Israel was one of the first nations to recognize Bangladesh. The Israeli government and people had supported the war of independence of Bangladesh in 1971. After the independence, the newly born country was recognized by Israel on February 4, 1972. However, the then foreign minister Khondaker Mostaq Ahmed, at the special persuasion of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia had sent a letter to the Israeli government saying, Bangladesh could not accept the recognition.
On receiving the letter, when Mostaq contacted his masters in Pakistan, Rawalpindi had instructed him to turn-down the Israeli recognition as Pakistan knew relations between Israel and Bangladesh would turn Bangladesh into a powerful country. It may be mentioned here that, following the humiliating defeat on December 16, 1971, Pakistani policymakers were still hopeful of forming a confederation with Bangladesh thus continuing Pakistan’s influence on the newly liberated country. Khondaker Mostaq Ahmed was amongst those pro-Pakistan elements in Bangladesh, who were secretly conspiring in returning Bangladesh to the evil clutches of Pakistani occupation forces.
It is further learnt, before turning-down Israeli recognition, Khondaker Mostaq Ahmed did not even consult this matter with any of the senior leaders of Bangladesh Awami League. Instead, he had shown this letter to Shah Azizur Rahman, Khan e Sabur and some other Pakistani agents in Bangladesh.
It may be mentioned here that, Bangladesh currently does not have any form of relations with Israel and considers the Jewish State as an enemy nation. Any attempt of visiting Israel is considered as punishable offense while having any contact with Israel is considered as serious crime under the sedition and treason laws.
Right after the independence of Bangladesh, Bhutan was the first country to recognize the new born nation, which was followed by India.
After many years of the independence of Bangladesh, now the younger generation are questioning – why Bangladesh should not have diplomatic relations with Israel?
This newspaper and our editor have been consistently defending Israel for past fifteen plus years and defending the Jewish State. On the issue of Bangladesh-Israel relations, editor of this newspaper Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury said, “It is beyond my understanding as to why Bangladesh should ever consider Israel as an enemy nation. Israel and the people of that county have always been extremely kind on Bangladesh. They have expressed solidarity with us and even offered assistance whenever Bangladesh is affected by any natural disaster. Now we are already having trade with Israel, which I believe will greatly increase in the years to come. Bangladesh must realize, it was some conspirators – enemies of our country, who had sabotaged the relations between Dhaka and Jerusalem. We must abandon the decade-old habit of appeasing those Palestinians and mega terror outfit Hamas. Bangladesh needs Israel in its ongoing war against radical Islamic militancy.”