With Syrian Kurdistan Rising: Read this Letter from KURDNAS to Chief Rabbi of Russia
July 25, 2012
Chief Rabbinate of Russia
Dear Chief Rabbi Lazar,
Syria is currently in the midst of a violent internal conflict that has evolved into a bloody civil war. This has resulted in the deaths of over 19,000 people and the destruction of an untold number of communities. This chaos has led to a deterioration in security that has enabled radical Islamists to begin establishing for themselves a haven within Syria. Syria is currently at a stage where power is still being contested. This stage in the Syrian conflict is crucial to the overall future of Syria and the well-being of its people. A conscious international effort must be created in order to ensure that radical Islamists do not seize control of the country. Doing so will lay the groundwork for the establishment of a peaceful, secular, and democratic Syrian federal republic. We must act immediately to seek regional and international support in order to not only replace the current Assad regime but to also eliminate the possibility of a rising Muslim Brotherhood led Islamist regime. An Islamist regime would work under a Sunni Arab nationalist agenda and towards an Islamic supremacist society.
The Islamists are aware of this critical stage in the Syrian conflict. Armed and financed by a Turkish, Saudi and Qatari alliance; Islamist groups are positioning themselves to assume power in the absence of Assad’s regime. The Syrian people have made themselves clear: they will no longer settle for a Syria ruled by Assad. However, we cannot stand idly by and allow Islamist radicals to force their fanatical regime upon the Syrian people either. Syria must establish a new federal system of governance to ensure that Kurds, Alawi, Christians, Druze and other minorities have their own self-governing civil polities. Such civil polities can give voice to the concerns of Syrian minorities who make up 40-50% of the Syrian population. This undoubtedly includes Syria’s ancient Jewish community whose very existence shall be in danger should the radical elements of the Syrian opposition be allowed to take power. As many as 30 Jewish families are still living in Damascus, the capital of Syria. A federal decentralized system of government within Syria will spread power amongst the people of Syria and thus remove the ability of any one group, such as the Islamists, to dominate the country.
The Jews are among numerous other minority groups within Syria that have maintained a historical presence within the country despite a Sunni Arab majority. The establishment of a federal Syria would come with the promise of greater security, protection, and cultural freedom for Syrian Jews, Kurds, Christians, Druze and other minorities. In a decentralized system of government where Syrian minorities share power, lies the ability to preserve the historic presence of these Syrians who are sometimes deprived of their ability to so much as speak their ancestral languages.
We are all aware of the Assad regimes dedicated alliance with Iran and their proxies in Lebanon – Hezbollah. This alliance has led to numerous state sponsored terrorist operations carried out against the State of Israel. This is but one of the many reasons Assad and his regime cannot be allowed to remain in power. The 15 month revolution in Syria was fomented by the Sunni Arab majority working to overthrow the existing secular Ba’athist regime that is led by a powerful Alawite minority. If the Islamist elements of the Sunni Arab opposition gain control of Syria, they would seek the destruction of Israel and would not hesitate in launching a campaign of ethnic cleansing against Syria’s minorities including the small Jewish community still present in the country.
We believe that this emerging threat to Syria can be averted by the creation of a federal state comprising a Kurdish federal region in the northeast and northwestern area; an Alawite federal region on the Mediterranean coast and adjacent mountains; a Sunni federal region in the South; and a possible merger of Druze areas with Israel. This proposed federal Syrian state would recognize Israel with secure and defendable borders through peace accords similar to Egypt and Jordan and the exchange of ambassadors. The proposed accords would establish a lasting peace, facilitate trade and develop political, security, and cultural ties between the two countries. This federal state would help to end decades of Iranian influence and hegemony and would help to further establish cooperative partnerships with both regional and international counter-terrorism efforts.
We the undersigned are seeking to establish contact with the Israeli government in order to conduct exploratory bi-lateral discussions that might be expanded into multilateral plenary meetings with permanent members of the UN Security Council lead by Russia. A Syrian delegation for such discussions would be composed of leading representatives of: the Union of Arab Syrian Clans and Tribes; the Syrian Arab Kurdistan National Assembly – Syria; the Kurdish Azadi, Yekiti, and Kurdish Democratic Party.
Sheikh Ali al-Obeidi
Chairman of the Union of Arab Syrian Clans and Tribes
President of the Kurdistan National Assembly - Syria