Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Afghanistan's Little Israel



It’s widely known that Afghanistan's Lashkar Gah in Helmand province is locally referred to as “Little America” since the 1950’s when several dozen families from the US built suburban tract homes with backyard barbecues and swimming pools and lived for there decades in a massive project to counter the Soviet influence during the Cold War. But few actually know that Ghor province located in central Afghanistan was for centuries the “Little Israel” where the Ten Lost Tribes is said to have initially settled before they dispersed and merged with the Pashtuns or remained intact as a nucleus that connected the Jewish communities of Herat and Kabul. Even today, some clans in Ghor still trace their ancestry to one of the three sons of Qais, the chieftain of that community, who is said to have been the 37th in descent from Saul, the King of Israel. Unluckily for Afghanistan, after Israel was re-established in 1948, a mass exodus or “aliyah” depleted the Central Asian nation of its native Jews and today there is only one left. But today is a new day. Now that we have an Israel-friendly President in Kabul’s Arg Palace, I urge all Afghan Jews in the Diaspora, all Pashtuns hailing from Jewish ancestry and all Zionists in Afghanistan and around the world to mobilize themselves and travel to their native roots in the Ghor plateau and develop the provincial capital, Chagcheran and the surrounding villages into a Holy Land like Jerusalem. Consider the Minaret of Jam, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as your Mount Zion and Turquoise Mountain as your Temple Mount. Afghans have much to learn how your "kibbutz" movement laid the foundation for your high-tech revolution. And Ghor is the ideal place to reestablish Afghanistan's sisterhood with Israel. In a “South-Central” region wracked by so many bandits that the reemergence of “Little Israel” will certainly have a great cosmopolitan effect into neighboring provinces and signal to financiers in London, New York and Tel Aviv that Afghanistan is ready for business and Ghoridians fit to be a chosen one.





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