Jewish, Kurdish NGOs launch crowdfunding, PR campaign to fight genocide

"It is very powerful to show solidarity and tell the Kurds there are people who care about them."

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October 24, 2019 12:38
2 minute read.
Jewish, Kurdish NGOs launch crowdfunding, PR campaign to fight genocide

Hundreds rally in support of the Kurds in Tel Aviv. (photo credit: ANNA AHRONHEIM)

The International Legal Forum has organized a group of Jewish and Kurdish non-profits to aid the Kurdish people. On Wednesday, the group will launch a crowdfunding campaign to raise a minimum of $100,000 to provide medical supplies, food, water, blankets and other essentials to wounded and displaced Kurds.

In addition, the group plans to work together to send the Kurdish people a message of unity and support.

The International Legal Forum describes itself as a pro-active legal hub dedicated to cooperation between lawyers, organizations and activists worldwide to fight terror and the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.
 


Yifa Segal, founder of the forum, told The Jerusalem Post that she has been in close contact with Kurds on the ground and that there is a likelihood of further escalations in the coming days.


“Those displaced from their homes and wounded are surviving in poor living conditions,” she said. “We also feel it is very powerful to show solidarity and tell the Kurds there are people who care about them.


“The Kurds cannot just be abandoned and be collateral damage for whatever political motivations other nations have,” Segal continued. “There are people who care about the Kurds and those people are all over the world – and we will not stand by idly.”




She said that 15 organizations have already signed onto the coalition, including UK Lawyers for Israel, Ireland Israel Alliance, Sweden Israel Alliance, Institute for Zionist Strategies and Hasbara Fellowships. In addition, a coalition of Kurdish NGOs in Germany are partnering. 


According to Segal, Jews and Kurds are historically tied as minorities in the Middle East who have been prosecuted by neighboring Arab-Muslim states.


“What happened with the Jews 70 years ago should have happened for the Kurds 100 years ago,” Segal said, referring to the independent State of Israel's founding in 1948 – but “it didn’t. And there have not been too many opportunities for the Kurds to gain some form of independence, or at least safety or autonomy – or even living freely in the countries in which they reside.”


She said the Jewish state and the Jewish people have historically been cooperative and helpful to the Kurds, and the present situation should be no exception.


Will the coalition’s efforts have any real impact?

Segal said she believes it will. Aside from the money raised, she thinks that statements from different NGOs in different countries will make enough noise to stop Turkey before “Kurds are massacred in Syria, Iraq or anywhere else. Our goal is the personal safety of the Kurdish people in those countries.”


She added that well-meaning people have been distracted by the shift in US policy – US President Donald Trump’s decision to retreat from Syria – when they should be focused on what she described as “a possible genocide happening against the Kurdish people."


“It’s a numbers game,” Segal continued. “If you are sitting at home and see our campaign, like it, share it, contribute even $1. If you make a statement, you are contributing to the bigger picture.”


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