Tamils Seek Link and Common Cause with Jews

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Tamils for Obama sent a letter to major international Jewish organizations in which the Tamil American organization cited ancient and modern connections between Jews and Tamils and suggested that they make common cause against problems and enemies they both face.

Tamils and Jews have much in common, says Tamils for Obama. They are both ancient peoples, with cultures that have been in continuous practice for thousands of years. They have what may be linguistic similarities. Both cultures have experienced setbacks at the hands of militarily stronger rivals. Both have had an ethnic diaspora. And most importantly, both have been victims of attempts to wipe them out.

Tamils for Obama described these similarities in a recent letter sent to major international Jewish organizations.

The letter begins in a friendly fashion: "Let us introduce ourselves. We are Tamils. We have certain things in common with Jews."

The letter goes on to describe the similar histories of the two peoples. It notes "The Tamils and the Jews are both ancient peoples. The Tamils built the cities of Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro in the Indus valley. These cities had cultural and trade ties to Mesopotamia when much of Jewish culture was located there. The two Tamil cities are believed to have declined from about 1900 BCE, so we might even be a little older.

"The first 'Aryan invasion' of our original homeland in Northern India took place in the 1500s BCE, and was only the first of several. Over centuries the center of Tamil culture shifted to southern India and Sri Lanka and currently includes a Tamil diaspora with settlers in almost every country of the world."

A spokesman for Tamils for Obama said that he thought Jews could not help but make a connection between the Aryan invasion of the Indus valley and the Nazis, who identified themselves as Aryans.

The spokesman also noted that the linguistic connections were tentative. The letter says "The Hebrew word abba (dad) is similar to the Tamil word appa. The Hebrew word for mom is imma and the Tamil is amma. Whether this similarity shows a common origin, borrowing from a common source, or just coincidence we don't know, but we hope it is the former."

In the letter, Tamils for Obama noted that some of the same people who hate Jews don't like Tamils either. It says "Saddam Hussein hated Jews and Israel. We can all remember the pictures of mass hangings of the Jews of Bagdad when Saddam 'discovered' that they were all Israeli spies. He also was a generous benefactor of the Colombo government that has been trying to exterminate the Sri Lankan Tamils. (Jews were about of 25% of the population of Baghdad before Saddam and his Baath party came to power; there are only a few dozen now. Tamils were more than 30% of the population of Ceylon in 1948 and are under 20% now, so Colombo is making progress.) Our enemies have made common cause, so perhaps we should, too. Iran and Libya, no friends of the Jews, are also among Colombo's allies."

The letter concludes with quotations from well-known Jewish figures: "Elli Wiesel made the following statement: 'Wherever minorities are being persecuted we must raise our voices to protest. According to reliable sources, the Tamil people are being disenfranchised and victimized by the Sri Lanka authorities. This injustice must stop. The Tamil people must be allowed to live in peace and flourish in their homeland.' (Mr. Wiesel's statement is at http://www.eliewieselfoundation.org/inthenews.aspx )

The letter states that "If anyone doubts that 'disenfranchised and victimized' in this case means genocide, will be glad to supply the proof.

"The widow of Nobel Peace Prize winner Andrei Sakharov, Yelena Bonner, delivered a particularly strong pro-Israel speech at the Oslo Freedom Forum. She also asked 'Have you heard of any statement made by the President Obama that would have put pressure the government of Sri Lanka during the last 4 months of military assault on the Tamil Tigers? He could have saved lives, prevent humanitarian disaster and re-new negotiations. Did he?'"

The Tamils' letter also quotes Dr. Ellyn Shander, a Jewish humanitarian and activist who has worked in Sri Lanka, who writes: "Today over 300,000 Tamils in Sri Lanka are imprisoned in concentration camps by their own government because they are a minority. They are treated as less than human. They are raped, abducted, starved, denied medicine, tortured and prevented from going back to their homeland in the north of their country. The similarity to Nazi techniques to extinguish the Jews is chilling. "Never again" seems hollow, as this genocide occurs before an apathetic international community .As governments rush to appease China, they enable the Sri Lankan -China alliance to extinguish an ancient people and their culture.

"The Tamil struggle is our struggle too. "

The letter ends "The most important point: Jews were the victims of a recent attempt, the holocaust, to exterminate them. Sri Lankan Tamils have been the victims of a similar attempt that began in 1948 and is still going on. We hope that this painful connection gives us enough common experience that we Tamils may call on Jews for help."

To read the letter in its entirety, go to: http://www.Tamilsforobama.com/Letters/Tamil_J_letter.html

To read the press release in Tamil, go to: http://www.Tamilsforobama.com/Letters/Tamil_J_PR.html

Tamils are an ethnic group living mainly in the northeast of Sri Lanka and southern India. During the final weeks of the recent civil war, the Sri Lankan government killed about 1,000 Tamil civilians per day, according to the United Nations, and about 30,000 in 2009. Tamils are a minority population in Sri Lanka, and have borne the brunt of a civil war they regard as genocide. One-third of the Tamil population has fled the island and formed a substantial diaspora overseas. Tamils for Obama is comprised of Tamils who have settled in the U.S. or who were born in the U.S.

To contact the group, call at (617) 765- 4394 and speak to, or leave a message for, the Communication Director, Tamils for Obama.


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