ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – Senior officials, Kurdish and Jewish NGO heads and activists on Wednesday gathered at a Knesset conference dedicated to reinforcing ties between Kurdistan and Israel.
The event, titled “Kurdistan and Israel: Together Toward Peace and Stability in the Middle East,” was chaired by Ksenia Svetlova, the Chairperson of the Lobby for Strengthening the Relationship between the State of Israel and the Kurdish People.
Among the groups who attended the conference was the Jewish Coalition for Kurdistan (JCFK), an organization founded by Jews who back Kurdistan’s aspirations for an independent state.
According to the group’s founder, Joel Rubinfeld, the Kurdistan Region’s “path to independence has to be set up in a middle to long-term perspective.”
“The more urging issue for us is to get political support in the Western world to get back to the pre-Oct. 16 situation on the ground,” he told Kurdistan 24, referring to the Region’s control of borders before government forces and Iranian-backed Shia militias’ takeover of Kirkuk and other disputed areas.
“I don’t think there is an immediate miracle solution [to the Kurdish struggle],” Rubinfeld continued. “Our work will be helping to pave the way to the ultimate goal which is independence.”
He added that groups like the JCFK have to engage in ongoing political, academic, and legal work to raise awareness “about the legitimacy of Kurdish self-determination.”
The Knesset is the legislative branch of the Israeli government which passes all laws, elects the President and Prime Minister, approves the cabinet, and supervises the work of the government.
Israel was one of the only nations who voiced their support for an independent Kurdish state leading up to the Kurdistan Region’s historic Sep. 25 independence referendum.
Editing by Sam A.