By Daled Amos
Two Black Hebrew Israelites deliberately attacked a kosher grocery in Jersey City this past Tuesday.
We can leave it to the media to report who the Black Hebrew Israelites are.
There will be articles about just how Jewish they are, about their history and about their community in Israel.
But while they are not considered Jewish by the Israeli government, Black Hebrew Israelites are Jewish enough for Palestinian terrorists.
According to an article in the Chicago Tribune in 2002, Death bridges gap for Black Hebrews:
Under a cool, clear sky and with a large crowd of mourners on hand, 32-year-old Aharon Ben-Yisrael Elis was buried Sunday in a new section of this town’s cemetery.
He was the first of the Black Hebrews–a small group of African-Americans, most of whom came to Israel from Chicago more than three decades ago–to be born in Israel. He also was the first of the group to die from the terrorism that has haunted the Jews of Israel for years.
|Aharon Ben-Yisrael Elis. Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs|
Because the group had their own religion, combining Judaism with other beliefs, the Black Hebrews were not fully accepted into Israeli society and were not granted citizenship.
But those differences were set aside in the face of the terrorist attack:
Yet Elis’ passing at the hands of a terrorist provoked an outpouring of Israeli mourners, including Dimona’s mayor, a member of the Knesset and the two top rabbis from this town in the northern tip of the Negev desert. Elis was killed Thursday, one of six people slain by a Palestinian gunman who had stormed a banquet hall in a northern town where a bat mitzvah, or a coming-of-age ceremony, for a 12-year-old Israeli girl was under way.
…Dimona officials talked about how the Black Hebrews had found a home in their community and were welcomed. Av Shalom Vilan, a member of the Knesset from the left-of-center Meretz Party, said he hoped that the death of a Black Hebrew as a result of Arab violence would open the hearts and doors of Israel’s society for citizenship for the group, which the Black Hebrews have long sought.
Rabbi Shalom Dayan, the chief Sephardic rabbi of Dimona, summed up in a few words what the others said Elis’ death meant for the Black Hebrews’ long-term quest to win full acceptance into Israeli society.
“You have just sealed one of the most difficult pacts with our Israeli society,” Dayan said.
More than that, the Israeli government took action too.
Israel destroyed the Palestinian broadcasting center and Israeli tanks came up to Yasser Arafat’s headquarters in Ramallah. Israeli troops entered Tulkarem, where they searched houses, detained a number of Palestinian Arabs and put the city under curfew.
But that was then.
And it makes this week’s tragedy even more bitter.
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