The Hebrew Israelites Are A Real Threat

Preaching Hate. Members of the so-called Church of Yahawashi in Stamford Hill, London, last week. Screenshot from Youtube.

Last week, it was reported that a group of Black Hebrew Israelites stood on a street in London’s Stamford Hill area, which has a large Jewish community, preaching their virulently antisemitic ideology. They posted their own videos of the event on Youtube (look up CHURCH OF YAHAWASHI144), calling the series STAMFORD HILL CHRONICLES. Despite the use of a public address system to express their hatred of the Jewish people in general, despite directly addressing passing bewildered Haredim with vituperation such as “you’re going back to the gas chambers,” this group of Black Israelites was not arrested for hate speech in a public place, a crime under British law. In one of the videos, police can be seen talking to members of the “camp,” as they call a group of preachers.

Had a group of Neo-Nazis pulled a similar stunt anywhere in the United Kingdom, they would have been arrested immediately. We would have never heard the end of it from our friends on Fleet Street and at White City (BBC HQ). Connections would have been made to Donald Trump, Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage. As long, of course, as said Neo-Nazi group was not targeting only Jews.

I digress.

If I could try to be fair to the police and try and make sense of their rather passive response to the presence of crazed fanatics shouting abuse at Jews, I would suggest that they did not really have a grasp of the situation they were dealing with, the danger posed by this off-shoot of the Hebrew Israelite Movement.That probably explains why the police have said something about holding a meeting.

The Hebrew Israelite Movement today is essentially an Millenialist Christian one, far different from its roots in the teachings of preachers such as William S. Crowdy (1847-1908), who taught that Black Americans were descendants of the Lost Tribes of Israel. The accounts of European explorers imagining evidence of Jewish customs among native people in Africa and the Americas were held up as documentary proof. That such books are no longer circulating, their information overturned by improved knowledge of the peoples and cultures they described, is taken by Hebrew Israelites as clear proof of a plot to prevent Blacks from ever realising their true identity. Parallels between the 400 years of slavery in Egypt and the Transtlantic Slave Trade are also cited, as too the similarity between the curses that would befall Israel as punishment for disobedience outlined in Deuteronomy 28 and the socio-economic status of Black people in many countries around the world.

However, while the early Hebrew Israelites such as the aforementioned Crowdy saw themselves as kindred of other Jewish communities in America and elsewhere, including the Ashkenazim, and made overtures to connect to them, these modern offshoots advocate a virulent racial separatism that not only rejects a Jewish identity for anyone who is not a Hebrew Israelite, but advocates for their hatred. For groups such as the Israel United In Christ (IUIC), only Black Americans, West Indians, Native Americans and Hispanics are physical descendants of the Twelve Tribes of Israel. Black people in Africa, even groups such as the Ethiopian Jews and Lemba who claim an ancient Jewish ancestry, and the Abayudaya who converted as a whole tribe over a century ago, or even off-shoots of Crowdy’s original church, such as “The Jews of Rusape“, are excluded as “Hamites.” Jews with a European morphology are described as fakes, descendants of Esau who have perpertuated their ancestor’s jealousy of Jacob. Isaiah 29:22 Revelation 2:9 are held up as Biblical proof of this identity fraud by White Europeans.

I am surprised how this narrative of a group of White Supremacists who managed to usurp a Jewish identity for their own nefarious purposes is often brought up by Black antisemites who would otherwise express disdain for Judaeo-Christian ideas. People who would otherwise consider themselves too intelligent to believe the “fairytales” of the White colonialist’s book are often the first to repeat the “Khazar Theory” in debates.

For the Hebrew Israelites, hatred of Jews and other people is not inspired by political ideology, but an interpretation of the Bible. They believe that Jesus is coming again soon. This reappearance was billed for the year 2000, then put forward to 2012, then postponed indefinitely to a time when there are enough Hebrew Israelites in the world. Some are now putting it to any time after now, the year 2019 being the 400th Anniversary of the arrival of the first slaves from Africa to Virginia.

However, this Second Coming of Jesus will not usher in a final war between good and evil followed by an era of universal peace, as envisaged by most Christians. The Hebrew Israelite Jesus (or Yawausha) will be a particularly violent Black man who will hand over all the nations of the world to his followers to become their slaves forever. All the Hebrew Israelites believe this will happen in their life time.

It is this millenialistic outlook that I think poses an insidious danger that the police and social commentators appear oblivious to. Some of the most misguided, most unhinged members of society are filling the ranks of the various Hebrew Israelite groups. Not content with the joys of a debate on eschatology, they are often moved to speed up events leading to what they would imagine to be the fulfillment of  prophecy. In the case of the Hebrew Israelites, this does include invading Israel and driving out, eliminating or enslaving all the “fake Jews”, “Edomites” etc living there. Jews living elsewhere will not be spared either; the Hebrew Israelites believe Jews to be a powerful force pulling the puppet strings on world governments and other institutions.

The UK authorities keep tabs on Neo-Nazis and White Supremacist groups, routinely infiltrating them and accumulating enough evidence to convict their members of crimes. While there are many people who hold strong views about their supposed racial superiority and are hostile to our multiracial society, very few of them are prepared to carry out their stated objectives. Whenever these White Supremacists are suppressed by authorities, they are found to be part of a small group or lone wolves. Take for instance Oskar Dunn-Koczorowski and Michael Szewczuk who were jailed for calling for the murder of the Duke of Sussex, whose American wife is of African-American heritage. The two young men do not appear to be part of a larger organised group, and had only met online.

While not trivialising the threat posed by White Supremacists, I can’t help noticing how an intimidatingly sizeable group of Anti-Semites can have a field day in an area with a significant Jewish population, spewing hatred and threats, and the police do nothing at all except state that they will be having “blue light meetings.” If the police can move quickly to bring to book two teenagers who are only brave on social media, why are they seen to pussy-foot around a bunch of crazed fanatics dressed up like extras for the video for 2 Pac’s California Love who deliberately preach anti-Semitism in an area where many Jews live?

It was a bold move the Hebrew Israelites made, marching into an area of London with a significant Jewish population, and, bold as brass, calling the bewildered locals “Amalekites,” “Edomites,” “an abomination,” telling them that they were “going back to the gas chambers.” The pusillanimous immediate reaction of the authorities will make their next move even bolder. I would hate for people to look back on this piece and say, “Masimba was right!”

We must never be afraid to engage the Hebrew Israelites in debate. At the same time, we must not make exceptions for their brand of Anti-Semitism.
About the Author
Masimba Musodza is a novelist, screenwriter, essayist, blogger and actor of some note, with work published all over the world and online. He was born and grew up in Zimbabwe, but has lived in the UK since 2002.
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