The journey of self-determination: Kurdish vs Jewish. What made the Jewish experience successful and the Kurdish one a failure?

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Kado, Ayaz Shalal
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1. The overall purpose of the study and the research problem(s) investigated: The main reason for comparing the Kurdish and Jewish peoples’ right to self-determination is that both nations date their struggle for autonomy or the right to self-determination to more than five centuries. Perhaps this struggle in all periods of history was not framed as a popular liberation movement trying to obtain the right to self-determination, because politics changes, the circumstances changes, and therefore language and terms used as well. Both nations have gone through compelling circumstances throughout history that necessitated a harsh life and totally unfair conditions, and this is what forced them to a large extent to demand independence and autonomy. The overall purpose of the study is to shed light on the Journey and struggle of the Kurds and compare it to the Jews’ journey towards the right to self-determination, with an attempt to reveal and narrate the reasons for the success of the latter and the failure of the former. 2. The basic design of the study: The Design of this study is straightforward. I have started with the title of the research, then a dedication letter, an abstract, a table of content, and an index. The research is made of six chapters. The first one is the introduction which explains the goal of the thesis project, research structure and methodology, and abbreviations. The second chapter is on the theoretical framework and it includes keywords and definitions and a literature review. The third is on the self-determination right itself and its development throughout history as well as a short description of the research population/target which are the Kurds and the Jews. The fourth Chapter is the timeline which has four parts from the years 1500 to 1900, 1900 to 1939, 1939 to 1991, and finally 1991 to the current times. The following chapter is chapter five and it discusses the political analysis on four levels: individual, domestic, systematic, and global. It also gives an analysis to verify the eligibility of both nations’ for the right to Self-determination. The last chapter is chapter six and it is the conclusion, where I discuss my observations and express my view on the topic. Finally, the last few pages are the bibliography and annexes. 3. Major findings or trends found as a result of the analysis: the existence of clear differences between the culture of the two nations, their religion, and their geopolitical, economic, and social importance in the world played a major role in obtaining their right to self-determination. Countries do not support each other except because they have a common history or common interests. Politics is often a game of interests, and leaders must protect the interests of their people first, even if this humiliates other people. After examining the journey of both nations, the presence of Jews in Western countries for hundreds or even thousands of years, and the ease of their access to power in several countries such as Britain, America, and others, made their voice more heard. Undoubtedly, they are one of the most persecuted peoples in the world, and this is what made me wonder whether countries respond only after they see that a people are on the verge of extinction. Superpowers do not take any actions even when people demand their rights, which the superpowers themselves set mechanisms for such as demonstrations, civil movement rights, etc. If this indicates anything, it is that the international system is a double standard, has been so since the beginning of time, and has not changed to this day. 4. A summary of interpretations and conclusions: Surprisingly, the factors that contributed to the success of the Jews’ quest for the right to self-determination and those that contributed to the failure of the Kurds’ quest for the same right are similar. However, on the Jewish side, they were placed in the interest of the Jews people and for the Kurds, they weren’t. They were instead used against them or at the best did not consider them. Both nations faced injustices, massacres, deportations, and tragic events that were rare in old and modern history. Although both of them are indigenous and were always organized, clear, and united in their demands, but the response of the international community varied in each case.
Second semester University: University of Deusto, Bilbao
self-determination, Kurds, Jews, peoples rights, history