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Aktiv gegen Nazi-Propaganda!
Jüdische Weisheit
Archivierte Meldungen aus den Jahren 1995 - 1999



Translation of unabridged original text of the Hebrew article published in Ma’ariv, April 25, 1999.

Uri Avnery:

"How is Mordechai? What are his chances of becoming Prime Minister?" This question was voiced again and again, when my new Kurdish friends heard that I am an Israeli. Mordechai, of course, is the first Israeli candidate for the job of Prime Minister who is an immigrant from (Iraqi) Kurdistan.

That was kast wee, when masses of Kurds filled a giant field on the outskirts of Bonn. The German police estimated them at 90 thousand. The organizers spoke of 200 thousand. My own estimate was 150 thousand. They came in special trains, convoys of buses and private cars, creating giant traffic jams. At the entrance of the town they were directed by Kurdish orderlies, wearing the Kurdish flag around their necks.

They came from all over of Germany, from France, Denmark, Austria, even Spain. Many had been traveling for eight hours and more. They belonged to the million Kurds living in exile in Europe, Kurds from Iran, Iraq and even from Syria, but mostly from Turkey, speaking the different Kurdish dialects, belonging to different religions – Sunnis, Shiites, Alawites, Christians. Some in festive suits, many in their working clothes.

Thousands of families sat on the ground – father, mother, children, grandparents. Tens of thousands were standing on their feet, hour after hour, facing the elevated tribune. Around the field there stood several tents: one for collecting donations for the bereaved families of the national struggle, one for the orphans, one for the wounded. Tables offering Kurdish literature, both in Latin and Arabic letters. Tables of the different Kurdish parties, of which there seem to be a lot – the PKK, several communist splinters, several others.

A curious mixture of a national festival and protest rally. From hundreds of posters the resolute face of Abdullah Ocalan looked out. His kidnapping has succeeded in doing what millions of words have failed to do: For the first time in their history, the whole Kurdish nation has united around one leader. The lack of unity among the Kurds is proverbial. That has changed now. The capture has united the Kurds in the five parts of their cut-up homeland – Iran, Iraq, Turkey, Syria and Azerbaijan – who understand each other only with some difficulty. Many men and woman came in their traditional national dresses. Tens of thousands waved posters – "Apo, the Sun of Kurdistan" (Apo is the nickname of Ocalan), "Freedom for Kurdistan" and many more. Many portraits of Apo decorated with wreaths of flowers, a sea of national and PKK flags. All these are prohibited by German law as the symbols of a "terrorist organization", but after trying in vain to stop their being displayed , the Police wisely surrendered to the deluge.

Since the creation of the State of Israel, I have not seen such a sight in our country. The nationalist fervor electrified the atmosphere. The national songs swept young and old with them. A singer from Iran competed with a music group from Turkey, and the masses joined them with passion. "Kurdistan, I am coming, I am coming, I am coming!" Thousands of hands were waved in rhythm, as in a rock concert, but the love sung about here is the love for Kurdistan and Apo.

When I climbed to the tribune to speak, the sight was elevating. At my feet sat the invalids of the struggle in their wheelchairs. Beyond the fence, lines and lines of men and women, many in their colorful traditional dresses, who did not move from the spot during ten long hours, in the biting cold, with minutes of a pale sunshine giving way to an occasional light drizzle. After every sentence there was thunderous applause, every few minutes thousands of throats shouted the slogans.

I expressed my support "as a human being, an Israeli and a Jew". As an Israeli, I vigorously object to the Israeli-Turkish military pact, which is being used against he Kurds. As a Jew, I fight against all forms of genocide and mass-expulsion. I mentioned that for thousands of years, Kurds and Jews had lived together. Thunderous applause. I denounced the genocide on Kosovo and warned that similar things may happen in Turkey. Every sentence was translated into Kurdish, and the reaction of the masses was intense. They were glad to hear a voice from Israel saying this. After me spoke Lord Hylton from England, a Bask Leader, a Greek professor, an Italian senator.

When the masses dispersed peacefully, in exemplary order, I wondered how the Turkish leaders can entertain the illusion that it is possible to deny the existence of the Kurdish nation. I remembered the foolishness of Golda Meir, who declared that "there is no such thing as a Palestinian people". How is it possible to deny the separate identity of a resolute nation of 15 million souls?

(Two days later, I was on a Lufthansa flight from Fankfurt to Tel-Aviv. I was perusing the reports of the rally in German, Turkish and Kurdish papers, when the Captain announced nonchalantly that he has not enough fuel to reach Tel-Aviv and has therefore going to stop at Istanbul in order to take on more fuel. If I had been paranoid, it would have crossed my mind that here was a little imitation of the Ocalan affair. But all passed peacefully, the plane went up again, flew over the island where Ocalan is held and tortured, and brought me safely back home.)

Erklärung des jüdisch-kurdischen Gesprächskreises in München:
Kein Grund für eine jüdisch-kurdische Gegnerschaft

haGalil onLine - Montag 03-04-99

Die hier archivierten Artikel stammen aus den "Anfangsjahren" der breiten Nutzung des Internet. Damals waren die gestalterischen Möglichkeiten noch etwas ursprünglicher als heute. Wir haben die Artikel jedoch weiterhin archiviert, da die Informationen durchaus noch interessant sein können, u..a. auch zu Dokumentationszwecken.

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