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More that 7,200 Indian Jews to immigrate to Israel from Manipur and Mizoram

Thursday, September 29, 2011

/ Published by Simon L Infimate
Jerusalem: September 27 (PTI):It is expected that the Israeli government will approve the long awaited ‘Aliyah’ (immigration) of more than 7,200 Indian Jews from Manipur and Mizoram, two North-eastern states of India, in coming weeks, a media report said.

The decision to allow the last members of the “lost” Bnei Menashe tribe to immigrate to Israel is being greeted with excitement by local Evangelical Christian groups, who view it as fulfillment of Biblical prophecy and who have pledged financial support for the move, ‘The Jerusalem Post’ daily reported.

The Ministerial Committee on Immigration and Absorption, headed by Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, decided, about three months ago, “in principle” to bring the remaining 7,232 members of the northeastern Indian community to the Jewish state

“I am very optimistic that within the next few weeks we will at last have a historic breakthrough which will allow the lost tribe of Bnei Menashe to return to Zion,” Michael Freund, founder and chairman of Shavei Israel, a Jerusalem-based organisation that has been at the forefront of Bnei Menashe immigration to Israel, was quoted as saying.

More than 1,700 members of the north-eastern Indian Jewish community, referred as Bnei Menashe (sons of Menashe), have immigrated to Israel over the last decade, but their aliya was subsequently halted in 2007 over the issue of their “Jewishness”, even though the Israeli Chief Rabbinate had earlier recognised the community as “descendants of Israel”.

The community claims descent from one of the 10 lost tribes of Israel, who were sent into exile by the Assyrian Empire more than 27 centuries ago.

Their ancestors are believed to have wandered through Central Asia and the Far East for centuries, before settling in what is now northeastern India, along the border with Burma and Bangladesh.

(Courtesy: The Economic Times)
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