Mustafa Karasu (founding member of the PKK) commented on Jerusalem, the question of Palestine and the role of the hegemonial States in the Yeni Özgür Politika. We translated the text into English in order to make it accessible to a wide audience
Since the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital city of the Israeli State by Donald Trump, the debate about Palestine has intensified again. It is important to understand why the US has taken such a step in this phase. It´s not enough to explain this only with domestic problems. A world power such as the US, especially in a place like the Middle East, where the international balance is being created, would not take such steps just to stabilize domestic balance. It´s obvious, that one wants to profit from the incidents associated with the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital. It is likely that violence will be created to intervene against the forces that seek to militarily and politically limit them.
After the recognition of Jerusalem, the most prudent response came first and foremost from Iran. Because Iran is currently pursuing other priorities, it is not interested in a harsh reaction from the US. However, as the US seeks justification for an attack on Iran, they have moved on to an even more sensitive discourse and a more sensitive attitude. Because Iran wants to strengthen its position in Iraq, Yemen, Syria and Lebanon, the US seems to want to restrict Iran to these areas. In this regard, it is understandable that Iran considers the decision on Jerusalem as a provocation against itself.
There are two forces who want to benefit from the Jerusalem decision. The first is the USA, the second is Turkey. The AKP uses the Israel-Palestine conflict for its own agenda. It is an agenda that is not directly related to them but can be used for domestic politics. On the one hand, the AKP wants to mask the problems it faces with the propaganda and campaign in Jerusalem, and, on the other hand, its actions against the US and Israel, to put these two countries in the corner. That’s why Erdogan clings to the subject of Jerusalem like a drowning man to a floating branch. What Tayyip Erdogan and the AKP are worried about are not the Palestinians. If it were not for a situation that would benefit their own rule, they would also find a reason why Jerusalem should not be the capital of Israel. For years, the Turkish state was a strategic ally of Israel. For decades, supported by Turkey, Israel has strengthened its position and expanded its territory with new settlements. The relations that Turkey maintains with Israel are very close relations. There is a secret agreement between Israel and Turkey in the sense that Israel accepts the criticism occasioned by the Turkish side from time to time. The fact that Turkey can support Israel, even if it sometimes criticizes, has been accepted by the Israeli side.
It turns out that most of the criticism of Israel came from Turkey when Turkey and Israel’s relations were the best. For this reason, when evaluating Turkey and Israel’s relations, one must look at their practice. It also shows that the most complex technology of Israel is being used for the war against the Kurdish freedom movement. The first unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) were bought from Israel. That is why these unmanned flying objects are usually called Heron. Support for the modernization of aircraft and tanks will come from Israel. Turkey has received support from Israel in the plot against the Kurdish People’s Representative Abdullah Öcalan. In addition, Turkey has established good relations with Israel in order to receive support from the US and Europe. Relations with Israel were seen as the easiest way to get support from the US. Even if the AKP government would verbally make some changes, it will continue to pursue this policy. Emerged documents show that Tayyip Erdogan and the AKP had no objection to Jerusalem being recognized as the capital. Just to pretend different to the Muslim world, they make such a squeal. The documents show that the AKP government gave its approval to Jerusalem as the capital. The reactions to Jerusalem have the same purpose as when Tayyip Erdogan speaks of his homeland, nation, and flag in order to escape from his domestic and foreign policy problem. He increases chauvinism to gain social support and maintain his power. Regarding this, no one should believe or accept AKP´s attitude.
Instead of a life where Palestinians and Israelis live side by side, conflict is promoted. Neither Zionism, nor Islamic fanaticism, anti-semitism, or arabic nationalism will solve the problem. We must search for a solution beyond nation states. The project and the idea of the Democratic Nation, developed by Abdullah Öcalan, as the self-government and self-defense of peoples without a state is the best solution, not just for Kurdistan but also for the Palestine-Israel conflict. Both sides urgently need to change their mentality. Therefore, it is a prerequisite that this Zionist mentality is abandoned. The Palestinians could also approach the question of how they could live together with the Jews with a democratic concept.
Of course, the Palestinians will insist on a life in which they will administrate themselves and there will be no interference from Israel. To defend against authoritarian and oppressive policies and practices is a natural right. It is another prerequisite that the construction of new settlements on Palestinian soil is stopped. In addition, it is necessary to abandon hostile policies towards the Arab and Islamic world. Because there is also this dimension of Israeli-Arab Peace. It is not just a Jewish-Palestinian problem anymore, it has now become an Arab-Israeli problem.
Jerusalem is the holy city of three religions. Therefore, the statement of the Jews, “this is a Jewish city and our capital”, cannot be accepted. Jerusalem must be a city with a special status. It must be a city in which Islam, Jewish and Christianity live together and thus become a symbol of peace between the religions. In this regard, Jerusalem will then become a capital city of the world and humanity.
Since the emergence of the PKK, we have been against Zionism. We compared the genocide of the Kurds in Turkey with Israeli Zionism and the apartheid regime of South Africa. Since its founding, the PKK has fought side by side with the Palestinians. In 1982, 13 of our cadres fell in the fight against the occupation of Lebanon by Israel. The Israeli state also participated in the international conspiracy against Abdullah Öcalan, and murdered four of our comrades in Berlin. No doubt, we will never forget the support the Palestinians gave to the Kurdish people in the 1980s.
Our attitude towards Zionism has always been ideological. Until today, we stand on the side of the Palestinians and all those who are fighting for a democratic solution in the region.