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 Iraqi Kurdish editor-in-chief of Israel-Kurd magazine beaten up in Kurdistan

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Iraqi Kurdish editor-in-chief of Israel-Kurd magazine beaten up in Kurdistan  23.2.2010

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February 23, 2010

ERBIL-Hewlêr, Kurdistan region 'Iraq', ( — According to a report received by from EuroKurd Human Rights-EHR, the editor-in-chief of Israel-Kurd magazine, Dawood Baghestani, has been brutally attacked by a unknown group of armed men on Thursday, in Erbil, the capital of Kurdistan region.

Meanwhile the anti-Israel (the Iranian website reported that Baghestani was drunk and was beaten at the bar located in the Iraqi Kurdistan's city of Erbil. The news cannot be confirmed by other independent sources. It is still unclear the real reason behind the attack.

Baghestani, 62-year-old, the editor of the Kurdish-and English-language publication "Israel-Kurd" called on Jews to 'come home' to Iraqi Kurdistan. "We to help solve the intractable Israeli-Palestinian conflict by convincing more than 150,000 Kurdish Jews living in Israel to return to Iraqi Kurdistan, Baghestani told AFP last August.

The latest edition of the 52-page magazine, which has a circulation of around 1,500 copies, features a woman draped in an Israeli flag on the cover.

Like Jews, Kurds are a non-Arab indigenous Middle Eastern people seeking independence in their ancestral homeland. Active Israeli support towards a free Kurdistan is seen as a natural policy by many as well as a pragmatic one. “By aligning with the Kurds, Israel gains eyes and ears in Iran, Iraq and Syria,” a former Israeli intelligence officer told the New Yorker. 

Iraqi Kurdistan does have a warmer history with the Jewish state, however. Many of the current crop of Kurdish leaders have visited Israel in past decades.

Jews lived in Kurdistan for centuries, working as traders, farmers and artisans.

But the creation of Israel and the rise of Arab nationalism in the mid-twentieth century dramatically altered the situation, spurring most of Kurdistan's Jews to leave.

Israel has a longstanding relationship with the Kurdish people. In the early 1960’s, Mustafa Barzani and his Peshmerga fighters received training and support in the Jewish State.                      

Dawood Baghestani. Kurdish editor-in-chief of Israel-Kurd, after the brutal attack by unknown gunmen. Photo: EuroKurd Human Rights-EHR,

Dawood Baghestani, Iraqi Kurdish editor-in-chief of Israel-Kurd, holds a copy of the magazine
Massoud Barzani, the current president of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in Iraq's north, has expressed his government’s positive feelings towards Israel and relations with the Jewish State. Similarly,www.ekurd.netKurds elsewhere have attempted to establish channels of communications with Israel.

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