Sunday, August 08, 2010

Israel-Kurd magazine ' a cultural bridge'

The Arabic satellite TV channel al-Hurra ran a report at the end of July about the groundbreaking magazine Israel-Kurd.

Israel-Kurd magazine, a publication which aims to build a cultural bridge between Israel and the Kurds of Iraq, is very popular in Kurdistan.

In this clip from al-Hurra TV the magazine owner, Daoud Baghestani says that Iraq is now built on a foundation of civilisation and democracy. Why should he be afraid to publish such a magazine?

The chairman of the Journalists' syndicate says that his organisation had given permission for the magazine to be published. It was not considered a risk to national security.

Not everyone agrees. In a recent article in Dar al-Hayat, Nisr Agi expressed misgivings.

"It is true that the Kurds need to build bridges with all the peoples of the region, but that the priority should be to the peoples who share the Kurds' life with the Arabs and the Turks and Persians. A magazine, or newspaper or create a television station should be initiated to address these before everything else.

"I do not know what Kurds think of this magazine nor do I know how many people will buy and read it, but I am convinced that better relation between the Kurdish region and Israel is the last concern of the Kurdish citizen. "What worries the citizen is not the absence of Kurdish - Israel relations, but the lack of public understanding of Arabs and Persians and Turks (of the Kurd's) aspirations to acquire national identity, so as to free him, like everybody, to develop culture and language, freely and without repression or oppression."

The writer does not think the magazine is a conspiracy, but fears that it will alienate Arab and Muslim public opinion and strengthen the popular image of the Kurds as «clients» of Zionism and imperialism.

"Iraq's Kurds followed in this boat and almost drowned in it. Kurdish leaders had tried to establish relations with Israel and reaped nothing but disappointment, setbacks, and dragged on themselves and the people of Kurdistan reprisals from Hell by the government of Saddam Hussein reaching the verge of total annihilation. Apparently, there are those who do not learn from the lessons of history and prefer to play games that pay no attention to the consequences of outright scandalous behaviour."

Read article in full (Arabic)

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