Israeli Committee for the Help of the Yazidis
In August 2014 Islamic State militants captured the city of Sinjar in Iraq’s northwestern province of Nineveh. The valley of Ninevah is home to multiple ethnic and religious minorities that the Salafi Jihadist militants of the Islamic State consider to be infidels who deserve to be killed unless they convert to Islam.
The Yazidis are a Kurdish ethno-religious community whose ancient religion Yazidism has roots in Zoroastrianism and other ancient Mesopotamian religions. Some Muslims consider the non-monotheistic Yazidis to be “devil worshippers”, inciting centuries of persecution against them. The Islamic State captured the preeminently Yazidi city of Sinjar in its offensive in early August 2014 in a “forced conversion campaign” leading to massacres, exile and abduction of their women.
As Jews, Israelis and human beings, we cannot be bystanders when the lives of an entire people are at stake. We, a coalition of organizations, youth groups, researchers and activists feel obligated to do everything we can to prevent the genocide of the Yazidis. The Israeli Committee for the Help of the Yazidi People was established in August 2014 and coordinates aid initiatives on behalf of various organizations and individuals in order to provide immediate assistance to the Yazidi refugees in Iraq and the diaspora.
The committee is dedicated to increase Israeli involvement in preventing further genocidal persecution of the Yazidi people by raising awareness of the situation providing emergency aid to vulnerable communities and demanding that the international community find a secure and long-term solution for Iraq’s persecuted minorities by:
1. Increase awareness of the Yazidi genocide
2. Demand immediate assistance to save the lives of Yazidis living in vulnerable areas
3. Petition governments and other human rights organizations to find a permanent solution for the Yazidi people
4. Assist in bringing the perpetrators of these genocidal massacres to justice
- 1. Encourage Israel to officially denounce and condemn the crimes committed against the Yazidi people and work to prevent any further atrocities
- 2. Call on the international community to denounce and condemn the crimes committed against the Yazidi people and work quickly and decisively to prevent any further atrocities
- 3. Demanding that the international community bring the perpetrators of these genocidal massacres to justice
Spheres of influence:
- Israel– Israeli society and official government channels
- International community– foreign government representatives, with a focus on those from developing countries, UN bodies and international organizations
- Yazidi people– activists and organizations working on the ground as well as those in the diaspora
- -Establishing a grass-roots awareness campaign through social media, television interviews and media campaigns
- -Direct activity with the diplomatic missions and official aid agencies of the countries mentioned above
The Israeli Committee for the Help of the Yazidi People will call on Israel and the international community to work together to deliver aid to the refugees and survivors in the affected areas. The committee will also provide as much information and work plans as possible to achieve this aim.
The Israeli Committee for the Help of the Yazidi People will actively advocate for Israel and the international community to assist in the resettlement of the Yazidi people while providing economic assistance to vulnerable communities.
The Israeli Committee for the Help of the Yazidi People will work to bring the perpetrators of this genocide- namely members of the Islamic State, to be prosecuted at the International Criminal Court for their crimes.
The committee will form a sub-committee (to include both individuals and organizations) to draft the organizational Statement of Principals. All work done on behalf of the committee will be with the approval of the committee members. In the case of disagreement, members are free to proceed independently with their own initiatives. The committee will appoint a spokesperson, media consultant or lobbyist (paid or pro-bono) to achieve the goals set forth.
Dror Israel, Jerusalem Center for Genocide Prevention, #Israel_For_Yazidis, Blue&White Human Rights, HaMahanot HaOlim, Combat Genocide Association