Sep 24, 2007

The background of Kurdish-Israeli relations

There is a ancient tradition that relates the Kurdistani Jews as the descendants of the ten tribes from the tim of the exile of the Assyrian in 6th century BCE. The Kurdistani Jews speaks the eastern dialect of the Neo-Aramaic language akin to the language of the Babylonian Talmud.

According to the Bible, the Jews after the year 722 B.C the Jews settled in Mesopotamia and Media, todays Kurdistan area, the settlement of the spread of Judaism and Jews. The religious texts report that in the late 8th century BC, the Assyrian invaders of the Northern Kingdom of Israel deported the Jews to "Halah and in Habor by the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes" (II Kings 17:6), the Kurds is ancestors of the Medes. The Medes kings, allowed the Jews to return and live in peace in Jerusalem in their sacred city. (

Among the most important Jewish shrines in Kurdistan are the tombs of Biblical prophets, such as that of Nahum in Alikush, Jonah in Nabi Yunis (ancient Nineveh todays Mosul in south Kurdistan), and Daniel in Kirkuk. There are also several caves supposedly visited by Elijah. All are venerated by Jews today.

According to the tradition, Jews first arrived in the area of modern Kurdistan after the Assyrian Kingdom of Israel during the 8th century bce.
During the first century before Christ, the royal house of Adiabene, whose capital was Hêwler converted to Judaism along with a considerable number of its Kurdish citizens.

The great Kurdish warrior Saladin Ayyubi´s doctor Rambam was a Jew. For centuries after Saladin, the Kurds and Jews have been living peacefully with each other and we see before the breakup of the Ottoman empire, a large Jewish population in Mosul, south Kurdistan. (

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