Afghanistan–Israel relations

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Afghanistan–Israel relations
Map indicating locations of Afghanistan and Israel



Afghan-Israeli relations are non-existent today, as there are no diplomatic exchanges between the two states.[citation needed]


During the 1980s, Israel provided armament and training to mujahideen forces who were fighting the Soviet-backed Afghan government. Thousands of mujahideen fighters, particularly from the Hezb-e Islami faction of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, were trained by Israeli instructors. The head of Pakistan's ISI agency, Akhtar Abdur Rahman, apparently allowed the Israeli trainers into his country.[1]

In a 2005 interview in Kabul with a reporter from the Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronoth, Afghan President Hamid Karzai hinted at a desire to establish formal ties with Israel.[2] When "there is further progress [in the Mideast peace process], and the Palestinians begin to get a state of their own, Afghanistan will be glad to have full relations with Israel," he said. He revealed that he had met Shimon Peres several times, and called him a "dear man, a real warrior for peace."[2]

In the wake of the 2008-2009 Gaza conflict, a mullah in Kabul stated that more than 1,000 Afghans signed up as a symbolic gesture to fight Israel.[3]

Jews of Afghanistan[edit]

The Jewish community of Afghanistan dates back a thousand years.[4] When the state of Israel was created in 1948, the population of Jews in Afghanistan was around 5,000. Many began leaving Afghanistan for the new state.[4] The remaining families fled to the United States in the wake of the Soviet invasion of 1979.[5] At least one Afghan Jew, Zablon Simintov, remains today in Kabul.[6][7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hilali, A. Z. US-Pakistan Relationship: Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2005. p. 124
  2. ^ a b Tarzi, Amin (5 November 2005). "Afghanistan: Might Warmer Relations With Jerusalem Cool Kabul's Relations With Tehran?". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL). Retrieved 2013-10-29. 
  3. ^ Shalizi, Hamid (8 January 2009). "Afghans sign up to fight Israeli troops in Gaza". Retrieved 2013-10-29. "More than a thousand brave Afghans registered their names here to fight Israeli troops in Gaza," said Habibullah Assam 
  4. ^ a b Heller, Aron (January 3, 2013). "Afghan Genizah Manuscripts Revealing Jewish Presence Unveiled At Israeli Library". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2013-10-29. 
  5. ^ Krastev, Nikola (June 19, 2007). "U.S.: Afghan Jews Keep Traditions Alive Far From Home". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL). Retrieved 2013-09-07. 
  6. ^ Aizenman, N.C. (27 January 2005). "Afghan Jew Becomes Country's One and Only". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2013-10-29. 
  7. ^ Motlagh, Jason (September 1, 2007). "The last Jew in Afghanistan". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2013-10-29.