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Afghanistan’s last Jew wants $10m to move to Israel

November 1, 2021 at 3:59 pm

In this photograph taken on April 5, 2021, Afghan Jew Zebulon Simentov blows a musical horn ‘Shofar’ at synagogue, housed in an old building in Kabul [WAKIL KOHSAR/AFP via Getty Images]

Afghanistan’s last known remaining Jew, who fled the Taliban’s rule last month, is requesting $10 million to be flown to Israel, in addition to money for a winter coat, the Jewish Chronicle reported.

Zebulon Simantov, 62, was flown to a country that has remained unnamed for security reasons, by an Israeli-American businessman, Moti Kahana, but is now in Istanbul, where he is staying in a hotel.

Moti told Haaretz in August that Zabulon initially agreed to be evacuated on the condition of receiving “personal financing.”

“I’m not paying Jews to save their own lives. I’m here to help. I’m not here to pay you to save your life,” he said.

READ: Turkey welcomes last Jew from Afghanistan, granting him visa

Zebulon “claimed to have had some debts that he had to cover before he left. We’re not in the business of covering peoples’ debts. We’re in the business of saving people’s lives if they need to be saved,” confirmed Rabbi Mendy Chitrik, the Istanbul-based chairman of the Alliance of Rabbis in Islamic States.

Moti is currently offering to arrange a flight to transport Zebulon to Israel, which he originally accepted, but changed his mind and has requested to be flown to the US instead.

However, Moti warned that he was not on the US’s priority list and that the visa process could take as long as two years.

Therefore, Zebulon is ordering $10 million dollars for his flight to Israel, to compensate for the losses he suffered when fleeing Afghanistan, as well as some money for a winter coat.

He has also finally granted his wife, based in Israel, a divorce last month after refusing for more than 20 years.

“I’m not a babysitter,” stated Moti in response. “I can’t go on funding and supporting Zebulon in Istanbul for an unlimited time, and I told him I won’t take him back to Kabul,” he added.

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