Friday, January 09, 2009

Gaza and the Dimona Hebrews

The Chronical Review
John L. Jackson, Jr.

In 1966, amid race riots and related urban unrest in America’s poorest neighborhoods, one of Chicago’s native sons, a 26-something African-American named Ben Ammi, led a group of African-Americans out of the “wilderness” of 1960s America.

Every Sunday morning, Ammi (born Ben Carter) delivered his emigrationist message atop a literal soapbox on Maxwell Street in one of the city’s crowded shopping districts. After convincing some 400 people to sell their homes, stockpile canned goods, ignore jeering relatives, and purchase tents for the journey, Ammi began to lead this exodus in the heat of July the following year.

Their first stop, Liberia, proved to be a temporary sojourn. Ammi (who is still alive and well) believes that African-Americans are actually descendents of ancient Hebrews, which means that West Africa was never necessarily their final destination. So, in 1969, these African-Americans moved their emigrationist experiment from West Africa to “Northeastern Africa,” the modern state of Israel. Not quite knowing how to respond to their genealogical claims, the Israeli government allowed them to enter the country in 1969 on “temporary” visas. And these African-Americans have been there ever since.

By the summer of 2004, when I first visited them in the quaint and quiet desert town of Dimona in Israel’s Negev region, about 40 miles southeast of Gaza, I was surprised to learn that the initial 400 emigres had ballooned to several thousand, and that these African-American immigrants who invoke the “right of return” to justify their presence in the area have established themselves as a recognizable (if small) segment of contemporary Israel’s multicultural landscape.

I’ve been conducting ethnographic research with this group (on and off) for the last five years. Most of that research has taken place among community members here in the United States, but I’ve also spent several shorter stints with the group in southern Israel. During one of those visits, Israel’s government was forcibly removing Israeli settlers from Gaza. I remember watching those conflicts and skirmishes on a television set in Dimona. Although not too far away from Gaza (objectively speaking), it still seemed light years away. The “African Hebrews of Jerusalem” traveled without fear. And they made sure I took note of how safe Dimona’s night’s felt, full of children playing in the streets and household doors opened and unlocked well into the wee hours of the morning.

When I found out about the bomb that fell in Beersheba last week, a city about midway between Gaza and Dimona, and someplace community members took me several times during my trip, I e-mailed to make sure that they were all OK. They relocated some community members who were residing there, but they explained that they were otherwise safe. In fact, they claimed to be more worried about how I was doing over here.

As we each follow this escalating conflict, it probably makes sense to think about the many ways, big and small, that we are all differently invested (and even implicated) in the conflagration.



Anonymous said...

There will be peace! Shalom!

This moving article written about the Hebrew Israelite Community, Dimona Israel at a time of war confirms why the world has come to know them as 'The Village of Peace' One look at their priests in this photo in a pose reflective of the Omer season offering, is enough to cause the nations of the earth to stop and listen to their silent message.

Please allow me to offer a scriptural reference that for me sums up the message emanating from the spirit of the Hebrew Israelite Priesthood.

2:1 This is what Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.

2:2 It shall happen in the latter days, that the mountain of Yahweh's house shall be established on the top of the mountains, And shall be raised above the hills; And all nations shall flow to it.

2:3 Many peoples shall go and say, "Come, let's go up to the mountain of Yahweh, To the house of the God of Jacob; And he will teach us of his ways, And we will walk in his paths. For out of Zion the law shall go forth, And the word of Yahweh from Jerusalem.

2:4 He will judge between the nations, And will decide concerning many peoples; And they shall beat their swords into plowshares, And their spears into pruning-hooks. Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, Neither shall they learn war any more.

Isaiah 2 American Standard Version.

Thank you and Shalom...Peace

Sister Peace from Trinidad and Tobago.

House of Israel said...

I hope and pray that you are all ok.

Anonymous said...

As the War in the Middle East continues at its most intense and all the amateur armchair and political peace makers debate, dialogue and argue the map to peace; I have been reminded of a parable recounted by learned religious leader, when asked what is the solution to Peace in the Middle East.

It made me laugh but with a hollow resonance.

" God called the main peace contenders to His Peace summit inviting, Justice, Mercy, Equity and Truth to heaven. God asked each one to present their case for peace and they did so. As Truth spoke she explained that there can be no realPeace without her status being addressed in the equation.

She declared, she was the essence of true Peace. At this point Justice,Equity and Mercy started to argue with Truth calling her a 'trouble maker.' Before God could intervene to engage them in dialogue a fight broke out as Truth was being mugged.

The learned leader stated at this point according to the tale; God decided to reflect on the summit and through out Truth to restore PEACE.

Anonymous said...

When all esse fails....Pray for Peace.

A Song of Ascents Of David.
1I was glad when they said to me,
‘Let us go to the house of the Lord!’
2Our feet are standing
within your gates, O Jerusalem.

3Jerusalem—built as a city
that is bound firmly together.
4To it the tribes go up,
the tribes of the Lord,
as was decreed for Israel,
to give thanks to the name of the Lord.
5For there the thrones for judgement were set up,
the thrones of the house of David.

6Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
‘May they prosper who love you.
7Peace be within your walls,
and security within your towers.’
8For the sake of my relatives and friends
I will say, ‘Peace be within you.’
9For the sake of the house of the Lord our God,
I will seek your good. Selah

For our times Peace is already in the Holy Land...the Oasis

Anonymous said...

Taken up into a heavenly vision one night,
Searching for peace without the fight;
Angel Gabriel approached my hammock,
almost gave me an almighty shock!!!

" Peace Needs You in these troubled times but the solution you must follow."
" Just running to and fro for a peace that's hollow.

First talk to the Land, mother earth Haretz geo-trophic terrain,
she is crying out for vegetarian strain;
fed her life blood, flesh and gore for centuries,
missiles and rockets forced into her through the humid Holy Land breeze.

Wretching from the infusion of blood fallen souls,
Haretz about to wreck vengence on the ghouls.
Please take the message from the Earth to stop feeding her the canibal meal,
otherwise there'll be cataclysm shifts that the they all would feel.

Talk to the biospheric energy force
energising the geo-centric Jerusalem source,
Invite the Olive, the Date and Cactus trees,
Cedars of Lebanon elegant discourse in humid breeze.

Listen to their message, their energies feel,
Tell the warring world it time to heal..
Jerusalem center of the universe,
peace must come to her first. Selah.

Prophetic Poetess

Anonymous said...

1Praise the Lord!
How good it is to sing praises to our God;
for he is gracious, and a song of praise is fitting.
2The Lord builds up Jerusalem;
he gathers the outcasts of Israel.
3He heals the broken-hearted,
and binds up their wounds.
4He determines the number of the stars;
he gives to all of them their names.
5Great is our Lord, and abundant in power;
his understanding is beyond measure.
6The Lord lifts up the downtrodden;
he casts the wicked to the ground

12Praise the LORD, O Jerusalem!
Praise your God, O Zion!
13For he strengthens the bars of your gates;
he blesses your children within you.
14He grants peace* within your borders;
======= ====== ====== =======
No one wants to know, but I have a personal Peace Plan for KNN Bloggers to consider. Yes I am semantic cautiuos because when lies and deception are so central to wars and conflicts; words and interpretations have become the most lethal weapons of all!

Both sides of the conflict have the word PEACE in their greetings as part of their Holy Language. What a paradox that that very language cannot be used to bring about peace? Maybe I should ask a martian from Planet zog. They are said to be of a higher intelligence that us humans.

Clearly the keys to peace lie in the Old Testament books of Psalms and Isaiah. This will be a starting point of Truth in its right interpretation and prophetic context. I am on my own with this Peace Plan Process and would like anyone else who like th e idea to please join the blog campaign. Have no fear, be anonymous if you wish.

Here we go.

Firstly, Immediate cease fire by both sides and withdrawal to the words 'Shalom and Asaalam a lechem'
2. All weapons to be put down under an amnesty of the two peace words of their languages.
3. Both waring sides to face the East--Jerusalem and PRAY SINCERELY.
7. 'WAILING WALL 'Western Wall' to stop being a reason to wail and become ' Wall of Praise and Joy' where all the peoples of the Holy Land go up and sing praises dressed in bright beautiful colours..singing in many languages. Hold festivals of praise and energise the biospheric vortex of the region to evoke peace energies into the Holy Land.

Finally close out with a ONE DAY NATIONAL DANCE-FOR-THE-LAND FESTIVAL OF RECONCILIATION TO THE LAND FOR HER ABUSE AND THE BLOOD SHE HAS DRUNKEN OVER THE CENTURIES. Let the Ethiopians, Beduoins, Ishmaelites, Hebrew Israelites, Jews of all spectrums of Judaism and Israeli of the land and the Diaspora DANCE FOR THE LAND!! In school, Parks, theatres, mosques, temples, King Dahveed th eapple of Yahwah's eye....DANCE FOR THE LAND.

Will would-be members of the Planning Commitee please send me your consultative comments and ideas and sign up. You have seven from sundown Saturday night 17th January, 2009.

This is the Reconciliation Prayer Praise and Dance Peace Plan [RPPD]. If you believe you are under judgement and in lamentation and self-flagellation, Yahwah will ALLOW you the reason to wail, if you claim post- judgement through a return to the Laws and the Land, you draw unto yourselves the promises above in Psalms 147 1-14 BY ACTIVATING THE BIOSPHERIC VORTEX.

Let's hear from you..everybody's talking but who really wants to 'CHANGE THE WORLD' so goes the lyrics of a CD by Hebrew Israelite
Songstress and lyricist ....... Zehorah Gordon in her CD Blossom in the Desert.

Thanks to KNN for publishing this message.

Cosmic Peace Planner

Anonymous said...

ha, I will try out my thought, your post get me some good ideas, it's truly amazing, thanks.

- Thomas