So they post up on street corners in big cities, usually in predominantly black communities, wearing flashy garb — purple shirts or black robes, for instance. They shout, use blunt and sometimes offensive language, and gamely engage in arguments aimed at drawing listeners near. The attention-grabbing tactics of five of their followers at the Lincoln Memorial on Friday resulted in spectacular consequences. That video emerged only after shorter clips posted online showing a confrontation between the students and a Native American elder initially led to heavy criticism of the students. For the Hebrew Israelites, it was a divine opportunity.
Members of the Black Hebrew Israelites demonstrate outside the U. Capitol on November 13, in Washington, D. A group of Hebrew Israelites in Washington, D. A video that went viral over the weekend showed part of the entanglement, when the students wearing red Make America Great Again hats started mocking and yelling at Nathan Phillips, a Native American and Marine Corps veteran.
When a sympathetic mayor of Dimona offered the African Hebrew Israelites the chance to move into an abandoned former immigrant absorption center in the late s, the complex was in such disrepair that some members of the community wondered whether their leader, the Chicago-born Ben Ammi Ben-Israel, was making the right decision. The communitych ran its own clinics and educated its children in bomb shelters, which it used as classrooms. Ahmadiel arrived in Israel in When we met at Kfar Hashalom he wore light sunglasses with a colorful striped wool shirt, and like many of the Dimonans he has the build and vitality of someone much younger than him. We were not a threat to the state.
Amid ongoing controversy over a standoff on Friday at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC, a group that initially escaped much of the media's attention has suddenly shot into the spotlight: the Black Hebrew Israelites. Multiple videos taken that day show the conflict first began when a handful of protesters affiliated with the group, who had been yelling at passersby, turned their ire toward students from Kentucky's Covington Catholic high school, who have said they were waiting for their bus on the Lincoln Memorial steps. Though the initial viral video of the incident showed just the Covington Catholic students with the Native American protesters — including the now-infamous clip of student Nick Sandmann staring down Native American activist Nathan Phillips — other videos have since shown that the confrontation actually began when several Black Hebrew Israelites began taunting the Covington Catholic students. Black Hebrew Israelites are a loose network of congregations who believe that African Americans are the true descendants of the Hebrews of the Bible, rather than Jews. The Southern Poverty Law Center estimated in a report that there were likely thousands of adherents across the country, but some extremist factions in the movement's "black supremacist wing" are growing "increasingly militant.