Photo Credit: Envision Pakistan
Jewish-Pakistani businessman Fishel Benkhald.

A spokesperson for Pakistan’s Commerce Minister on Saturday dismissed reports of trade between Pakistan and Israel as “sheer propaganda,” Daily Pakistan reported on Sunday. The statement was a response to an announcement of the American Jewish Congress that a shipment of Pakistani food products had been delivered to Israel by Pakistani-Jewish businessman Fishel Benkhald.

Benkhald shared on March 28 a video on Twitter of dates, dry fruit, and spice containers he had exported to Israel.


And the AJC folks, who were beside themselves with excitement, on March 30 released a long statement praising the new trade between former foes, and stressed that “Business and trade have the power to bring ideas and people close, and this week we have seen major steps are taken in Israel, Pakistan, and the United Arab Emirates to expand prosperity and opportunity for everyone in the Middle East.”

Yada, yada, yada, the Pakistanis were not amused. First, it should be noted that Pakistan is decidedly not in the Middle East, it is in south Asia and shares a border with India. So, American Jews are not great at geography. But apparently, they are also pretty bad at diplomatic relations. Their joyous, kumbaya declaration, which would be great for a sermon at their local temple, was a surefire way to torpedo the effort. It’s one thing when Fishel Benkhald puts up a video, but to stain Pakistan, a solemn member of the Arab League’s boycott of Israel, with allegations of peace through prosperity? Needless to say, the Pakistanis were not amused.

According to Daily Pakistan, Commerce Minister Naveed Qamar denied any official trade relations with Israel and stated that the transaction was not supported by the Pakistani government. Pakistan does not recognize Israel as a state and supports the establishment of an independent Palestinian state.

Israel continues to be boycotted by most Arab nations, not only in business but also in sports events. The most recent example took place in March, when Indonesia, a majority-Muslim Asian country, lost its hosting of the 2023 FIFA U-20 World Cup for banning the Israeli national team.

Share this article on WhatsApp:

Previous articleDementia Diary – Chapter 27 (Part I)
Next articleThe Shabbos Urn
David writes news at