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Yamato

Nigeria's Igbo Jews: 'Lost tribe' of Israel?

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Abuja, Nigeria (CNN) -- A Shabbat service is underway at the Ghihon Hebrew Research synagogue in the Jikwoyi suburb of Nigeria's federal capital territory.

Fourteen year-old Kadmiel Izungu Abor heads there with his family. They walk alongside stray goats on a road covered in red dust and potholes, lined with open sewage. They are nearly 20 kilometers away from the modern multi-story office buildings and sprawling mansions in Nigeria's capital city of Abuja.

About 50 people gather in the synagogue. They pray from the Siddur, they read from the Torah and as they chant, Abor's mellow alto begins to rise.

In a country of 162 million people tensions often lead to violent uprisings between Christians and Muslims and being part of the religious minority can be an issue. But Abor wears his kippah and his identity with pride.

"I am a Jewish Igbo," he says.

The Igbo are one of Nigeria's largest ethnic groups with population estimates ranging from 20 to 50 million. Abor is convinced that the Igbo's ancestors were Jews.

"The son of Yaakov, Jacob, [was] Gad and I learned that he was among those people who went out of Israel to exile," Abor says. "So from there he had a son called Eri and a son gave birth to a son called Aguleri and that's how the Igbo race began."

From generation to generation, some Igbo have passed down various versions of a migration story framed around Jacob, a patriarch of Judaism. A popular version of the narrative holds that Gad, the seventh son of Jacob, had three sons who settled in present-day southeastern Nigeria, which is predominantly inhabited by the Igbo. Those sons, Eri, Arodi and Areli (as mentioned in the book of Genesis), are said to have fathered clans, established kingdoms and founded towns still in existence in southeastern Nigeria today, including Owerri, Umuleri, Arochukwu and Aguleri.

http://edition.cnn.c...eria-jews-igbo/

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I wonder what reaction the Israeli government would have to an attempted mass influx of the Igbo making aliyah. It would greatly strengthen the country in some ways but I think it would cause a turmoil of race questions for awhile.

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I wonder what reaction the Israeli government would have to an attempted mass influx of the Igbo making aliyah. It would greatly strengthen the country in some ways but I think it would cause a turmoil of race questions for awhile.

Or worse, a turmoil of Biblical questions that challenge their claims on divine ownership. What kind of race questions did you have in mind?

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Or worse, a turmoil of Biblical questions that challenge their claims on divine ownership. What kind of race questions did you have in mind?

I see no obvious reasons it might imply they don't have a right to the land. It was given as a perpetual birthright to Isaac's descendants. No, the racial angle I meant is the same one that troubles most nations in the west I guess. Even the Israelis have recently had a problem with football hooligans being racist against black people. And other Jews from Africa have been discriminated against because of skin color. It's just the same sad story and there are ignorant, vicious people everywhere.

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I see no obvious reasons it might imply they don't have a right to the land. It was given as a perpetual birthright to Isaac's descendants. No, the racial angle I meant is the same one that troubles most nations in the west I guess. Even the Israelis have recently had a problem with football hooligans being racist against black people. And other Jews from Africa have been discriminated against because of skin color. It's just the same sad story and there are ignorant, vicious people everywhere.

Sorry, I'm not aware of any racial angle that troubles most nations in the West. I think that's a deliberately vague and exaggerated statement trying to spread guilt around where it doesn't belong, a typical MO. Cite some examples of this from the internet because I have absolutely no idea what you're talking about.

I'm aware of the thuggish deportations of African asylum seekers in Israel. Unfortunately when I've tried to post discussions about that topic using video evidence gathered by Israeli citizens, they mysteriously disappear because either they're not politically correct enough, or else too politically sensitive for people not to whine about (and as a result, the squeaky wheels get the grease).

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Sorry, I'm not aware of any racial angle that troubles most nations in the West. I think that's a deliberately vague and exaggerated statement trying to spread guilt around where it doesn't belong, a typical MO. Cite some examples of this from the internet because I have absolutely no idea what you're talking about.

I'm aware of the thuggish deportations of African asylum seekers in Israel. Unfortunately when I've tried to post discussions about that topic using video evidence gathered by Israeli citizens, they mysteriously disappear because either they're not politically correct enough, or else too politically sensitive for people not to whine about (and as a result, the squeaky wheels get the grease).

No doubt the racial diversion card comes up. It always does. It never ends. I swear if the day ever arrives aliens are hoovering in the skies EVERYBODY, blacks, whites, indian, asian will turn look at each other and say WTF are we going to do about this? There is only one race - The human race. No chosen race or selected race. Just the plain simple fact that we are all human.

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Sorry, I'm not aware of any racial angle that troubles most nations in the West. I think that's a deliberately vague and exaggerated statement trying to spread guilt around where it doesn't belong, a typical MO. Cite some examples of this from the internet because I have absolutely no idea what you're talking about.

I'm aware of the thuggish deportations of African asylum seekers in Israel. Unfortunately when I've tried to post discussions about that topic using video evidence gathered by Israeli citizens, they mysteriously disappear because either they're not politically correct enough, or else too politically sensitive for people not to whine about (and as a result, the squeaky wheels get the grease).

This is an example of what I'm talking about. And the Jews from Africa that made Aliyah in the '90s - Operation Moses I think it was - were greeted in a less than loving way. And Yam if you aren't familiar with the black/white racial tension in western countries - especially in the US then you might want to have those eyes checked. No race problems, Yam?

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They look Jewish to me.

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They look Jewish to me.

So did Sammie Davis Jr. :w00t:
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This is an example of what I'm talking about. And the Jews from Africa that made Aliyah in the '90s - Operation Moses I think it was - were greeted in a less than loving way. And Yam if you aren't familiar with the black/white racial tension in western countries - especially in the US then you might want to have those eyes checked. No race problems, Yam?

Israel is in the headlines for their racist citizens excoriating African asylum seekers for being like animals in their rage to deport them back to their deaths. I don't see that kind of behavior or headline in "most of the Western world" so I don't have any idea what you're talking about. If I knew I wouldn't be asking you for evidence of this guilt-smear in the first place. Source your accusation, even if it's just rhetoric. If it wasn't clear why I'm asking, it's simply because I don't believe you. How does this accusation of racism in the West manifest itself? I'm fairly giving you the opportunity to convince me with some evidence but this will be the last time I ask. If you fail to source your claims again, on my next reply I will reject this empty accusation of racism as engaging in the MO I described above.

There's another MO at work here too. Whenever anyone exposes Israel for its crimes, someone invariably shows up to focus on some other bad thing that somebody else is doing. Let's keep it on on topic please. You had your little change of subject and now you're not producing any sign of your accusation against others. I'm not going to give you endless chances to document baseless claims here. When I claim something and I'm asked to back it up, expect me to do so in kind. Let's have a higher mutual standard for debate and discussion here. Good luck.

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Israel is in the headlines for their racist citizens excoriating African asylum seekers for being like animals in their rage to deport them back to their deaths. I don't see that kind of behavior or headline in "most of the Western world" so I don't have any idea what you're talking about. If I knew I wouldn't be asking you for evidence of this guilt-smear in the first place. Source your accusation, even if it's just rhetoric. If it wasn't clear why I'm asking, it's simply because I don't believe you. How does this accusation of racism in the West manifest itself? I'm fairly giving you the opportunity to convince me with some evidence but this will be the last time I ask. If you fail to source your claims again, on my next reply I will reject this empty accusation of racism as engaging in the MO I described above.

There's another MO at work here too. Whenever anyone exposes Israel for its crimes, someone invariably shows up to focus on some other bad thing that somebody else is doing. Let's keep it on on topic please. You had your little change of subject and now you're not producing any sign of your accusation against others. I'm not going to give you endless chances to document baseless claims here. When I claim something and I'm asked to back it up, expect me to do so in kind. Let's have a higher mutual standard for debate and discussion here. Good luck.

You expect me to produce sources that support the idea that racism is a problem in the west? I really don't understand what it is you are asking. If post #4 is that unclear then I think it is YOU that is trying to obfuscate. As to proving things for you in a debate - I don't care whether you believe me or not Yam. I have stated numerous times since I came to UM that I give my OPINIONS as part of a discussion. If that "standard" is unacceptable to you then just ignore me. Just don't become personally insulting, those days are done.

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You expect me to produce sources that support the idea that racism is a problem in the west? I really don't understand what it is you are asking. If post #4 is that unclear then I think it is YOU that is trying to obfuscate. As to proving things for you in a debate - I don't care whether you believe me or not Yam. I have stated numerous times since I came to UM that I give my OPINIONS as part of a discussion. If that "standard" is unacceptable to you then just ignore me. Just don't become personally insulting, those days are done.

That's fine, just don't expect unsubstantiated opinion to matter to me. And no, I don't support baseless notion that racism is particularly problematic for "the west" when you can't show what on earth you're talking about.

When have I ever insulted you personally? Got an example of that?

I criticize your positions; you might take it personally.

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That's fine, just don't expect unsubstantiated opinion to matter to me. And no, I don't support baseless notion that racism is particularly problematic for "the west" when you can't show what on earth you're talking about.

When have I ever insulted you personally? Got an example of that?

I criticize your positions; you might take it personally.

Yep, sometimes I do take it personally. And I notice the qualifier "particularly problematic" now. I made a simple statement about race relations being problematic and it was twisted somehow into me excusing Israel for something. I excuse no one on the basis of racism - it's one of the more useless forms of human stupidity we are troubled with. I vaguely remember growing up in the '60s Yam and seeing a few race riots on TV - '68/'69 I think. Then there was the Rodney King thing and the forced integration of schools (a good idea) and "busing" students from all white districts to primarily black districts, etc. And not to derail too far but I think you'll also see a prime example of race issues on display this summer due to the Trayvon Martin "murder" trial in Florida. I cannot imagine how you can seriously deny there have been substantial and ongoing issues with race in this country but if you really see things that way I guess you've just lead a very insular life.

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Yep, sometimes I do take it personally. And I notice the qualifier "particularly problematic" now. I made a simple statement about race relations being problematic and it was twisted somehow into me excusing Israel for something. I excuse no one on the basis of racism - it's one of the more useless forms of human stupidity we are troubled with. I vaguely remember growing up in the '60s Yam and seeing a few race riots on TV - '68/'69 I think. Then there was the Rodney King thing and the forced integration of schools (a good idea) and "busing" students from all white districts to primarily black districts, etc. And not to derail too far but I think you'll also see a prime example of race issues on display this summer due to the Trayvon Martin "murder" trial in Florida. I cannot imagine how you can seriously deny there have been substantial and ongoing issues with race in this country but if you really see things that way I guess you've just lead a very insular life.

Thanks for the race dump, but isolated incidents of Americans of different skin color killing each other (far less common than same-race killings) have NOTHING to do with the US government condoning racism. In fact the US does the exact opposite with all of our contemporary hate-crimes legislation. Your initial comment about race was what the Israeli government is going to think. Israel's race problems are a matter of government policy and that's uniquely damning because it's deliberate. Don't put that sin on your own country. That has nothing to do with us.

I think the Israeli government should think about what it really does think. Israel is the Jewish homeland and these are Jews. It has nothing to do with race. These Jews should have a home in Israel, like they obviously desire to, according to not only themselves but the Zionist ideology you profess to support. Unless we're not to take that seriously anymore just because someone's skin is too dark? Is that what makes the difference here between these Jews and those?

Honestly, I don't know why you dragged the race card into the room and then guessing what kind of life I've lived. It's completely off topic, but I was given the option to voluntarily go to a school in a minority neighborhood. And no, force is never a good idea. Freedom is.

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