Syrian Arabs and Kurds: Blaming the Victim
Syrian Arabs and Kurds: Blaming the Victim
Blaming the victim is morally and politically condemned three times: when it comes with an abstention from blaming the executioner; when the greater share of the blame is not directed at the executioner himself; and when the executioner is not said to have a fundamental, if not the sole role in the victim’s miserable situation.
Fulfilling these conditions makes the victim’s criticism politically required, but also a moral imperative, even in moments of solidarity.
One of the aims of criticism is to try to limit the victim’s future victimization, or perhaps overcome it if possible. Therefore, after Adolf Hitler’s conviction, the Holocaust survivors, who took part in the expulsion of the Palestinians, are slammed. After condemning Israel, the Palestinian resistance is slammed for igniting civil strife in Arab societies.
After the conviction of Saddam Hussein, his opponents, who rose to power in Baghdad after his ousting, are also condemned.
In the same context, after slamming Hafez and Bashar al-Assad, their Syrian Arab and Kurdish victims are condemned. Today, Arab and Kurdish activists, who are behind large civil environments, are engaging in a verbal confrontation parallel to the Turkish war waged against the Kurds in particular, and Syria in general.
That war is not just aggression against a community and a country, nor is it just about expansion, blood, pain and displacement. It is also about the establishment of a new Arab-Kurdish civil conflict, a conflict that may accompany us for decades.
But if the wishes of some are realized and ISIS is revived, or if the Syrian Kurds rush more and more to Assad’s lap, then the “Minority Pact” will be completed by bringing together ethnicities, nationalities, sects, and confessions.
In this case, the regime will seem to have won the battle of ideas after winning the battle of the land. The future no longer embraces but the dead.
Broad Arab and Kurdish sectors in the Jazira region, east of the Euphrates, or Rojava, face this desperate present only with a legacy of a more painful past.
This is what we find when we review that poisonous exchange between victims: the Kurds’ suffering in their long-standing discrimination by Syrian regimes, the Arabization campaigns, and a revolution that failed to meet any of their legitimate demands, including the replacement of the Syrian Arab Republic with the Syrian Republic.
All the demands were postponed to “tomorrow”. That word, based on yesterday’s experiences of yesterday, is not to be trusted.
The revolution’s promises to the Kurds were often similar to those of the regime.
The Kurds, for their part, resumed their revolution in parallel with the Syrian uprising and independently from it.
The bitterness they felt when they were abandoned in Qamishli in 2004 may have sharpened their caution and prompted reciprocity.
But this parallelism has not been without deals with Assad and his bodies, nor has it deterred the ugly and shameful expulsion of the Arab population.
In extreme cases, each side would display a scarecrow against the other: for the Arabs, the Islamic Takfir organizations and Turkey’s Erdogan, and for the Kurds, the PKK and Ocalan. The parties agreed, from a perspective of rivalry, to expel their cases outside the national theater of Syria. The two cases, presumably, are one in the face of tyranny!
This experience, after previous bitter events, undoubtedly puts the Syrian national gathering, if not the gathering of the whole Arab Levant, at the center of accountability: Can we live together free and equal? This question was the biggest mine that exploded in the Syrian revolution.
However, the review of that gathering is a matter that is still excluded by many factors, ideological, emotional, and practical; factors that cannot be explained here due to lack of space. But in the meantime, it is fine to return to the victims’ competition for victimization as the most destructive cause for justice.
Competing for whoever is the ultimate victim is another aspect of competing for the title of the absolute and innocent angel. Whoever is so, has no guilt feeling when he commits evil, because he acts in the name of the victim. This portrays him as the victim of a perpetual conspiracy because he is chosen by God.
In such a diagnosis, we find some Israeli behavior that seeks compensation for the Holocaust and demands exceptional permanent treatment. We find many peoples envying the Jews because their tragedy far exceeded the magnitude of the rest of the tragedies.
The diagnosis gives us elements that explain the failure to reach a political solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
Yes, those victims are to blame, and so do the Arabs and Kurds of Syria who are, without a doubt, victims. In solidarity with them, it is better not to lose the sense of criticism and revision. This is how we show more solidarity and we are more helpful.