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Black Hebrew Israelites

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African Hebrew Israelites of Jerusalem from Dimona, Israel
Preach to the choir
Icon religion.svg
Crux of the matter
Speak of the devil
An act of faith

Black Hebrew Israelism is an Afrocentric religious belief most popular in the USA, which claims that black people are the descendants of the ancient Israelites of the Bible. This belief is essentially a mirror image of British Israelism, and just as stupid in that regard. The more extreme adherents of Black Hebrew Israelism venture into black supremacy, racism and anti-Semitism, essentially acting as a black version of the white Christian Identity movement. While the anti-Semitism, which includes claims that whites and Jews are the spawn of the Devil, and that white people will be slaves in the Kingdom of Heaven, may seem particularly odd, it parallels the Christian Identity claims about current Jews not being real Jews with one "explanation" invoking the Khazar myth. Yahweh Bin Yahweh is an example of one such extremist — back in the early 1990s, members of his "Nation of Yahweh" sect were charged and convicted of murder as he used the killing of white people as one of his cult's initiation rites. Yahweh served eight years on a conspiracy to murder charge.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, dozens of Black Hebrew Israelite organizations were established, mostly in New York City, which continues to host the largest concentration of them, though there are congregations scattered across North America.[1] While a lot groups have beliefs similar to followers of Messianic Judaism (which is considered a branch of Christianity, not Judaism) such as Jesus's status as God, Son of God and Messiah, a few practice non-racist beliefs in line with mainstream Judaism. One of these minority groups, the African Hebrew Israelites of Jerusalem, moved to Israel, and today their descendants number around 2,500 there. The Israeli government was, at first, extremely annoyed by their presence and made many attempts to deport them, but in 2003 they were granted permanent residency status. Today they are famous in Israel for their gospel choir, and they own several soul food restaurants in many Israeli cities. Some African Hebrew Israelites have been granted citizenship and serve in the IDF, and one was even chosen to represent Israel in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2006.[2]


A pro-African blog responded to and refuted the statements by the Black Hebrew Israelites.[3] A Christian website also refuted the claims made, relying largely on pointing out how the statements of the racist group do not make Biblical sense.[4]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. Chireau, Yvonne (2000). "Black Culture and Black Zion: African American Religious Encounters with Judaism, 1790–1930, an Overview". In Yvonne Patricia Chireau, Nathaniel Deutsch, eds.. Black Zion: African American Religious Encounters with Judaism. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-511257-1. 
  2. Palti, Michal (May 29, 2003). "Whitney does Dimona". Haaretz. Retrieved 2015-11-04. 
  3. http://restoringafricanmind.blogspot.com/2014/08/the-hebrew-israelites-debunked.html
  4. Pastor G. Reckart. "A critique of the racist claims of the Black Hebrew Israelites and other Black racists". Tampa, Florida.