According to geneticists in India there is the great possibility that the Pashtuns in Afghanistan and Pakistan, yes those lovely Taliban lads, might have Jewish blood coursing through their veins. Well not in the recent past, but a very, very long time ago.
Experts at Mumbai's National Institute of Immunohaematology believe Pashtuns could be one of the ten "Lost Tribes of Israel".The Indian study has even prompted the Israelis to look further into this possibility. They are working hand in hand with an Indian researcher, Shanaz Ali, who will conduct further research at the Technion Israel Institute of Technology in Tel Aviv.
The Israeli government is funding a genetic study to establish if there is any proof of the link.She chose those particular Muslims in Lucknow because anywhere else would have been far too dangerous, given the subject matter of the study.
An Indian geneticist has taken blood samples from the Pashtun Afridi tribe in Lucknow, Northern India, to Israel where she will spend the next 12 months comparing DNA with samples with those of Israeli Jews.
And there is some interesting anecdotal evidence that could back up their claims.
Many have grown up with stories of their people being "Children of Israel". According to legend, they are descended from the Ephraim tribe which was driven out of Israel by the Assyrian invasion in around 700BC.
Evidence of ancient Jewish settlement has been found in Herat, close to Afghanistan's border with Iran, where a graveyard contains tombs inscribed in Hebrew. The Afghan capital Kabul also has a centuries-old synagogue which has long been abandoned.
If the DNA evidence does point to the Pashtuns (all 40 million strong, worldwide) being descendants of the Israelites, it could prove interesting to see how they react to the news. For the Taliban Pashtuns it could be positive: they might perhaps embrace their Jewish heritage (and by extension their Jewish brothers and sisters) and join the modern world, or they might be so horrified they'd all commit suicide. Either way, it would be good thing. However, being a realist, I doubt anything would happen. They'll continue along their merry little way killing each other and anyone else who doesn't adhere to their belief system. One can dream, though.