Israel and the Maldives


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The position of chief Islamic cleric has now been effectively re-instated. The incumbent is the current chief justice, who is a member of the al-Azhar cell

First published in July 2001 and edited on 26 September 2009

26 September 2009

The Maldives has re-established diplomatic relations with the State of Israel after 29 years, on the eve of the Jewish Sabbath on 7 Tishrei, Anno Mundi 5770 (25 September, Anno Domini 2009). Praise be to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob!

This web site has campaigned relentlessly for this since we went online. Israel was the first country to send an ambassador to the Maldives in modern times, in 1965, in the reign of the Sultan Mohamed Farid I, King of the Twelve Thousand Isles, the last monarch of our Dynasty, the House of Huraagey and Hilaaly.

The Maldive republic’s foreign office claimed yesterday that it does not know if or when diplomatic relations were severed with the Jewish State. It claimed that there has been a breach in relations for only 15 years. In 1980 when relations with Israel were severed by the then new administration of the erstwhile Maldive leader Mullah Gayoom, the only diplomatic post the Maldives had was its embassy in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Relations with foreign governments were conducted through that post. This writer was told by the then Maldives Ambassador to Sri Lanka Mr. Hussain Ali Didi, a close member of my wife's family, that one evening he caught up with the Israeli ambassador at a diplomatic reception in Colombo and exchanged greetings in his cheerful manner. The surprised Israeli diplomat asked Mr Didi if he had not heard the news that Mullah Gayoom had broken off relations with his country. Officials had been ordered to keep Ambassador Didi in the dark.

Israel was the first country to send relief when the Maldives was struck by the Indian Ocean Tsunami on Boxing Day 2004. Israel's Magen David Adom was turned back. The medrassa-indoctrinated mullahs ruling in the Maldives at that time would see its own citizens die rather than take help from a Jew.

This web site congratulates the new government in Malé for this bold move and call on them to renounce the culture of hate altogether and establish diplomatic relations with the Vatican City State too, just like their fellow brotherly Arabs in the Persian Gulf have done.

And we said thereafter to the children of Israel, dwell Ye in the promised land, and when the time of the promise of the latter days comes, we shall bring you out of various peoples.

Koran: Surah el-Isra: Verse 104 prophesied modern Israel

"Medinat Israel" in Divehi

Temple Mount in Jerusalem, capital of Israel
Dome of the Rock on Temple Mount in Jerusalem
Capital city of Israel

The State of Israel was the first country to send an ambassador to Malé after the United Kingdom relinquished control over Maldive external relations. The ambassador of the Jewish State presented his credentials at the Eterekoilu to His Majesty King Mohamed Farid in 1965.

This made the Maldives the first Muslim country to recognise the State of Israel and establish diplomatic relations at ambassadorial level.

The Chief Justice of the time, Mohamed Jameel Didi, who was, ex officio, the chief Islamic cleric, made a representation to the King advising His Majesty not to receive the Israeli ambassador. The King did not receive his advice. As Jameel Didi's constitutional role precluded him from interfering with political decisions, he was persuaded to resign. Subsequently the old office of chief cleric which combined judicial and Islamic functions was disbanded and the judiciary modernised.

The Maldives withdrew recognition from the Jewish State in the late 1970's under pressure from a cell of pseudo-Islamic activists who were students at Egypt's al-Azhar medrasah (Islamic seminary) in the 1950's and 1960's. By the late 1970's some members of this cell had manoeuvred their way to positions of influence with the backing of oil-rich Arab states. One of them was Jameel Didi's son. A quarter of a century on, the cell still clings on to power. Maldive flag 1949 to 1965
Battle lines were drawn in the Malé tea shops during the 1967 war that saw Israel re-capturing its ancient capital of Jerusalem along with the remainder of the Promised Land that was still not under its rule. A speciality at a popular tea shop was a Maldive cake called misuru boakibaa which literally meant Egyptian cake. A rival tea shop introduced a cake called isuraailu boakibaa- Israeli cake. The outcome of the war made the Israel cake go up in popularity.

Official contact between
the State of Israel and
Arab and Muslim countries
The following countries have diplomatic or other official contact with the State of Israel




Bosnia and

National Anthem      National Anthem
So long as still within our breasts
The Jewish heart beats true,
So long as still towards the East,
To Zion, looks the Jew.

So long our hopes are not yet lost
Two thousand years we cherished them
To live in freedom in the land
Of Zion and Jerusalem.
To live in freedom in the land
Of Zion and Jerusalem.
      Kol od balevav penimah
nefesh Yehudi homiyah
Ulefa-atej mizrach kadimah
'ayin LeTsion, tsofiah.

Od lo awvdah tikwatenu
ha'tikvah bat sh'not alpayim
liheyot am chofsi beartsenu erets
Tsion birushalayim.
liheyot am chofsi beartsenu erets
Tsion birushalayim.