Evil internal empire
Congratulations to Seth J. Frantzman for his important article about Iran’s oppression of its Kurdish minority (“Kurds in Iran demand rights as regime cracks down,” October 1).
The article rightly points to the other minority groups in Iran – Arabs, Azeris and Baloch, just to mention the larger ones, as shown in the adjoining map. In fact, all together they are close to half of Iran’s population oppressed by the ruling ethnic Persian power structure. Especially aggrieved are Iran’s many Arab subjects along the northern littoral of the Arabian Gulf.
It is, therefore, time to recognize that Iran is not just under an evil regime, it is even illegitimate as a unitary state. For the peace of the world, it needs be branded as an evil internal empire that must be reformed. This would not necessarily have to be by dismemberment, but surely by its federal restructuring to give an equal voice to all its ethnic groups. Such constitutional reform would also allow ethnic Persians to breathe free.
Reading Frantzman’s article, one must ask why US policy is so focused on Islamic State and solely on Tehran’s nuclear weapons capability. It could be that Washington wishes to hide the fact that it has no real policy visa- vis a collapsing Middle East threatened by Iran’s evil, which now extends way beyond its borders.
America would be well advised to undertake a psychological warfare campaign worldwide against Tehran as an evil internal empire. Indeed, the struggle of Iran’s Kurds for freedom and human dignity is just the tip of a melting iceberg of the country’s oppression of its many minorities.
With regard to “Kurdish statehood” (Editorial, September 27), the Kurds are a large, distinct, pro-western and pro-US ethnic group that needs US support for their aspirations. Their Peshmerga and other military groups are able and independent fighters.
They have been our main allies in Iran and Syria, and are much more dependable than our fair-weather, two-faced Arab “friends.”
Their numbers, legitimacy, history and suffering far exceed those of the much smaller and recently invented nation of “Palestine,” which gets inordinate attention, aid and political clout because its conflict is judged by the degree to which it has been politicized and manipulated by politicians, academicians and the media, rather than by any true facts.
No facts or any comparison to the “Palestinian cause” merit the suppression of an independent Kurdistan.
Palestinians, who allegedly number 4.5 million, did not exist 50 years ago and are essentially indistinguishable from the citizens of the many Arab nations that could fully absorb them if it weren’t for the Palestinians being a useful political tool to undermine Israel. The Kurds, on the other hand, number 35 million and are an ancient and distinct people who trace their history to 612 BCE.
For the world to be consistent with its politically correct concerns, the Kurds should be fully supported against the dictatorships oppressing them. Viva the brave people of Kurdistan!
St. James, New York
I found the crux of your editorial – that those who value democratic values and the right of a people to self-determination cannot but be moved by the referendum on independence for Iraqi Kurdistan – to be perplexing.
Why not show similar enthusiasm and support for the sovereignty, independence and self-determination of the Palestinian people and, more importantly, for the two-state solution, an independent Palestine living side by side with a secure Israel? You cannot claim the upper moral hand while turning a deaf ear and a blind eye to Israel’s criminal measures, its cheapening of Jordanian and Palestinian blood, its violations of Islamic and Christian holy places in Jerusalem as well as the Jordanian-Israeli peace treaty, which affirms the Hashemites’ role as custodians of holy places, and its ongoing attempts to change the historical and legal status quo of the Noble Sanctuary (Temple Mount), revered by over 1.5 billion Muslims throughout the world.
It is time to ignite a flurry of efforts to bring a lasting peace to the children of Abraham in the Holy Land.
MUNJED FARID AL QUTOB
Time to sue Abbas
Regarding “Shurat Hadin demands Interpol arrest top Hamas leader” (October 1), one of the most amazing women of our time is Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, who heads Shurat Hadin.
This organization has shown that you can monetarily sue terrorist murderers and demand compensation, thereby breaking the network.
Shurat Hadin has helped expose the financial ties between countries and the terrorist organizations they support.
As Palestinian organizations have almost infinite amounts of money, I want to suggest that PA President Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah organization be sued because they allow terrorists to infiltrate into Israel and do not assume responsibility for their terrible terrorist attacks.
Abbas and the leaders of Fatah are the real godfathers of the Palestinian mafia. They grow rich at the expense of both Israelis and their own nation.
Jerusalem One people
Tennis player Dudi Sela refused to complete a match on Yom Kippur (“Sela retires mid-match in China due to Yom Kippur,” Sports, October 1). This brought back a memory from my youth, when Sandy Koufax, the ace pitcher of the Los Angeles Dodgers, refused to play in Game One of the 1965 World Series because it fell on Yom Kippur.
Neither Sela nor Koufax, by self-admission, is a practicing Jew, but both performed the most outstanding act of sanctifying God’s name that one can imagine.
Their actions reinforce what I’ve said many times on these pages: A Jew is a Jew is a Jew! Labels that create divisions (“haredi,” “Orthodox,” “Conservative,” “Reform” et al) are totally meaningless. They are counterproductive and totally against Jewish tradition.
As we recently marked the last of the 10 days of repentance, I truly hope that my “ultra” brethren used the time productively to ask God for forgiveness for attempting to create divisions and put up walls between Jews. Face it – we are am ehad
, one people.
MICHAEL D. HIRSCH
I am proud of Dudi Sela for keeping his priorities straight – first as a Jew, and then as a great tennis player.
Don’t worry Dudi, you will be rewarded in the long run!
Tel AvivInventing the wheel?
Unfortunately, Education Minister Naftali Bennett’s latest foray into policy dictation shows that he is as ignorant of facts in his own portfolio as he is of general issues in Israel. His so-called innovation (“Ministry seeks volunteers to teach English in schools,” September 25) is nothing new.
For more than a year, volunteers in my home town have joined together with an NGO known as Push (www.pushedu.org) to provide exactly the program for which Bennett is now claiming credit. Each week, for two hours, we meet with selected students and teach everyday English usage and conversation. Unlike Bennett, I claim no particular expertise in this subject, but I am confident that there are many other such programs that get along just fine without his inspiration.
If Bennett would desist in his claim of inventing the wheel and actually get out into the real world, maybe it would set an example for the rest of the cabinet to represent the average Israeli rather than merely their own special interests.