Thursday, November 09, 2006

  • Thursday, November 09, 2006
  • Elder of Ziyon
218 members of the Bnei Menashe community in India are moving to Israel starting next week, but apparently the major media event that was to accompany them was quashed by India.

According to "Arab Monitor" (note the spin):
Three days before it was to be implemented, the government of India, acting through the Indian aviation authorities, revoked permission for a spectacular Israeli Zionist public relations action to take place. On 12th November an Israir charter flight, hired by the Jewish Agency and funded by US Evangelical Christians, was to airlift a group of 812 [sic] Indians who had converted to judaism, to Tel Aviv within the frame of the Zionist "return to Israel" paradigm. The Indian converts had undergone their judaization process about a year ago under the supervision of emissaries of the Chief Rabbinate, who had heceforth recognized them as members of the biblical lost tribe of Bnei Menashem. Having been officially recognized as Jews, the Indians automatically were eligible to become citizens of Israel under the Zionist "Right-of-Return"-law and the Jewish Agency in Israel had already prepared for the settlement of the new immigrants in Carmiel and Nazareth, where they were destined to boost the Jewish presence in an Arab Palestinian environment. The US-based Friendship Fund of the Evangelical Christians, who funded the project of mass immigration of allegedly Indian Jews to Israel, had prepared for a spectacular mass-media covering of the organized departure of the group from India on 12th November and of the celebrations planned to greet their arrival in Israel. Concerned about the negative repercussions that an action designed to appear as a "rescue campaign for Jews" would have, India took steps to prevent the Zionist scoop by forcefully grounding the Israir machine and requesting that converts willing to emigrate to Israel should do so on an individual basis and booking regular El-Al flights.
Of course this article is a bit inaccurate: the Bnei Menashe identify themselves as being Jews for millenia, and the Israeli rabbis only formally converted them to erase any Jewish legal problems.

In fact, a genetic study did find evidence of commonalities between these Indian Jews and those of Uzbekistan:
Bhaswar Maity, a research scholar at the Central Forensic Science Laboratory, Kolkata, had begun the DNA typing of samples (100 male and 80 female) taken from the Mizos in March 2002. "Studies on the Y chromosome [male] did not return the Cohen modal haplotype, which is present in most Jewish males around the world," says Dr V.K. Kashyap, director of the laboratory. (Tracing the male chromosome is difficult because most Mizo men, who migrated from elsewhere, wed women along the way and the Y chromosome is lost every time a female child is created.) "But of the mitochondria DNA [female samples], a few Kuki samples returned the unique haplotype [genetic sequence code] found in the Jewish community in Uzbekistan."

This is a clear indication that there was a Jewish female founder effect in the Kuki community. "It is scientifically impossible to have the same genetic sequence in two populations living so far apart if they did not originate from a common stock who historically inhabited a common space," says Maity. He also found a specific mutation in some Lusei and Kuki samples that is also present in Indian Jews.

If these Indian Jews indeed descended from the biblical Menashe, none of the males would have the Cohen haplotype - because that would be reserved for those descended from Levi.

The article from 2004 continues with some fascinating background:

There are also historical pointers to this claim. Zaithanchhungi, a scholar who has been studying the Mizo claim to Israeli ancestry for over 20 years, is convinced that all Mizos are descendants of the Menashe. "The Menashe were enslaved by the Assyrians and taken there [Assyria] when Jerusalem fell," she says. "From there they migrated to the Afghanistan region. During Alexander’s invasion they were driven further on to Mongolia through the Kashmir region and Tibet plateau, and they settled in the Chhinlung region of China. They entered Mizoram about 300 years ago from Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Burma."

This puts the Indian government on a sticky wicket as the United Nations has said that a country cannot rule over people other than its own. The government has more reason to be worried because the Aizawl-based Chhinlung Israel People’s Convention, an organisation of 2.5 lakh members who believe they are descendants of the Menashe, has begun preparations for realising their dream of a "New Jerusalem". This correspondent even stumbled upon a new flag for the "country of the Menashe people" as Lalchhanhima Sailo, the chairman of the convention, put it.

The organisation had submitted a memorandum to the UN in 1998 to recognise the Chhinlung people as a lost tribe of Israel. "We are now awaiting Israeli recognition," says Sailo. "Once it comes through, we will have an independent country in the northeast of India." Sailo feels this is a very real possibility because there are Chhins in parts of Manipur, Burma, Bangladesh and Assam.

It is difficult to ignore the similarities that exist between the lives of the Jews in Israel and those of the Mizos. According to Zaithanchhungi, there are anthropological perspe-ctives. The Mizo burial ritual is similar to that of the Jews. Secondly, though the Mizos migrated to Mizoram through lands where Buddhism was the dominant faith, it left no influence on them. Even in the first half of the 20th century, they sacrificed animals to Pathian (Jehova). "They had the sacrificial altar on a hillock and a cross similar to that of David was drawn on the altar," she says. "Only men were allowed to witness the sacrifice. This is more than sheer resemblance."

Another resemblance is between the Mizo ritual of Cawngpuisial and the Jewish Sabbath. Sabbath starts when the stars appear on a Friday evening and ends with the same on a Saturday evening. In Mizoram, during the Cawngpuisial, villagers are restricted from going out of the village (and strangers from entering it) after the stars appear on a Friday. The curfew is lifted on Saturday after the stars appear.

Shaina, a student from Raanana near Tel-Aviv, who recently visited the Amishav Hebrew Center in Aizawl—an Israeli government agency tracing lost Jewish tribes—found the "similarities between the people of Israel and Mizoram simply too stark to be neglected".

Allenby Sela, principal of Amishav, was one of 900 Mizos who converted to Judaism to settle down in the Gaza Strip. He returned to Mizoram to make the people aware of their history. "We should know who we are, where we came from, what our roots are," he says. "Faith can’t be recognised by blood tests. It’s a spiritual thing. Our history is oral and there is no clinching evidence. But this is not enough for Israel to accept." Israel recognised the Black Jews of Ethiopia and the Fallasahs of South Africa as lost tribes without any tests.

A stroll down the roads of Aizawl—with signs Moses Snack Centre, Nazareth Medical, Israel Stores, Zion Street—is enough to understand its connection with the Promised Land. "The Torah [Jewish Bible] states that there shall be one Holy Land in the west and one in the east," says Sailo. "I’m convinced this is it. The Torah also mentions that the descendants of Abraham shall be as plenty as stars in the heaven and the sands of the earth. Though the population of Israel is only five million, if you include all the Chhinlung people, you will find the true meaning of the prophecy."

The Wikipedia article on the Bnei Menashe adds much more information.

EoZTV Podcast

Podcast URL

Subscribe in podnovaSubscribe with FeedlyAdd to netvibes
addtomyyahoo4Subscribe with SubToMe

search eoz



follow me

Follow by Email


Share on Whatsapp


For $18 donation

Sample Text

EoZ's Most Popular Posts Ever


Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 12 years and over 25,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


Donate to fight for Israel!

Monthly subscription:
Payment options

One time donation:

subscribe via email

Follow EoZ on Twitter!



The Jerusalem Report:"A seemingly indefatigable one-man operation, armed only with a computer, chutzpa and stamina."

Algemeiner: "Fiercely intelligent and erudite"

Omri: "Elder is one of the best established and most respected members of the jblogosphere..."
Atheist Jew:"Elder of Ziyon probably had the greatest impression on me..."
Soccer Dad: "He undertakes the important task of making sure that his readers learn from history."
AbbaGav: "A truly exceptional blog..."
Judeopundit: "[A] venerable blog-pioneer and beloved patriarchal figure...his blog is indispensable."
Oleh Musings: "The most comprehensive Zionist blog I have seen."
Carl in Jerusalem: "...probably the most under-recognized blog in the JBlogsphere as far as I am concerned."
Aussie Dave: "King of the auto-translation."
The Israel Situation:The Elder manages to write so many great, investigative posts that I am often looking to him for important news on the PalArab (his term for Palestinian Arab) side of things."
Tikun Olam: "Either you are carelessly ignorant or a willful liar and distorter of the truth. Either way, it makes you one mean SOB."
Mondoweiss commenter: "For virulent pro-Zionism (and plain straightforward lies of course) there is nothing much to beat it."
Didi Remez: "Leading wingnut"

Interesting Blogs


Abbas liar Academic fraud administrivia al-Qaeda algeria American Jews Amnesty analysis anti-semitism antisemitism apartheid arab refugees Arafat archaeology art ASHREI B'tselem bahrain Balfour bbc BDS BDSFail Bedouin Beitunia beoz book review Brant Rosen breaking the silence Campus antisemitism Cardozo Chakindas Chanukah Christians circumcision Clark Kent Community Standards conspiracy theories Cyprus Daled Amos Daphne Anson David Applebaum Davis report DCI-P Divest This double standards Egypt Elder gets results ElderToons Electronic Intifada Embassy EoZ Trump symposium eoz-symposium EoZNews eoztv Erekat Erekat lung transplant EU Euro-Mid Observer European antisemitism Facebook jail Fake Civilians 2014 Farrakhan Fatah featured Features fisking flotilla Forest Rain Forward free gaza freedom of press palestinian style future martyr Gary Spedding gaza Gaza Platform George Galloway George Soros German Jewry gideon levy gilad shalit gisha Goldstone Report Good news Grapel Guardian gunness Haaretz Hadassah hamas Hamas war crimes Hananya Naftali hasbara Hasby 2014 Hasby 2016 Hasby 2018 hate speech Hebron helen thomas hezbollah history Hizballah Holocaust Holocaust denial honor killing HRW Human Rights Humanitarian crisis humor huor Hypocrisy ICRC IDF Ilan Pappe impossible peace incitement Indonesia international law intransigence iran Iraq Islamic Judeophobia Islamism Israel Loves America Israeli culture Israeli high-tech J Street jabalya jeremy bowen Jerusalem jewish fiction Jewish Voice for Peace jihad jimmy carter John Kerry jokes jonathan cook Jordan Joseph Massad Juan Cole Judaism Judea-Samaria Judean Rose Kairos Karl Vick Keith Ellison ken roth khalid amayreh Khaybar Lebanon leftists Linda Sarsour Linkdump lumish mahmoud zahar Malaysia max blumenthal Mazen Adi McGraw-Hill media bias Methodist Michael Ross Miftah Missionaries moderate Islam Mohammed Assaf Mondoweiss moonbats Morocco Mudar Zahran music Muslim Brotherhood Nakba Nation of Islam Natural gas Nazi Netanyahu News nftp NGO NIF Noah Phillips norpac NYT Occupation offbeat Omar Barghouti Only in Israel Opinion oxfam PA corruption PalArab lies Palestine Papers pallywood pchr PCUSA Peace Now Peter Beinart Petra MB poetry Poland poll Poster Preoccupied Prisoners propaganda Proud to be Zionist Puar Purim purimshpiel Putin Qaradawi Qassam calendar Quora Rafah Ray Hanania real liberals reference Richard Falk Richard Silverstein Right of return Robert Werdine rogel alpher roger cohen roger waters Rutgers Saeb Erekat Saudi Arabia saudi vice self-death self-death palestinians sex crimes SFSU shechita sheikh tamimi Shujaiyeh Simchat Torah Simona Sharoni SodaStream South Africa Speech stamps Superman Syria Tarabin Temple Mount Terrorism This is Zionism Thomas Friedman TOI Trump Tunisia Turkey UCI UK UN UNDP unesco unhrc UNICEF United Arab Emirates Unity unrwa UNRWA hate unrwa reports UNRWA-USA unwra Varda Vic Rosenthal Washington wikileaks work accident X-washing Y. Ben-David Yemen YMikarov zahran Ziesel zionist attack zoo Zvi

Blog Archive