What Palestinians Can Learn from the Kurds

The Kurds living in the Syrian region of Rojava have established a quasi-state that is an oasis of individual freedom and relative stability; their brethren in Iraqi Kurdistan have accomplished something similar. Unlike the Palestinians, they have made little effort to gain international recognition, focusing instead on the essentials. Bob Feferman and Dan Feferman write:

[The Kurdish leader Abdullah] Ocalan, who sits by himself in a Turkish island prison, left [his former] Arafat-like ways of terror behind, as he realized that fighting Turkey for independence was not realistic and cost his people too high a price. Instead . . . Ocalan’s followers, who number roughly 4.5 million Kurds in northern Syria, have established a number of democratic city-states—where gender equality is enforced almost as extremely as the exact opposite is just a few miles away in Islamic State-controlled areas. Elections ensure that the region’s non-Kurds are represented equally in matters of [public] decision making. . . .

The . . . Kurds in both Syria and Turkey, and the Kurds of northern Iraq, realized that the trappings of statehood meant little if the basis for a functioning society underneath was absent. Instead, the Kurds turned inward to gain stability. Rather than apply for meaningless membership in myriad international organizations, they sought economic prosperity and good governance.

In clear contrast, the Palestinians have tried bullying their way to independence by waging terrorism through suicide bombings, stones, bullets, and knives.

Read more at Jerusalem Post

More about: Democracy, Iraq, Kurds, Palestinian statehood, Politics & Current Affairs, Syrian civil war

The Ugly Roots of Ireland’s Anti-Israel Policies

Prime Minister Varadkar’s meretricious messaging concerning the freeing of a kidnapped child is only one example of the Irish government’s perverse reaction to Hamas’s assault on Israel. Varadkar has accused the IDF of pursuing “something approaching revenge” in Gaza, and compared the Israeli war effort to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. His parliament, meanwhile, came close to expelling the Israeli ambassador. Terry Glavin writes:

In a recent interview, . . . the retired Irish diplomat Niall Holohan put it this way: “We feel we have been victimized over the centuries. It’s part of our psyche—underneath it all we side with the underdog.” But there’s something else in the Irish psyche that’s impolite to mention in the comfy Dublin pubs and bistros. . . . Not a few of Ireland’s gallant and celebrated champions of the underdog, its heroes of Irish freedom, were vulgar anti-Semites and Nazi collaborators.

And in recent years, Irish Jews are commonly baited, harassed, and badgered every time there is some eruption in Israel involving Palestinian “resistance.”

The republican pamphleteer Arthur Griffith approved [of anti-Jewish agitation in Limerick in 1904], calling Jews “usurers and parasites.” Griffiths was one of the founders of Sinn Féin, in 1905, and he served as Sinn Féin’s president in 1911.

There was always a deep division in the Irish nationalist movement between Irish republicans who felt an affinity with the Jews owing to a shared history of dispossession and exile, and Catholic extremists who ranted and raved about Jews. Those Catholic shouters are still abroad, apparently unaware that for half a century, Catholic doctrine has established that anti-Semitism is a mortal sin.

Read more at National Post

More about: Anti-Semitism, Gaza War 2023, Ireland