Update: AFP has now got hold of the story. The magazine's editor-in-chief has a political motive : to solve the Arab-Israeli conflict.
ARBIL, Iraq — A new magazine in Iraq's Kurdistan region has caused furore among conservative Muslims with a rousing call for Jews to leave Israel -- and come back to Iraq.
The magazine, "Israel-Kurd", is the brainchild of Dawood Baghestani, the 62-year-old former chief of the autonomous northern region's human rights commission.
The glossy, full-colour monthly in Kurdish and English has a lofty mission: 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.
The magazine's front cover shows a girl draped in the Israeli flag
"The biggest reason behind the complexity of the Palestinian problem is the unjust practices of Arab regimes against the Jews -- there are more than 1.5 million Jews originally from Arab countries in Israel," Baghestani said. (My emphasis - ed)
"If the Jews had not been subject to an exodus, the Palestinians wouldn't have been either," he said, referring to the flight of 700,000 Palestinians from the newly created Jewish state in 1948 during the first Arab-Israeli war."
In contradiction to an earlier report, a new Kurdish newspaper has called on Kurdish Jews in Israel to 'come back home'. Here is a summary in English of a Maariv NRG article. (With thanks: iraqijews)
The monthly newspaper (Israel- Kurd) - print run 1,500 - praises the Jews and seeks to re-establish close relations between Kurds and Jews.
Daoud Bagstani spent ten years in Abu-Ghreib prison. He has visited Israel four times. He is secure in the knowledge that as Iraq becomes a democratic country Kurdish Jews will want to return.
Bagstani thinks that Kurdish leaders support the return of the Jews. "If all the Arab states take back their Jews, restitute their property and give them guarantees that they will not be harmed further, this will ease their return." (A tall order - ed)
But Kurdish member of Parliament Zana Rostani is suspicious." What's the point?" he says. "The Kurdish people is part of the Islamic nation. Such initiatives are contrary to the law and Iraqi foreign policy. They may cause harm to Kurds, especially from their (Iranian) neighbours."
Read article in full (Hebrew)
The Jerusalem Post's version has this extra quote (with thanks: Lily):
If the Jews had not been subject to an exodus, the Palestinians wouldn't have been either. If every Arab country allowed the Jews to return, ensured their safety and gave them back their land, Palestinian refugees would be able to return to their territory because Israel would not need so much land."