Justice for Kurds (JFK), a New York-based not-for-profit group, is a Franco-American initiative created to defend a loyal friend of the West: the Kurdish people.

An ancient people who constitute a force for stability and exemplify moderate and enlightened Islam, the Kurds today are surrounded by military and religious dictatorships. Despite such tyranny of geography, they have built a free, open and tolerant society in which all faiths co-exist in harmony and where women and men enjoy equal rights. At the same time, the Kurds have proved to be a steadfast rampart against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). In both countries, the Kurdish fighters shed their blood against ISIS in defense of our common civilization.

With terrorism at bay the West is now leaving them at the mercy of powerful neighbors who will not forgive their dream of independence. A few months ago, the territorial gains that the Kurds had achieved by fighting ISIS in Iraq were seized under Iranian auspices, in the aftermath of a referendum for independence that was approved by over 90% of the Kurdish people. And at this very moment, Syria’s Kurds are under direct attack by the Turkish military.

Because the abandonment and besieging of the Kurds is simply intolerable, and because it is shameful to reject a people who have repeatedly been deemed expendable once they are no longer needed, JFK has been created to honor our debt to them.

Justice for Kurds seeks to raise awareness of this people—of its history, culture and aspirations—among friends of freedom in the United States, France and throughout the world. This will ensure that the world never forgets the immense contribution made by the Kurdish people to our joint struggle against barbarity and the need for their future participation in building a more just and secure international order.

Board of Directors

Dr. Thomas S. Kaplan, Chairman
Entrepreneur and Conservationist

Dr. Thomas S. Kaplan is an American investor, environmentalist and advocate for humanist values. He is the chairman and CEO of The Electrum Group LLC, a New York City-based investment, advisory and asset management firm with a focus on the natural resources sector. Dr. Kaplan is a member of the Council of Foreign Relations and the International Council at Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, where he created, with General David Petraeus and Professor Graham Allison, the Recanati-Kaplan Intelligence Fellows program.

Dr. Kaplan is an active environmentalist. In 2006, he and wife founded Panthera, now considered the leading NGO devoted to preserving big cats and their critical ecosystems. In the arts, Dr. Kaplan created The Leiden Collection, which is focused on paintings by Rembrandt, Vermeer, and their circles. Dr. Kaplan is Chairman of the International Alliance for the Protection of Heritage in Conflict Areas (ALIPH). A joint initiative of the governments of France and the UAE, ALIPH is dedicated to the implementation of preventive, emergency response, and restoration programs for cultural property in danger of destruction, damage or looting. Dr. Kaplan served as president (2009-2012) and chairman of the board of directors (2012-2015) of the 92nd Street Y, New York’s most prominent Jewish community and cultural center.

Dr. Kaplan holds B.A., M.A, and D.Phil degrees from the University of Oxford. He was awarded the Legion of Honor, and the Order of Arts and Letters, for services to France.

Bernard-Henri Lévy, President
Philosopher, Filmmaker and Activist

Bernard-Henri Lévy is a French philosopher, activist, filmmaker and one of the most esteemed writers in Europe. He is the author of over 30 books, including works of philosophy, fiction, and biography. He has written extensively on the ground from war stricken countries including Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Bangledesh, Libya, Sudan and Lebanon. Some of his most well-known books include Who Killed Daniel Pearl? (2003), Barbarism with a Human Face (1977) and American VertigoTraveling America in the Footsteps of Tocqueville (2006).

Lévy’s public commitment to the Kurds is demonstrated, most recently, in his making two documentary films entitled Peshmerga and The Battle of Mosul in 2016 and 2017 respectively. Peshmerga, (Official Selection at Cannes Film Festival 2016) was filmed in 2015 and tells the story of those embroiled with ISIS in the Middle East. For this film, Lévy traveled over 650 miles of the frontline separating Iraqi Kurdistan from Islamic State troops to give voice to the Kurdish fight against jihadi fundamentalism. His second film about Kurdistan, The Battle of Mosul, premiered in March 2017 and shows the liberation of the eastern half of Mosul.His other films include Bosna! (1994) on the Bosnian conflict and The Oath of Tobruk (2012) on the fall of Moammar Gaddafi in Libya.

Lévy is the Co-Founder of SOS Racisme, a French NGO which combats racism and anti-Semitism and Co-Founder of the international humanitarian organization Action Against Hunger.


Emily Hamilton
Executive Director

Advisory Council

Marina Abramović
Performance artist, Writer and Filmmaker

Elliot Ackerman
Novelist and Journalist

Ron Agam
Visual artist

Jane Alexander
Actress of Stage and Screen and Wildlife conservationist

Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Human Rights Activist and Founder of the AHA Foundation

Svetlana Alexievich
Writer and 2015 Nobel Prize in Literature

Ros Altmann, The Baroness Altmann CBE
Member of the House of Lords, United Kingdom Parliament and Former Minister of State

David Alton, The Lord Alton of Liverpool
Member of the House of Lords, United Kingdom Parliament and Member of the International Relations and Defence Committee

Anne Applebaum
Columnist, The Washington Post and Senior Fellow, SNF Agora Institute – Johns Hopkins University

Hilary Armstrong, The Baroness Armstrong of Hill Top
Member of the House of Lords, United Kingdom Parliament, Former Minister for the Cabinet Office and for Social Exclusion

Jacques Audibert
Former Diplomatic Advisor to President François Hollande of France

Elisabeth Badinter
Philosopher and writer

Lieutenant General (Ret.) Michael D. Barbero
Former Deputy Commander of United States Forces–Iraq and Former Commander of NATO Training Mission Iraq

Professor Henri J. Barkey
Cohen Professor of International Relations at Lehigh University and Adjunct Senior Fellow for Middle East Studies, Council on Foreign Relations

The Honorable Howard L. Berman
Former United States Representative for California and Former Chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs

Paul Berman
Critic-at-Large of Tablet Magazine and Author of Power and the Idealists and other books

Max Boot
Jeane J. Kirkpatrick Senior Fellow for National Security Studies, Council on Foreign Relations, The Washington Post columnist

Geraldine Brooks
Journalist and Author

Tina Brown
Founder and CEO, Tina Brown Live Media and Women in the World

The Honorable Jeb Bush
Former Governor of Florida

Véronique Cayla
President, ARTE France

Ambassador Wendy J. Chamberlin
President Emeritus, Middle East Institute, Former Deputy High Commissioner on Refugees, United Nations, and Former United States Ambassador to Pakistan

Richard Clarke
Chairman, Middle East Institute and Former Chairman of the National Security Council’s Counter-terrorism Security Group

Glenn Close
Actress of Stage and Screen and Wildlife conservationist

Daniel Cohn-Bendit
Former Member of the European Parliament

Ray Collins, The Lord Collins of Highbury
Member of the House of Lords, United Kingdom Parliament, Opposition Spokesman on Foreign Affairs and Former General Secretary of The Labour Party

The Honourable Irwin Cotler
Chair of the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights, Former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Olivier Cousi
Lawyer, President of the Paris Bar Association

Lucinda Creighton
CEO of Vulcan Consulting, Former Minister of State for European Affairs, Republic of Ireland

Laurent Dassault
Co-Managing Director, Dassault Group

Sir Mick Davis
Former Chief Executive of The Conservative Party

Charles Davidson
Publisher, The American Interest

David N. Dinkins
106th Mayor, City of New York

Jovan Divjak
Former Commander of the Territorial Defense Forces of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Ambassador Eric Edelman
Former United States Under Secretary of Defense for Policy and Former Ambassador to Turkey

Susan Engel
Executive Producer, 92Y Talks

Delphine Ernotte
Chief Executive Officer of France Télévisions

Professor Hany Farid
Data Analysis Specialist and Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, University of California – Berkeley

Mia Farrow
Actor and Activist

Sally Fischer
President and Founder, Sally Fischer Public Relations

Caroline Fourest
Journalist, Writer and Director of Sisters in Arms

Abraham Foxman
Head, Center for The Study of Anti-Semitism – Museum of Jewish Heritage and Director Emeritus, Anti-Defamation League

David Gakunzi
Former President of the International Martin Luther King Center in Rwanda and Burundi

Ambassador Peter Galbraith
Author, Academic, Policy adviser, former United States Ambassador to Croatia, and former United Nations Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan

Lieutenant General (Ret.) Jay Garner
Former Director of The Office for Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance for Iraq (2003)

Jeffrey Gedmin
Editor-in-Chief, The American Interest

Ina Giscard d’Estaing
Director of Special Projects – Department of External Relations, Louvre Museum

Raphaël Glucksmann
Essayist and Member of the European Parliament

Benjamin James Goldsmith
Financier and Environmentalist

Adam Gopnik
Writer and Essayist, The New Yorker

David Harris
Chief Executive Officer, American Jewish Committee

Ambassador Jane D. Hartley
Former United States Ambassador to France

Anne Hidalgo
Mayor of Paris

Delphine Horvilleur
Rabbi and Author

David Howell, The Lord Howell of Guildford
Member of the House of Lords, United Kingdom Parliament, Former Minister of State and Former Chair of the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee

Richard Hurowitz
Publisher, The Octavian Report

Jeremy Irons
Actor of Stage and Screen

The Honorable Steve Israel
Former United States Representative for New York

Elfriede Jelinek
Author and Recipient of the 2004 Nobel Prize in Literature

Laurent Joffrin
Editor-in-Chief, Libération

Garry Kasparov
Former World Chess Champion and Chairman of the Human Rights Foundation

John Kerr, The Lord Kerr of Kinlochard GCMG
Member of the House of Lords, United Kingdom Parliament, Former Permanent Under Secretary of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Former Ambassador to the United States

James Kirchick
Author and Visiting Fellow, Brookings Institution

The Honorable Mark Kirk
Former United States Senator for Illinois

Beate Klarsfeld
German militant for Justice

Serge Klarsfeld
Author and Activist

Bernard Kouchner
Physician and Politician, Co-Founder of Médecins sans Frontières and Former Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of France

William Kristol
Political Analyst and Commentator

Lieutenant General (Ret.) Sir Graeme Lamb
Former Director, United Kingdom Special Forces and Commander of the Field Army

The Honorable Mary Landrieu
Former United States Senator for Louisiana

Jack Lang
President, Institut du monde arabe, Former Minister of Culture and Former Minister of Education of France

Professor James A. Levinsohn
Director, Jackson Institute for Global Affairs – Yale University

Ambassador Jean-David Levitte
Former Ambassador of France to the United States and to the United Nations, Former Head of the National Security Council

Maurice LévyChairman, Publicis Groupe

Daniel Libeskind
Founder and Principal Architect, Studio Libeskind

James Lieber
Founder, Lieber Strategies

The Honorable Joseph I. Lieberman
Former United States Senator for Connecticut

Guadalupe Loaeza

António Lobo Antunes
Writer, Recipient of the 2007 Camões Prize

Bill Maher
Host, Producer and Writer of HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher

Dr. Michael Makovsky
President and CEO, Jewish Institute for National Security of America

Fern Mallis
Creator of New York Fashion Week and Former Executive Director of the Council of Fashion Designers of America

Abakar Manany
Chairman, Amjet Executive SA

Kati Marton
Author and Human Rights Activist

General (Ret.) Stanley A. McChrystal
Founder, McChrystal Group and Former Commander, United States Joint Special Operations Command

The Honorable Claudia A. McMurray
Former United States Assistant Secretary of State

Jonathan Neil Mendelsohn, The Lord Mendelsohn
Member of the House of Lords, United Kingdom Parliament and Member of the International Relations and Defence Committee

Alain Minc

Lieutenant General (Ret.) Richard F. Natonski
Former Commander of United States Marine Corps Forces Command

Michael A. NewtonProfessor of the Practice of Law and Professor of the Practice of Political Science, Vanderbilt University, and Former Senior Advisor to the Office of War Crimes Issues, U.S. Department of State

Jean Nouvel
Architect, Studio Jean Nouvel

Monroe Palmer, The Lord Palmer of Childs Hill OBE
Member of the House of Lords, United Kingdom Parliament and Deputy Speaker

Ruth and Judea Pearl
Co-Founders, Daniel Pearl Foundation

Valérie Pécresse
President, Île-de-France Regional Council, former Minister of Higher Education and Research and former Minister of the Budget of France

Marty Peretz
Publisher and Former Editor-in-Chief, The New Republic

General (Ret.) David H. Petraeus
Chairman of the KKR Global Institute, United States Army Commander and Strategist, Former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency

Stuart Polak, The Lord Polak CBE
Member of the House of Lords, United Kingdom Parliament

Arnaud de PuyfontaineChief Executive Officer, Vivendi

The Honorable Bill Richardson
Former Governor of New Mexico, Former United States Ambassador to the United Nations and Former Secretary of Energy

Robert Richer
Former Associate Deputy Director of Operations of the Central Intelligence Agency

Rob Riemen
Writer and Founder  and President of The Nexus Institute

Simone Rodan-Benzaquen
Director of American Jewish Committee, Europe

Barry Rosen
Former Press Attaché, United States Embassy in Iran (held hostage from 1979-1981)

Thane Rosenbaum
Novelist, Essayist and Law Professor

Howard Rosenman
Movie and television Producer, Actor, Writer

Isabella Rossellini
Actress, Filmmaker, Author and Activist

Eric de Rothschild
Chairman, Mémorial de la Shoah

Norman T. Roule
Former National Intelligence Manager for Iran

Olivier Royant
Editor-in-Chief, Paris Match

Paul Salem
President, The Middle East Institute

Roberto Saviano
Writer, Essayist and Screenwriter

Sir Simon Schama
Professor of Art History and History, Columbia University, Author, Documentary Filmmaker for the BBC and Contributing Editor to The Financial Times

Dr. Hans-Jakob Schindler
Former Coordinator and Expert of the ISIL/Al -Qaida/Taliban Sanctions Monitoring Team, United Nations Security Council

Dov Seidman
Author of How and Founder and Chairman of LRN

Vance Serchuk
Adjunct Senior Fellow, Center for a New American Security

The Honorable Radoslaw Sikorski
Member of the European Parliament, Chairman of the EU-USA Delegation and Former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Poland

Mitch Silber
Founding Principal of The Guardian Group and Former Director of Intelligence Analysis at the New York City Police Department

Anne-Marie Slaughter
Bert G. Kerstetter ’66 University Professor Emerita of Politics and International Affairs, Princeton University

Peter Sloterdijk
Philosopher and Author

Timothy Simon Spicer, OBE
Former Lieutenant-Colonel in the United Kingdom Scots Guards and Founder of Aegis Defense Services

Gloria Steinem
Writer and Feminist Activist

Michael Steinhardt
Chair, The Steinhardt Foundation for Jewish Life and Co-Chair, The Areivim Philanthropic Group

Bret Stephens
Columnist, The New York Times and Recipient of the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Commentary

Musician and Activist

Ambassador Giulio Terzi di Sant’Agata
Former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Italy and former Ambassador to the United States and to the United Nations

Achilles Tsaltas
President, Athens Democracy Forum (in association with The New York Times)

The Right Honourable Tom Tugendhat
Member of the House of Commons, United Kingdom Parliament and Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee

Leslie Turnberg, The Lord Turnberg
Member of the House of Lords, United Kingdom Parliament

Manuel Valls
Former Prime Minister of France

Mario Vargas Llosa
Writer and Recipient of the 2010 Nobel Prize in Literature

Ambassador Mark Wallace
Chief Executive Officer of UANI and Former United States Ambassador to the United Nations for UN Management and Reform

Michael Walzer
Philosopher and Professor Emeritus at The Institute for Advanced Study

Bari Weiss
Opinion Staff Editor and Writer, The New York Times

Arthur K. Wheelock, Jr.
Former Curator, The National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

Professor James E. Young
Founding Director, Institute for Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies – University of Massachusetts Amherst

Adam Zagajewski
Poet, Novelist and Recipient of the 2004 Neustadt International Prize for Literature

Dov Zakheim
Vice-Chairman, Foreign Policy Research Institute and Former United States Under Secretary of Defense