, a small nation struggling for self-determination in a hostile Arab neighborhood, as helping Israel reach out to a natural ally." According to Morris Amitay, AIPAC's executive director from 1974 to 1980, "Our Israeli friends always appreciated our friendship with the Kurds." Amitay's son, Mike Amitay, also served as executive director of the Washington Kurdish Institute (WKI) from 1996 to 2005. The WKI he helped establish addressed a wide range of issues affecting Kurdish communities in Turkey, Iraq, Iran, and Syria. Under Amitay's direction, WKI and its partners initiated humanitarian medical and research programs in Iraqi Kurdistan to address long-term health effects of exposure to chemical weapons. Similarly, WKI established community-based health education and social service delivery programs operated by women in isolated rural areas.
Affinity and mutual trust are reflected in the realms of literature and art as well. For example, in the novel Aida by the Israeli novelist Sami Michael, the hero is a Kurdish woman who finds refuge from the horrors of Saddam's regime in the house of one of Baghdad's last Jews. The documentary film Forget Baghdad, released in Israel in 2003, illustrates the strong nostalgic feelings of Israeli Kurds for Kurdistan. The same nostalgia is illustrated in a book by Ariel Sabar, which tells the story of his father, well-known linguist Yona Sabar. The elder Sabar was born in Zakho, left at an early age, but has fond feelings towards Kurdistan.
On the Kurdish side, in 2009, the Israel-Kurd magazine, published by Dawud Baghestani, appeared in the KRG to foster rapprochement between the two peoples. Even though it lasted only a short time, the very fact that the magazine was allowed to circulate freely was a sign of a tolerance toward Israel and Jews. At one point, a group of Kurdish students at the University of Kurdistan called for the establishment of relations between Israel and Iraqi Kurdistan. Similarly, the Kurds have no qualms in inviting Israelis and Jews to Kurdish conferences in the KRG or elsewhere, or to translate their books into Kurdish. For example, Natan Sharansky, former Russian dissident and later head of the Jewish Agency, was a guest speaker at the Third Kurdish World Congress held in October 2013 in Stockholm. Jews were also invited to participate in a conference on minorities held in the KRG at the end of 2013. Similarly, many Israeli Jews of Kurdish and non-Kurdish origin have frequented the region since the 1990s.
The Iraqi Kurd Political Angle
Several general observations on political relations are in order. First, no well-defined, consistent, and open policy has been formulated by either Israel or the KRG vis-à-vis the other; only ad hoc policies according to changing circumstances have been initiated. Second, the subject is extremely sensitive for both: Kurds are apprehensive of the reaction of the Iraqi government and fellow Iraqi citizens who might label them as traitors while Israel is cautious not to embarrass them or to appear to be inciting Kurds against the Iraqi government. Practically speaking, both parties have been reluctant to admit the existence of any kind of relations. Third, there is a big difference between Israel's relationship with the Kurdish leadership in Iraq and that in Turkey. This is a reflection of various historical, geostrategic, and political factors.
In 1964 when the Kurdish revolution was in dire straits, activist Ismet Sherif Vanly (above) suggested to Kurdish leader Mulla Mustafa Barzani that he contact Jerusalem for help. Vanly went to Israel where he met Prime Minister Levi Eshkol, as well as Shimon Peres. Following that visit, the Israeli government sent a permanent representative to Iraqi Kurdistan. The Israelis also attempted to arrange meetings for Vanly with U.S. officials, but the latter refused.
The guideline that has governed relations between Israel and the Iraqi Kurds is: "My enemy's enemy is my friend." Their common enemy was the government in Baghdad, the most dangerous for both being the Baath party that ruled Iraq in 1968-2003. But in fact, Israeli-Kurdish ties predated the Baath, going back to the 1950s when Israel's foreign policy strategy of the peripheral alliance was first launched. This strategy maintained that Jerusalem should seek alliances with non-Arab states as well as with minorities in the Middle East in order to address the larger Arab bloc. Relations between Israel and the Kurds began developing shortly after the outbreak of the Kurdish rebellion in the autumn of 1961, apparently at Jerusalem's initiative. According to another version, the first contacts were established by Reuven Shiloah (later, first director of the Mossad) in the early 1930s when he worked as a reporter for the Palestine Bulletin newspaper.
One of the early Kurdish interlocutors was activist Ismet Sherif Vanly. In his memoirs, Vanly revealed that in 1964, when the Kurdish revolution was in dire straits, he suggested to Kurdish leader Mulla Mustafa Barzani that he contact Jerusalem for help. Upon Barzani's agreement, Vanly went to Israel (with the help of the head of the Iranian intelligence) where he met Prime Minister Levi Eshkol, as well as Shimon Peres, head of the Labor party. Following that visit, the Israeli government sent a permanent representative to Iraqi Kurdistan. The Israelis also attempted to arrange meetings for Vanly with U.S. officials, but the latter refused. According to Vanly, Ibrahim Ahmad, who later would split from Barzani's party, had at an earlier date made a secret visit to Israel. The revelation about Ahmad is important because, in later years, Ahmad's faction leaked information about the secret relationship between the Barzanis and Israel in order to embarrass the Barzanis.
These ties, kept secret by both sides, reached their peak in the early years of the Baath in 1968-75. Barzani visited Israel secretly twice, in 1968 and 1973, meeting with high Israeli officials including the prime minister. Mustafa's sons Masoud and Idris also visited Israel. For their part, various Israeli officials frequented the Kurdish region. Some conspiracy theories put the number of Israelis present at the time in Kurdistan in the thousands. In fact, they did not exceed three or four.
These ties brought benefits to both partners. Jerusalem obtained intelligence as well as support for a few thousand Jews fleeing Baath Iraq. The Kurds received security and humanitarian aid as well as links to the outside world, especially the United States. The first official acknowledgment that Jerusalem had provided aid to the Kurds dates to September 29, 1980, when Prime Minister Menachem Begin disclosed that Israel had supported the Kurds "during their uprising against the Iraqis in 1965–1975" and that the United States was aware of the fact. Begin added that Israel had sent instructors and arms but not military units.
Israeli aid was initially limited to human-itarian assistance such as the construction of a field hospital in 1966. It expanded gradually, eventually to include the supply of small arms and ammunition. Later, it encompassed more sophisticated equipment such as antitank and antiaircraft weapons. It also included training Kurds in Israel and Kurdistan.
One reliable source claimed that all training of Kurds was provided by Israel. Rafael Eytan, who visited Kurdistan in 1969 before he became Israel's chief of staff, stated that almost all of the Israeli trainers were paratroopers. Israelis also served as advisers. In fact, Eytan's visit served the same purpose. But it should be stressed that Israelis were never involved directly in combat and had no command role whatsoever. They also helped in activities such as propaganda campaigns in Europe, courses for Kurdish medics, and with the creation of schoolbooks in Kurdish. These ties were abruptly stopped in March 1975 following the Algiers agreement between Iraq and Iran that put an end to the Kurdish rebellion. But discrete relations were resumed a few years later and have continued for most of the time ever since.
The PKK Political Angle
However, the adage that governed Israel's relations with the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) was the opposite of that with the Barzani-dominated Kurdish Democratic Party. With the PKK, the reality was: "My enemy's friend is my enemy." The PKK's friends were Syria and radical Palestinian groups acting under Damascus's auspices while Israel's long-time friend was Turkey. Thus, relations between Israel and the Kurdish leadership in Turkey have been complicated. PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan has made anti-Israeli and anti-Zionist statements bordering on anti-Semitism. For example, in 2005 he stated:
Similar to a second Zionism, the Kurdish collaboration [in the KRG] is about to achieve statehood. The statehood of Kurdish nationalism will be used against Turkey and Iran. I tried to stop this. Our guys are weak [though]. ... Similar things had happened in Palestine in 1948. The result [was] grim wars. Just like how they made Israel fight the Arabs, and they devastated the Arabs, the process which is taking place here is also a policy of let the dog fight the dog (iti ite kırdırmak)." On the same occasion, he stated: "We want simple rights. If we do so, we shall be able to prevent Kurdish nationalism from becoming the second Zionism.
He also emphasized:
I should not be misunderstood as if I am against Jews here, nor am an anti-Semite. I am for the Jews to take part democratically in the Middle East. [However] Zionism is a different mentality. It always creates its opponent.
On the practical level, since he was granted asylum by Syria's Hafez al-Assad in 1979, Öcalan became a Syrian client and a close ally of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). As early as the end of 1979, the PKK had transferred many militants as well as its central leadership to Palestinian camps in Lebanese territory where they trained together with Palestinians and even participated in combat against Israel. As Daniel Pipes notes, "in 1982, the PKK proved its mettle by fighting Israeli forces in Lebanon and was rewarded with a large camp in the Bekaa Valley, which became its headquarters." Two dozen PKK members were killed in the Israeli operation in Lebanon that year. According to Ismet G. Imset, after the Israeli destruction of PLO camps in Lebanon, Syria allowed the PKK to train in its own territory. In 1991, Öcalan claimed to have "hundreds of camps" in Lebanon, and a reporter witnessed both Palestinians and dissident Turks using PKK facilities.
Relations with the PKK were also a reflection of Israel's relations with the West in general and Turkey in particular. Following on the footsteps of Western countries, Israel had to take Turkish sensibilities into consideration; Ankara regarded the PKK as a deadly enemy. Jerusalem felt obliged to keep its distance from Kurdish leaders in Turkey, certainly the PKK, so as not to antagonize the Turks and jeopardize their special ties. It should be noted that Israel's strategic relations with Turkey, which reached their peak in the mid-1990s, coincided with the lowest point of relations between Ankara and the PKK, then engaged in a fierce civil war. Yet for all the Turkish pressure, Jerusalem was long reluctant to denounce Kurdish terrorism. For example, during his visit to Israel in 1993, Turkey's foreign minister Ahmet Çetin raised this demand, but his hosts refused to comply. In May 1997, however, at the height of the Turkish-Israeli relations, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly declared Israel's support for Turkey in its conflict with the PKK. Netanyahu went further and asserted there would be no peace with Damascus unless it ended its support for PKK terrorism.
Another low point in the relations between the Israelis and the PKK came in February 1999 following Turkey's capture of Öcalan, for which Israel was partially blamed. Although Jerusalem had adamantly denied accusations of having helped track Öcalan, the suspicion triggered huge Kurdish demonstrations in front of the Israeli consulate in Berlin, which ended with the killing of three Kurdish protestors. Fortunately, the crisis calmed with no further repercussions, but the PKK has lately demanded an Israeli apology for allegedly handing over Öcalan. Another sour point in relations was the question of ten Israeli-made Heron drones which Jerusalem sold Ankara in 2004 and which the PKK suspected were being used to spy against it.
The Changing Geopolitical Setting
The geopolitical context for Kurdish-Israeli relations has changed dramatically in the last few years, allowing for a certain openness or even rapprochement. Still, the total secrecy that governs these ties gives room for many questions and conspiracy theories. The 2003 war in Iraq and the establishment of a de facto Kurdish state reinvigorated ties between Israel and the KRG. For one thing, the Baghdad government was no longer radically opposed to Israel. For another, the KRG leadership was, for a time, more assertive and could state views it previously could not.
In 2005, KRG president Masoud Barzani stated that "establishing relations between the Kurds and Israel is not a crime since many Arab countries have ties with the Jewish state." For his part, Jalal Talabani, Iraqi president and head of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) did not hesitate to shake hands publicly with Israeli defense minister Ehud Barak at a conference in Greece in April 2008. When denounced by members of the Iraqi parliament, Talabani explained that the handshake was in his capacity as head of the PUK and not as president of Iraq. Israeli media also alluded to secret meetings in 2004 between Ariel Sharon, Masoud Barzani, and Jalal Talabani. There were also reportedly meetings between Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the KRG's Nechirvan Barzani.
Tacit security and economic ties were also reinforced and apparently included training of Kurds by Israelis. According to some non-Israeli sources, Israeli activities in the KRG were widespread. For example, American journalist Seymour Hersh claimed that Israeli intelligence and military operatives were quietly at work in Kurdistan, providing training for Kurdish commando units and running covert operations inside Kurdish areas of Iran and Syria. According to Hersh, at the end of 2003, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon made a strategic decision to expand relations with the KRG against the background of the deteriorating situation in Iraq and growing Iranian penetration. These claims remain unproven.
Mainstream Israeli sources have reported on some of these matters. The Yedi'ot Aharonot newspaper published an exclusive regarding Israel's training of peshmergas, the Kurdish paramilitary force. Another Israeli source mentioned the activities of an Israeli company in the construction of an international airport in Erbil in Iraqi Kurdistan. The same source revealed that a company owned by former Mossad chief Danny Yatom and entrepreneur Shlomi Michaels conducted business with the Kurdish government, providing strategic consultation on economic and security issues. In addition, it was reported that "tons of equipment, including motorcycles, tractors, sniffer dogs, systems to upgrade Kalashnikov rifles, bulletproof vests, and first-aid items have been shipped to Iraq's northern region," with most products stamped "Made in Israel." For their part, Iraqi sources, especially Shiite ones, have published lists of scores of Israeli companies and enterprises active in Iraq through third parties.
On the public level, the lingering Kurdish perception of Israel was as a country that had betrayed the Kurds in 1975 (when this was clearly the shah's doing, and Israel no longer had access to Iraq) and which had supported Turkey against the PKK. These perceptions, however, have recently shifted so that there is now an eagerness among many Kurds, at least in the KRG, for cooperation with Israel. According to a poll conducted in 2009 in the KRG, 71 percent of the respondents said they supported establishing diplomatic relations with Israel, and 67 percent said they viewed such relations as an important step toward an independent Kurdistan. But Kurdish interest in bilateral ties with Israel has prompted harsh reactions in the Arab world and among Iraqis in particular. The Arab media accused the Kurds of implementing the "imperialist project for splitting Iraq," of attempting to deny the Islamic identity of the state, and of refusing "to consider Kurdistan as part of the Arab nation." The worst accusation was that the Kurds were Jerusalem's agents seeking to establish a "second Israel." Reacting to such accusations, a Kurdish journalist maintained that the Arabs suffered from "the Kurdish complex" and from "Kurdophobia," saying that "Iraqi and Arab pens" used "organized terrorism" to harm the Kurds and their leadership. For its part, Israel is willing to encourage strong ties with the Kurds but fears antagonizing Turkey even though Ankara itself has no qualms supporting one of Israel's worst enemies, Hamas.
Deteriorating relations between Ankara and Jerusalem in the last few years have helped ease Israeli relations with the Kurdish leadership in Turkey. According to Seymour Hersh, Israeli-Turkish relations became tense at the end of 2003 against the background of cooperation between Israel and the KRG:
Turkish sources confidentially report that the Turks are increasingly concerned by the expanding Israeli presence in Kurdistan and alleged encouragement of Kurdish ambitions to create an independent state. … The Turks note that the large Israeli intelligence operations in northern Iraq incorporate anti-Syrian and anti-Iranian activity, including support to Iranian and Syrian Kurds who are in opposition to their respective governments.
Even in the KRG, where clandestine ties with Israel have been strong and long-standing, there are serious fears of antagonizing Baghdad and especially Tehran. The KRG's desire to do business with the expanding markets in Arab countries, especially the Persian Gulf states, provides another obstacle. Mahmud Othman (above), a Kurdish member of parliament in Baghdad, has said: "We don't need a relationship with [Israel]; we need a relationship with Arabs; we need a relationship with Iran; we need to be close to Turkey."
The context of Israeli relations with the PKK has also changed. Öcalan's anti-Semitic statements have continued as seen in recent denunciations of the Israeli lobby by him and his associates. But these may have been intended to curry favor with the Turkish government with which the PKK is engaged in a peace process. Still, there are attempts by the Israelis and the PKK to send out feelers or at least to lower tensions. A PKK member compared the Kurds' attraction to Israel with a village youth who keeps coming and going in front of his lover's house but cannot come in for fear of her father. It also seems there are two camps in the PKK, one led by Murat Karayılan which is open to ties and that of Cemil Bayık which is more reluctant. The umbrella organization in Europe, the Kurdistan National Congress (KNK), also seems more willing to consider developing ties. In a March 2014 interview with The Jerusalem Post, prominent KNK member Zübeyir Aydar also called for "breaking the walls" between Kurds and Israelis.
On the Israeli side, there have been ambiguous declarations. Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman was quoted as saying that Jerusalem might support the PKK against Turkey. Although such statements were denied later, they gave fertile ground to long-standing conspiracy theories in Ankara. For example, a May 2010 PKK attack inside Turkey coincided with the Israeli operation against the ship Mavi Marmara, en route to Gaza, and raised suspicions in Ankara that the former had been masterminded by Israel. Similarly, Turkish intelligence officials accused Jerusalem of aiding the PKK by collecting intelligence in the Hatay and Adana regions via unmanned aerial vehicles. Both the PKK and Israeli sources denied these allegations. However, the pressure on Israel to avoid contact with the Kurds so as not to antagonize Turkey has eased for another reason: The Turkish government itself has dramatically changed its policy toward the Kurds, not only through its strategic relations with the KRG, but also through the peace process that it initiated in the spring of 2013 with its nemesis, the PKK.
The upheavals in Syria have also brought Syrian Kurds to the forefront. They were previously an unknown entity as far as Israel was concerned. Here again the rule of "my enemy's enemy" became relevant as both the Kurds of Syria and the Israelis confronted Islamist terrorist organizations such as Jabhat al-Nusra and Dawlat al-Iraq wa-l-Sham al-Islamiya. It seems, however, that relations between Jerusalem and Syrian Kurds predated the recent upheavals. According to Hersh, who quoted German officials in a 2004 article, the German intelligence community had evidence that Jerusalem was using its new leverage within Kurdish communities in Syria (and Iran) for intelligence and operational purposes. Hersh further quoted Lebanese minister of information Michel Samaha as saying that his government had evidence Israel was "preparing the Kurds to fight all around Iraq, in Syria, Turkey, and Iran. They're being programmed to do commando operations." While it is impossible to corroborate such remarkable reports, it seems probable that the Syrian Kurds and Israelis are sending feelers for possible cooperation. Some Kurdish groups in Syria evidently hope to gain Israeli support.
Lastly, there have been reports claiming that Israel has been developing ties with the Free Life Party of Kurdistan (PJAK), a Kurdish-Iranian group linked to the PKK. There are claims that Jerusalem has provided training at PJAK bases in the KRG. One report also asserted that Israel, together with the United States, was providing money, arms, and intelligence to PJAK but that support had stopped abruptly by 2013. U.S.-based Kurdish scholar Nader Entessar has suggested that Jerusalem and Washington supported PJAK and other Kurdish assets against the government in Iran. He further maintained that PJAK's leader Rahman Haj Ahmadi even traveled to Washington in 2007 and met U.S. officials there despite PJAK's links with the PKK, considered a terrorist organization by the U.S. government.
The upheavals in the Middle East and the concomitant changes in the geopolitical map have theoretically allowed for the legitimization of the region's two outcast nations, including the right to self-determination. These events could allow for open relations between Israel and the Kurds by removing the barriers of fear, suspicion, and conspiracy theories. On the ground however, many obstacles and challenges still lie ahead. On the Kurdish side, rivalries between the four parts of Kurdistan make it difficult to develop clear strategy towards Israel. The fear of antagonizing each neighboring state also weighs heavily on their ability to maintain open links with the Jewish state.
Even in the KRG, where clandestine ties with Israel have been strong and long-standing, there are serious fears of antagonizing Baghdad and especially Tehran. The KRG's desire to do business with the expanding markets in Arab countries, especially the Persian Gulf states, provides another obstacle. As Mahmud Othman, a Kurdish member of parliament in Baghdad, put it: "Kurdistan needs the Arabs. We are living in an Arab country, and we are a federal region within Iraq. We don't need a relationship with [Israel]; we need a relationship with Arabs; we need a relationship with Iran; we need to be close to Turkey." Similar concerns were expressed by Kurdish officials, who stated that the KRG does not want to jeopardize its relations with Arabs, Turks, and Iranians for the sake of relations with Israel.
Jerusalem, too, has reservations about open relations with the Kurds. For one thing, Washington keeps putting up obstacles to such ties out of a commitment to the unity of the Iraqi state even though reality is far removed from this elusive ideal. Similarly, for all the problems with Turkey, Israel does not want to antagonize that country further by openly declaring its relations with the Kurds. Jerusalem also has to take into account the sensitivities of Kurdish politicians who are reluctant to be associated with it openly.
Looking to the near future, it appears that relations between Israel and the Kurds are doomed to continue in the shadows. However, should the KRG declare independence, this might change the picture on both sides. Jerusalem might be one of the first governments to recognize Kurdistan as it was with South Sudan. A Kurdish state would in turn like to have Israel's support. After all, besides the affinity between the two nations, they have common interests in the continued existence of each other.
***Ofra Bengio is a senior research fellow at the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies at Tel Aviv University. She is author of The Kurds of Iraq: Building a State within a State (Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2012) and editor of The Kurds: Nation-Building in a Fragmented Homeland (Texas University Press, 2014).
 Mahmud al-Durra, al-Qadiya al-Kurdiya (Beirut: Manshurat Dar-at-Tali'a, 1966), p. 388.
 Ibid., p. 387.
 Kurdroj website, July 3, 2008.
 Ariella Oppenheim, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, quoted in Sargis Mamikonian, "Israel and the Kurds," Iran and the Caucasus, 2005, no. 2, p. 381.
 Zorab Aloian, "The Kurds in Ottoman Hungary," Transoxiana: Journal Libre de Estudios Orientales (Universidad del Salvador, Buenos Aires), Dec. 9, 2004.
 Mordechai Zaken, Jewish Subjects and Their Tribal Chieftains in Kurdistan: A Study in Survival (Leiden: Brill, 2007), pp. 9-17.
 Ibid., pp. 338-43; Lazer Berman, "The World's Oldest Kurd: A Beloved Rabbi in the Heart of the Holy City," Serbesti, Feb. 10, 2014.
 Mamikonian, "Israel and the Kurds," p. 398.
 Jaques Neriah, "Kurdistan: The Next Flashpoint between Turkey, Iraq, and the Syrian Revolt," Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, Aug. 5, 2012.
 Israeli-Kurdish Friendship League, Jerusalem, accessed Mar. 31, 2014.
 The Forward (New York), Apr. 18, 2012.
 "Mike Amitay: Senior Policy Analyst," Washington Kurdish Institute, accessed Dec. 30, 2013.
 Sami Michael, Aida (Tel Aviv: Kinneret Zmora Bitan, 2008).
 Mamikonian, "Israel and the Kurds," p. 389.
 Ariel Sabar, My Father's Paradise: A Son's Search for His Family's Past (New York: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2008).
 Agence France-Presse, Aug. 11, 2009.
 United with Israel, Bet Shemesh, accessed Mar. 31, 2014.
 Point of No Return: Jewish Refugees from Arab Countries (blog), Dec. 10, 2013.
 Ofra Bengio, The Turkish-Israeli Relationship: Changing Ties of Middle Eastern Outsiders (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004), pp. 33–71.
 Israeli officials interviewed by the author, Israel, Mar. 13, 1982, July 28, 1985.
 Tom Segev, 1949, Hayisraelim Harishonim (Jerusalem: Domino, 1984), p. 34.
 Ismet Sherif Vanly, Min Mudhakkirat Ismet Sherif Vanly, pp. 38-40. This unpublished manuscript, found in the Zein Center in Sulaymaniya headed by Rafiq Salih, was provided by Bayar Dosky.
 Israeli officials interviewed by the author, Israel, Mar. 13, 1982, July 28, 1985.
 Radio Israel, Sept. 29, 1980.
 Sergey Minasian, "The Israeli-Kurdish Relations," Noravank Foundation, Yerevan, p. 22.
 Öcalan interview with his lawyers, Jan. 5, 2005. "Kürt Halk Önderi Abdullah 'Öcalan'ın 2005-2006 Görüşme Notları, Stêrka Ciwan." Quote provided by Ceng Sagnic.
 Ibid.; Öcalan (under his pen names Ayden Safer and A. Inanc) has produced other anti-Semitic articles, for example, Ozgur Ulke, Aug. 28/29, 1994.
 Ismet G. Imset, The PKK: A Report on Separatist Violence in Turkey (Istanbul: Turkish Daily News Publications, 1992), pp. 172-3.
 Daniel Pipes, "Hafiz al-Asad Should Be Careful," Turkish Times, Dec. 15, 1994.
 Imset, The PKK, p. 172.
 Pipes, "Hafiz al-Asad Should Be Careful."
 Ali Sarhan, "The Two Periods of the PKK Conflict: 1984-1999 and 2004-2010," in Fevzi Bilgin and Ali Sarhan, Understanding Turkey's Kurdish Question (Lanham: Lexington books, 2013), pp. 93-4.
 Gregory A. Burris, "Turkey-Israel: Speed-Bumps," Middle East Quarterly, Fall 2003, pp. 67-80.
 Amikam Nachmani, "The Remarkable Turkish-Israeli Tie," Middle East Quarterly, June 1998, pp. 19-29.
 Owen Matthews, "Turkey's Tricky Drone Diplomacy," The Daily Beast (New York), Sept. 13, 2011.
 YNet News (Tel Aviv), Sept. 21, 2005.
 BBC News, July 1, 2008.
 Neriah, "Kurdistan: The Next Flashpoint."
 Private communication with anonymous sources.
 Seymour M. Hersh, "Plan B: The Kurdish Gambit," The New Yorker, June 21, 2004.
 Zadok Yehezkeli, Anat Tal-Shir, and Itamar Aichner, "Be'Oref Ha'Oyev," Yedi'ot Aharonot (Tel Aviv), Dec. 2, 2005.
 Neriah, "Kurdistan: The Next Flashpoint."
 Al-Wikala ash-Shi'iya (al-Shieeya News Agency, Beirut), Nov. 20, 2008.
 The Kurdish Globe (Erbil), Nov. 15, 2009.
 Al-Musawwar (Cairo), Sept. 8, 2006; al-Hawadith (Kuwait City), Sept. 15, 2006.
 Al-Mujtama (Kuwait City), Aug. 20, 2005.
 Al-Hayat (London), Oct. 15, 2006.
 Al-Ahali (Baghdad), June 7, 2006.
 Hersh, "Plan B- The Kurdish Gambit."
 See, for example, Agos (Istanbul), Jan. 9, 2014.
 The PKK member was quoted by a Kurdish activist during the author's private communication with him, Israel, Mar. 10, 2014.
 Private communication with leading KNK members, Brussels, Nov. 2012.
 The Jerusalem Post, Mar. 6, 2014.
 Today's Zaman (Istanbul), Aug. 5, 2010.
 Ynet News, Jan. 17, 2012.
 Hersh, "Plan B- The Kurdish Gambit."
 Sedat Laciner, "Why Is Israel Watching the PKK?" al-Monitor (Washington, D.C.), Jan. 10, 2013.
 Nader Entessar, Kurdish Politics in the Middle East (Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2010), p. 205.
 Agence France-Presse, Aug. 11, 2009.
 Private communication with anonymous source.
Related Topics: Israel & Zionism, Kurds | Ofra Bengio | Summer 2014 MEQ
receive the latest by email: subscribe to the free mef mailing list