The return of the Bnei menashe
April 8, 2005 9:49 PM   Subscribe

The return of the Bnei menashe : Israel's Chief Rabbi has decided to recognize the members of India's Bnei Menashe community as descendants of the ancient Israelites. Previous discussion.
posted by dhruva (5 comments total)
I'll be interested to see how Israel handles a large influx of Indian immigrants if it happens, especially in light of the recent commitment to reduce settlements in disputed territories. If my memory serves me correctly, when the Falasha were airlifted to Israel many of them were sent to the West Bank to cement the Israeli presence there.
posted by cali at 5:02 PM on April 9, 2005

This is purely strategic. For some reason, there is a Bollywood following in Syria. Introducing Indians is obviously an attempt to find some common ground. The predicted next step is when a suicide bomber hops onto a bus and decides not to blow the bejeezus out of it because the driver is playing "Choli ke pechche kya hai?" on the stereo...
posted by UbuRoivas at 11:19 PM on April 9, 2005

Incidentally, apparently "Falasha" is apparently insulting to Ethiopian Jews, since it means "Stranger" or "Exile". They prefer Beta Israel, meaning of the "House of Israel." I was burned by the language watch during the Eskimo/Inuit words for snow debate, so I thought it worth mentioning.
posted by blahblahblah at 12:09 AM on April 10, 2005

They prefer Beta Israel, meaning of the "House of Israel"

I wonder if this is some kind of Ethiopian in-joke, as "betam" in Amharic means "very" - they only need to swallow the "m" slightly...
posted by UbuRoivas at 3:51 PM on April 10, 2005

bet= house (in hebrew)
posted by dhruva at 5:45 PM on April 10, 2005

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