Dozens of the Bnei Menasche, a group of Indian Jews who claim to be the descendents of a lost Biblical tribe, arrived in Israel this week – and not everyone is happy:
Via Huffington Post:
The Bnei Menashe say they are descended from Jews banished from ancient Israel to India in the eighth century B.C. An Israeli chief rabbi recognized them as a lost tribe in 2005, and about 1,700 moved to Israel over the next two years before the government stopped giving them visas.
Israel recently reversed that policy, agreeing to let the remaining 7,200 Bnei Menashe immigrate.
Fifty-three arrived on a flight Monday. Michael Freund, an Israel-based activist on their behalf, said nearly 300 others will arrive in the coming weeks.
“After waiting for thousands of years, our dream came true,” said Lhing Lenchonz, 26, who arrived with her husband and 8-month-old daughter. “We are now in our land.”
Not all Israelis think Bnei Menashe qualify as Jews, and some suspect they are simply fleeing poverty in India.
Avraham Poraz, a former interior minister, said they were not linked to the Jewish people. He also charged that Israeli settlers were using them to strengthen Israel’s claims to the West Bank.