Yezidi activist Nadia Murad, winner of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize, shared her story with the Knesset last year. 

Nadia Murad, who, in August 2014, was captured by ISIS in her village of Kocho, Iraq and sold into sex slavery. ISIS murdered six of her brothers and held her captive for months. Murad managed to escape, found her way to a refugee camp and now is one of more than a thousand Yazidis who were accepted into a refugee asylum program in Germany. 

Murad, said that her trip to Israel showed her “that in the face of oppression and genocide, a community can emerge strengthened.”

”This is not the first time people have used their power to destroy a group of innocent human beings, simply because of who they are. This is something you know all too well, and your families have had their own tragic and difficult journeys,” she told the Knesset. 

”We Yazidis are a peaceful people. Never in our 5,000 year history have we fought and killed others. But our peacefulness has not served us well,” Murad stated. ”We have faced 74 pogroms, often motivated by extreme interpretations of Islam. And I’m afraid this genocide, the one that continues today, will be complete, if we are not able to return to our homeland. 

Sinjar continues to be a disputed territory. It is now controlled by more than five competing militias, but none fight for us. Yazidis strive for, but are given no say, in deciding the future of our homeland.” 

”I know that like the Jewish people, we have always survived. These experiences inspire us to hold onto our culture and identity. And importantly, our experiences drive us to stand up for others who are being persecuted, as you have chosen to do today. This is why I use my voice to speak on behalf of those who are silenced, like the 3,000 women and girls still in the hands of Daesh [ISIS] terrorists. 

My visit here today is to ask you to recognize the genocide being committed against my people, in light of our peoples’ common history of genocide,” she said.