JTA — Police have identified one of the dead suspects in a shootout at a kosher market in Jersey City as David Anderson, who reportedly was once a member of the Black Hebrew Israelites.
Here are some things to know about the movement.
Black Hebrew Israelites can refer broadly to people of African descent who claim to be descended from the biblical Israelites and practice certain Jewish rituals. The movement emerged from a stream of late 19th-century black nationalism that claimed African-Americans were the true descendants of the ancient Hebrews. Some estimates put the number of adherents in the tens of thousands, and the various member groups vary in ideology and outlook. Those differences are manifest in their views on Jews, with some seeking mainstream Jewish community acceptance, while others see their identity as separate from Judaism.
New World Passover Celebration of The African Hebrew Israelites of Jerusalem May 20, 2009. (Jorge Novominsky/Flash 90)
Are they anti-Semites?
Not generally. The Southern Poverty Law Center classifies some Black Hebrew Israelites as a hate group, naming one branch in particular, the Israelite Church of God in Jesus Christ. A 2008 report from the center warned that extremism within the movement was on the rise.
“Although most Hebrew Israelites are neither explicitly racist nor anti-Semitic and do not advocate violence, there is a rising extremist sector within the Hebrew Israelite movement whose adherents believe that Jews are devilish impostors and who openly condemn whites as evil personified, deserving only death or slavery,” the SPLC said.
Are they the guys yelling on street corners?
Sometimes. Extremist Hebrew Israelites can be found on street corners literally shouting their doctrine, which can include Holocaust denial, misogyny and anti-LGBTQ invective, at passersby.
They are especially visible in major Northeastern cities like New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, DC, as well as in Florida and some Southern states.
Don’t Hebrew Israelites have a community in southern Israel?
One part of the wider Black Hebrew Israelite movement began arriving in Israel in the late 1960s, where they settled in the Negev Desert town of Dimona.
There were tensions at first between Israeli authorities and the group, but these have been mostly resolved. In recent years, members of the group have become citizens and integrated into Israel’s diverse music scene.
Isn’t Michelle Obama’s cousin a Hebrew Israelite?
Rabbi Capers Funnye. (Screenshot/YouTube)
Yes. Rabbi Capers Funnye, who has led the International Israelite Board of Rabbis and is a cousin of the former first lady, is the chief rabbi of the black Jewish community. He also leads Beth Shalom B’nai Zaken Ethiopian Hebrew Congregation in Chicago. Uniquely among Hebrew Israelite rabbis, Funnye has embraced mainstream Jewish beliefs and cultivated a relationship with the mainstream American Jewish community.
What’s the connection to white nationalism?
There is none. Extremist Black Hebrew Israelites hate whites. But some have claimed that the rise of far-right groups is empowering black extremists.
The Southern Poverty Law Center told the Forward last month that black extremism, manifest through groups like Black Hebrew Israelites, is feeding off the rise in white nationalist extremism and attracting recruits.
Menachem Begin in December 1942 wearing the Polish Army uniform of Gen. Anders’ forces with his wife Aliza and David Yutan; (back row) Moshe Stein and Israel Epstein
(photo credit: JABOTINSKY ARCHIVES)
During the inauguration of a memorial to the victims of the Siege of Leningrad in Jerusalem’s Sacher Park on January 24, 2020, before the climax of Holocaust remembrance events at which Russian President Vladimir Putin was given a central platform, we were stunned to hear a rendition of The Blue Kerchief (Siniy
Giant figures are seen during the 87th carnival parade of Aalst February 15, 2015
The annual carnival in Aalst, Belgium, is expected to take place on Sunday with even more antisemitic elements than in previous years.
Aalst’s organizers have sold hundreds of “rabbi kits” for revelers to dress as hassidic Jews in the carnival’s parade. The kit includes oversized noses, sidelocks (peyot) and black hats. The organizers plan to bring back floats similar to the one displayed in 2019 featuring oversized dolls of Jews, with rats on their shoulders, holding banknotes.
Pope Francis waves as he arrives at the Basilica of Saint Nicholas in the southern Italian coastal city of Bari, Italy February 23, 2020. Photo: REUTERS/Remo Casilli.
Pope Francis on Sunday warned against “inequitable solutions” to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, saying they would only be a prelude to new crises, in an apparent reference to US President Donald Trump’s Middle East peace proposal.
Francis made his comments in the southern Italian port city of Bari, where he traveled to conclude a meeting of bishops from all countries in the Mediterranean basin.
Palestinians walk past a shop selling fruits in Ramallah, Feb. 20, 2020. Photo: Reuters / Mohamad Torokman.
Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) have reached an agreement to end a five-month long trade dispute, officials said on Thursday.
The dispute, which opened a new front in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, began in September when the PA announced a boycott of Israel calves. The PA exercises limited self-rule in the West Bank under interim peace deals.
Antisemitic caricatures on display at the annual carnival in Aalst, Belgium. Photo: Raphael Ahren via Twitter.
Disturbing images emerged on Sunday of the annual carnival at Aalst, Belgium, showing an astounding number of antisemitic themes, costumes, displays and statements.
Israeli journalist Raphael Ahren documented people dressed as caricatures of Orthodox Jews, a fake “wailing wall” attacking critics of the parade, blatantly antisemitic characters and puppets wearing traditional Jewish clothes and sporting huge noses.
The stench of anti-Semitism always hovers over Switzerland’s Lake Geneva when the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) is meeting there. The foul emanations reached a new nadir last week with UNHRC’s publication of a “database” of companies doing business in the disputed territories in Israel.
Following the publication of the list, Bruno Stagno Ugarte, deputy director for advocacy of NGO Human Rights Watch, stated, “The long-awaited release of the U.N. settlement business database should put all companies on notice: To do business with illegal settlements [sic] is to aid in the commission of war crimes.”
One of the many things that annoys me about politicians is how sure they are of themselves. Everything is black and white. Every idea is good or bad. Take globalism, for example. You either love it or hate it. It works or it doesn’t.
Another thing that annoys me is how so much of a politician’s life revolves around power: Do everything you can to get it, and everything you can to keep it.
Why am I ranting? Because, while our politicians have been consumed with power and the media with the fights over power, a threat to our nation has been virtually ignored.
Blue and White Party leaders Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid are establishing their diplomatic credentials in the immediate run-up to Israel’s March 2 election with an insult to a U.S. administration that has arguably provided Israel with more diplomatic gains than any previous administration.
The Times of Israel reported that at a campaign stop in front of English-speaking Israelis, Gantz accused Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “of neglecting bipartisan ties in favor of exclusive support from U.S. President Donald Trump’s Republican Party,” under the headline “Gantz pledges to mend ties with U.S. Democrats if elected.”
Bipartisanship was in short supply at the State of the Union address earlier this month—with one notable exception.
Nancy Pelosi had been looking dyspeptic, shuffling the papers she would later rip to shreds, when President Donald Trump reminded his audience that “the United States is leading a 59-nation diplomatic coalition against the socialist dictator of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro.”
Suddenly, the House Speaker applauded. Trump then introduced “the true and legitimate president of Venezuela: Juan Guaidó.”
The law professor Alan Dershowitz has thrown a legal hand-grenade into America’s political civil war by claiming to have evidence that former President Barack Obama “personally asked” the FBI to investigate someone “on behalf” of Obama’s “close ally,” billionaire financier George Soros.
He made his cryptic remark in an interview defending U.S. President Donald Trump against claims he interfered in the prosecution of his former adviser, Roger Stone.