ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – Peshmerga forces fighting the largest terrorist organization are defending the homeland and deserve more support, said a Kurdish-Jewish singer from Israel on Monday.
“We’re all Peshmerga. We’ve all arrived, ready to sacrifice for our homeland,” Hadassa Yeshurun sings for Peshmerga while holding the Kurdistan and Israel flags.
The song is a Kurdish folklore originally sung by Tahseen Taha. Taha is a well-known classical Kurdish artist whose songs remain popular even after his death in 1995.
Other Kurdish singers have recently created different versions of the song.
In an online interview with Kurdistan24, Yeshurun stated Peshmerga defended their homeland while fighting against “evil,” referring to the so-called Islamic State (IS).
She mentioned she wanted to express her solidarity with Peshmerga forces battling the extremist group through her song.
“I want to send a message that Peshmerga deserves more support as they fight evil on behalf of the world,” she stated.
The music clip went viral after Yeshurun published the video on her YouTube and social media accounts.
Several Kurdish people expressed solidarity with the Kurdish-Israeli singer, sharing her video on their social media accounts.
“I am an Israeli-born singer,” she told Kurdistan24. “My father was Kurdish from the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.”
“In 1950, my father moved to the Kurdish city Oshnavieh (known as Shino) in Iranian Kurdistan. He got married there and moved to Israel with my mom,” she continued.
Yeshurun sings in the Aramaic and Kurdish languages and performs at many Kurdish parties and events in Israel and the diaspora.
She revealed she has a Kurdish teacher in Europe who helps her sing Kurdish songs online.
“Unfortunately, I have not been able to visit the Kurdistan Region due to security concerns, but I would love to if the government or an organization invited me,” the singer said.
“It is my dream to see the birthplace of my father,” she said of her father Rabbi Yeshurun who passed away four months ago.
Yeshurun stated she was planning to sing more Kurdish songs and create video clips where Kurdish groups in traditional dresses would dance.
In the 1940s and early 1950s, several Kurdish Jews immigrated from Iraq and the Region to Israel.
Today, according to unofficial statistics, about 200,000 Kurds are living in Israel.
Moreover, top Israeli officials have expressed support to Peshmerga and the establishment of a Kurdish state in the Middle East.
In March 2016, former Israel Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon called upon the international community to support Kurds in the fight against IS.
Earlier in 2016, Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked stated, “We [the State of Israel] must openly call for the establishment of a Kurdish state that…will be friendly towards Israel.”
“With respect to the Kurds, they are a warrior nation that is politically moderate, has proven they can be politically committed and is worthy of statehood,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pointed out in June 2014.
Additionally, Shimon Peres, the former President and Prime Minister of Israel, advised the US to support the Kurds and the creation of a Kurdish state.
“The Kurds have, de facto, created their own state, which is democratic. One of the signs of a democracy is the granting of equality to women,” Peres told former US President Barack Obama in 2014.
In an interview with Kurdistan24, Israel Ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer praised the Kurdish forces in the battle against IS.
“Israel has another people in the Middle East who truly love freedom, and they are fighting for their freedom; that is the Kurdish people,” Dermer said.
“We have close ties with them—both between Kurdish and Jewish people and between Israel and [Kurdistan]. We wish them well,” he concluded.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany