The 26th of July, 2021, the Israeli Immigration Policy Center published information about the Hebrew Israelite community entitled, "קהילת העבריים – כל מה שרציתם לד/The Hebrew Community – everything you wanted to know", a very biased presentation. Here is our response that was sent to them the next day.
האם הם יהודים או זכאי חוק השבות?
Are they Jewish or eligible for the Law of Return?
1. The law of return at the time of the arrival of the first group in 1969 was not only for the return of Jews; it also was for the return of “the exiles”, i.e., the returned of the House of Israel, as stated in the Declaration of Independence of the State of Israel. The law was changed retroactively in order to prevent our return under its original wording. It now only applies to Jews as those who fit the description it specifies and therefore is prejudicial against the members of the other families- primarily the House of Joseph- because it is matrilineally biased as there were 4 different mothers of the sons of Jacob, not one. The change in the law when also against the original intent of the Declaration and was therefore a violation of the UN Proclamation 181 stipulation against such changes by subsequent legislation.
2. Conversion is religious; we did not return based on religion, but according to nationality. We did not return to practice the Jewish religion but to live as Israelites and serve the God of Israel. One’s religion does not affect one’s nationality, as the attached article demonstrates. It states that a woman born Jewish, who converted to Christianity and lived as a Christian, requested to make Aliyah under the law of Return and was granted that privilege by the Rabbinical court. Being an Israelite is not religious, but rather a nationality that supersedes being Jewish and practicing Judaism. The existence of the Northern House of Israel and the Southern House of Judah is a historical and Biblical fact that clearly implies that there is also a separation in their religious practices and the only common ground would be the instructions given to Moses. The remnant of that Northern Kingdom has as much claim to this land as the returned of the Southern and the scriptures clearly say that a reunification must take place in this land, implying that there must be recognition of the Northern Kingdom.
3. We represent that Northern Kingdom!
האם משרד הפנים עומד להרחיק את קהילת השחורים העבריים?
Is the Interior Ministry going to remove the Black Hebrew community?
While it is true that a large number of the Hebrew Israelites have permanent residency, the initial promise was that after 5 years that status could be changed to citizenship if the applicant met the necessary requirements. However, this didn’t happen; acquiring citizenship became an arduous process for the majority of applicants, even after the agreement to grant citizenship to the parents of those who served in the military. Because of this there are generations of children born here in Israel to parents who never lived in America and don’t have Israeli citizenship because they didn’t serve in the military who don’t have either American or Israeli citizenship. This ministry of interior refuses to address this issue.
Should all Israelis be stigmatized as criminal because of the Binaries scandal? If not, then why bother raising the issue of possible criminal activity? Judge each person on their own merit.
אז את מי מרחיקים?
Then who is being removed?
It must be noted that the families voluntarily came forward to seek proper status; they have been here some for over thirty years without causing any problems with the authorities or the Israeli public. Why did they stay here under the constant fear of discovery and subsequent deportation? What benefit did they derive from being here that they were willing to live for so long under that kind of pressure? They stayed because for them Israel is home; they feel a connection with the land and the people that made enduring the pressures of illegally being here bearable for all of those years, just as Jews found ways to come to Israel during the British mandate period that weren’t always above board. Were/are they here illegally according to the law? Yes. Were they wrong as Hebrew Israelites to want to stay in the land they feel is home and to do whatever they could to do so? I don’t think so, and I feel the God of Israel agrees with me.
האם מרחיקים חיילים?
Are soldiers being removed?
Why not simply answer no to the question? Why seek to disparage our children serving in the military? The law says that dual citizenship is possible with citizens of countries that Israel has such an agreement with, and America is one of those countries, so we weren’t done any favor by the ministry simply following the rules. It is not true that the soldier’s whole family receives citizenship, only the parents do. Is there something wrong with enlisting to receive citizenship? And do all Israelis sign up for combat units?
אז למה פשוט לא להעניק לכולם מעמד קבע?
So why not just grant everyone permanent status?
There is doubt that a difference should be made between those who have been here for decades and are now asking for official status and all Hebrew Israelites. The campaign that is mentioned says that all “Hebrew Israelites” should receive citizenship, not all “Black Hebrews”; this is an important distinction because, Biblically, all the family of Jacob are “Hebrew Israelites”, not Jewish nor “Black Hebrews”. It is obviously more correct when speaking of the whole family of Jacob to refer to them as “Hebrews”, “Hebrew Israelites”, “Israelites” or the “Children of Israel” than it is to say that they are all “Jewish”, a name which derives only one of the sons of Jacob- Judah- and was also the name of the southern kingdom. The northern kingdom was called “Israel” and thus all its members were “Israelites”, which implies that the name to be applied when the reunification of the family is recognized to the whole nation would be “the nation of Israel” and its members known as “Israelites”, which, coincidently is the nationality on my Passport, ישראלית, or “Israelite” by translation.
Just as there an abundance of Jewish communities and the state of Israel does not speak for all of them and requires their members to undergo a process of absorption if they desire to come live here, so too is the case with members of the House of Israel scattered around the world; we do not speak for all of them and have taken the position that they must follow a process to come live here. We are primarily advocating for the long overdue recognition on the part of the government here of the need to acknowledge the Biblical and historical truth of the existence of the northern kingdom and the return of its members, who were never Jewish.
למה משרד הפנים לא הרחיק אותם בעבר?
Why didn’t the Ministry of the Interior remove them in the past?
I’m going to begin my response with this link, which should be accessed before continuing to read.
Palestine/Israel was under the lawful mandate of the British government at the time this event occurred. The article refers to the perpetrators as “terrorists”, and there were numerous deaths and an abundance of other casualties. We have been in this land for over 50 years and have not harmed anyone.
אמנם הם לא יהודים ,אבל הם אוהבים את העם היהודי.
They may not be Jews, but they love the Jewish people.
Up until this very day, the Jewish people have not forgotten their holocaust; there are museums dedicated to not forgetting the events which took place and the tragic loss of life. This is understandable; the pain runs deep into the heart and soul of the Jewish people, causing them to be suspicious of others in order to ensure that such an event never happens to them again. So how much deeper does the pain in the heart and souls of our people run who have- and still are- experienced insidious deprivations at the hands of Europeans- some of whom were Jewish- for hundreds of years? We are speaking of historical truth; not all Jewish people engaged in the slave trade, that is true, just as not all Germans were involved in the holocaust, but the people collectively paid the cost for it. We, as a people, have yet to fully recover from the trauma of racial discrimination that continues in many forms even till this very day. Therefore, there are those who are less forgiving than others, and Minister Farrakhan is one of them. We don’t agree with all of his opinions, but we understand the pain from which they flow.
Rabbi Ben Ammi told us many years ago that we had to let go of the pain in order to move forward to a better tomorrow, and that we had to begin with the people in this land; so, we forgave you.
ב וְנָשָׂא נֵס לַגּוֹיִם, וְאָסַף נִדְחֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל; וּנְפֻצוֹת יְהוּדָה יְקַבֵּץ, מֵאַרְבַּע כַּנְפוֹת הָאָרֶץ.
יג וְסָרָה קִנְאַת אֶפְרַיִם, וְצֹרְרֵי יְהוּדָה יִכָּרֵתוּ: אֶפְרַיִם לֹא-יְקַנֵּא אֶת-יְהוּדָה, וִיהוּדָה לֹא-יָצֹר אֶת-אֶפְרָיִם.
12 And He will set up an ensign for the nations, and will assemble the dispersed of Israel, and gather together the scattered of Judah from the four corners of the earth.
13 The envy also of Ephraim shall depart, and they that harass Judah shall be cut off; Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim.
חברי הקהילה טוענים שהם אוכלוסייה שתרמה רבות לישראל
Members of the community claim to be a population
that has contributed greatly to Israel…
This fails to address the original statement in any form, but rather is a slanderous attack on the community and its members. This is outdated information and fails to reflect the reality that is the Hebrew Israelite community today. How much does the Binaries scandal, or the tragedy of wife killings, or the indictment of a Prime Minister, reflect on the character of the state of Israel? The statement is about contributions:
איך אפשר להתנהג כך כלפי קהילה שוחרת שלום שאוהבת מוזיקה וטבעונות?
How can you behave this way towards a peaceful community
that loves music and veganism?
Here again, outdated information is being used to paint a gloomy picture of suffering and depression that is far from reality. Rabbi Ben Ammi, in the year 2011, after we had been here for over 40 years, admitted that many mistakes had been made on the path back to our relationship with the God of Israel as a people. He confessed that the original leadership came with an abundance of zeal but little understanding of how to achieve their goals, and as a result there were some tragedies on the journey. He admonished us that the understanding and tools that brought us through those 40 plus years won’t sustain us moving forward, and that we had to now build on the foundation that was laid using new tools and a higher understanding.
This is being manifested today, with the Hebrew Israelite presence now in many locations throughout Israel and our youth striving as they grow into adulthood and enter many varied areas of study and expertise. We were labeled a “cult” by many in the early days of our presence here; well, the charismatic leader is no longer here, so what do they want to call us now? We are the returned of the House of Israel and some point the Israeli government will simply have to accept that reality, because we aren’t going anywhere!
אז מה צריך לעשות כיום?
So, what needs to be done today?
There must be a new relationship between the government of Israel and the Hebrew Israelites in this country. The former relationship was through Rabbi Ben Ammi and his appointed leadership, which spoke on behalf of members of the community at that time. That is no longer a reality; the young voice who have been in the forefront of the latest campaign are recognized by the current Dimona leadership, as is the case with others involved in the affairs of our people at this time. The relationships of the past are no longer relevant in the grand scheme of things today and must be consigned to the archives of history from which most of the allegations contained in this report were garnered. Israel is more than just the home of the Jewish people; it is the prophetic inheritance of all the sons of Jacob, and it is the responsibility of the government to create a just and unbiased program to recognize this Biblical and historical truth. Just as there is a right of return for Jews, the right of return for the “exiles”, i.e., the House of Israel, must also be enshrined in the laws of the land!
Information about our organization can be found here:
Ralph Harris (Anvayel ben Ephraim)