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Anti-Semitism is a synonym for Kurdophobia

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When the last groups of Jewish Kurds left Kurdistan for imagined Eretz- Israel in 1951, for their Kurdish neighbours in Zakho it was an unbearable loss. The Jewish Kurds were deeply-rooted and decent neighbours. The non-Jewish Kurds could not accept these neighbours leaving them, and had shared the same neighbourhoods, tea houses, shops and markets for many generations. For the Kurds, the emigration of these Jewish Kurds coincided with the loss of the long-term established social relationship between the two groups as well as the loss of economic benefits and artistic skills that the fellow Jewish Kurds offered. These social and economic activities as well as the mutual dependence between the two groups came to an end as the Kurds were unable to prevent their neighbours’ departure.

The relationship between the Kurds and Jews has deep historical roots traced back to the period of the captivity of the Jewish tribes by Assyrians 2800 years ago according to The Talmut, and their liberation by the Medes under the leadership of Cyrus the Great in the 6th century BC. King Cyrus the Great, who is often identified as the King of Media, but also occasionally the King of Persia, conquered Assyria and caused the collapse of its empire. As soon as Jews were liberated from ruthless Assyrian captivity, he granted them the freedom to return to their holy land or to settle in cities of Medes including Erbil, Zakho, Amediye Diyarbakir, Mardin, Urmiye and Qamishlo. During the 1st century BC, many Kurds were allowed by rabbinic authorities to convert to Judaism and acquired Jewish traditions and religion.

The Kurds continued to express their Median identity as they name their children after the Medes, and used names such as Med and Medya for the first Kurdish satellite TV stations in exile. They also continued to celebrate their national, and pre-Islamic, the Zoroastrian holiday of Newroz, and to tell the story of Medes’ liberator Kawa the Blacksmith. For the Kurds, Kawa is Cyrus, who led the Medes to topple the ruthless Assyrian empire in 612 B.C. Having regarded the Medes as Kurdish forefathers who liberated the Jewish tribes from Assyrian captivity and set them free, we can address the beginning of the relationship between the Kurds and the Jews, which has persisted for over 2600 years. Some Kurds claim that they share even the Jewish........

© The Times of Israel (Blogs)

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