Taliban spokesperson accidentally conducts interview with Israeli state TV
search

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Taliban spokesperson accidentally conducts interview with Israeli state TV

Suhail Shaheen was unaware he was speaking to Israeli outlet Kan, but committed to protect non-Muslim minorities within Afghanistan, including its last Jew Zebulon Simantov

A screenshot from an interview of a Taliban spokesman by the Israeli news broadcaster Kan. Via JTA
A screenshot from an interview of a Taliban spokesman by the Israeli news broadcaster Kan. Via JTA

A Taliban spokesperson accidentally gave an interview with a reporter for Israel’s state TV news channel.

Suhail Shaheen, who has been giving interviews in English from Qatar since the Taliban retook control of Afghanistan, said he had no idea that he was speaking to someone from an Israeli news organisation. The Taliban, an Islamic fundamentalist group, has a history of supporting al-Qaeda, which routinely makes threats against Israel and uses anti-Israel rhetoric in its propaganda.

When Shaheen spoke over video with journalist Roi Kais at Kan, the Israeli broadcaster, Kais named his network but did not tell Shaheen that he or it was Israeli.

In the interview, Shaheen said the Taliban would protect non-Muslim minorities within Afghanistan, including Zebulon Simantov, understood to be the last Jew living there, whom he said he did not know. He also said the Taliban does not have ties to Hamas, the Palestinian militant group that runs Gaza and opposes Israel’s existence.

Kan’s interview circulated widely, eliciting surprise that Shaheen consented to speak to an Israeli. But several hours after it aired, Shaheen tweeted that he hadn’t understood who he was speaking to.

“I do many interviews with journalists every day after the falling of provincial centres of Afghanistan and the capital Kabul to the Islamic Emirate,” he wrote. “Some journalists maybe masquerading but I haven’t done interview with any one introducing himself he is from an Israeli media.”

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...

Engaging

Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.

Celebrating

There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.

Pioneering

In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.

Campaigning

Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more:
comments