Former IDF deputy chief of staff Maj.-Gen. Yair Golan told a research panel in Washington DC Tuesday he does not consider the Kurdish resistance movement PKK (Kurdistan Workers' Party) a terrorist organization, despite the fact that it appears on the US’s list of terror groups.
"In my personal opinion, the PKK is not a terrorist organization," said Golan.
Turkey and the European Union have also designated the PKK a terrorist organization. Since 1984, the organization, based in Iraq and Tukey, has carried out attacks and bombings against Turkish targets—both civilian and military—and has killed more than 40,000 people.
The Kurdish resistance declared a ceasefire in 2013, but two years later the accord collapsed and the Turkish-Kurdish conflict has continued to claim many lives, especially in southeastern Turkey where there is a large concentration of Kurds.
Golan made headlines in the past when during a speech given at a Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony last year he cautioned against allowing trends which led to the Holocaust to enter Israeli society, which he said were evident today.
"If anything frightens me about the memory of the Holocaust, it's looking at ghastly processes taking place in Europe in general and Germany in particular 70, 80 or 90 years ago and finding many parallels to Israel of 2016," he said, prompting a harsh backlash and criticism from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Last Friday, Golan told a security conference in Washington DC Israel will not be able to fight against Iran without US assistance, according to reports on the website DefenseNews.
In order to achieve victory over Iran in any possible future military showdown, American help would be essential, he reportedly said during his speech at the Washington Institute.