Radio Netherlands Worldwide

SSO Login

More login possibilities:

  • Facebook
  • Flickr
  • Twitter
  • Google
  • LinkedIn
Saturday 20 December  
Publisher Dawud Baghistani with his new magazine
Sulaymaniyah, Iraq
Sulaymaniyah, Iraq

New Israel-Kurd magazine surprises Arab world

Published on : 12 August 2009 - 2:39pm | By
More about:

The new magazine ‘Israel-Kurd’ has caused a stir in northern Iraq. To the surprise of many in the Arab world, the second edition also recently made it into the kiosks.

By Mahnaz Murad

Although there are many who argue for a return of Iraqi Jews to Iraq, the subject has always been a taboo in the printed media. In Iraq, and also in the surrounding Arab world, the launch of Israel-Kurd was greeted with surprise. And even more astonishing was the appearance of a second edition on 22 July. Has press freedom in Kurdistan entered a new phase? Or is this magazine a political stunt designed for foreign consumption?

Building bridges

Israel-Kurd has 50 pages in Kurdish, the official language of semi-autonomous northern Iraq. Two pages are in English. The first impression is that it is aimed at building bridges between Israel and Kurdistan. The editors are also interested in the history of Kurdish Jews who emigrated from Iraqi Kurdistan to Israel in 1948, and their right to return to their country of origin. Articles and reports are anonymous; the publisher’s is Dawud Baghistani.


Farhad Awni, leader of the Kurdistan Syndicate of Journalists, sees the magazine as evidence of press freedom: “Our media laws give every citizen who is a member of the Syndicate of Journalists the right to publish a magazine or newspaper within 24 hours, provided it is not in breach of the general conditions for press freedom. And we know that Dawud Baghistani, the magazine’s publisher, is impartial and not allied to any political party or faction. And he has a foreign nationality.”

Dutch journalist Judit Neurink, who gives media training in the city of Sulaymaniyah, says, “I was a bit surprised when I saw the magazine. It means that freedom of expression in this part of the world has improved and is making progress. It’s really unusual and nothing like this has happened before. The ultimate importance of the magazine will be determined by the readers.”


Nevertheless, political considerations do seem to play a role. Kurdish Iraq is increasingly positioning itself between Israel and the Arab world. Farhad Awni cites the recent visit by Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, “which strengthens ties with the Arabs in general and the Palestinians in particular”. It is known that the late Kurdish leader Moustafa Barzani made two visits to Israel.

Native Kurds

Via his magazine, publisher Dawud Baghistani is inviting Jewish Kurds to return to Kurdistan, where they lived before their departure to Israel. Farhad Awni says, “He sees them as native Kurds and expects the return of Jews to Kurdistan to clear the way for Palestinians to return to Palestine.”

It remains to be seen whether Kurdish Jews will return. There are no reliable figures on the number of Jews from northern Iraq who emigrated. Perhaps they will be published in the third edition of Israel-Kurd, expected in September.

Related content


Shevan 29 September 2012 - 3:12am / Canada

Long live Kurdistan,iam so happy to know that Kurds are Jewish too.please Israel don't help Turks to kil and family will wisit you Jew Kurd in Israel soon.

Dan 28 June 2012 - 2:16am / London

Helo every one
As a Kurd I alwayes so Israel Kurds as a Kurd
And we welcome you all back to Kurdistan
Our land waiting for the Kurds to return what ever
They religion are we are all Kurds
And my regards for all the Jews in the world

simko 14 February 2012 - 12:13am / kurdistan

as a kurd i love israel and thier religion i hope one day visit israel and meet our kurdish juif there

Anonymous 10 October 2011 - 10:27pm / Israel

As a Jewish Iraqi Kurd living in Israel, on behalf of my family and I, thankyou to our Kurdish brothers and sisters who have not forgotten us.
Biji kurd u kurdistan!

doski 13 October 2011 - 11:54pm / kurdistan

as a kurd we love all jewish .love israel and kurdistannnnnnnnnnnnnnn

Rafael yan 4 September 2011 - 4:08pm / israel

israel salutes its courageous kurd brothers in their fight for justice. long live kurdistan!

nabaz 28 August 2011 - 11:59pm / uk

im relly love israle

Ariel Bar Zeyil 26 July 2011 - 2:27am / Israel

If any people in the world deserve independence, it's the Kurds. If any people in the world have received the least support and interest for their legitimate aspiration, it's the Kurds.

The irony is that while the Kurds, an ancient people with a distinct language and culture has been arbitrarily split up among four failing states, the world pampers the "Palestinians," a KGB-concocted entity ruled by international terrorists. This is politics. This is not justice.

kura canada 2 April 2011 - 7:17pm / canada

god bless israel god bless kurd very where one kurd e freedom

Anonymous 13 January 2011 - 9:20pm / Israel

Be strong my friends & don't give up. I wish you luck in your fight & I hope that soon you will get both your freedom & independence. no man should live in fear and justice will be done with the turk fars & arab.

take care!
your friend in Israel

Anonymous 3 October 2010 - 2:54pm / iraq

iam a kurdiah muslim but i know that the arabyan used the islam rilegen for kill us like anfal and turkysh used for armanyan.

Anonymous 19 September 2010 - 4:14am / UK

As a Jewish person and a supporter of Kurdistan, I hope you can declare independance. You've got to have more confidence in yourselves. You'll never ever get another chance like this. Iraq as we knew it is over. Once the allies have gone it will never hold together. There's so much mindless terrorism in the rest of the country. Get away from those losers. Just declare independance and build a really strong border, a wall if necessary. I wish you all the luck in the world.

Wahid Tahan el Kurdi 24 August 2010 - 7:03pm / Israeli Judia Sumeria or West bank.

Kurdistan walateki xoshe. We the Kurd's of Judeia Sumeria want to know what will become of the thousand's of Kurdish resident's who live and work in the Israeli controled Palestinian West Bank?We have been here since we came here with the Great Kurdish Warrior and General Salah EL Deen EL Iobi who liberated Jerusalem from the Crusader occupier.My first issue is this why did the Israeli Army issue us Palestinian I.D. Cards as if were Arab's?We are mistreated and hated by the Arab Palestinian population and they attack us when ever they feel like it just because were Kurd's and knowing that Israel has good relation's with the Kurd's of Iraqi Kurdistan,Israel is helping the Pesh Merga's as well but it care's nothing for the Kurd's of Israeli Judeia Sumeria in town's like Ramallah and Hebron Jerusalem were in great number's so why hasn't the Israeli government reached out to us in friendship.There are over 150.000 Israeli Kurd's living in Israel proper around Bait Safafa Jerusalem and we wish to join our Kurdish brother's in Israel and live our lives in peace some day because Israel is and should be a friend to all the Kurdish people. Supas and Toda Raba in Hebrew ! Xwahafiz

Nahro 20 August 2010 - 5:55pm / uk

Anyone who likes it or no israel exists n i hope one day we kurds have an independant kurdistan n be a spike in da eyes of our racist blocked minded enemies (turk fars arab) enemies BOO

Gisele 19 August 2010 - 11:39am


there are many Moroccan Jews who decided to go back to Morocco as they did not feel safe in israel . many prefered to go and live in America , and europe , canada . Other jews went back to Russia

viva barzan 19 February 2010 - 10:48pm / uk

i would like to comment abit about our jewish brothers sisters here . KURDISTAN (not north iraq) its always been and will be a home for kurdish jewish , they are welcome home at any time they would like to ...I am as a muslim person and proud of it and at the same time I respect jewish , christianity, yezidi, asyrian...etc..we are all kurds and we are all same ..
we never had or have problems with any religions... all we need is INDEPENDANCE GREAT KURDISTAN ..
thanks to Dawud Baghistani for publishing this impartial magazine
biji kurdistan

Anonymous 1 March 2010 - 8:54am / Assyria(Iraq)

You are 100% right it's the heartland of Assyria and it's always been the Assyrian homeland for thousands of years and it will always stay that way,,for your information Assyrian is not a religions,,its the name of a nation that's still alive and kicking,,do you have any idea why in the world all the names of the citis and towns in what you call kurdistan are all Assyrian name and they have Assyrian history???I recommend that you a little reading on the history of this land you are claiming to be kurdistan where i'ts in fact always been Assyria before,now and for ever will be. I also respect the kurdish people and I do want them to be happy and to live freely in the land of Assyria like many others do....sopas berm.

Diyako 4 March 2010 - 10:50am / Holland

Assyrians were not a nation, it was an amalgamation of Arameans and Subartus and their God was Ashur.
and the so called assyrian nowadays are just arameans who want to claim an imaginary identity

Daro 19 February 2010 - 10:06pm / Kurdistan

Its inetersesting today some Arabs claim that Iraq is their country, yet when The Jew and Kurds were there, there were no traces of Arabs, they only intered Iraq arround 1500 years ago and intruduced their language to the south. Kurds, Jew, Chaldean are the owner of the country. But unfortunatly its the mentality of Arabs, any place they vist they claim it theirs, they still believe Soain is Their's or What so called Phalastaine is there's. Actualy even Phalastine was an ancient Jewish country, however the Arab as usual are confused and think its their's.

Anonymous 22 October 2009 - 9:43pm
Why don't they send the so-called 'palestinians' to Kurdistan? Israel has been and remains a Jewish nation for 3,500 years. the palestinians were just subjects of England's 'palestine' province, seen only on maps after the British took over huge swaths of the Turkish or 'Ottoman' empire. Many of them were just nomadic arabs looking for work from surrounding nations. arafat's family came from egypt. 'palestine' is only a dead term, it NEVER EXISTED AS AN INDEPENDENT NATION and NEVER WILL.
Ardalan 19 October 2009 - 1:02pm
Kurdish boy.I was very surprised when I saw this.I can belive now we are in peac.I would love to see Kurdish jwish in Kurdistan. But please don't use some word like this (northern Iraq) it is not northern Iraq,It is Kurdistan.West Kurdistan for sure and many thanks to who works for this .
MUSTAFA-CH 12 October 2009 - 10:09am
Welcome the return of the Jews are our brothers in the homeland and humanity to their own countries. And live safely in their towns and villages which Hgro them, either carrots or intimidation, by the brutal and backward in the Arab and Islamic world.
Mahdi kakei .. sweden 17 August 2009 - 9:25pm
There are around three hundred thousand Jews who are originally from Kurdistan and now are Israeli citizens. They are still keeping their Kurdish traditions and the older generation of them speaks Kurdish as well. They have their own Kurdish clubs, organizations, Kurdish song and music groups and even they wear national Kurdish dresses. At the time that the Kurdish people was exposed to chemical weapons or genocide by the occupiers of Kurdistan, ten thousands of the Kurdish Jews in Israel demonstrated against such oppression, protested and pressed the Israeli government in order to help the Kurdish people. After the freedom of south Kurdistan many Jews of Kurdish origin visit Kurdistan as tourists or visit the graves of their family members and relatives in Kurdistan.
Mahdi kakei .. sweden 17 August 2009 - 9:21pm
Firstly I would like to thank Mrs. Mahzad Murad for her review of the new magazine ‘Israel-Kurd’. It is very needed to have such magazine to be a means for contacts between the Israeli and Kurdish people. It is also needed to having common organizations and cooperation between Israel and Kurdistan because their peoples share the same goals and challenges in the Middle-East region. I can say that the two peoples share the future and existence. So they have to cooperate and straggles to be able to keep the two nations survive. The relationship between the Kurdish and Israeli peoples is very old. If you go back to the old bible (Torat) you find that it tells you about the history of the Media Empire who the Medias (grandparents of the Kurds) and how they protected the Jewish people who lived in the current Kurdistan. For information about the Jews of Kurdistan, you can read the book of Erick Brauer and Raphael Patal titled “The Jews of Kurdistan, printed in Arabic in 2002” It is translated into Arabic by Shakhawan Kerkuki and Abdulrazzaq Botani. It must be in English as well. It is a very interesting book. The first print of the book in Hebraic was in 1993. I have published an article in Arabic about the common interests and problems between the Kurdish and Jewish peoples. The people who are interested can read it at: There are around three hundred thousand Jews who are originally from Kurdistan and now are Israeli citizens. They are still keeping their Kurdish traditions and the older generation of them speaks Kurdish as well. They have their own Kurdish clubs, organizations, Kurdish song and music groups and even they wear national Kurdish dresses. At the time that the Kurdish people was exposed to chemical weapons or genocide by the occupiers of Kurdistan, ten thousands of the Kurdish Jews in Israel demonstrated against such oppression, protested and pressed the Israeli government in order to help the Kurdish people. After the freedom of south Kurdistan many Jews of Kurdish origin visit Kurdistan as tourists or visit the graves of their family members and relatives in Kurdistan
T. Tamari 16 August 2009 - 8:18pm
A much more plausible and logical action, would to give the so-called Palestinians the properties and assets of the Iraqi Jews that were forced to leave the country that they have been living in for a thousand years or more. Then there would be more room for the Jews!!
Rifka 16 August 2009 - 1:34pm
i wish kurdistan will be free from all the nations holdier her and isral too--->i want to go to oficial "kurdistan" and my kurd freind will come to israel!!!!!!!
doski 28 August 2011 - 2:24am / west kurdistan

hi isral brather you welcome any time to kurdistan. kurd.israllllllllll

Rizgar 15 August 2009 - 11:44pm
Jews in South Kurdistan had been expelled by Iraqi racist government, To send off of Kurdish Jews wasn’t a Kurdish determination, It is crucial now to establish a secular state in South Kurdistan with fundamental rights for all people, assisting thoroughly the end of discrimination and harassment of people because of their disability, age, religion or belief, race, gender, or sexual orientation. If Kurdish citizens with Jews background would like to visit Kurdistan or they would like to return, definitely they have all rights, Kurdistan is their second home, discrimination and harassment of people due to religion is awful and unacceptable. We new Kurdish generation, dream about a civilized country like Israel with equal fundamental rights, irrespective race, religion, political opinions. We have to not forget that we need Jews badly in Kurdistan; we need their experiences, financial knowledge, vitality, skills, by forcing Jews to leave the Kurdistan, we lost great skills, unbelievable excesses to all kind of sciences ,knowledge’s. Thanks from Hawler capital of South Kurdistan.
Gisele 19 August 2010 - 11:37am

The Jewish Kurds were not expelled by Saddam Hussein , at the time he was not even in Power . the jewish agency needed MAN POWEr and also to Populate Israel , they Needed people and they bribed the Leaders in iraq to let them take as many jews . Sami NAQQASH An Iraqi Jew says (On a documentary on tv , available on Youtube) he was Handcuffed to be taken to israel . he never wanted to go to Israel . while in Israel he only wrote and spoke in Arabic , and produced lots of work (plays ) in Arabic . the agency even caused terror to force People to go to Israel . ( Naiem Giladi an Iraqi jew says Mordechai Ben Porat bombed a jewish cafe in Baghdad to cause fear so people go to israel . they needed as many people to create a homeland .

shah riza 14 August 2009 - 12:19pm
the magazine will be the mouthe of freedom for kurd people not for israel relation the magazine deals with the people were lived before in Iraq and for the people who wants to live in Iraq for the now .. it's a good point for us to know that power of the pen when write something about the greatest peaople in the world ... i wish every person not but the kurd or the arab or israel kurd make such as this magazine we must all the human being the world try to make the same for help the happyness to be shining again in the mother earth ....

Post new comment

Please be reminded all comments must be in English, short and to the point - guideline 250 words. Abusive and inappropriate comments will be removed.

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <p> <br>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.

More information about formatting options

RNW on Facebook

RNW Player

Video highlights

Ladies on the move
RNW is keen on featuring inspiring women in our target countries, women who...
What about men?
In many countries, men don't stick around to raise their children. This is...