Allow exiled Kurdish Jews vote in Kurdistan referendum: Representative

Kurdish-Jews community representative calls on the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to allow the diaspora Kurdish Jews to participate in the independence referendum set to be held on Sep. 25, 2017.

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – Kurdish-Jewish community representative called on the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) on Friday to let expatriate Kurdish Jews participate in the independence referendum set to be held on Sep. 25, 2017.

The President of the Kurdistan Region Masoud Barzani has requested to form a committee consisting of all parties in the Kurdistan Region to supervise the preparations of the poll. Most of the parties are expected to have their representative in the committee.

The Director of Kurdish Jewish Affairs in the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Sherzad Omar Mamsani suggested the KRG include the representative of all religious and ethnic groups of the Kurdistan Region in the referendum committee.

Mamsani also called on the KRG to give the right to all the exiled Kurdish Jews, whose citizenships have been revoked by the government of Iraq in the past, to participate in the independence referendum,

“They [exiled Kurdish Jews] lived on this land [the Kurdistan Region] for 2,700 years,” he said.

According to Mamsani, 230,000 Kurdish Jews live in Israel and 7,000 more in the West.

In the 1950s and 1960s, Iraq forced thousands of Jews in the Kurdistan Region and other parts of the country to leave many of whom settled in Israel.

In a joint statement on June 11, Jews in the Kurdistan Region and the Diaspora, along with Israel expressed support for the Kurdistan Region’s decision to hold a referendum on independence on Sep. 25, 2017.

“After 100 years of being stateless and oppressed, today the people of Kurdistan have the opportunity to call a state their own. The Kurdish-Jewish community warmly welcomes the referendum for Kurdistan's independence,” read the statement issued by the Kurdish-Jewish community in Kurdistan, the Diaspora, and Israel, and the Kurdistan Regional Government's (KRG) Representative for the Jewish community Sherzad Omar Mamsani.

“We must have a united voice on the ownership of the land, water, and sky within the framework of an independent and tolerant Kurdistan,” the statement read.


Editing by Ava Homa