London (Apr. 23)
The claim to Jewish descent is alive in the population of Afghanistan, is the revelation made in a despatch from Kabul to the London “Daily Telegraph” by Sir George MacMunn, English soldier and colonial officer.
According to Sir George a part of the Afghanistan population calls itself Benei Israel and claims descent from a grandson of King Saul, named Afghana, who was commander-in-chief of King Solomon’s army. The belief is current there that the Afghanistan Benei Israel represent a remnant of the ten lost tribes of Israel. Although there is not the faintest proof in favor of their contention of Jewish origin, Sir George writes, their appearance and some of their customs seem to support the claim. The biblical names, Moses, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, are current among them. It is apparent, the writer concludes, that the Benei Israel came to Afghanistan in the seventh century of the Christian era and immediately adopted the Moslem faith.