Israeli Academician: Independence Sole Escape for Kurds in Whirlpool of Regional Sectarian War
Leyla H. Sherwani
14/09/2017 - 20:58
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
ERBIL — Eddy Cohen, a lecturer at Bar-Ilan University’s Communications Department, believes unless Kurdistan is independent, wars will always be imposed on it and its people will continue being subordinated and oppressed.
Cohen, who has been actively engaged in writing about the minorities in the Mideast and the subordinated nations in the region, has been a very vocal advocate of independence for Kurdistan.
In this exclusive interview with BasNews, he expresses his expectations and views about the challenges and attainments of the people of Kurdistan as a result of the imminent independence referendum, which will take place after only ten days.
BasNews: Why are you interested in the cause of the people of Kurdistan and their rights?
Cohen: The first reason is that as a researcher and professional in Israeli, Arab and regional affairs, I'm aware of all the oppression against the people of Kurdistan.
I'm aware of the entire position of the countries colonizing Kurdistan; that none of whom will ever recognize the rights of people of Kurdistan and that they want to deprive Kurds from their rights for good.
Therefore, they oppose independence of Kurdistan strongly and to prevent this they have not abstained from anything and will not do so.
Also, bear in mind that, Israel has a great number of Kurds who love Kurdistan and have a wonderful nostalgia for it. They always speak about Kurdistan and Kurds. This reality does not belong to now. It has been for a long time that the Israeli Kurds are concerned for Kurdistan and demand that their country assist Kurdistan.
I, in person, have been saying it for long years that Kurdistan needs to become a state and independent.
The other reason is that I'm a friend and a lifelong advocate of the rights of minorities across the world.
BasNews: What's your opinion about the timing of the independence referendum of the Kurdistan Region which some parties regard as "inappropriate?"
Cohen: I have said it many times that neither Iraq nor the neighboring countries want Kurdistan to become sovereign. The authorities in Iraq and the neighboring countries want Kurds to remain subordinate forever in order to oppress them and snatch the possessions and wealth of Kurdistan. Weren't these the same people who committed genocide, Anfal and chemical attack?
I say frankly that now it's the time; the time for the interests of Kurdistan. Hence, it's urgent that now Kurdistan declares its independence and people of Kurdistan do not get intimidated. No country dares to harm you. You will not get powerful and everyone will dare to harm you, unless you are a state. Unless Kurdistan is a state, everybody dares to attack Kurdistan anytime.
It's has been for long years that Iraq is engaged in sectarian conflicts. Last of all came Daesh and captured one-third of Iraq. They were the courageous Peshmergas of Kurdistan who rescued Iraq. Kirkuk was protected by the blood of Peshmerga. Peshmerga opened the gate for liberation of Mosul from Daesh.
Iraq is in a dangerous whirlpool and what can protect the people of Kurdistan against it is the State of Kurdistan. You have to rescue yourselves from this vortex of violence and bloodshed soon. Everybody wants to incite sectarian war in Iraq at their wish. Kurdistan must swiftly keep itself away from this war which has been ongoing for 1,400 years and unfortunately is sparkling now.
BasNews: If Kurdistan went ahead with the referendum and declared independence, according to your expectation, what will be the reaction of Iraq and the regional states?
Cohen: Certainly Iraq and the other states are afraid of the independence of Kurdistan. They do not want you to be free and sovereign. We all heard [Iraqi Vice President and former Iraqi prime minister Nouri] al-Maliki saying "we don't want another Israel in the region.
The regional countries are striving for their private interests and hope to exploit the cause of the people of Kurdistan to reach their goals. They threaten, saying that the referendum is unconditional. This is not right. Actually, I and the friends of Kurdistan are very happy and optimistic, when we see President Masoud Barzani's firmness on the referendum.
Iraq and Kurdistan neighbors seek to weaken the morale of the people of Kurdistan and disappoint them. Here, I tell the people of Kurdistan and their leadership: declare your independence and ignore the threats by others. They create obstacles for you and even demand you to postpone the referendum. They don't think of your welfare and be sure that they are working against you behind the curtains. But if you continue like now to insist on exercising a very natural right of yours, the referendum and independence, you will succeed and no one can create a great issue for you.
BasNews: As a researcher and professional in the regional policies, do you think that these threats remain as words and no one can prevent the independence of Kurdistan?
Cohen: Definitely, when the state of Israel was declared, six Arab countries with their armies raided it but were finally defeated and withdrew. The same is true for Kurdistan. There are threats from Iraq and the regional countries. I don't say that there are no threats. I know that Iran, Turkey and Iraq are trying hard to create obstacles but they cannot attack Kurdistan directly. Maybe through mercenaries and proxies they try hard to diminish your morale and create economic issues for you. However, the leadership and the people of Kurdistan should be patient. The patience of the people of Kurdistan will destroy the adversaries of independent Kurdistan who will be forced to face the reality.
It's very important that the people of Kurdistan no longer believe in the vows and promises of the rules of Iraq and the neighboring countries.
BasNews: Regarding the international support after announcing the State of Kurdistan, what do you expect?
Cohen: The first matter is that the future state should be democratic; a state for all citizens with no prejudice. Kurdistan should continue as usual to respect human rights. Then the international allegiance and support will automatically arrive.
Kurdistan is a rich land. It can attract investors from across the globe. A great number of visitors will turn to Kurdistan after independence. You know, only as an example, I say that the Kurds in Israel, or maybe the whole world, are ready o put all their assets and wealth into Kurdistan if it becomes independent.
BasNews: Yezidi Kurds suffered huge damages due to Daesh. How do you see the future of Yezidis as well as the ethnic and religious minorities in the State of Kurdistan?
Cohen: Yezidi Kurds suffered genocide. As a lively component of Kurdistan, they should be undivided and unite their voice so as not to face genocide and oppression anymore and so that they attain their rights. Depending on the experiences in the course of history as well as the current state of Kurdistan, I believe the future State of Kurdistan will respect the rights of the entire minorities and sincerely works for its citizens without discrimination.
The only threat against Kurdistan is the mercenaries of the regional regimes, against whom the people of Kurdistan should be on alert and united.