PLO opposes Kurdish self-determination

Al Arabiya reported that PLO Secretary General Saeb Erekat is opposed to Kurdish self-determination: “Kurdish independence would be a poisoned sword against the Arabs.” It has been reported that the PA is trying to build stronger ties with Iran and reestablished diplomatic relations with Syria.
Saeb Erekat Photo Credit: Channel 2

A recent report in Al Arabiya revealed that PLO Secretary General Saeb Erekat is opposed to Kurdish self-determination because it will encourage other countries to separate from the Arab states: “Kurdish independence would be a poisoned sword against the Arabs.”   Erekat also stated that he is disturbed that both Kurds and Israelis enjoy a covert relationship.

An op-ed that was published in the Kurdistan Tribune pointed out that the international community and Muslim world frequently champion the Palestinian cause but fail to support the Kurds, even though both groups are Muslim and stateless.  The article noted that this remains the case even though the Kurds are the largest ethnic group without a nation that has been struggling for statehood since the collapse of the Ottoman Empire and has been fighting against the radical Islamists, while the Palestinians have only been seeking a state since 1948 and are not dedicated to fighting against the radical Islamists.

“The Kurds fight for independence against Turkey, Syria, Iran and now ISIS,” the article stressed.  “But taking issue with Israel above all else, often to the exclusion of anything else, is such an embedded meme among the Muslim world and Western leftists that the Palestine lobby very often finds itself incapable of showing its solidarity with the Kurds.”

These statements by Erekat come in the background of Palestinian Authority Chairman Abu Mazen seeking to improve his ties with Iran, a regime that is openly hostile to the Kurds. According to Palestinian Media Watch, senior level Fatah official Abbas Zaki stressed that the ties are “an inevitable step if we the Palestinians want to confront the Israeli occupation.”   PLO Executive Committee member Ahmed Majdalani was sent “to repair its relations with Iran and it was agreed to determine actual steps to bring the occupation to an end, in addition to Palestinian participation in resolving the Syrian crisis. This is due to the fact that President Abbas’ initiative and the Iranian initiative to end the war taking place there intersect.” 

Palestinian Media Watch reported that Fatah might be willing to start siding with the Assad regime regarding the Syrian Civil War in exchange for Iranian support against Israel. Fatah has already restored diplomatic relations with the Damascus regime, a government that is behind an ethnic cleansing campaign targeting Kurds. The Palestinian Authority’s attempt to strengthen relations with both Iran and Syria has prompted the Palestinian Authority to move from being ambivalent about the Kurds to being outright hostile towards them.



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