The Yazidi genocide crisis and IsraAid’s humanitarian response will be the topic of a lecture by Yotam Polizer at the Emanuel Synagogue in West Hartford on November 20, 2016 at 7:00 pm. Polizer is Director of Global Partnerships for IsraAid, an Israel-based humanitarian aid agency that responds to emergency crises around the world. The lecture is hosted by Emanuel Synagogue’s Social Action Committee and the Connecticut Coalition for Yazidi Relief.
The Yazidi people are a 6,000 year old culture on the brink of extinction after displacement of a half-million Yazidis from their homeland in northern Iraq. Targeted for extermination by ISIS militants, based on a mistaken notion that Yazidis are devil worshipers, ISIS executed thousands of men and abducted and enslaved thousands of women and children. Yazidis have been victims of ISIS suicide bomb attacks since 2007, but their plight came to world-wide attention in 2014 when forced by ISIS to flee to neighboring mountains where they faced starvation.
Today, thousands of Yazidi women and children remain sex slaves in the possession of ISIS. According to human rights activist Nazand Begikhani, "[t]hese women have been treated like cattle…. They have been subjected to physical and sexual violence, including systematic rape and sex slavery. They've been exposed in markets in Mosul and in Raqqa, Syria, carrying price tags." Yazidis able to escape to refugee camps in Turkey and Greece find themselves persecuted by non-Yazidi inhabitants through theft of their food and medicine and by physical assaults.
Polizer will speak about IsraAid’s successes in dealing with this crisis and the steps that people can take to help address the situation.
This event is free. The general public, university students, and high school students are invited to attend. (This topic is not suitable for younger children.) The lecture will be at Emanuel Synagogue, 160 Mohegan Drive, West Hartford. Please RSVP by November 16th, 2016 to CTYazidirelief@gmail.com or to Emanuel Synagogue at 860-236-1275.
Sponsor: Emanuel Synagogue’s Social Action Committee and the Connecticut Coalition for Yazidi Relief