Last Jew in Afghanistan vows to remain despite Taliban takeover

While Afghans scramble to flee Kabul from the Taliban, a few have chosen to stay behind despite being able to leave years ago.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Zabulon Simantov, the last Jew in Afghanistan
Zabulon Simantov, the last Jew in Afghanistan
Reuters

After Taliban forces entered Kabul on Sunday, signalling the fall of Afghanistan after a 20-year American presence in the country, the only remaining Afghani Jew, said he was bracing himself for the new regime.

Zabulon Simantov, 62, has spent his entire life in the capital of Kabul, serving as the caretaker of the city's synagogue.

Simantov announced in March of this year that he would leave the country for good following the Jewish High Holidays in September, citing fears of a possible Taliban takeover following the US withdrawal.

"The Taliban have tried to convert me and I've been imprisoned four times," Simantov told WION News.

Simantov's current whereabouts are unknown, with concern for his fate being expressed on social media.

"Is anyone else sitting on their couch crying because they're scared for Zabulon Simantov?" asked one Twitter user, with others saying they were praying for his safety.

With Simantov's departure, the synagogue will close and 2,000 years of Jewish history in Afghanistan will come to an end. An estimated 40,000 Jews lived in central-Asian nation at the start of the 20th Century.

Video: WION



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