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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

One Lone Jew Left in Afghanistan with the Taliban: Can They Be Related?

Nadene Goldfoot
After a 2,500 year history of living in Afghanistan, we have one Jew left there.  All that were there have emigrated, mostly to Israel, Pakistan and the USA.  Zablon Simintov, b: ca1920 has remained and cares for the run-down synagogue in the capital of Kabul.  Sympathetic Muslims and Jews around the world send him aid.  I'm glad to see that there are kind Muslims with the Taliban operating from there.  This is a hot spot, as of yesterday, the USA has had 1,740 soldiers die there since the Afghanistan War that started October 7, 2001. 

Zablon had a Jewish friend, Isaac Levy, also born ca. 1920 until he died in January 2005.  Simentov is alone amongst 30 million Afghanis.  He's trying to recover a confiscated Torah.  A man, a Taliban member,  had stolen it, now in US custody in Guantanamo Bay.  His wife and 2 daughters live in Israel.  Simentov ran a store selling carpets and jewelry until 2001.  He and Levy had lived in opposite ends of the synagogue and didn't like each other, winding up in Taliban jails. 

The Taliban are fundamental Sunni Muslims made up mostly of the tribe of Pashtun.  They dominate much of Pakistan by terrorism and want a puritanical caliphate.  They don't like democracies and feel they are an offensse against Islam.  Their brand of religion is close to Saudi Arabia's form of Wahhabism, though differs.  They are even stricter in following their Sharia law.  Al Qaeda supported them by importing fighters to help their cause.  They were the ruling political party in Afghanistan but have been replaced by Operation Enduring Freedom in 2004 with President Hamid Karzai who has been influenced more by the USA. 

The Taliban are opening a political office/mission in Qatar in order to negotiate over the endgame in the Afghan war.  Karzai agreed to this a week ago.  Karzai is interested in talking about reducing tensions rather than a comorehensive solution to the war.  Qatar's religious leader, Qaradawi, hates Jews.  He's the main leader of the Muslim Brotherhood and the Emir of Qatar's great friend.  Both men have been doing a lot to reach out and be most friendly and influential  with groups in the USA. 

It is believed by many Muslim and some Jewish scholars that the exiled Lost Tribes of Israel had settled here. They made up the largest ethnic group in Afghanistan, now the 2nd largest in Pakistan.  This would be the Pashtuns.  This theory was written in 1612 The History of the Afghans  by Nimat Allah al-Harawi.  I'd love to see them take dna tests through familytreedna so we could find out their deep history. 

How can the Pashtun tribe who is now the Taliban have a Jewish history and have become the most strict of all Islamists?  This is indeed wild.  They are a wild terrorist group that think nothing of killing.  The USA entered a war on 7 October 2001 and 1,742 soldiers have died.  USA has soldiers in NATO, and out of 566 troops who died, 418 were Americans.  8 NATO troops just died in 3 attacks in southern Afghanistan on the 5th and 6th and 4 of them were Americans  The US-led NATO command is slowly handing over responsibillities to the Afghan government. The Taliban is still strong in the south, like in Kandahar, where trouble began in the 1990's.  Roadside bombs are the usual method of killing soldiers. 

At any rate, Jewish history can be traced back to the Babylonian Exile and Persian conquest with records of a Jewish population going back to the 7th century (when Islam started) with the Tahqat-i-Nasiri that mentioned people called Bani Israel settling in Ghor. 

It is claimed that "Kabul" is deried from Cain and Abel and the name "Afghanistan" from Afghana, a grandson of King Saul.  Historians V. Minorsky, W.K. Frazier Tyler and MC Gillet say that "afghan" appears in a 982CE book called Hudud-al-Alam, with this reference. 

   Saul, a pleasant village on a mountain has Afghans living in it.  This village probably was near Gardez, east of Ghazni in afghanistan.  The book tells about a village near modern Jalalabad where the local king had many Hindu, Muslim and Afghan wives. 

Benjam in Tudela in the 12th century counted 80,000 Jews living there and in 1080, Moses ibn Ezra mentioned 40,000 Jews paying tribute to Ghazni.  Then Genghis Khan invaded in 1222 and reduced the Jewish communities to isolated groups.  In 1839, the population increased by receiving refugees from Persia and had a population of 40,000 again. 

By 1948, 5,000 Jews lived in Afghanistan, and were allowed to emigrate in 1951.  By 1969, 300 Jews remained but left after the Soviet invasion of 1979, leaviing only 10 Afghan Jews there in 1996, just enough for a minion in Kabul.  Probably there are 10,000 Jews residing in Israel with Afghan descent.  More than 200 families live in New York City.  However, Zablon is in no hurry to leave. 

Oregonian newspaper page A3; Taliban's Qatar move may signal peace talks and all my references on Qaradawi in this jewishfactsfromportland. =251913 Scrolls raise questions as to Afghan Jewish history by Gil Shefer
Oregonian newspaper 1/7/12 page A5  8 coalition troops killed in 3 attacks

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