Its case for a separate state is as good as if not better than the Palestinians since it was its own entity prior to French colonial rule.
For Ferhat Mehenni, Israel is an ideal partner and friend for Kabylie, a geographic sliver of Algeria’s northern coast whose people wish to secede from the large North African nation’s control.
“We are in a hostile environment,” Mehenni told The Jerusalem Post during an interview on Thursday. “Both countries share kind of the same path, but Israel already exists – that’s the only difference.”
Mehenni founded the Movement for the Autonomy of Kabylie and has served as president of the Provisional Government of Kabylie from exile in France since Algeria’s “Black Spring” period in 2001, during which the Kabylian people challenged the Algerian government’s ban on their culture and language. Kabylie, located on the northern Mediterranean coast of Algeria, remained its own country throughout the Middle Ages and the Ottoman days, only to become part of Algeria proper during the French colonization period during the mid-19th century. The region subsequently suffered many battle scars during the Algerian War of Independence, which occurred from 1954 through 1962.
“Kabylie never accepted losing its independence and this is what led the entire battle for the independence of Algeria,” Mehenni said.
The people of Kabylie, who Mehenni said fill Algeria’s universities, were never from Arab or Muslim backgrounds and are from their own Berber culture and language, however.
The main difference is that the people of Kabylie never hijacked airplanes or blew up buses, and most important, they do not seek the destruction of Israel, so they get no attention. Israel seems to be the only country to care.
Read the rest of the JPost article, it’s fascinating, including this:
“Kabylie has invested in its identity quest, but never was a stronghold for Islam,” Mehenni said. “In 1990, while in Algeria we observed an Islamist tidal wave, in Kabylie there hasn’t been a single Islamist official.” …
Kabylian women do not wear veils, and Kabylians living in France did not participate in the campaign for legalizing veils in schools, according to Mehenni. Rather, he said, Kabylians have become quickly enamored by France’s values, including secularism and freedom.
Secular, freedom-loving? They’re done, they’ll never get any help from this administration.