lunes, 27 de julio de 2015

Arab Jews, Mizrahi Jews, Samaritans, Palestinians, Berber Jews & their other Israelitish Relatives in the Greater Middle East & Vicinity 1

Abu Ad-Darda',companion of Muhamad, said "we smile in the face of some people although our hearts curse them, "and Al-Hasan who said "the Tuqyah is acceptable till the Day of Resurrection." They were talking about the Islamic principle of one's beliefs. There are many Muslim sects that pretend to be sunni, shia...or other subbranches of Islam & that are not even Moslems, that practice this principle. It's interesting that Darda, one of the main followers of Mahomed preached taqqiya because his name was Darda, the very name of a Judahite clan, so his origin might have been. Many of the of the first converts to Islam were Jews (before most Arabs) & even the very Muhammed had some Jewish roots.

Berbers are called by themselves imazighen, meaning "free men", & rightly so because Imazighens are really freedom lovers. The scholar T. N. Newman considered their ancient language as a "Hebreo-African" tongue. The council institution of the Berbers made some scholars consider the Berber governing system as republican. The social role of women differed remarkably from the Arab Muslim as well.

The Rabbi Jacob Moses Toledano affirmed that in the western side of tge Sahara there was a Jewish kingdom (not the Kahina's kingdom) that lasted a hundred years. It was at wadi Zeitun (also knowned as wadi Dera'a). It was independent in 900s. It had Christian & Moslem subjects. The Jewish independent state of Wadi Dera'a was mainly destroyed by their non Jewish subjects. These kingdom was in the Atlas ridges.

In ancient Arabia, according to different sources, there were several hundreds of thousands Jews. In the great city of Telemas (or Tilmas) alone there were 100000 Jews. Kheibar is three days away from Tilmas. These Arabian Jews were great agriculturists, so much that traded their crops with all the neighboring Arabs &  even with places further away like Mesopotamia & others. These Arabian Jews taught the Arabs their techniques in irrigation & other agriculture skills. Israel is celebrated for it's agriculture. Spain, another country famous for it's agriculture, owes much to the Arabic techniques. Then Spain would owe indirectly it's knowledge in agriculture to the Jews.

Yemeni Jews & Ethiopian Jews have a tradition of descending from the Lost Ten Tribes of Israel of the union of king Solomon & queen Makeda. Both Ethiopia & Yemen were part of the ancient kingdom of Sheba & have had a deep relationship for centuries.

The Suwa Arabs (they live around the lake Chad) are regarded as having Israelite origins, at least in part.

Apparently Muhammad strengthened by the victory at Badr, soon resolved to eliminate the Jewish opposition to himself.

The InaDaN people of Mali (a smithing Touareg caste) believe to descend from king David, although the ending of their name in "Dan" could also indicate a Danite origin. They wouldn't be the only African tribe with claimed Danite roots: Falashas (partly), Dans, Tutsis (partly)...  The Jewish claim of Touareg or other Berbers is hardly a surprise since it has been long said  from different sources the great intermingling between Berbers & Jews & between Touaregs (they are part of the Berbers, but could be counted as separated because of their remarkable idiosincrasy) & Jews.

Back in Jesus' time there were 100,000 Jews in Alexandria. This is two millenia ago, so this quantity could reach today in the whole of Egypt 20 million people, but at the time of the Jewish Nakba of 1948 the numbers were not even a million. It's likely that through intermarriage with the local population & their offspring joing both Islam & Christianity their numbers would have decreased. Many Muslim & Christian Egyptians would have Jewish origin.

Approximate locations of some of the important tribes and Empire of the Arabian Peninsula at the dawn of Islam (approximately 600 CE / 50 BH).

According to Benjamin de Tudela, the tribes of Gad, Asher & Manassah were present among the Jews of Khaibar in Saudi Arabia. This oasis town wasn't that big so I would say that there were only clans from them. In Nejd, near Mecca, there were Ephraimites & Manassehites. These Israelites are likely the ancestors (together with some Jewish traders [from Judah]) of the crypto Jews (or we should call them crypto Israelites to be more precise) & other inhabitants of the peninsula.

Khuzistan, in Iran, corresponds with ancient biblical Elam.

The Jews of Khaibar & Other Arabian Towns

Ken is Japanese & British name. Kenny, Kennedy, Kenneth...are derivatives. Maybe the name Kent in England is related. Kenya might have relation too. They can come from Kan or Kanaan, implying that Israelites might have gone to those areas. Jethro, Moses's father in law, was a Kenite. Because he lived in Midian he was called Midianite. Perhaps the terms Kentucky & Canada, or their prefixes Ken & Can, might come from Canaan. After all there are several north American indian tribes with Israelitih traits & claims.

They were the original inhabitants of Kanaan so their name might have come the word Canaan. Some people believe that the Kenites came from Kain. Whoever their ancestor was they mingled with Ishmaelites & were regarded therefore as such. When Moses wandered thru the desert with the Israelites, the Midianites followed them & even joined them in peopling the Promised Land. Obviously they mingled with Israel & accepted their religion.

Later the Bible tells of a Kenite clan called the Rechabites. Jehonadab (Jonadab), son of Rechab, is regarded to have founded the sect-clan of the Rechabites. He helped the righteous king Jehu of the north to uproot the dynasty of the wicked king Ahab that instituted Baal worshipping & other wicked traditions. Therefore he suppressed idolatry. His followers were forbiden drinking alcohol & living in houses, so they lived in tents. God promised their descendants will continue. I believe some Israelites followed their precepts inspite not being from his lineage. Some Bedouin tribes around the Dead sea claim Rechabite origins. From the Rechabites came the Jews of Kheybar, Faddak, Teimah, Tilmas... Other sources say there were other Israelites in Arabia, in the same towns. They were from the tribes of Reuben & other northerner tribes. Eventually, not all but many Arabian Israelites, left for Ma'an (Jordan),  Yemen, Mesopotamia, India... Part of the Jewish communities claim Khaibarite origin. Many Bedouins in Arabia also claim this origin. The people from Ma'an are believed to come from them.

Ruins of khaibar, Saudi Arabia

The Fehiat Arabs, the Fukara Arabs, the people of Tebuk, the people of Teimah, the ones of Khaibar...claim or are believed to come from Israelites. The Khaibarites swear by the name of Solomon son of David. The Khaibarites as of 1929 didn't marry non Khaibarites. All the Khaibarites are of Jewish descent. It's believed there are many Arabian Marranos including among the wahabbi Moslems. The Druzes appeared as Muslims for a milenia, but when the French & British came they demanded their own separated organization & institutions & ceased to identify themselves as Moslems. From these crypto–Jews would come the royal Saudi family & perhaps the wahabbi clergy.

According to an account given by a living witness in 1930, the Khaibar Jews or hidden Jews, they raided & robbed, but kept the sabbath. They didn't even take their cattle out to graze.

Anybody can find Khaybar on Google maps, but it has to be spelled with the "y". Khaybar is not only an oases, but a real &  living town. There are remains of the ancient city, but there's a modern one as well. Thanks to its Jewish history & remains the modern Khaybar is one of the touristic atractions of Saudi Arabia. There's another Khaybar in Asir, southern Saudi. Khaybar is Hebrew for "fort". Habor is derived from the same root as "Khyber" & Khaybar. Not by chance the people neighboring Khyber, the Pathans, are considered Lost Israelites.

Abandoned around 1970 for more modern housing nearby, the traditional village of Khaybar is a fascinating ghost town. It is a frozen picture of a traditional Hijazi (i.e. western Arabian) village, albeit deserted. Pitily it doesn't have any touristic infraestructure. There's a Jewish fortress on the hill closeby. There's also a remains of a Jewish castle.

The Jews of Khaybar gave name to this town based on their own name. These Jews were rich jewelery & gold traders, not just good agricultururists. So much that they had a palace in which Marhab, their head. To get to the palace you have to climb up for 10 minutes. There are the remains of the Jewish cementery still.

Khaybar has quite many modern art sculptures for being such an isolated provincial town.
Khaybar's geographic situation, in the middle of a valley between mountains has graced it with natural wells that have been utilised for irrigation since ancient times. It is this oasis that has made Khaybar and indispensable stop along the incense trade route from Yemen to the Levant, which brought great prosperity to its inhabitants - other oases along the route included Yathrib (Medina) and Dedan (al-Ula). Although not as extensive as al-Ula's, Khaybar's oasis is also a producer of dates in the present day. Palm groves stretch around the old village and the new town of Khaybar.

                                                   Known Ancient Near Eastern Trade Routes.

Medina has an international airport, so it's not hard to arrive there, no matter the country of origin of the flight. To get to from Medina to Khaybar it's necessary to go by car because there's no bus or train between the two. There's 149 km of distance or 1h 40 min. drive. The closest hotels are in Medina.

Kaibarta is the caste from which the Mahishyas and Haliya Kaibartas evolved. Interestingly one of the two castes, the Haliya Kaibarta, is a Bengali Hindu agricultural caste. Interestingly because Khaybarites were remarkable at agriculture. The Khaibarites were also great travelers. We have seen that part of the Jews of Iraq, Yemen & Bombay or Mumbai have Khaibarite origin. Even the Ma'anites (from Ma'an, Jordan), some of the Palestinians, the modern Khaibarites... Arabs, including Bedouins all over the Middle East are believed to descent from ancient Khaibarites. Then why not the Kabartas from Bengal? The nouns Kabarta & khaibar are pretty close phonetically. The ending of Kabarta in "ta" could be easily a local suffix added with the pass of time.

It's interesting the phonetically closeness of the word Kabard or Kabardian to Khaybar as well. The Kabardians are one of the several peoples from Caucasia that have Israelite ancestry. Perhaps the Kabards descend from Khaibarites as well. After all Caucasia is not far away from Mesopotamia, were some of the local Jews have khaybarite ancestry. Caucasia had Israelites since very ancient times so it would be a place suitable for Jewish immigration.

Many peoples have lost contact with their community of origin & on the process have lost all or most of their awareness of origin. In India there are many Jewish communities aware of their roots, but it's believed that many people from lower castes (some higher ones) have Israelite roots.

According to Joseph Swartz around the 1850s there were descendants of Khaibarites in Yanbo' or Yanbu on the Red sea shore of Saudi Arabia. They were called "Sabbath Arabs". They were feared because of their hight & spoke Arabic & Hebrew. They were always armed & riding camels & were often wearing the typally Jewish tzitzith. Some were smiths & some raised sheep. These nomads probably have offspring in the area. The Khaibarites of the 19th century observed the Torah, but knew nothing of the Talmud.

There was some offspring of the Khaibaris also in the Promised Land & in Syria. In Yemen a part of the Baida Bedouins were also descendants of the khaybarim. The name Obaid is regarded to come from the Hebrew name Obadiah & Obaida might come as well from that.

The Jews In Arabia

From time immemorial an important trade route had passed through the narrow coastal strip on the western side of the great peninsula, This was for many centuries a highway of commerce between India and eastern Africa on the one hand, and the cities of Palestine, Syria, and Asia Minor on the other hand. The Greek historians tell of the lively traffic, and in Ezekiel 27:19-22 we have a catalogue of the wares which were brought from Yemen to the city of Tyre. Eventually the Roman shipping through the Red Sea, with its lower freight charges, dealt a severe blow to the camel express line, whose business temporarily declined. For various reasons, certain emporia of Yemen fell into insignificance, or even into ruin. Great changes in the commercial centers of gravity, due to new phases of the Roman colonial policy, had their effect on the traffic of this route. Petra was abandoned, Palmyra not rebuilt. Other cities along the great highway, east of the Jordan and the Sea of Galilee, found that the days of their prosperity were numbered. But the old trade route never lost its importance, and what is more, its great days were not over.

How early, may we suppose, were Hebrew settlements to be found in northern Arabia? Perhaps as far back as the seventh century B.C., when the main dispersion was beginning; perhaps even earlier. History shows the Hebrews always pushing out, and far out, along the arteries of commerce, after their eyes had once been opened to the opportunities in foreign lands.

But whatever may have been the conditions in Jerusalem and Judea in the years immediately subsequent to the catastrophe, and especially after the death of Nebuchadrezzar, in the year 561, we can now for the first time see with certainty the conditions of a very important migration of Jews into northwestern Arabia.

Nabonidus reigned from 555 to 538 B.C. Was Teima destined to be the residence of other Babylonian kings? Whether or no, the eyes of all the neighboring world were turned to that city, and to the new opportunities of traffic in its vicinity. The Arabs were not a people capable of taking full advantage of what was offered; the call was obviously for outsiders, and it sounded loudest in Palestine and the countries east and south of the Dead Sea, in Syria, and in Egypt. Among all those who could hear and heed, there were none more likely to enter and take possession of the field than the recently expatriated Jews. I think we may regard it as certain that the Jewish settlements in the Hijaz, which we find so flourishing in the time of muhammad Mohammed, were established at this early date, the latter half of the sixth century B.C. We may take it for granted that they suffered many changes, through increment (especially), loss, and other shifting conditions, during the many centuries from which we have no record of their existence. There was good reason for their prosperity, for the caravan trade between Yemen and the northern lands was always active, and (as we have seen) there was other traffic inside Arabia and across the desert to Babylonia.

Jewish Temani wedding

South of Teima, the next important station on the great route is the oasis of Khaibar. This is known to us as a very prosperous Jewish settlement, and it is reasonable to suppose that it was founded at this same time. The name is very likely Hebrew, an Arabic variation of Kheber, "community". It was reputed the richest city of the Hijaz. The settlement was raided by muhammad Mohammed and his followers in the seventh year of the hijra, as a sort of consolation prize after the humiliating failure of the attempt of the Muslims to enter Mekka. The quran Koran (48, 18 f.) boasts of "a victory and great booty"; and in fact the plunder was enormous.

About one hundred miles farther south lay the city of Yathrib (later known as Medina). Here, again, the Jewish colonists entered, and eventually constituted a large and very important part of the population. It does not seem to be the case that they founded Yathrib, as is sometimes asserted, nor even that they were among the earliest settlers in that city. This place at all events must have been from time immemorial a station of primary importance on the caravan route. The city lies in a very fertile and well watered valley, and has convenient access to the Red Sea at Yenbo. The name Yathrib is apparently Egyptian, identical with the well known city-name Athribis. In the time of muhammad Mohammed, the Jews constituted three separate communities, two of them occupying strongly fortified positions outside the city.

Some three hundred miles south of Yathrib (that is, Medina) lay the cities of Mekka and Taif. There is no evidence that the latter city ever contained an important Jewish settlement. Mekka, on the contrary, contained in the time of Mohammed a strong Jewish element, to whose existence the quran Koran gives abundant and unimpeachable witness. As in the case of the settlements at Teima, Khaibar, and Yathrib, we must content ourselves with indirect evidence, aided. by conjecture. I think it will ultimately be recognized as probable that all four of these Jewish settlements were constituted in the same early period, primarily as commercial enterprises, under the impulse just described. If there really was a Hebrew colonizing movement southward along the Arabian trade route in the day of Teima's glory, the stream of migration cannot have stopped short of Mekka. That city, presumably as old as the caravan traffic through the Hijaz, must have been important as early as the sixth century B.C., though perhaps not for all the reasons which can be given for its paramount influence in the Arabia of muhammad Mohammed's day.

Long before the rise of Islam, indeed, Mekka had been famed for its open market. It was also known for its hospitality to any and every variety of Arabian superstition. During all the time (of duration unknown to us) in which it possessed a truly central sanctuary, its people would doubtless have been undisturbed by the entrance of a foreign faith. Israelite settlers might well have been molested on religious grounds at Yathrib, and certainly would have been at Taif (where nevertheless there was a Jewish settlement); but at Mekka they would have been tolerated.

 During this favored era, which included the lifetime of Mohammed, Mekka gained in importance, and attracted new immigrants. Among these were Jews.

 Arabia was not a safe destination for small companies of exiles traveling with their wives and children and their household goods. The theory would easily account for the reported size and influence of the Jewish settlements of the Hijaz in muhammad Mohammed's day, in view of the wide interval of time, the occasional increase from later migrations, and the added likelihood that Arab tribes professing Judaism were incorporated in considerable number.

The Arab historians found plenty of material with which to operate: genealogies extending from their own day back to Adam; lively anecdotes of Hebrew patriarchs who entered the history of Arabia; movements of Jewish tribes; names and precise details of Israelite personages and communities.

It is quite certain, an undisputed fact, that in the principal cities of the Hijaz, in muhammad Mohammed's time, a very large portion of the population professed Judaism. Yathrib, like a large part of the northern Hijaz, was in the hands of the Jews.

In spite of their having adopted the Arab ways of life and thought so completely, they still retained their religion and some special peculiarities, which in the course of many centuries they would have been obliged to give up.

We certainly have no reason to doubt that the professed Israelites of Teima, el ola el-ÿÖlå, Khaibar, Yathrib, Fadak, Mekka, and still other places, had been in these locations for a very long time.

 The large Israelite colonies in Mekka, Yathrib, Khaibar, and Teima were not themselves of Yemenite origin; this fact is clear and undisputed.

It is well known that in the fifth and sixth centuries of the common era the Jews played an important role in Yemen.

It must suffice here to refer to the summary given by Margoliouth. He notes the presence, in a number of these inscriptions.  He remarks that "the supposed Judaism of the Himyari kings seems to elude the inquirer when he endeavours to lay hold on it".

The Jewish tribe-names are like any other, though that of the Banu zaghura Zaghõra (Margoliouth, 6o), obviously Aramaic, is worthy of notice. The name of the Banu qainuqa Qainuqåÿ is descriptive of their occupations (smiths and armorers).

The Quran or Koran repeatedly speaks of "the children of Israel" as the most favored people on earth-up to the time of Islam; and in addressing them the prophet always reminds them that they know their scriptures. As has already been said with emphasis, he is not speaking of an imaginary people, but of his own neighbors. They were a people who in education and other inherited advantages stood higher than his own fellow-countrymen. Tribes which were Jewish merely in name could not possibly have made any such impression on him.

It is a familiar fact that the Mishna takes account of Arabian Israelites.

Jewish tribes of Arabia

The Jewish tribes of Arabia were ethnic groups professing the Jewish faith that inhabited the Arabian Peninsula before and during the advent of Islam. It is not always clear whether they were originally Israelite in ancestry, genealogically Arab tribes that converted to Judaism, or a mixture of both. In Islamic tradition the Jewish tribes of the Hejaz were seen as the offspring of the ancient Israelites.

The immigration of Jews, which took place mainly during five periods:

after the collapse of Kingdom of Judah in 586 BCE, after the Roman conquest of Judea, after the Jewish rebellion in 66 CE, and the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus in 70 CE, exiles found a home in the desert, survivors of the Bar Kochba Revolt, in 135 CE, who sought religious freedom in the Arabian desert rather than live under the yoke of the Romans, immigration, around 300 CE, by people who are known in Islamic literature as the Banu Aus and the Banu Khazraj who fled the Ghassanids in Syria. migration from Judea into southern Arabian Peninsula to ride the ascent of the Himyarite Kingdom around 380 CE.

Arabized Jews

The Sanaite Jews have a legend that their ancestors settled in Yemen forty-two years before the destruction of the First Temple. According to Jeremiah some 75,000 Jews, including priests and Levites, traveled to Yemen. The Banu Habban in southern Yemen have a legend that they are the descendants of Judeans who settled in the area before the destruction of the Second Temple. These Judeans supposedly belonged to a brigade dispatched by King Herod to assist the Roman legions fighting in the region.

Jewish Yemeni bride

The Himyarite royal family in exile commanded vast wealth and resources, particularly the Nabatean bedouin with whom they had controlled the market of trade by Land from North-East Africa for centuries.

Judaized Arabs

In about 400 CE, Himyarite King tubba Abu Karib As'ad Kamil (385-420 CE), a convert to Judaism, led military expeditions into central Arabia and expanded his empire to encompass most of the Arabian Peninsula. His army had marched north to battle the Aksumites who had been fighting for control of Yemen for a hundred years. The Aksumites were only expelled from the region when the newly-Jewish king rallied Jews together from all over Arabia with pagan allies. The relationship between the Himyarite Kings and the polytheistic Arab tribes strengthened when, under the royal permission of Tubba' Abu Karib As'ad, Qusai ibn Kilab (400–480 CE) reconstructed the Ka'aba from a state of decay, and had the Arab al-Kahinan (Cohanim) build their houses around it.[14] Qusai ibn Kilab was the great-great- grandfather of Shaiba ibn Hashim (Abdul-Mutallib). Shaiba ibn Hashim was fifth in the line of descent to Muhammad, and attained supreme power at Mecca. Qusai ibn Kilab is among the ancestors of Sahaba and the progenitor of the Banu Quraish. When Qusai came of age, a man from the tribe of Banu Khuza'a named Hulail (Hillel) was the trustee of the Kaaba, and the Na'sa (Nasi)—authorized to calculate the calendar. Qusai married his daughter and, according to Hulail's will, obtained Hulail's rights to the Ka'aba. Hulail, according to Arabian tradition was a member of the Banu Jurhum. Banu Jurhum was a sub-group of the Banu Qahtani from whom the Himyarites originally descend.

Some of these tribes, or some of their members, were conquered and converted to Islam, some lived as crypto-Jews, while others remained Jews living among Muslims though protected by the Constitution of Medina. Other tribes, who still resisted conversion, were banished or put to the sword.

The Remnant of Israelites Left in the Greater Middle East & Vicinity

Muhammad, the founder of Islam, is said to have Jewish origin. He traveled to Medina in 622 A.D. to attract followers to his new faith. When the Jews of Medina refused to convert and rejected Muhammad, two of the major Jewish tribes were expelled; in 627, Muhammad's followers killed between 600 and 900 of the men, and divided the surviving Jewish women and children amongst themselves making their offspring Jewish. From these you can be sure there are millions & millions of Arabs of Jewish origin unaware of it or hiding it. In Morocco there are thousands of Muslims with Jewish roots at least. This is not only a criticism to Islam because in the west we've been witnesses of anti-Semitism (remarkably the Holocaust) & the hidden Jews are counted in the millions. Not only the estimated 32 million Anusim in the Americas, but the ones in southern Italy & Iberia (20,000 chuetas in Mallorca), the ones that went into hiding in the rest of Europe (in Poland there are thousands coming back) & the millions that are being assimilated without coercion.

suDaN is a village in Yemen bearing the name of DaN. Yemen is an ethnically Jewish nation after all, although there are not Jewish practicioners anymore almost.

The fact that over 99% of all members of the old Talmudically Jewish minorities of the Arabophonie – did indeed escape the Arabist/Islamist, Anti-Jewish public wrath – for Israel, France and other countries, has evidently not lessened the hatred against the Jews in the Arabophonie. These 99% were obviously open Jews, in other words, not hiding their past.

                                                              Magrebi Ibrim (Hebrews)

There are, or have been, several communities of Crypto-Jews in Muslim lands. The ancestors of the Daggatuns in Morocco probably kept up their Jewish practices a long time after their nominal adoption of Islam. In Iran, a large community of Crypto-Jews lived in Mashhad, near Khorassan, where they were known as "Jedid al-Islam", who were mass-converted to Islam around 1839. Most of this community left for Israel in 1946, but some have converted into Muslims and live in Iran today. In the central Iranian village of Sebe, local Muslims practice many Jewish customs, such as women lighting a candle on Friday night (the eve of the Jewish Sabbath). Before sundown on Friday, they prepare a small fire which they leave on throughout Saturday, so as not to ignite the fire on Sabbath.

There were not only Touaregs that became Jewish, but Peuls... Jews & these ethnic groups joined forces against the Arab Muslim conquerors & against Christian proselytism. Another reason for finding Jews in this & many  other places was that gold trade was forbidden to Muslims as an usurious business under the Islamic law. Because of this trade today there's still Persian words in Ashanti.

“We are NOT Arabs!”

In response to my recent column on courageous Costa Mesa, California Mayor Allan Mansoor and American Hero/Medal of Honor winner Michael Anthony Monsoor and their Mid-East heritage, reader RM–also of Mid-East heritage–writes an important letter:

Most Middle Eastern Christians are not Arabs. We trace our roots to the pre-Arab, indigenous populations of the ME. We are as different from Arabs as the Jews are. We Assyrians, for example, do not speak Arabic, except in Arab countries. We speak Aramaic as our first language. In Iran, we speak Aramaic and Farsi. In Turkey, we speak Aramaic and Turkish. Not one word of arabic is poken by Assyrians in Turkey and Iran. I myself speak only Aramaic, and not one word of Arabic.

The Copts are Egypt’s indigenous, pre-arab people. The very word Egypt comes from the Greek, Ikyptos, “The Copts.” Their language is a direct descendant of Heiroglyphics. Heiroglyphic to Heiratic to Demotic and finally to Coptic, over the millenia. It is true that some ME Christians, Chaldeans and Copts included, have been arabized. But to call them Arabs because of their language is like calling the Irish, “English.” I hope this helps. WE ARE NOT ARABS!!!!!!!!!!!

Agreed. One other thing to add: My friends who are Lebanese Maronite Christians also say they are not Arabs. They prefer to be called Phoenicians. The Phoenicians were the original Lebanese, and they much pre-dated the Arabs. Even a Lebanese Druze friend of mine says, “I’m an not an Arab.” In addition to it not being their heritage, it’s also because “Arab” is seen as “Muslim”.

Fact sheet for Lebanese-Phoenicians

In a modern days we have learned to identify people by their country’s name and the passport they are holding. For example: you can’t call an Irish person British, because both speak English, you can’t call a Canadian an Australian or an American a South African, because they speak the same language, it is unaccepted in the public, media or in politics or in nature. You can’t call the horse a donkey even they look similar. Why are the Lebanese-Phoenician very often labeled Arabs? Whether it is an ediction to the Arab oil cash money or doing Arabism a favor by swallowing the ancient minorities of the middle east, by using an anti-Lebanese policy in world media, politics and public. It is nothing but a modern mistake discriminating the ancient people who are the minorities in the region.

The fact is that in modern days the Lebanese-Phoenicians enjoy two memberships: with the Francophone and the Arab league for political and economical reasons, not by heritage, A lebanese-Phoenician is obligated to learn all subjects in French: Arabic history, geography, Arabic and English. Lebanese-Phoenician can’t be hired in the government if they dont speak french well and English is recommended, even documents in English or French are accepted. Despite the fact that the Lebanese-Phoenicians enjoy many sects, cultures and languages, for example: the Aramaic language is the Litrugical language for Christians, Armenians, and other minor languages. You can hear them very often in the streets.

The point here is: how can we fix an internationl error in politics and media enabling the public to have correct views and information? The DNA research by national geographic has played a strong role in the fight for the original heritage of the Lebanese-Phoenician people of the east cost of the Mediterranean, from the land of the cedars. The statistic population in the world shows that 23% speak English, 12% speak French, 6% speak Spanish, 45% speak Portuguese, 12% speak Arabic, and 2% speak other languages. Almost 15 million Lebanese-Phoenicians live world wide.

The result is that Lebanese-Phoenicians are also qualified for commonwealth membership based on their English language statistics and are qualified for the European Union membership based on the ancient Phoenician legend of princess europa. They accomplished much for society for example: in medicine, in music, in politics, in culture, in art, and in science. Lebanese-Phoenicians have proven no other identity but choose to carry on what their Phoenician ancestor did. Support the Phoenician heritage and identity from the land of cedars.

Thanks to the Koran and the Arabic language, much of the Middle East and North Africa became Arabized. But it did not lead to the creation of a common Arab people. The short-lived unions between any number of Arab countries is proof of it. And the Arabization brought by the Arab conquerors were rejected by the Persians in Iran and the Kurds in Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran and has had a superficial effect on many of the people around the coast… the Maronites, Alawites, Druze, Copts and Berbers are all different from those who consider themselves true Arabs. The appear Arab to survive in a hostile environment but aren’t. The same can be said of the Mizrahi Jews. Looks and even language can be misleading.

Arab is a culture and language more than enthnicity. The genetic make up of the Christian and Muslim populations in Lebanon for instance share many of the same traits, and aren’t very distinguishable, that go back 10,000 years. Like a lot of invading forces, the Arabs left their “culture” and language and a portion of the contribution to the gene pool.

If you are looking for true Hebrew Phoenicians, look to the Maronites! We are the same family as the Assyrians, Arameans and all Aramaic/Syriac speaking Christians!

Secondly we are not Roman Catholic, we are Eastern Catholic and hold ties with Rome, Maronites never broke away, which are of the first Apostolic Church in Antioch and Jerusalem!

The Lebanese Maronite Phoenicianists do not accept their relation to the Aramean population who migrated and mixed with the local Phoenician population. They even don’t accept any Arab presence mixed to some extend in the Muslim population.

Every lebanese person I have met so far (mostly christians), will spend almost the entirety of the conversation trying to convince me that they are not Arab.

The first Christians were Jews and entire communities came to accept Jesus as the Messiah. Evidence from archaeological studies of Maronite church buildings show that they had earlier been Synagogues.

To this day, the Maronite Church retains its Jewish roots more than any other Catholic rite, as evidenced by its use of Aramaic/Syriac and by the prayers which remain faithful to Semantic and Old Testament forms.

The Oasis Town of Timimoun

Timimoun (Arabic: ﺗﻴﻤﻴﻤﻮن‎) is a town and commune, and capital of Timimoun District, in Adrar Province, south-central Algeria. According to the 2008 census it has a population of 33,060, up from 28,595 in 1998, with an annual growth rate of 1.5%. Timimoun is known for the red ochre color of its buildings.

With its red mud houses leaning up against one another and its palm-lined main street, Timimoun is a picturesque oasis town that lies between lush palm groves and a large salt lake (Like the Dead Sea of Israel) on the edge of the imposing Grand Erg Occidental in south-central Algeria. In between the houses are narrow streets and alleyways, most of which are covered with large sheets of cloth for protection from the unrelenting sunshine, while the oasis palmeraie (Oasis can be islands in the middle of a sea of sand, the desert. This can be one of the interpretations that the scriptures apply for the scattered Israelites all over the world.) offers a lovely shaded area that is pleasant to walk through and relax in. Although the newer section of the town, some of which was built by the French, is architecturally similar to the old 'ksour', it is different enough to note that the town is divided in two parts – old and new.

The inhabitants of Timimoun have varied ancestry and include Zenata Berbers, Haratine Berbers, Cha'amba Arabs and Black Africans, the latter who were brought here with the slave trade that flourished between the 16th and 19th century. Zenata Berbers have an ancient history and were the founders of a number of Berber kingdoms, empires and princedoms in the North African countries of Algeria, Morocco, Libya and Tunisia. 14th century North African historian Ibn Khaldun asserts that the Zenata, Senhaja and Masmuda were the three main branches of Berbers from medieval times. Concentrated in the area he referred to as 'Middle Maghreb' Zenata tribes were both nomadic and sedentary, with the latter building towns and cities where they settled. The Cha'amba, a Sulaymi Arab tribe from Algeria's northern Sahara, were traditionally nomads, but over the past century or so have settled in oasis towns such as Timimoun.

Timimoun is a perfectly situated as base for travelers wanting to experience the harsh, but beautiful terrain of the Grand Erg Occidental. While many envision the Sahara as a vast expanse of soft, shifting sands, which is indeed true of large areas, there are also literally thousands of miles of rocks and pebbles – altogether an area impossible to inhabit if it were not for oases such as Timimoun, El-Golea, Taghit and Beni Abbes. Excursions from these towns into the Sahara are an unforgettable experience.

The Haratin & the Imrauguen (or Imraguen?) are considered to be Israelites in origin. The Afghan city of Herat has Pashtuns, a people with Israelite ancestry as well. The Bible mentions Hara as one of the cities of the Israelite captivities. Some people has interpreted Hara as Herat & I think it makes sense, but I believe the Haratin have some relation to it too.

Imraguen people

The Imraguen (Berber: Imragen) are an ethnic group or tribe of Mauritania and Western Sahara. Estimated at around 5,000 in the 1970s, most members of the group live in fishing villages in the Banc d'Arguin National Park on the Atlantic coast of Mauritania.

They are believed to have Mande (Niger-Congo) origins and to descend from the ancient Bafour people. The name Imraguen (Berber orthography: imragen) is a Berber word meaning "fishermen". They are Muslims of the Sunni Maliki rite. The Imraguen language is a divergent form of Hassaniya Arabic that preserves elements of the Soninke language, reflecting their Niger-Congo heritage.

Militarily powerless, they were traditionally reduced to the degrading lower-caste status of Znaga, forcibly ruled and taxed (horma) by more powerful Berber, Hassane, and Zawia tribes, such as the Oulad Delim and Ouled Bou Sbaa.


Arab Maqil Yemenis lead by the Beni Hassan tribe (from which the national Hassaniya Arabic dialect comes & it's the most used among Mauritanian nomads) dominated Mauritania. The offspring of these Yemeni warriors became the high class of the Mauritanian society. There are Black Moors (also known as Haratin) & White Moors in Mauritania. For these reasons many Mauritanians claim to have Yemeni origin. Yemen has been a center of Judaism & a Jewish kingdom in the past so very often when one comes from Yemen it really means Jewish even if outwardly is a hardline Muslim. This means that Mauritanians may have a large amount of Israelite blood (or culture if they were only religiously Israelites) between the Haratins (descended from Ephraimite Bafours) & most of Mauritanians that come from Yemenis. Biologically even if these Yemenis didn't have anything to do with Judaism, Mauritania is a Jewish state like Jordan is a Jewish state, Yemen is a Jewish state & Israel it is. DNA as well has shown that Yemenis, Muslims included, are genetically Jewish. Not only that, of course, but Yemen was Jewish religiously before Jesus Christ (kingdom of Hymiar) & even since kings David's & Solomon's time there was a continuous contact (between the Israelite kingdoms of Israel & Judah, including the United Kingdom of Israel) & a torrential flow of Israelites going to Yemen for centuries & this happened centuries before any Yemeni touched Mauritanian soil.
Haratin (also transliterated Haratins, Harratins or Haratine, etc., singular Hartani.) are oasis-dwellers in the Sahara, especially in southern Algeria, Morocco, Mauritania and Western Sahara, who make up a socially and ethnically distinct group of largely settled, non-nomadic workers, relatively dark complected, speaking either Berber or Arabic. Some researchers describe the group as a social caste spanning the countries listed, and made of descendants of southern berber tribes.

The name Haratin is of obscure origin and has been variously traced to Arabic roots meaning cultivator or Berber roots meaning "black". It may be the Arabized version of ahardan, a Berber word meaning "dark color".
In  Mauritania, the Haratin form one of the largest ethnic groups and account for as much as 40% ( no wander why Mauritania has been one of the fwe Arab countries with diplomatic relations with Israel. In fact it has been the only non-bordering Arab country that had diplomatic relations with Israel. It's very unconfortable not to have diplomatic relations with  a bordering country. This is one of the main reasons why Egypt & Jordan made peace with Israel. What was the reason for the Mauritanians to establish diplomatic relations with the Jewish State? Was it that the Berber Jewish Haratin comprise 40% of the Mauritanians?) of the Mauritanians. They are sometimes referred to as "Black Moors", in contrast to Beidane, or "White Moors". The Haratin are Arabic-speakers and generally claim a Berber or Arab origin. This is unlike the sub-Saharan African peoples in southern Mauritania (such as the Wolof and the Fulɓe). The Haratine, in contrast, consider themselves part of the Moorish community. Their origin is unclear: some are thought to be the descendants of traded slaves from other regions of Africa (Central and Eastern Africa Sahel region) while others are thought to be descendants of a sedentary population of who have lived in the location since the Neolithic period when the Sahara was occupied by black skinned people.

Most Haratine are descended from Bambara, Fulani, Soninké and Wolof people, groups that fled south beyond the Senegal River valley when the Berbers, and later the Moors, settled in the region during the 3rd century CE. Those who remained intermarried with the berbers and Arabs. They were historically the rulers of kingdoms spread all over North Africa. Although the Mauritanian government has issued emancipation declarations, discrimination against Haratin is still widespread, and some continue to be, for all practical purposes, enslaved, while large numbers live in other forms of informal dependence on their former masters. Amnesty International reported that as of 1994, 90,000 Haratine still lived as "property" of their master, with the report indicating that "slavery in Mauritania is most dominant within the traditional upper class of the Moors."

The report also observed that "[s]ocial attitudes have changed among most urban Moors, but in rural areas, the ancient divide is still very alive." There have been many attempts to assess the real extension of slavery in modern Mauritania, but these have mostly been frustrated by the Nouakchott government's official stance that the practice has been eliminated. Amnesty further estimated that some 300,000 freed slaves continued to serve their former masters because of psychological or economic dependence.

In most of Morocco, the word has a somewhat different meaning. "Haratin" tends to be applied to the dark-skinned agriculturalists of the southern oases. In some Moroccan oral history traditions, the Haratin of the south eastern oases near the Algerian frontier were the former slaves; in addition, the term is applied to a somewhat distinct cultural and religious movement composed of sufi ṭuruq ("orders/brotherhoods") and music groups that has begun to include different ethnicities. As Moroccan society has modernised and urbanised, the categories have broken down with intermarriage and rural to urban migration.

Haratin, Hartani or Aherdan (which means black in Tashelhit), speak Tashelhit or Central Atlas Tamazight, they traditionally worked in agriculture in the desert oases. They should not be confused with other black-skinned Moroccans living in other areas (such the Gnawas for example). With the country's modernization they increasingly became active in other jobs and many of them immigrated to modern metropolitan areas of Morocco.

The situation of Haratine in Western Sahara as their actual number is little known, and complicated by the fact that the Western Saharan population has been split into several segments by the Western Sahara conflict, which pits the government of Morocco (which controls most of the territory) against the Polisario Front (based in Tindouf, Algeria). The Haratines' situation historically resembled that of Mauritanian Haratine, since the Sahrawi population is very closely related to the Moorish population of Mauritania. The number of Haratine is, however, thought to have been considerably smaller in Western Sahara, perhaps due to the almost wholly nomadic lifestyle of Sahrawi tribes.

Mauritania generally enjoyed more mixed conditions than the all-desert Western Sahara region, with agriculture playing a far larger role in economic life. However, regardless of the size of the Haratine minority, slavery existed on the same terms as in Mauritania. This practice persisted until the 1970s, de facto tolerated by the Spanish colonial authorities. In the 1970s, the Polisario Front have publicly opposed the practice, and criminalized all forms of slavery (slavery was one of the curses for rebel ancient Israel & I think this curse is still in practice in order that these Israelites come back to the God of Israel. Mauritania & the two Sudans are the countries where slavery is more extended & where more natives are taken as slave manpower. Is it a coincidence that a large percentage of them are considered to be Israelites? I'm not saying that all Israelites are in bondage or with curses though. In South Sudan especially there are many ethnic groups that are cataloged as pagan or African traditional religion followers, but in many cases their beliefs in one god, circumcision on the 8th day of life for males & many other practices are monotheistic & closer to modern Judaism than to anything else), whilst slavery was abolished in Morocco since the beginning of the 20th century.

However, reports persist of continuing social discrimination, although the extent is disputed, and has entered into the political conflict. Morocco alleges that slavery is widespread in the Tindouf refugee camps run by the Polisario Front in south-western Algeria; POLISARIO denies this and claims to have eradicated slavery through awareness campaigns. A 2009 investigative report by Human Rights Watch interviewed some dark-skinned Sahrawis, who are a small minority in the camps; they stated that some "blacks" are "owned" by "whites" but this ownership manifested only in "granting" marriage rights to girls. In other words a dark-skinned girl must have an approval from her "white master", not from her biological father as it is stipulated by the Maliki school of Islam. Without this the marriage can not be performed by a Qadi (Islamic Judge).

The report notes that POLISARIO claims to oppose any such discrimination, but raises questions about possible official collusion in, or indifference to, the practice. In addition, a case of an official document that grants freedom to a group of enslaved families has been found by HRW. The document in question dates as recently as 2007. The document was signed by a local judge or an official civil servant. Slavery is still engraved in memories due to historical and traditional reasons, and such cases are not as shocking as one might think to the society of the Sahrawi refugee camps.

HRW found out about another case of a dark-skinned Sahrawi girl, aged 9, that was sent to spend her vacation in Spain into a host family. The little girl refused to return to the Sahrawi refugee camps in Tindouf and said that her family there will only subjugate her to house-keeping labor. She further added that she was asked to get up early and perform various tasks whilst the other children of the family went to school. A Spanish court granted custody of this girl to her host family in Spain in order to allegedly protect her from abuse.

Further, it was found out that the girl's biological family resides in Mauritania and that they sent her to the camps. SOS Esclaves a Mauritanian non-governmental organization who investigated the case concludes that they had no proof of slavery in this case but said the facts were consistent with either slavery or with trafficking in child labor HRW concludes that some forms of discrimination seem to persist, and that the question merits further investigation. The HRW concludes its chapter on slavery as follows: "In sum, credible sources testified to Human Rights Watch about vestiges of slavery that continue to affect the lives of a portion of the black minority in the Tindouf camps. The practices involve historical ties between families that involve certain rights and obligations that are not always clear. Being a slave does not necessarily preclude enjoying freedom of movement.

Haratin (Minority Rights Group International Mauritania)

The black African origin of Haratins (‘Black Moors') is beyond doubt. Their language, culture and identity are, however, Arab, the product of centuries of enslavement to Beydan masters.  Beydan (‘White Moors') are descended from Berber Arabs and black African groups from the Sahara.  Beydan and Haritines can appear racially indistinct and both speak dialects of Hassaniyya related to Bedouin Arabic.

Moor society is traditionally divided on social and descent criteria.  The slave community is divided into three levels: the total subject, the part slave, and the true Haratin.  The government has long described all forms of slave as ‘haratine' or ‘newly freed', thus implying the end of slavery.

In post-colonial Mauritania, urbanization and migration to some extent broke down the slave system, and certain districts of the capital Nouakchott became a haven for escaped slaves. These escapees formed the basis of the emancipation movement El Hor (the free), formed in 1974. El Hor argued that emancipation was impossible without practical measures to enforce anti-slavery laws and provide former slaves with the means to gain economic independence. To this end, it called for land reform and encouraged Haratins to set up agricultural co-operatives. El Hor's emphasis on social issues and its demand for redress and justice inevitably brought it into confrontation with the government. A substantial number of the movement's leaders were arrested, tortured and many of them exiled at the end of the 1970s.

In January 1980, a military coup brought President Mohamad Khouna Ould Haidallah to power, whose government embarked on a policy of undermining the El Hor movement by appearing to satisfy its demands. The 1980 ‘abolition' of slavery, which was accompanied by the co-option of some of El Hor's spokespeople, was also prompted by the government's desire to forestall any possible political links between the opposition and black opposition groups. This divide-and-rule tactic meant that El Hor, despite representing the largest population group, did not constitute a significant political force. Indeed many Haratins were responsible for attacks and discrimination against black Africans. In 1981, the Anti-Slavery Society (UK) estimated that there were around 100,000 people still enslaved, plus approximately 300,000 Haratins.

Into the 1990s, human rights groups accused the Mauritanian government of continuing to tolerate the persistence of some forms of slavery, particularly in the interior. A Commissariat for Human Rights, Poverty Alleviation and Integration was established in May 1999, but Human Rights Watch (2001) has said that the Mauritania government must do more to address the legacy of slavery as a form of caste and descent-based discrimination, and to strengthen enforcement of slavery-specific legislation, and legislation promoting the civil rights of former slaves.  The government again moved to formally outlaw slavery in 2003, but a failure to enforce the legal prohibition led to a continuation of the practice.

Following March 2007 elections, new legislation criminalizing slavery in Mauritania was swiftly passed by the new parliament. While the new law has been welcomed by campaigners, it has also been pointed out that as with previous attempts to introduce tougher punishments, much will depend on the authorities' willingness to enforce the law if the practice is to be eradicated. Haratin activists view other legal measures such as land reform and the effective ability to sue former masters as critical to the emancipation of remaining slaves.

In November 2011, MRG supported the first successful prosecution under the 2007 anti-slavery legislation, in a case involving the enslavement of two young boys. The accused was given a two-year sentence and ordered to pay compensation to the children; their lawyer appealed on the grounds that the judgment was too lenient. The owner was released on bail after four months’ detention.

MRG is following up four other cases of slavery through a Haratine lawyer in Mauritania. All the cases involve psychological or physical ill-treatment of the individuals. The backlog of cases in the courts presents one of the biggest obstacles in obtaining a final decision and compensation for the victims.

In May 2011 protests broke out against a new government census to systematize national identity documents, led by the movement “Touche pas ma nationalité” (Don’t touch my nationality). Critics argue the census will increase racial discrimination and deprive many Black Mauritanians of their citizenship. The census only recognizes four ethnic groups which can appear on the identity documents: Moorish, Soninké, Fulani and Wolof. It fails to mention the Haratines.

Judeo-Berbers of Tunisia, the Atlas Mountains of Morocco, & the Cave Dwellers of Lybia

The Berber regions of Morocco were tribal and were not fully controlled by central authorities until well into the 20th century. Although Berber tribes understand themselves as extended families, descendants of a single, named ancestor, reality is more complicated.

Families of slaves, former slaves, and survivors of defeated tribes can join a tribe as subordinate members. Berber Jews belonged to their tribes in this subordinate way.

They went to France, Montreal – and Israel, because, for the first time in history, they had the opportunity to go home. Indeed, so many families immigrated to Israel that in 1956, King Hassan, fearing that other Arab states would blame him for allowing immigrants from Morocco to strengthen Israel, forbade the Jews to leave.

After emigration was banned, Jews escaped clandestinely. On January 11, 1961, the Egoz, a small boat leased by the Mossad to smuggle Jews from Morocco to Gibraltar, capsized. All 44 of the olim drowned. Half were children. After the Egoz disaster, the Jewish Agency and the Mossad worked with threatened Moroccan communities to rescue the children first. In Operation Mural, 530 Moroccan Jewish children were sent by their families on an ostensible holiday in Switzerland – and, from there, flown to Israel. Four months later, a deal was struck for a larger emigration.

King Hassan, embarrassed by the international attention paid to the Egoz drownings, agreed that Moroccan Jews could emigrate secretly, so as not to draw the attention of anti-Israel governments – and the king would receive an indemnity for each Jew who left. The figures were never released, but it is estimated that between $5 million and $20m. flowed to the royal treasury in exchange for the 80,000 Moroccan Jews who were allowed to make aliya between 1962 and 1964.

The last Berber Jews left Tinghir and other Berber towns silently, in the dead of night. Word was passed among them; they left with only what they could carry and without telling their Muslim neighbors. They walked, some of them single file down mountain trails, to roads outside their villages. There, they boarded buses to begin their journey to the Jewish state.

The caves of the Atlas Mountains & the ones south of Tripolitania and Tunisia, are among the most desolate areas of the world. They are also home to several hundred Jews. Three and a half hour journey by camel from there is Tigrena, home to an underground community of close to 5,000 who live by sheepherding. Passed on from generation to generation is a beautiful custom observed by all these Jewish cave dwellers: cutting out little paper boats with which they then decorate their synagogues, they fervently pray, "May a boat soon come and carry us to Jerusalem!"

If some of the Jews of Lybia were cavern dwellers I believe that despite there's no Jew left in Lybia in theory, in reality there must be some hidden in their caves or surrounding caves through passages that they know, but the authorities not. The authorities might know their former homes but not every single cave they hide nor every chasm, cavern, hole, grotto... these local Jews know.

In mountains, deserts & caves one can be as isolated as in an island & even more. I believe this is the case of Jews not only in these three Magrebi countries, but in other Arab speaking countries & in countries with hidden or hardly accesible areas: deserts, woodlands, islands, caves...

Bahrani or Baharna

The "Bahrani people" or "Baharna" are an ethnoreligious group with origin in Bahrain. The Baharna are one of ethnically diverse Bahrain's many ethnic groups. Apart from that their roots are obscure, but they are believed to come from Christian Arabs, Persian Zoroastrians, Jews & Aramaic speaking agriculturalists. The Baharna, along with the Huwala+ and Sunni Arabians, are Bahrain's oldest linguistically Arab inhabitants. The ancient Rabi'ah tribe is also part of their ancestry. Is Rabi'ah a corrupted way from Rabbi?

According to Clive Holes, the Baharna, along with the Huwala and Sunni Arabians, are Bahrain's oldest linguistically Arab inhabitants. The Huwala people or Hola people

The term ''Bahrani'' serves to distinguish the Bahrani people from other Shias in Bahrain, such as the ethnic+ Persian Bahrainis who fall under the term ''Ajam+'', as well as from the Sunni+ Najdi immigrants in Bahrain who are known as ''Al Arab'' ("Arabs").

In Arabic, ''bahrayn'' is the dual form+ of ''bahr'' ("sea"), so ''al-Bahrayn'' means "the Two Seas". However, which two seas were originally intended remains in dispute. The term appears five times in the Qur'an+, but does not refer to the modern island

Today, Bahrain's "two seas" are instead generally taken to be the bay east and west of the island, the seas north and south of the island, or the salt and fresh water present above and below the ground.Faroughy, Abbas. ''The Bahrein Islands (750–1951): A Contribution to the Study of Power Politics in the Persian Gulf.'' Verry, Fisher and Co. (New York), 1951. In addition to wells, there are places in the sea north of Bahrain where fresh water bubbles up in the middle of the salt water, noted by visitors since antiquity.

An alternate theory offered by al-Ahsa was that the two seas were the Great Green Ocean+ and a peaceful lake on the mainland; still another provided by al-Jawahari+ is that the more formal name ''Bahri'' (lit. "belonging to the sea") would have been misunderstood and so was opted against.

They are 300000 in Bahrain & 18000 in Oman.

Chaamba Bedouins?

The Chaamba (Arabic: شعانبة, Maghrebi Arabic /šʕamba/) are a large Sulaymi Arab tribe of the northern Sahara in Algeria. They live around Métlili, El Golea, Ouargla, El Oued, and the Great Western Erg, including Timimoun and Béni Abbès While traditionally they were nomads specialised in raising camels, most have settled in the oases over the past century.

The date palm is the most important agricultural products for chaamba.

The Chamba Bedouin of Algeria have a population of 116,000. They are part of the Bedouin, Saharan people cluster. This people group is found only in Algeria. Their primary language is Central Atlas Tamazight. The primary religion practiced by the Chamba Bedouin is Islam, a monotheistic religion built around the teachings of the Quran and of the prophet Muhammad.

Ababda people

The Ababda or Ababde – the Gebadei of Pliny, and possibly the Troglodytes (the Troglodytes were identified as Israelites) of other classical writers – are nomads living in the area between the Nile and the Red Sea, in the vicinity of Aswan in Egypt. They are a subgroup of the Beja people who are bilingual in Beja and Arabic.

The Ababda extend from the Nile at Aswan to the Red Sea, and reach northward to the Qena-Quseir road, thus occupying the southern border of Egypt east of the Nile. They call themselves "sons of the Jinns." With some of the clans of the Bisharin and possibly the Hadendoa (I already identified the haDeNdoa as DaNites), they represent the Blemmyes of classic geographers, and their location today is almost identical with that assigned them in Roman times.

They were constantly at war with the Romans, who eventually conquered them. In the Middle Ages, they were known as Beja (Beja seems to be a loosely term for many nomadic peoples of the area without ethnic relation. In fact there are Bejas that look Caucasoid & others that look Negroid), and convoyed pilgrims from the Nile valley to Aidhab, the port of embarkation for Jeddah. From time immemorial, they have acted as guides to caravans through the Nubian desert and up the Nile valley as far as Sennar. They intermarried with the Nubians, and settled in small colonies at Shendi and elsewhere up to Muhammad Ali's conquest of the region in the early 19th century. They are still great trade carriers, and visit very distant districts. There are 250,000.

Musta'arabi Jews

Musta'arabi Jews (Musta'aribun in Arabic, Musta'arabim or Mista'arevim in Hebrew) are Arabic-speaking Jews, largely Mizrahi and Maghrebi Jews, who lived in the Middle East and North Africa prior to the arrival and integration of Ladino-speaking Sephardi Jews (Jews from Spain and Portugal; Ladino is the Judaeo-Spanish language) following their expulsion from Spain in 1492. Following the expulsion, Sephardi exiles moved into the Middle East (among other places around the world), and settled among their Musta'arabi co-religionists.

In many Arab countries, the Sephardi immigrants and the established Musta'arabi communities maintained separate synagogues and separate religious rituals, but often had a common Chief Rabbinate. The general tendency, however, was for both the communities and their customs to assimilate, adopting a mostly Sephardic liturgy and identity. This pattern was found in most Musta'arabi communities in Arab countries. A typical example is in the History of the Jews in Syria, described in more detail in the rest of this article.

In contrast, in Tunisia there was a strong and enduring social distinction between Tuansa (the established Tunisian Jews) and L'grana (immigrant Livornese Jews to Tunisia).

The word "Musta'arabi" itself, and its Hebrew equivalent mista'arevim, meaning "those who live among the Arabs", are derived from the Arabic "musta'rib" (مستعرب), meaning “arabized”. Compare with the term "Mozarab" (mozárabe in Spanish, borrowed from Arabic) to refer to Arabized (but not Islamized) Christian Spaniards in Arab ruled Islamic Spain. "Musta'arabi" was also used by medieval Jewish authors to refer to Jews in North Africa, in what would become the modern states of Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya (which also underwent cultural and linguistic Arabization following the Muslim conquest there).

Following the Muslim conquest of Syria, Syria and the surrounding region was brought under Arab rule in the first half of the 7th century, and the Jews of the land, like the Christian majority at that time, became culturally Arabized, adopting many of the ways of the new foreign elite minority rulers, including the language. Furthermore, some of the Jews, and the greater part of the Christians for that matter, were also Islamized, and these form the ancestors of the bulk of the "Arab Muslims" of the Levant.

Musta'arabim, in the Arabized Hebrew of the day, was used to refer to Arabic-speaking Jews native to Greater Syria and Palestine who were, "like Arabs" or "culturally Arabic-oriented". These Musta'arabim were also called Murishkes or Moriscos by the Sephardi immigrants. This may be either a corruption of "Mashriqis" (Easterners) or a Ladino word meaning "like Moors" or "Moorish" (compare with the Spanish word Morisco).

The Musta'arabi Jews in Palestine constituted one of the three main components of the Old Yishuv (Jewish community of Palestine), together with the Sephardi Jews, and Ashkenazi Jews. The latter were a minority whose numbers shrank further due to intermarriage with Sephardim. The Musta'arabi Jews in Palestine were descendants of the ancient Hebrews, who never left the Land of Israel, instead remaining there from the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE to the First Aliyah in 1881, prior to the onset of Zionist immigration.

Under the rule of the Ottoman Empire in the mid-16th century, there were no more than 10,000 Jews divided between numerous congregations in all of Palestine. Within the Jewish community at this time, there was some conflict between the Musta'arabim and Jews who had immigrated to Palestine from Spain and Sicily. Later on, there was also conflict between Jewish citizens of the Ottoman Empire and those who held foreign passports. From 1839 onward, Jewish subjects of the Ottoman Empire, including the Mustarabim, were represented by a locally nominated rabbi, whose appointment to serve as a hakham bashi or "chief rabbi" required approval from the Ottoman authorities. This hierarchical system paralleled one previously established for Christian bishops in the empire.

Old Aleppo rite

The Aleppo Musta'arabim in Syria originally had a distinct way of worship, set out in a distinct prayer book called Mahzor Aram Soba. This ritual is thought to reflect Eretz Yisrael rather than Babylonian traditions in certain respects, in particular in the prominence of piyyut (see below). In a broad sense, it falls within the "Sephardi" rather than the "Ashkenazi" family of rituals, but has resemblances to non-standard Sephardi rites such as the Catalonian rather than to the normative Castilian rite.

The following are some of the differences that stand out in the Aram Soba Mahzor.

The order of the Psalms in the morning service is different.

The following prayers are worded differently (while still preserving the same message of the prayer): Baruch She’Amar, Kaddish, Kedusha, certain blessings of the Amidah, Tachanun, and the Birkat Hamazon (grace after meals).

The Kaddish has a long set of “messianic references in the second verse” (unlike the Sephardic rite where it is much shorter and the Ashkenazic rite where it is absent).

Psalm 8 was recited each night before the Evening Service, a practice no longer in place anywhere else. There was a tradition to recite 72 different verses from the Bible immediately after the Amidah of the Morning Services.

There is a tradition, still followed by many Syrian Jews, called Alpha-Beta, which consists of reciting Psalm 119-134 before the Evening Services on Motzaei Shabbat: this also appears in the prayer book of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews.

There was also an important tradition pertaining to the month of Elul, the month of repentance before the Days of Judgment. At dawn of Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays, special Selichot prayers were recited. There were different selichot prayers, piyyutim, and Biblical verses to be recited for each week of that month. Syrian Jews, like other Sephardim, still recite Selihot during the entire month of Elul. However, the selichot recited by the Syrian Jews are standardized and do not vary from day to day as do the selichot of the Aram Soba Mahzor.

On Tisha B'ab, they only read Megillat Eicha at night and not in the morning: Syrian Jews still recite it before rather than after Arbit.

The Kiddush for the three pilgrim festivals is very long, and resembles that found in the Siddur of Saadia Gaon and the Yemenite tradition.

On March 9, 2009, the Sephardic Pizmonim Project posted a scanned PDF of the 1560 Venetian edition of the "Mahzor Aram Soba" to the "Archives" section of its site. A mirror of the work is also available. For further links to both the 1527 and 1560 editions, see below. In addition, a weekday version of Mahzor Aram Soba 1560 can be found here.

A facsimile edition has recently been published by Yad HaRav Nissim, using pages from the best surviving copies of the 1527 edition.

After the immigration of Jews from Spain following the expulsion, a compromise liturgy evolved containing elements from the customs of both communities, but with the Sephardic element taking an ever larger share. One reason for this was the influence of the Shulchan Aruch, and of the Kabbalistic usages of Isaac Luria, both of which presupposed a Sephardic (and specifically Castilian) prayer text; for this reason a basically "Sephardic" type of text replaced many of the local Near and Middle Eastern rites over the course of the 16th to 19th centuries, subject to a few characteristic local customs retained in each country. (See Sephardic law and customs#Liturgy for more detail.)

In Syria, as in North African countries, there was no attempt to print a Siddur containing the actual usages of the community, as this would not generally be commercially viable. Major publishing centres, principally Livorno, and later Vienna, would produce standard "Sephardic" prayer books suitable for use in all communities, and particular communities such as the Syrians would order these in bulk, preserving any special usages by oral tradition. (For example, Ḥacham Abraham Hamaoui of Aleppo commissioned a series of prayer-books from Livorno, which were printed in 1878: these were "pan-Sephardic" in character, with some notes referring to "minhag Aram Soba".)

As details of the oral tradition faded from memory, the liturgy in use came still nearer to the "Livorno" standard. Nevertheless a distinction persisted between the "Sephardic" rite (based on the Livorno siddurim) and the "Musta'arabi" rite (basically similar, but retaining some features derived from the older tradition).

In the early years of the twentieth century, the "Sephardic" rite was almost universal in Syria. The only exception (in Aleppo) was a "Musta'arabi" minyan at the Central Synagogue of Aleppo, but even their liturgy differed from the "Sephardic" in only a few details such as the order of the hymns on Rosh Hashanah. Some differences between the two main prayer books published in Aleppo in the early twentieth century may reflect Sephardi/Musta'arabi differences, but this is not certain: current Syrian rite prayer books are based on both books.

Approximately 30% of the Mahzor Aram Soba is composed of piyyutim.

The use of piyyutim, which was very prominent on the holidays and Shabbat, was not limited to the Syrian Musta'arabi community, but occurred in most Jewish communities. The earliest piyyutim however, were “overwhelmingly [from] [Eretz Israel] or its neighbor Syria, [because] only there was the Hebrew language sufficiently cultivated that it could be managed with stylistic correctness, and only there could it be made to speak so expressively.” The earliest Eretz Yisrael prayer manuscripts, found in the Cairo Genizah, often consist of piyyutim, as these were the parts of the liturgy that required to be written down: the wording of the basic prayers was generally known by heart. The use of piyyut was always considered an Eretz Yisrael speciality: the Babylonian Geonim made every effort to discourage it and restore what they regarded as the statutory wording of the prayers, holding that "any [hazzan] who uses piyyut thereby gives evidence that he is no scholar". Accordingly, scholars classifying the liturgies of later periods usually hold that, the more a given liturgy makes use of piyyutim, the more likely it is to reflect Eretz Yisrael as opposed to Babylonian influence. This, if correct, would put the Mahzor Aram Soba firmly in the Eretz Yisrael camp. However, the piyyutim in the Mahzor Aram Soba resemble those of the Spanish school rather than the work of early Eretz Yisrael payyetanim such as Eleazar Kalir: for example, they are in strict Arabic metres and make little use of Midrash. Also, they are generally placed in a block at the beginning of the service, like today's Baqashot, rather than expanding on and partially replacing core parts of the prayers. The link with the old Eretz Yisrael practice is therefore not made out.

Following the dominance in Syria of the Sephardic rite, which took the Geonic disapproval of piyyut seriously, most of these piyyutim were eliminated from the prayer book. Some of them survive as pizmonim, used extra-liturgically.

The Syrian Musta'arabim have completely assimilated with the Sephardic Jews and are no longer a distinct entity. Certain families identify as "Sephardim" in the narrower sense, and are distinguished by their practice of lighting an extra candle on Hanukkah. (This is said to be in gratitude for their acceptance by the older community. It is not shared with Sephardim in other countries.)

According to Mr. Joey Mosseri, a Sephardic historian living in the Syrian Jewish community in Brooklyn (USA), the last time the Musta'arabi liturgy was officially used was during the 1930s. Shelomo Salem Zafrani, of Aleppo, held daily services in the Musta'arabi Jewish rite, until his departure to the British Mandate of Palestine in the early 1930s. After his departure, there is no known public usage of this liturgy even in Aleppo itself. Today, Syrian Jews, with the exception of a few individuals living in Damascus, live outside of Syria, and do not distinguish between Musta'arabi and Sephardic Jews.

Haddad people

Are they DaNites?

The Haddad (also known as the DaNoa) are a Sahelian Muslim ethnic group found through Nigeria, Chad and Sudan, numbering more than 250,000 individuals. They live in the midst of other peoples and do not have their own language but speak the language of the surrounding community. The traditional employment of the community has always been blacksmithry (like the Jews). They are universally despised by all other ethnic groups, and live segregated (like the Jews in their ghettos), generally without any land or water rights, and are strictly endogamous (again like the Jews) and are often considered untouchable by the members of other groups. These sentiments are reciprocated by the Haddad, who maintain a high view of their group. Recently, Haddad members, because of the decline of their monopoly of blacksmithry caused by importation, have started migrating to the Sudanese towns, living beside other ethnic groups.

Are the Hadendoa Danites?

The Bedouin tribe haDeNdoa, a subtribe of the Bejas, living in SuaKin (this place also has the SK consonants of iSaaC that indicate their Israelite origin), in the west coast of the Red sea, also bear  DaN's name.

The haDeNdoa people could be DaNites. haDeN or haDaN means "the DaN" & it's not very different from "haDaNim" which translates as "the DaNites". They belong to the Beja people & live mainly in parts of Sudan, Egypt and Eritrea. Africa is considered to hold a large & scattered DaNite population (& toponyms): Feres Mura, Bete Ethiopia, Dans in Guinea, Gadangmes (ethnic group composed of Danites & Gadites), Ghana... If there were some Israelite groups or clans among the Mandingos & the Yorubas why wouldn't there be an Israelite clan among the Bejas, in this case the Hadendoa?

Sanhedrin Sponsors Unique Bedouin-Jewish Get-Together

A unique gathering to improve Jewish and Bedouin ties was held Tuesday afternoon in the Negev city of Rahat, the only Bedouin municipality to hold city status.

The event began with informal talks among the participants and interviews with the press. First to address the gathering was Sheikh Salem Al-Huzeil, declaring the “Our State” Movement together with the religious-Zionist “Hit’habrut” (Joining Together) Movement.

Public Security Minister Yitzchak Aharonovitch (Israel Our Home) then spoke, followed by Tzvi MiSinai, an expert on the Jewish ancestry of Arabs in Israel – a topic on which a short movie was then screened. MiSinai claims that the majority of the Arabs in Israel, including the Bedouin, are descendants of Jews. One place where MiSinai has apparently found very strong Jewish roots is in the Bedouin tribe known as the Sawarka, based in the Sinai and the Negev. Tribal leaders say their ancestors were forced to convert to Islam, yet they still retain many Jewish customs.

Rahat’s Education Department head Dr. Ali Al-Huzeil also addressed the gathering, speaking on Bedouin Tradition and Cooperation with the Zionist Movement.

Representatives of the nascent Sanhedrin organization, which seeks to revive the age-old tradition of a central Jewish Legal authority, were also present, and spoke on the Halachic aspects of those who claim to have Jewish ancestry, Noahides, and more.

In addition, a Bedouin IDF officer shared his experiences and spoke on the Bedouin tradition of self-sacrifice in the army. Salama Al-Turi discussed the issue in some depth, including the lack of Israeli appreciation and understanding of the Bedouin tradition of self-sacrifice in the army.

Where are the Ten Lost Tribes?

Across centuries and continents, the prophetic words instilled hope that one day, brethren would join brethren, and together rebuild the kingdom of God. But first... the Ten Lost Tribes had to be found.

                                                               Benjamin of Tudela

Benjamin, son of Jonah, was determined to see the world. In 1165, in an age when travel meant peril on road and sea, he set out from his native Tudela, Spain on an extended voyage. He spent several years visiting Jewish communities in the East and West. The great medieval Jewish traveler is familiarly known as Benjamin of Tudela. We know little about him other that what emerges in his famous Book of Travels. In whichever community he visited, and even in those he didn't, Benjamin recorded his observations, many of which are quite imaginative.

When visiting in Persia and in the Arabian peninsula, Benjamin came across Jewish tribesmen whom he was convinced were descendants of the Lost Israelites. The self-sufficiency and fierceness of these tribesmen deeply impressed him. He writes as follows:

"There are men of Israel in the land of Persia who say that in the mountains dwell four of the tribes of Israel, namely, the tribe of Dan, the tribe of Zevulun, the tribe of Asher, and the tribe of Naphtali. "They are governed by their own prince, Joseph the Levite. Among them are learned scholars. They sow and reap and go forth to war as far as the land of Cush, by way of the desert. They are in league with the Kofar-al-Turak, pagan tribesmen who worship the wind and live in the wilderness."

During his visit to Arabia he came across the largest Jewish settlement in the region, the Jews of Kheibar. "These tribesmen," he writes, "are of the tribes Reuven and Gad, and the half-tribe of Menasseh. Their seat of government is a great city surrounded by the mountains of the North. The Jews of Kheibar have built many large fortified cities. The yoke of the gentiles is not upon them. They go forth to pillage and to capture booty in conjunction with the Arabs their neighbors." The diary of Benjamin, son of Jonah—translated into so many languages—inspired many in their quest for the independent kingdoms of the Ten Lost Tribes.

The Arabs and the Jews: The Pre-Islamic Period

Portions of a 5000 year old epic, the story of Gilgamesh, King of Uruk in Mesopotamia. Gilgamesh visited Dilmun (now Bahrein) a lush island in the Persian Gulf, and termed it “the land of immortality.” It is among the earliest records of contact between the progenitors of the Jews, the Akkadians, and the Arabs. Two millennia later, Babylonian/Jewish traders established colonies along overland trade routes through Arabia to Himyara (now Yemen), and on Dilmun and on another island in the Gulf of Aqaba, Yotabe (now Jijban) as staging posts on the way to India and Northwest Africa. The Jews and the Arabs maintained a close and benign relationship throughout the thousand-year pre-Islamic period.

What if? Jewish colonies flourished in the Arabian peninsula long before Mohammed strode onto the proscenium of history.

The Arabian peninsula consists largely of vast expanses of arid wastelands. Here and there water wells up through the hot sands, forming oases that make bedouin life possible. These fertile havens served as trading posts for foreign traders to exchange goods with the Bedouins. The watering holes provided respite for the traders and for their heavily-laden beasts of burden on their way to other sites.

Jewish traders traversed the trying trails from oasis to oasis well before the Common Era. They established bustling communities at those which had enough water to sustain agriculture. They were headed from Babylonia and from Judah for Himyara, a country on the southwestern rim of the peninsula where strips of arable areas had fostered a viable civilization. Himyara, referred to in the Bible as Ophir, was the source of exotic aromatic substances that were in demand in the western civilizations. The remote corner of the Arabian peninsula also provided access to the spices from the Far East, for it was strategically situated on the seacoast at the junction of important sea-lanes. The peoples at its ports enjoyed a lucrative overseas commerce that flowed into it from all directions. The ancient Mesopotamian civilizations lay to the north. Judah lay to the northwest and to the southwest across the Red Sea lay the Abyssinian corner of Africa, home to an ancient Ethiopian civilization. Across the sea to the east lay the vast subcontinent of India, a land where many ancient peoples had achieved high levels of civilization.

The Himyarites occupied the area encompassing present-day Yemen. Two factors made civilization possible in that remote region. Arable areas nested among its mountain ranges and along its coast. Its ports provided access to the sea routes to Africa and India. Some of the associated tribes occupying the coastal regions adjoining Himyara, and other tribes who dwelled in the desert immediately surrounding Himyara are also encompassed within the general term "Himyarites,"

The resources of Himyara, especially the aromatic substances for which the region was anciently famous, spurred the Jews of Babylonia and Judah to venture across the desolate desert and to establish friendly relationships with its nomadic Arab tribes. Contact with the Bedouins was essentially benign, and a mutually beneficial relationship evolved between them over the course of many centuries.

The Jews formed colonies at the oases, and introduced irrigation and agriculture. They stocked their farms with new plants, among which the date-palm became a staple for the desert peoples. The artisans and smiths among the Jews provided tools and implements to ease nomadic life. They introduced new fabrics and goods that enhanced the Bedouins living conditions.

"In the northwest of the peninsula the Jews occupied the oases on the line of the caravan route running from north to south. Taima, Fadak, Khaibar, Wadi-l-Kura (Vale of Villages) were in their hands and Yathrib (later Medina) was in all probability founded by them... [In] Yemen, their industry and enterprising spirit helped to revive the prosperity of the country."1

Yemenite Jew with rastafari looking dreadlocks

Judaic anti-establishment philosophy was attractive to the profoundly independent desert tribes, and Judaic religious precepts won a wide sympathetic audience among the Bedouins, and equally as well as among the urbanized Himyarites. The Jews were not averse to proselytization, and the influence of Judaism spread throughout the peninsula.

"Their belief in the unity of God, their higher personal morality, their dignified observance of Jewish feast and fast days, their rest from work on the Sabbath and their refusal to permit a fellow Jew, even of another tribe, to remain in slavery, left a deep impression on their neighbors."2

The rises of Greece, Rome and Byzantia created new western markets for aromatics, spices, and other eastern products. These powers became interested in capturing control of the overland and overseas trade routes that led to the sources of these products. They embarked upon aggressive military campaigns to establish hegemony over the peoples along the routes. When Christianity arrived upon the scene behind the Roman and Byzantine forces, Judaism had already won a considerable Arab following. The indigenous Arabic tribes generally sided with the Jews against the forces that were regarded as conquerors rather than as commercial partners.

The Arabic tribes may well have gone on to a wide acceptance of Judaism. It is impossible to fathom the future that such an eventuality would have fostered. There is the intriguing thought that perhaps the massive pool of black riches hidden under the drifting sand would eventually have welled up in towering Jewish derricks.

History, however, took a new and unexpected turn with the intervention of a poor and illiterate camel- driver who had a vision.

Early Jewish Arabian History

Mesopotamian traders encountered the peoples in Arabia as far back as the third millennium B.C.E. when they plied Persian gulf waters on the way to India. The revered pioneer archaeologist and excavator of ancient Ur, Sir Leonard Wooley, reported that: "In early Dynasty III graves we had found beads of carnelian, with etched geometrical patterns exactly corresponding to examples from the great Indus Valley site of Mohenjo-Daro in modern Pakistan.... By the time of the Akkadian Dynasty, if not before, trade between Sumer and the Indus valley had attained such proportions that there may have been agents from the distant region resident in Mesopotamia."

A luxuriant and beautiful island was strategically located in the Persian gulf just beyond the estuary of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. It provided an important stage of the trade between India and Mesopotamia. The island was then named Dilmun, and is the present Bahrein. Dilmun was described in the classic five-thousand-year-old epic of Gilgamesh, who termed it "the land of immortality" when he visited it in his quest for immortal life. Gilgamesh's impressions were well founded. "With its lush vegetation and abundant fresh water springs, not to speak of its ideal location between Mesopotamia and the Indian subcontinent, Dilmun became a popular haven on the sea trade route.... Recent digs have proved the existence of a very organized life style with well ordered roads, proper houses, workshops and a central marketplace. Equally significant is the discovery of thousands of burial mounds."

The Indus Valley civilization suffered devastating invasions between 1800 and 1600 B.C.E. Mesopotamia likewise suffered reverses during this and the immediately following period. Trade of consequence between Mesopotamia with distant India appears to have been virtually suspended for many centuries.

At this time Himyara (Ophir) had independently grown to prominence and important for East-West trade. Against this historical background credence can be given to the Bible account of Judahite contact with Himyara. Such ongoing intercourse was specifically referred to in the legendary relationship of King Solomon with the Queen of Sheba (present-day Saba' in Yemen). "The existence of a 'Queen of Sheba' is fairly well documented" wrote Wendell Phillips, but added "The real problem is [the existence of] David and Solomon."5 A documentary reference to a "House of David" has been recovered since Phillips and other skeptics made such an observation. The existence of David's son, Solomon, can readily be deduced from it.

An ongoing contact, commercial and otherwise, between these peoples can be interpolated from the biblical accounts. "Most scholars [accept] the likelihood of an Israelite presence In Southern Arabia from Solomonic times."

An Assyrian king provided solid confirmation of the close relationship between the Jews and the Arabs that was already in existence shortly after the date of the biblical account. It is the earliest direct documentary record of a fraternal association between the two peoples. It comes down to us not through the Bible, but through an inscription by the Assyrian king Shalmaneser about his defeat of the forces ranged against him by the Judahite King Ahab.. Albeit there are some questions about the chronology of the event, the details serve to confirm an alliance between the Judahites and the Arabs at the time.

"The very first Arab known to us by name and date, Gindibu (which means locust), is mentioned as a member of an alliance against an Assyrian invader, in which King Ahab of Israel figures at the head of 10,000 foot-soldiers and 2000 war chariots, while the Arab sheik heads 1000 camel riders. This - the battle of Karkar in Syria - which took place in the year 853 B.C. is not mentioned in the Bible and not, of course, in Arabic sources."

A number of crises arising through the following centuries in both Mesopotamia and India sparked rises and falls of the Persian Gulf trade. A spurt of activity took place following the rise of an Assyrian empire under Ashurbanipal (referred to in Ezra 4:10 as the "great and honorable Ashurbanipal"). Ashurbanipal's demise, however, brought about another decline in relations with Dilmun and the East until Babylonian occupation brought the strategically-placed island again into prominence.

Following the freeing of the Jews by Cyrus in Babylonia in 538 B.C.E., a substantial Judaic presence on Dilmun becomes evident.

Judaic Colonization in Arabia

Some of the Babylonian Jews freed by Cyrus returned to Judah to renew Judaic life and rebuild their sacred Temple. Most of the Jews stayed behind in Babylonia, for they had become a vibrant, productive element in the ancient Land of the Two Rivers. Great Jewish trading and banking houses developed, and triggered an expansion of Babylonian agriculture and industry, and, to an extraordinary degree, international commerce. Jewish traders were instrumental in pioneering the so-called "Silk Route" to the Far East from the fifth century B.C.E.9 It did not take long before intrepid traders from Babylonia, having conquered the formidable Gobi desert to China's capital, Kaifeng, branched out across the equally challenging Arabian Peninsula. Bustling colonies were established at a string of oases that provided havens for caravans destined for Himyara. At these oases they continued to befriend and carry on a mutually beneficial commercial relationship with the nomadic Bedouin Arab tribes of the desert lands.

Archaeological evidence indicates that both Jewish and Nabatean traders were active in the area well before the Common Era. The Nabateans, of Arabic origin, whose main center at Petra is one of today's archaeological marvels, composed a viable civilization at that time. Petra lay along one of the main routes into Arabia. "The Nabateans were the immediate eastern neighbors of the Jewish people during the fateful centuries of Maccabean, Herodian, and Roman rule, and who had very close relations with the Jews, both friendly and hostile. These Nabateans had originally been an Arab people, but adopted the Aramaic language [the lingua franca of the Jews]... In addition to their linguistic assimilation, these Nabateans settled down; and so completely were they submerged in the predominant civilization that, some centuries later, the word "Nabati," Nabatean, signified in the language of the Muslim Arabs an Aramaic-speaking peasant."

The Babylonian Jews traversed the route through Palmyra as well as through Petra and Dilmun . The evidence for both Judaic and Nabatean presence in the desert and intercourse with the Bedouins and Himyarites takes the form of graffiti found throughout the desert wasteland along the natural trade routes between the Mediterranean coast and Himyara. A typical example is a tombstone inscription of a "Yehudaya," erected in Al-Hijr, ascribed to either 45 B.C.E. or 42 C.E.11.

A number of Arabia's oases sustained enough agriculture through irrigation to make sizable sedentary communities possible. During the first few centuries of the Common Era, Judaic agricultural and artisan communities burgeoned at sites along the route to Himyara. In addition to replenishing the caravans that passed through, these colonies flourished as trading posts for the Bedouins.

By the first century C.E., the Romans were entrenched in Egypt and Judea, and control of trade with the Orient became important to them. The extent to which the Jews of Arabia remained as vital intermediaries between the West and the Far East is evidenced by the fact that for many centuries, the Jewish traders kept the Greeks and the Romans entirely ignorant of the true provenance of spices such as cinnamon and cassia, spices that Jewish traders were obtaining from the Far East.

Both the well-traveled Herodotus (485-425 B.C.E) and the great Greek philosopher Theophastrus (372-286 B.C.E.), for example, believed that those Far-Eastern spices came from trees that grew in Arabia. The fact is that "there is not a trace of cinnamon there nor could there be; the plants require a degree of moisture not to be found in that parched peninsula."

It is even more curious that Strabo, 400 years after Herodotus (60 B.C.E.-21 C.E.), and other Greeks in an even later period in which the Seleucids were solidly installed in Persia, still cited Arabia as a source for cassia and cinnamon! They alternately labored under the illusion that the spices came from East Africa. Strabo, in fact, terms Somalia and Ethiopia (Abyssinia and Sudan), the region he considered the southernmost part of the world, as "Cinnamon Country!"

Western ignorance about the source of spices continued into the Late Roman Period. Two other Greek writers, erudite physicians who discoursed at great length on the substances, Dioscaides (1st c. C.E.), and Galen (c. 130-201 C.E..), still believed in separate sources for cinnamon and cassia, blithely unaware that cinnamon is nothing more than ground up cassia!

The Greeks and Romans were likewise unaware that another avidly sought spice, malabathron, was made from the leaves of the same tree from whose bark cinnamon and cassia were made. The physician Dioscorides presumed that the spice came from the spikenard plant of Mesopotamia. The spikenard plant and the spices, cinnamon and cassia, figure prominently in the Bible. The Mishnah has many references not only to the familiarity of the Judaic sages with spikenard and the other plants but names the sages that traded in the products.

The Jews obviously were adept at keeping a secret!

The very origin of the Roman and Greek names of spices from the East point to the Jews as the traders who brought them to the West. In Psalms (45:9) we encounter the word kesiah, clearly the model for the Greek word kasia. Kiddh becomes the Greek Kitt, a cheap grade of cassia. Herodotus was the first to identify the origin of the Greek word kinnammon from the Canaanite [therefore Hebrew] language.

Augustus, the first Roman emperor, eager to obtain information about the routes to the Far East, is said to have commissioned "the original travel guide" from Isadore of Charax (a town near the estuary of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers). Isadore forthwith authored The Parthian Stations, which served for centuries as a guide to the Far East.

An important historical event highlights the extent to which not only the Babylonian Jews, but the Roman Judahites were versed in the trade routes to Arabia Felix, as the Romans called Himyara. The familiarity of the Judahites with the routes through Arabia is evidenced by the arrangements for a Roman military expedition into southern Arabia under the command of Aelius Gallus, proconsul of Egypt. Its purpose was to counter the opposition of and competition by the Ethiopians in obtaining aromatics and precious stones from Himyara and to expand Roman hegemony over the area. An army of 10,000 Roman soldiers were assigned to the task. The Romans knew little about the region. Gallus turned to Herod for assistance. Herod obliged by supplying Gallus with 500 Jewish troops as scouts to augment the Nabateans in his formidable army. The Judaic contingent was undoubtedly intended to facilitate the expedition through intimate knowledge of the routes and byways of the Arabian peninsula. They were valued for their contacts with the Bedouins and the local sedentary populations and for their familiarity with the indigenous languages. The military adventure took place in 25-24 B.C.E. Nonetheless, it was ignorance of desert conditions that defeated the Romans. Disease and the lack of water disastrously ended the expedition.

Roman and Byzantine Christian Intervention

The Romans were frustrated again and again in their attempts to establish military control over the land routes to India The Babylonian Jews, being outside of the Roman polity, steadily and peacefully increased their presence and influence through commerce with the indigenous Arab peoples. The Judahite Jews under Roman rule collaborated with their Babylonian compatriots in the expansion of Judaic influence among the Arabs.

Bishop Simeon of Beth Arsam in Syria, inveighed against the Judahites, registering loud and bitter complaints about their abetting of the Babylonian Jewish influence among the Arabs. "Those Jews who are in Tiberias," he wrote, "send priests of theirs year by year and season by season to stir up commotion against the Christian people of the Himyarites."16 In fact, there is much evidence confirming Simeon's concerns. For example, a remarkable third-century inscription and monogram of a Himyarite Jewish elder, Menahem, was recovered from the catacombs in Beth Shearim, in which he had been interred along with the revered redactors of the Mishnah.

The Christian hierarchy took the matter seriously. They demanded that "the chief priests in Tiberias and in the remainder of the country be cast into prison... that they give sureties that they will not send letters and emissaries to the king of Himyara... and to tell them that unless they do so, their synagogues will be burned down, the Cross placed over them, and the Christians will take control of them."17

In addition to Christian correspondence, much of the Arabian graffiti surviving from the first few centuries of the Common Era (such as an inscription of Simon in the year 307), are "indubitable remnants of pre-Islamic Arab-Jewish life."

As Nabatean civilization waned, Jewish influence in Arabia grew and eventually displaced that of the Nabateans. Nabatean inscriptions themselves attest to a process by which Jewish traders had become so well established that they became the very representatives of the Nabateans in Hejaz after 300 C.E. Citing two of these Nabatean inscriptions, Werner Caskel notes that "These are the beginnings of the Jewish population [of the region], which later occupied all the oases in the northwest, including Medinah."

The profundity of Judaic influence upon Arabian culture is evidenced by the Aramaic or Hebraic etymology of the names of tools and products among the Arabs, and by the very names of the population centers that had grown from simple trading posts at oases to sizable villages and towns. For example, a settlement referred to in Egyptian sources as Athribis, and recorded in Greek literature as Yathrib, became the Arabicized but Hebraic el-Medina (meaning "urban district"). The town of Khaibar, for another example, some 60 miles north of Medina, appears to derive from the Hebrew term heber, ("association"), referring to an association of several Judaic communities at what had evolved into a major agricultural and trading center. Alternately, an Arab writer suggested that the name derives from the Hebrew kabir, meaning strong or stronghold.

"Here in their new homeland in Arabia the Jews introduced handicrafts, the goldsmith's art, and the [date] palm, which became to the [later] Mohammedans what the potato became to the Irish. Here they founded Medina. Here they helped the Quraish convert their villages into cities. With their great numbers and twenty-five hundred years of experience the Jews gave [the future] Mecca a cosmopolitan air."

These communities were sustained agriculturally by the introduction of irrigation systems, advanced methods of cultivation, and a variety of new Mesopotamian crops. "They also developed new arts and crafts from metal work to dyeing and the production of fine jewelry, and taught the neighboring tribes more advanced methods of exchanging goods and money. Most of the agricultural terms and names of implements recorded in pre-Islamic Arabic poetry or the Qu'ran are borrowed from their Aramaic speech. Arab traditions themselves ascribe to them the introduction of the honey bee and many new fruits, including the date. The palm tree, long glorified in Palestinian letters as a symbol of Judaism, now became the object of adulation in Arabic poetry as well. A Jewess was reputed to have brought the first [grape] vine to Ta'if near Mecca, an area later proverbial for its viticulture."

"By their irrigation systems, the observance of certain dietary rules, and especially by building their castles on hills rather than in the fever-infested valleys, the Jews pioneered also in fighting the theretofore deadly diseases. So impressed were their neighbors that, on one occasion, an Arab woman who had lost several children vowed to bring up as Jews all her future offspring."

In the mid-fourth century the land routes through Arabia to the Far East had become tempting prizes to both the Romans and Byzantines. The main routes led from the heart of Persia., where, in the heart of ancient Mesopotamia, the Zoroastrian Sassanians harbored a Judaic civilization that included great universities and a population of well over a million Jews. The Talmudic period reached its height at this time. Jewish artisans and traders constituted the industrial and commercial heart of Persia, and it was they who had pioneered the trade routes into China and India.

The northern routes through Persia were secured under Persian control by campaigns under the Sassanian king Shapur II (310-79). The Romans and Byzantines empires were obliged therefore to humiliatingly employ Jewish intermediaries for the silk, spices and other exotic products from China and India. The Christian empires sought an alternate route to Arabia Felix (Himyara) and access to the sea route to India

The trade routes through Arabia were likewise under the sway of Persian and other Jews independent of the Jews under Roman hegemony. These Jews were effectively proselytizing, and therefore blocked not only access to Eastern markets but also to the spread of Christianity. Judaic proselytization was proving highly effective in attracting Arabs, for Judaic anti-establishment precepts were in perfect accord with the Bedouin philosophy of independence.

"To salvage the empire's life line to India, as well as to build up a system of Roman satellite states as a permanent threat to Persia's flank, Constantius embarked upon a policy of converting to Christianity the fare-flung Arab settlements and their Ethiopian neighbors. More immediately successful in Ethiopia, where Egyptian influence combined with the presence of old Jewish communities had long paved the way for Christianity, his and his successors' missionary efforts led to the conversion of the northern Glassimids and the establishment of Christian communities in Najran and elsewhere on the Peninsula proper."

"Abyssinia came more exclusively under the influence of Rome, and Christianity made more progress there. In course of time the Abyssinians succeeded in establishing their power on the other side [of the Red Sea], and it was by supporting their overlordship that the Romans sought to maintain their hold upon South Arabia, while Persia, on the other hand, sought to foster the spirit of independence among the native population."

The Christians viewed Judaic influence as inimical to their own universal campaign for conversion. The Christian historian, Philostorgius, wrote that when the Christian missionary Theophilus arrived in Himyara about the middle of the fourth century, he found there "not a small number of Jews... whose accustomed fraud and malice" he had to silence. Philostorgius and Theophilus were referring to the effective proselytizing by the Jews in the region, and to the threat to Christianity Jewish precepts posed not only abroad but at home!

The Spread of Judaism among the Arabs

Notwithstanding Christian efforts and despite the power of Rome behind them, "Judaism continued to gain even more ground. In a fifth-century inscription a person named Sahir, probably a convert, wrote 'Blessed and praised be the name of the Merciful, who is in Heaven and Israel and its God, the Lord of Judah.' Sahir also gave to one of his sons the good Jewish name Meir."

Mizrahi Yemenite woman

Thousands of inscriptions have been found in Yemen, the former Himyara. Their recovery was not a simple matter, for "infidels" were, to say the least, unwelcome The earliest research on and recovery of inscriptions had to be done surreptitiously, and it took brave men to carry it off. In 1843 a Frenchman, Thomas Arnaud entered Ma'rib, the city of the Queen of Sheba, in disguise and made the first European description of its ruins.

Arnaud was followed in 1869 by another disguised scholar, Professor Joseph Halevy, a French Jew also famed for being the first European Jew to visit the Beta Israel, the Falasha Jews of Ethiopia. and subsequently becoming an advocate for the community. Halevy smuggled out 686 forbidden copies of inscriptions.

Halevy was followed by the Austrian, Edouard Glaser, who made three incognito trips to Ma'rib between 1880 and 1893 and brought back hundreds of artifacts and copies of over 1,000 inscriptions. A large proportion of these inscriptions, some dating back to the first century, can be identified as Judaic in origin. They clearly establish the existence of a powerful Judaic influence prior to the advent of Islam.

Judaic presence and influence throughout the region burgeoned steadily throughout the first few centuries of the Common Era. The process is substantiated by solidly sympathetic references to Jews and Judaism in pre-Islamic Arabic literature. By the sixth century, it is clear that "Jewish tribes dominated Yathrib (Medina)... Among some twenty Jewish tribes mentioned in later Arabic literature stand out the Aramaic-sounding Banu Zaghura. More important were the Banu Nadhir, Banu Quraiah and Banu Qainuqa', who between them, occupied at one time fifty-nine strongholds and practically the entire fertile countryside... Other Jewish settlements... included Dedan, Al-Hijr, Teima, Ablaq, central Arabian Yamana, Ta-if, and possibly, Mecca"

An Arab/Jewish Kingdom

Bedouin Arabs from all over the peninsula were attracted to the flourishing Judaic settlements, and many opted to settle down to a sedentary life. These Bedouins were hospitably received by the Jewish farmers, and many became proselytes. In some cases, the Bedouins were prevented from joining the Jewish community unless they converted. The Arab writer al-Bakri , for example, states that the Bedouin tribe Banu Hishna desired to become part of the Jewish community in Teima, and "were prevented by the Jews from entering their fort as long as they professed another religion, and only when they embraced Judaism were they admitted."

A number of inscriptions, and particularly one dated 516 C.E., inform us that an important Arab chieftain, Ma'ad-Karib Ya'hur, "King of Saba and Dhu-Rhaidean, and Hadhramaut, and Yamnat, and their Arabs of Taud and Tihanat," probably professed Judaism, and that it may even reflect a sort of conversion or other type of adherence to the Judaism of some of his progenitors. What is certain is that his son, Dhu Nuwas, was a firm believer in Judaism.

Dhu Nuwas changed his name to Joseph, and assumed the role of defender of the Jews. He campaigned "to erect through Judaism a dam against advancing Christianity." He formed a coalition army to stem the incursion of the Abyssinian Christian forces when they threatened to destroy Himyara's independence.

Yemenite Jewish bride

Abyssinia (Ethiopia) lay directly across the Red Sea from Himyara (Yemen). Abyssinia came under the influence of Rome, and Christianity established a firm foothold there. The Romans sought to obtain a stronger hold upon South Arabia by supporting Abyssinian overlordship. The Abyssinian Christians were also supported by the otherwise anti-Roman Byzantines. Persia, on the other hand, sought to encourage the spirit of independence among the native Arab population.

The Abyssinians launched several campaigns to conquer the Bedouins and convert them to Christianity. Their invasion through the southern flank of the Arabian peninsula was decisively stemmed by the forces under Dhu Nuwas During these hostilities Nuwas retaliated against the "traitorous" Christians in the town of Nejran, an event that led to a spate of atrocity stories by the Christians. Nuwas was accused of brutally exterminating the Christian community of that town. The minor local affair was exaggerated into a commemoration by eastern churches of the martyrdom of the Nejran Christians on several dates. Typical of the tales told was one of a nine-year old Christian girl who was said to have spat in the face of Dhu Nuwas, saying "May thy mouth be closed, Jew, killer of his Lord."

This and other equally spurious stories were being spread by Simeon, the Syrian Bishop of Beth Arsham , along with his insistent complaints about the support being given by the Jews of Tiberias to their Arabian coreligionists. Simeon was not averse to manufacturing stories to support his case. He reported that while on a diplomatic mission in Hira, he saw a messenger of the Arab king of Himyara "bearing a letter to the [Arab] Lakhmid king, Mundhir, which ended in the following exhortation:"

"...You may rejoice that we have not left a Christian, not one, in this land of ours, and that you may also act likewise... but as for the Jews who are in your dominion that you be their helper in everything."

How Simeon was able to read such a secret missile is left to the imagination. Simeon's accusations, whether true in their details or not, spurred Justin I to request the Patriarch Timothy III of Alexandria to enlist the Abyssinian king Elesbias to intervene in Yemen against "the abominable and lawless Jew." The Abyssinians received massive support from the Byzantines, who, despite their quarrels with the Romans, supplied the ships to transport the Abyssinian troops to southern Arabia.

Dhu Nuwas was unable to obtain equivalent support from the Persians, inasmuch as at that moment (523-25) the Sassanian empire was crumbling from unceasing internal rifts and other disastrous exigencies. The forces under Dhu Nuwas were defeated, and he was killed while trying to repel an overwhelming Abyssinian invasion. It is said that rather than surrender, "Riding his horse up a tall cliff which overlooked the sea, he committed suicide by jumping into the water."

The Christians did not win a lasting victory, for the sympathies of the Arab tribes clearly lay with the Jews among them, both immigrant and converts. A popular liberation movement was launched against Abyssinian Christian domination under Saif Dhu Yazan, a descendant of Dhu Nuwas and likewise a professing Jew. Curiously, Saif, aware of friction between the Rome and the Byzantines, ventured to appeal to the Byzantine emperor for aid against the Abyssinians. "Byzantium had every reason also to resent Abyssinian non-cooperation in her recurrent conflicts with Persia." The ploy by Saif was disdainfully rebuked, because "'You are Jews, while the Ethiopians are Christians.'"

Saif's appeal to Persia proved more successful, and brought a Persian expeditionary force. "But the result was merely the exchange of one foreign oppressor for another. Nevertheless, Himyarite Jews, whether of Jewish or Arabic extraction, weathered the harsh Abyssinian regime.... As is well known, Yemenite Jewry continued to play a significant role in its own country, contributing to the building up of the Jewish homeland in Palestine."

Jewish traders were also important intermediaries in the trade to the Far East through the Red Sea. A substantial colony of Jews were rooted on the island of Yotabe (now Jijban) strategically located in the Gulf of Aqaba.. The island served the traffic to Himyara and India through the Red Sea in the same way as Dilmun did on the north side of the peninsula in the Persian Gulf. In the fifth century an Arab prince and his tribe occupied half the island. The other half was a Jewish Free State that had been there from time immemorial.33 The fact that the two peoples lived and traded peacefully side by side over an extended period of time bespeaks the positive relationship that endured between them.

The island came under Persian occupation in 473, and the Jewish colony continued to carry on Red Sea trade under a semi-autonomous status. Geopolitics make strange bedfellows, and one of the strangest of associations subsequently took place on Yotabe. The Byzantine Emperor Anastasius recaptured the island in 498. At first the Byzantines, finding the Jews commercially invaluable, pragmatically tolerated their activities. In the meantime, campaigns were being launched against the Himyarites and the Jews among the Himyarites. Seven Abyssinian vessels were stationed and furbished for the Abyssinian expedition against the Himyaran co-religionists of the Jews of Yotabe.

About the year 535 Justinian annulled the autonomous status of the Jews. It is likely that he took this action because the Byzantine campaign against the Himyarites was being surreptitiously compromised by the Jews.

The Growth of Judaism in Arabia

In the year 602, however, the fortunes of the Jews again reversed for the better, for the Persians prevailed over the Byzantines, and the Jews were able to continue their land and seaborne enterprises in relative freedom as before. The settlements expanded into sizable communities, occupying "all the oases in the northwest including Medinah."

"Flourishing settlements of this type irresistibly attracted the Bedouins from all over the Peninsula. Much as the latter glorified their freedom and independence from the sedentary way of life, sooner or later they began viewing such agriculturally prosperous oases not only as fit objects for raids, but ultimately also as enviable sources of economic security. By slow infiltration several Arab tribes drifted into Medina and its vicinity, and were hospitably received by the Jewish farmers.

By the sixth century, these new arrivals, steadily reinforced from the south and unified under an able leader, Malik ibn Ajlan, eventually prevailed over their hosts... Nevertheless... vigorous Jewish tribes [in villages] in and around the center of northern Arabia, possibly constituted the majority of the settled population. Of course, they were not all of Jewish extraction. In large part they were descended from Arab proselytes, as indicated in the remarkable story of the Banu Hishna in Teima."34 The story refers to the evidence cited above by the Arab writer al-Bakri, in which a tribe of Arab Bedouins were required to convert before being admitted .to citizenship in a Jewish community.

No less significant than the economic benefits accruing to Arabia as a result of the introduction of wider-scale agriculture and industry was the cultural impact of Judaic literacy, the poems they recited and the stories they told as "The People of the Book."

The Arab tribes, being illiterate, were traditionally engaged in a rich oral tradition of story-telling and allegorical poesy. The Jews carried on a similar oral tradition. Jewish poets were particularly appreciated by the Arabs. Ka'b ibn al-Ashaf of Medina, the son of a Jew and an Arab women, lived his entire youth among the Bedouins, and his poetry reflected his experiences among them.

Some of the Jewish poetry reflected a particularly Arabic warrior flavor, such as that of Samau'al ibn 'Adiyah, who sang, "We are men of the sword, and when we draw it we exterminate our enemies." But Samau'al , the knightly lord of Al-Ablaq, near Teima, whose name soon became proverbial for faithfulness [to Judaism] in the whole Arab world, was typical of the warlike, yet economically fairly advanced Jewish settlers of the Peninsula."

Traders crossing the Arabian Desert.

Arabs would leave their tents and campfires to gather in the inns and communities of the Jews to "listen to the exploits of one or another biblical hero. These stories need not have clung too closely to the biblical narratives, but were often adorned with all the embroideries of the later Aggadah, or the creations of the story teller's on fertile imagination."

The biblical stories, retold by Jewish and Arab raconteurs, found their way to a camel-driver's ears, and were eventually noted down by his listeners in the Qu'ran.


ZAKHOR (Heb. "Remember"), black Judaizing movement in Mali comprising around 1,000 people. It was founded in Timbuktu in 1993 by the Malian historian Ismael Daidé Haïdara, whose followers claim to be the offspring of Saharan Jews. In a manifesto published in 1996, the members of Zakhor recognize themselves as Jews and declare themselves to be descendants of the Jews of Touat. The Touat, the region at the limit of the Sahara in western Algeria, was, up to 1492, inhabited by Jews involved in trans-Saharan trade. At that time, Sheikh Abd el Krim el Meghili, a scholar and a mystic, exterminated them and ordered the destruction of their synagogues at Siljimassa and Tamentit.

According to Zakhor, some of the Jewish survivors from Touat, following the routes of caravans, took refuge with other Jews settled along the Niger, but their safety was only temporary. Soon afterwards, in 1493, under the influence of the same el Meghili, Askyia Muhammad the Great, the ruler of this region, introduced an edict for the eviction of the Jews of the Songhai. They apparently found themselves in the position of choosing either to renounce their faith or to die. Haïdara, the leader of Zakhor, noted that "the Jews could not go further, in front of the great Nile of the Arabs [that is, the river Niger]. They stopped facing the Koran and the sword. They converted." This was how, he concluded, the black Jews became Muslims. Today, the members of Zakhor portray themselves as a small, early Jewish population which is said to have been superseded by the subsequent Islamic community, with only tiny remnants of Judaism surviving. The heads of the families who founded Zakhor relate that the three families constituting their community from the 16th century, the Levite Kehaths, now named Kati, the Cohens and the Abanas, were not in fact the first Jewish inhabitants of these regions.

In the 11th century, el Bakri and el Idrissi, the great Arab historians and geographers, referred to the presence of populations "who read the Tawrat" in what would become Mali. Abraham *Cresques, the famous Majorcan Jewish geographer, upon establishing the Catalan Atlas, in 1375, presumably located Mali and its emperor, on the basis of information from his Malian co-religionists. Leo Africanus who visited this region in the first part of the 15th century, the Tarikh el-Sudan of the 15th century, and the Tarikh el-Fetash of the 17th century, the essential corpus of sources of information about medieval western Africa, mentioned the presence of Jews in the region of Gao and Tendirma.

Under the aegis of UNESCO, the gradual discovery at Timbuktu of old manuscripts, some of which date back to the 13th century, constitutes an unpublished scientific treasure trove likely to bring much information about the possible settlement of Jews in this area.


ZAKHOR (Heb. "Remember"), black Judaizing movement in Mali comprising around 1,000 people. It was founded in Timbuktu in 1993 by the Malian historian Ismael Daidé Haïdara, whose followers claim to be the offspring of Saharan Jews. In a manifesto published in 1996, the members of Zakhor recognize themselves as Jews and declare themselves to be descendants of the Jews of Touat. The Touat, the region at the limit of the Sahara in western Algeria, was, up to 1492, inhabited by Jews involved in trans-Saharan trade. At that time, Sheikh Abd el Krim el Meghili, a scholar and a mystic, exterminated them and ordered the destruction of their synagogues at Siljimassa and Tamentit.

According to Zakhor, some of the Jewish survivors from Touat, following the routes of caravans, took refuge with other Jews settled along the Niger, but their safety was only temporary. Soon afterwards, in 1493, under the influence of the same el Meghili, Askyia Muhammad the Great, the ruler of this region, introduced an edict for the eviction of the Jews of the Songhai. They apparently found themselves in the position of choosing either to renounce their faith or to die. Haïdara, the leader of Zakhor, noted that "the Jews could not go further, in front of the great Nile of the Arabs [that is, the river Niger]. They stopped facing the Koran and the sword. They converted." This was how, he concluded, the black Jews became Muslims. Today, the members of Zakhor portray themselves as a small, early Jewish population which is said to have been superseded by the subsequent Islamic community, with only tiny remnants of Judaism surviving. The heads of the families who founded Zakhor relate that the three families constituting their community from the 16th century, the Levite Kehaths, now named Kati, the Cohens and the Abanas, were not in fact the first Jewish inhabitants of these regions.

In the 11th century, el Bakri and el Idrissi, the great Arab historians and geographers, referred to the presence of populations "who read the Tawrat" in what would become Mali. Abraham *Cresques, the famous Majorcan Jewish geographer, upon establishing the Catalan Atlas, in 1375, presumably located Mali and its emperor, on the basis of information from his Malian co-religionists. Leo Africanus who visited this region in the first part of the 15th century, the Tarikh el-Sudan of the 15th century, and the Tarikh el-Fetash of the 17th century, the essential corpus of sources of information about medieval western Africa, mentioned the presence of Jews in the region of Gao and Tendirma.

Under the aegis of UNESCO, the gradual discovery at Timbuktu of old manuscripts, some of which date back to the 13th century, constitutes an unpublished scientific treasure trove likely to bring much information about the possible settlement of Jews in this area.

In a manifesto published in 1996, the members of Zakhor recognize themselves as Jews and declare themselves to be descendants of the Jews of Touat.

Zakhor (the Timbuktu Association for Friendship with the Jewish World)

Zakhor is a an association of descendents of Jews that nowadays are Muslim & live in Timbuktu & suroundings. They wanna come back to Judaism.

The Sahara Cave Dwellers are found in the Atlas Mountains south of Tripolitania and Tunisia. Closely related to the Jews of the Sahara, they believe that their ancestors were brought as captives from Judea by Titus after 70 AD. They cut out tiny paper boats, which decorate their synagogues where they pray: May a boat soon come and carry us to Jerusalem.

There are quite a number of peoples today who cling to the ancient tradition that they are descended from the Israelites Lost Tribes: the tribesmen of Afghanistan, the Mohammedan Berbers of West Africa, and the six million Christian Igbo people of Nigeria. Unquestionably, they all practice certain ancient Hebraic customs and beliefs, which lends some credibility to their fantastic-sounding claims.

Muslim-Jews lost in the no-man's-land of identity

A new comedy film called The Infidel is creating a sensation in the British press: it is about a British Muslim who, in a matter of minutes, discovers he was adopted and that he was born Jewish. Why is the film considered so controversial, even outrageous? In the West, Jews and Muslims are seen as polar opposites, eternal adversaries. To put them both together in the same script seems guaranteed to offend members of both religions.

In fact a Muslim who discovers he's a Jew is not as outlandish as it sounds. There is the case of the Jew from Kuwait. The Jewish girl brought up by her Muslim neighbours after her family abandoned her in their chaotic exodus from Egypt. The Libyan leader Colonel Gaddafi, whose Jewish grandmother makes him a Halachic Jew. Mixed families are known to live in Kurdistan, Egypt and Lebanon. Thousands of Muslim Yemenis are dimly aware of their Jewish roots. One Jewish convert was even President of North Yemen.

Traditionally, the two communities kept apart in the Middle East, and intermarriage has always been rare. But the mass flight Jews from Arab countries has left behind a number of Muslim-Jews in the no-man's land of identity.

In Iraq, only seven or eight bona fide Jews remain. Baghdad-born Shmuel Moreh, emeritus professor at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, has been quoted as saying: “There are others, but they barely know that they are Jews; in many cases, their parents did not tell them." The rest have become Muslim or are in hiding for fear of being murdered by terrorists if they do perform some outward act of Judaism, such as embarking on a Jewish pilgrimage. 

Firas al-Hamdani thinks that his family was among the last Jews to leave Baghdad. He managed to move to Holland in 2007. He contacted Point of No Return for information about Jewish relatives.

"My family and I tried to stay as long as possible in Iraq, because we didn't want to leave our country. We had our work, life and social network. Every year we promised ourselves, next year life will be better. We were threatened a lot by terrorists and they always wanted to kill us, because we were Jewish. Two years ago we couldn't be safe anymore and we lived in real terror. We couldn't sleep at home, moved from friend to friend. They tried to kill me three times, but thanks to God, I'm still alive.

"First I made sure my sisters and mother left the country. I left last and flew to the Netherlands. My family was in Amman during this time. The UN made sure they could move to Chicago (my young sister and family) and Berlin (my other sister and mother).

"For a long time, we have been looking for our relatives and as a son I'm always hurt by seeing my mother cry about her lost mother and sister. This is the pain we take with us every day.

At the time of Saddam they took us every six months to question us about if we had any connection to our Jewish family. We didn't have a quiet life, because they constantly accused us of being spies. We couldn't do anything at that time and it was also very difficult. Why didn't we leave all this time? Same reason as after, we loved our country and were always waiting for our family to search for us.

"After the war the situation became a little better because we did not have terrorists coming from outside the country. As you know this changed soon enough. The terrorists came and all they wanted was to kill us because we were Jewish.

"Now we all are safe and very thankful. The only thing I want is to find my family and one day, when Iraq is safe again, I will go back.

Firas's story is the heart-breaking tale of a split family. His mother, who was born in 1943, was apparently separated from her mother and sister.

" My mother was always teling us this story," he told Point of No Return.

Today there are less than 10,000 Jews where there were once 850,000 in Arab countries.

It's believed that the Saudi Arabian monarchy is crypto-Jewish, in other words, they hide their Judaism. It's a known fact that the Jordanian monarchy has some Jewish ancestry. This might be why the Jordanian kings have been & still are pretty sympathetic with the Jewish State of Israel. At least as compared to the region's approach to Israel.

Jewish Communities in the Greater Middle East 

                                            Symbols of Berbers & Jews respectively

These are the Jewish (practicing, not only ethnical) communities in the Greater Middle East. I say practicing because there are thousands of Berbers in Sahara desert & surroundings as well as Arabs in the Arabian peninsula of Jewish origins. They are ethnic Jews that became Muslims.  The Donmeh are ethnic Jews that became Moslem as well & live in Turkey. The Druzes are a particular branch of Shia Islam of Jewish origin.

Not to mention that the Jordanian monarchy has Jewish roots & it's even believed that the ruling Saudi monarchy is crypto-Jewish too. In fact both monarchies supported the colonization, or recovery, by the Jews of  the Holy Land.

Finaly the Samaritans, the Israeli Arabs, the Palestinians & many Jordanian Palestinians as well as the Bedouins from both sides of the Jordan have Jewish/relative & Israelite. Jewish origins implies only the tribe of Judah, so the rest of Israelite tribes like the Pashtun, Kurds, Kashmiris.... are not counted here. 

Here are the numbers of practicing Jews in this area of the world as for the end of  2013. Some countries have an explanation next to the number of  Jews. I added 4 other countries to the list which don't belong to this area: Singapur, Bangladesh & Comoros. Comoros is part of the Arab League so it's related with the area. Singapur & Bangladesh are two countries with an important Muslim population & a Muslim majority. 

If most Arab countries are not shown in the list is because they're already in the graphic. The Arab countries have a graphic because at the declaration of independence of Israel close to 1 million Jews were expeled from the Arab countries in what is called the Jewish Nakba.

Many Jews were expeled from other Muslim countries too but the situation was less dramatic. Nowadays there are few practicing Jews in the Arab countries with none in Libya, Mauritania, in the Arabian peninsula & Sudan.

The only lively Jewish community are the one in Marrakech & surroundings in Morocco & the island of Jerba in Tunisia. Here are the numbers:

Georgia 13,000 Armenia 100 Azerbajan 9,100 Comoros 0? Singapore 300  Turkey 17,800 

Iran 8,756 Bangladesh 1,837 Eritrea 1 Kazakhstan 18,000 Afghanistan 1


Some Jewish families do remain, but they prefer to pass themselves off as Parsis due to the intolerance for Jews in Muslim Pakistan. Their number is estimated to be around 200 persons.

Bukharan Jews

By the Six-Day War in 1967, the relationship between Bukharan Jews and Muslims had reached a breaking point, and the Soviet Union became openly anti-Semitic. The government discontinued diplomacy with Israel and forbade Jews to make aliyah. Although these restrictions lasted until the late 1980s, about 8,000 Bukharan Jews managed to immigrate to Israel from 1972 to the first half of 1975.


The one remaining synagogue in Tajikistan is located in Dushanbe. In the summer of 2004, however, the Tajik government announced its intent to demolish the 100-year-old structure to make room for a presidential palace. The community of 500 Jews in Dushanbe, most of whom are Bukharan, as well as the world Jewish community, and the U.S. and Israeli embassies in Tajikistan intervened to prevent the destruction of the historic synagogue.


Today, approximately 600 Jews live in the country, primarily in the capital, Ashkhabad. There are also communities in Turkmenbashi, Mary, and Dashoguz. A tiny group of Bukharan Jews lives in Turkmenabat, a village on the border with Uzbekistan.


The Jewish community of Bukhara is now around 3,000 and, in Samarkand, there are approximately 2,000 Bukharan Jews. The approximately 900 remaining Bukharan Jews are for the most part elderly, poverty-stricken and subject to anti-Semitic attacks and persecution. The Joint Distribution Committee, working with community centers and other Jewish organizations, send food packages and try to care for the aged. The Jewish community of Tajikistan is barely able to function and relies on the aid of world Jewish organizations for support.

The last name Issakharov of Bukhara

Issakharov (son of Issakhar) is a common last name in the area of Bukhara (Uzbekistan) & it's doubtless one of the lost tribes. the tribe of Issakhar. Are they part of the Issacharites? That's what it is believed by most people. Are the Russian last names Zakharov & Sakharov related? Seems like. At least it seams they come from Isakar.


The question may sound fanciful. But not only do many Jews and Palestinians share remarkably similar DNA, there are also numerous customs and even names that overlap.

Among those who have researched the topic is Tsvi Misinai, an Israeli businessman who writes and speaks extensively about the connection between the Palestinians and the Jews. He claims that nearly 90 percent of all Palestinians are descended from Jews who remained in Israel after the destruction of Second Temple 2,000 years ago, but were forced to convert to Islam.

According to Misinai, the Hebrew ancestors of the Palestinians were rural mountain dwellers who were allowed to remain in the land in order to supply Rome with grain and olive oil.

While Misinai is an advocate of this theory, he’s not the only scholar or even political figure to claim a Jewish connection for the Palestinians. The first president of Israel, Yitzhak Ben-Zvi as well as former Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, wrote several books and articles on the subject.

Ben-Tzvi suggested that Jews who remained in the Land of Israel “loved the land so much that they were willing to give up their religion.” The reference is to an edict in the year 1012 by Caliph el-Hakim who ordered non-Muslims to either convert or leave. The decree was revoked just 32 years later, but it was too late for most of the converts. Only 27 percent returned to Judaism openly and even they remained Musta’arabi (culturally and linguistically Arab).

Journalist Rachel Avraham, who works for Israel’s Channel 2 News, asserts that Jews did convert to Islam, but that it came much more recently – in the early 1900s under the rule of the Ottoman Turks. She cites a confidential interview with a Palestinian man living in Jerusalem who says the conversion push was a response by the Ottoman sultan after Theodore Herzl informed him of the Zionist movement’s intentions in the Land of Israel. “This resulted in the Sultan going crazy and making sure that would not happen, although he did refrain from issuing a formal edict of conversion,” Avraham writes.

She also mentions a Sephardi Jewish family living in Bayt Itab, near Beit Shemesh, that began holding Friday prayers “on both Friday and Saturday so that the Ottomans would be fooled into believing that they were not Jews.” She adds that local Palestinians use the expression “he’s a Cohen” to refer to someone who is wise. “Why do they use that term [when] most Palestinians don’t know what a Cohen is?”

Whether their Jewish roots go back 100 or 1,000 years, Ben-Gurion went so far as to set up a task force headed by Moshe Dayan to develop ways to “Judaize” the Bedouin, teaching them about modern Jewish life with an aim towards integrating them with the Israeli people – if not religiously, then ethnically. The program was eventually dropped when Dayan convinced Ben-Gurion that the idea would upset the Islamic world.

                                              Jewish star over Palestinian building

More recently, Israeli Rabbi Dov Stein offered his own estimate that up to 85 percent of Palestinians on the west side of the Jordan River are descended from Jews.

Misinai elaborates on his thesis about the Jewish roots of the Palestinians in his 2008 book, Brother Shall Not Lift Sword Against Brother. He claims, for example, that the 1919 cooperation agreement between Emir Faisal and Chaim Weizmann, who would later become Israel’s first president, was based on a shared heritage.

“Faisal’s proclamations of kinship with the Jews were more than lip service,” Misinai says. “Faisal’s paternal line was Hashemite…but the mother of his maternal grandfather, King On, was descended from a family of forced Jewish converts to Islam that immigrated to the east bank of the Jordan, later returning to one of the villages west of the Jordan. Unlike today, when Faisal was growing up his grandfather’s mother’s Jewish origin was known and they made no great effort to hide it.”

Indeed, Misinai says that “more than half” of the Palestinians know about their Jewish roots, which include such Jewish traditions as lighting candles on Friday night, seven days of mourning (vs. the usual three in most Islamic communities), circumcision on the eighth day (brit mila), and even wearing Tefillin (phylacteries). The latter was done usually by someone who was ill, especially by those suffering from headaches. The rosh of the Tefillin would be placed on the forehead with the straps wrapped around the person’s head and tightened. Unfortunately, today, “other than among a few people, the true meaning of the Tefillin has been lost,” Misinai says.

“Several Palestinians have gone through formal conversion,” Misinai adds, while others have taken on Jewish practices and “say they don’t need to convert because they know they’re already Jews.” Several Palestinian families own ancient hanukkiot which they use in mid-winter, usually around Hanukah time, Misinai says. Some homes have doorpost indentations for a mezuzah (although the scroll itself is usually missing).

Among the more knowledgeable Palestinians of Jewish descent are several large clans in the hills near Hebron and among the Bedouin in the Negev. Not only do they know of their heritage, they “even have family trees that document their roots…their neighbors would call them ‘the Jews,’ even though they were technically as Muslim as anyone else,” Misinai says.

In one of the Hebron-area villages, a tribal leader describes his clan’s Jewish history. In a departure from Misinai’s main thesis, Muhammed Amsalem explained in an interview with Aharon Granot of Mishpacha Magazine, that ”our elders tell us our forefathers came to this land during the Spanish Inquisition, via Morocco. They settled in Ramle. Then the Mamluks forced them to convert to Islam, and they moved to the southern Hebron area.”

The ancient name of the Amsalem family clan –Maahamra – means “winemaker,” a trade that is forbidden by Islam. Because the Maahamras converted relatively late in history, even more “secret” customs have been preserved. One man in the Amsalem clan has a small Hebrew booklet of Psalms with which he continues to pray to this day.

In 1982, the leaders of the Palestinian village of Bidya offered to enlist in the IDF to fight in Lebanon. “The Jewish origin of many of Bidya’s clans is a well known fact, even today,” says Misnai.

Misinai once interviewed a Bedouin leader who said that his people “had no choice but to convert. This was centuries ago. I remember my mother and grandmother wouldn’t light fire on Sabbath and they had a special mikveh” (a ritual bath).

Even in Gaza, there are Palestinians of Jewish descent, Misinai says – even higher than the 90 percent he claims for the rest of the region.

Not everyone agrees with Misina’s ideas. American archeologist Eric Cline reported in his book, Jerusalem Besieged that historians “have generally concluded that most, if not all, modern Palestinians are probably more closely related to the Arabs of Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Jordan, and other countries [and that] the major movements of those Arabs into the region occurred after 600 CE.” Sherif Hussein, the Guardian of Islamic Holy Places of Arabia, has stated that the ancestors of the Palestinians have only been in the region for 1,000 years.

Writing in The Jewish Press, Rachel Avraham adds that, according to other scholars, “following the Black Plague and Crusades in 1517, only 300,000 people were left in the Land of Israel, of whom 5,000 were Jewish…many of the ancestors of the modern Palestinians came in the late Ottoman and early British Mandate period. During the British Mandate period alone, 100,000 Arabs from neighboring countries immigrated to the Holy Land.”

Misinai remains unconvinced. Among the evidence for the ancient Jewish roots of the Palestinians are names – both place and family names. Villages such as Kfar Yasif, Kfar Kana and Kfar Yatta rarely appear in other Arabic-speaking countries, Misinai says.

Yitzhak Ben-Zvi, in his 1932 book The Peoples of Our Land, adds that some 227 villages and sites west of the Jordan River had names that were similar to or the same as Jewish communities on the same sites during the Second Temple times. “If in fact the Jewish settlements became inhabited by entirely different people, they would not have preserved the Hebrew names,” Misinai says. That’s what happened on the eastern side of the Jordan River, he points out.

The village of Kawazbe, in Eastern Gush Etzion, is considered by both Jews and local Palestinians to be a corruption of Kuzeiba, the original name of Bar Kochba, who led the rebellion against the Romans nearly 2,000 years ago. Not far away, in a Palestinian village near the Jewish community of Tekoa, a village elder explains that his grandfather was a Jew who converted to Islam.

Israeli Rabbi Stein adds that, “up to about 200 years ago, the Galilee village of Sakhnin was a Jewish town with an active synagogue. The Turks pressured them to convert to Islam, but the people there know they are of Jewish origins.”

Then there are the many family names, which have no roots in Arabic – like the Abulafias of Jaffa who are descended from the 13th century Spanish Jewish Kabbalist Rabbi Avraham Abulafia; the Almogs of Jenin; and the Dawouda (from David) clan of Hebron. Misinai claims that there are even some 4,000 forced converts to Islam living in Jordan with the Hebrew name Cohen.

In 2011, Misinai produced a short film, demonstrating visually some of what he wrote about in his book. In the film, there are visits to Palestinian villages and cities where the Jewish Star of David can still be seen on houses and public buildings.

Another clue can be found in language. All the way back in the 1890s, The Institute for Israel Research reported that the Palestinian dialect of Arabic contains many terms and words not found in standard Arabic, but that result rather from the integration of Hebrew and Aramaic. (Aramaic was the language spoken by many of the Jews in the ancient world and is the language the Babylonian Talmud is written in.)

Scholars believe that these “Hidden Jews” of the Land of Israel spoke exclusively Aramaic as recently as the days of the Crusades and, in 1974, residents of a Palestinian village on the site of the ancient biblical Ofra were Christians who spoke Aramaic. Why is this significant? Non-Jews who converted to Christianity in its early days would probably have spoken Greek. A group that clung to Aramaic would be more likely to have Jewish roots.

Food is often a clue to Jewish roots, and for many Bedouin, non-kosher animals are forbidden. In addition, as Israeli matzah manufacturers have learned, around Passover time, sales of unleavened bread in Palestinian villages and towns goes sky high. Is there just a taste for matzah among the Palestinians or does it have more to do with an ancient religious custom?

The genetic record provides the most striking evidence of the Jewish roots of the Palestinians. A 2001 study by Spanish researcher Prof. Antonio Arnez-Vilna in Human Immunology magazine shows that the immune systems of the Jews and the Palestinians are extremely close to one another. Another study, in 2002, found that only two groups in the world – Ashkenazi Jews and Palestinians – were genetically susceptible to an inherited deafness syndrome.

Hadassah Medical School’s Prof. Ariela Oppenheim performed an international genetic study that backs up the conclusions of “surprisingly close” Jewish-Arab genetic similarities. Oppenheim says her study shows that both Jews and Arabs in Israel are linked with the Kurds of Aram in Babylon – the birthplace of the patriarch Abraham. “It is clear we are from the same family,” Oppenheim declares.

In 2012, Harry Ostrer, professor of pediatrics and pathology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, New York, and Karl Skorecki, director of medical and research development at the Rambam Health Care Campus in Haifa, determined that, “the closest genetic neighbors to most Jewish groups were the Palestinians, Israeli Bedouins, and Druze (in addition to the Southern Europeans, including Cypriots).”

Ostrer’s research on “Abraham’s Children in the Genome Era,” published in October 2012 in The American Journal of Human Genetics, sampled 652,000 gene variants from each of 237 unrelated individuals from seven Jewish populations: Iranian, Iraqi, Syrian, Italian, Turkish, Greek and Ashkenazi. These sequences were then compared with reference samples from non-Jews drawn from the Human Genome Project. Each of the Jewish populations, the research found, “formed its own distinctive cluster,” indicating their shared ancestry and “relative genetic isolation.”

Whether Misinai is right, and whether the scientific, archaeological and genealogical evidence supports him, there is undoubtedly more to be discovered about the surprising Jewish history of Palestinians in the Middle East.

Bedouins - the original inhabitants of Sinai

Many Bedouines have found a job in the touristical areas, but there are still a lot of beduines that seem to be more hidden from German, French, British or Italian "invadors"...

In all Sinai there are approx. 80.000 Beduines, from which only perhaps 30% have found a touristic related occupation. These beduines are mostly found between the Monastery of St. Catherine and Sharm El Sheikh.

Very eye-catching is the clothing of women. It is difficult for visitors to get to see them. Mostly they will see men, while Beduin women stay hidden. However, in some cases you might get across a woman wearing the famous veil (Burgaa) or the scarf, which is called "Tarha" in local language.

Beduines come from places around Sinai such as Palestine, Arabia or Jordan. They settled in Sinai long ago, even though the environment is and was quite tough for living. There is hardly anything else than sand and mountains. Only a closer glance shows that there are some few oasises, plants and animals that allow the Beduines to live a nomadic life as they have always done. Many of the tribes have Jewish origin.

The Bedouine tribes as of today

There are about 11-13 tribes to be distinguished in Sinai, depending on how to define clans and tribes. They are mostly living in tents so that they can leave the place again easily. Others are already living in smaller "wall-surrounded areas" where they usually stay.

The boundaries of the Beduines tribes are indistinct. However, they are understood by a long tradition, each area has been known and respected most of the time. In the past tribal raiding was evident, the history of these movements, alliances and eventual extinction in some cases is fascinating.

Aleiqat: This tribe was one of the first that has settled in Sinai (at the time of the Islamic conquest of Egypt). Their territory is now on the west coast of Sinai.

Aquila: This quite small tribe lives on the Mediterranean coast, right between the Sawarka and the Laheiwat.

Awarma (Suwalha): In South Sinai this is one clan of the overall tribe Suwalha.

Awlad Said (Suwalha): In South Sinai this is one clan of the overall tribe Suwalha.

Ayaida: North Sinai, next to the Channel of Suez.

Gebeleya: These are the people of the mountains. As probably only about 1,500 people they have a very small tribal territory around Mt. Sinai. They are not of Arab descent but are descendants of Macedonian people sent by Emperor Justinian to build, protect and serve the Monastery in the sixth century AD.

Haweitat: The Haweitat have their origin in the Hijaz mountains of northern Arabia. They occupy a triangular area southeast of Suez.

Laheiwat: This tribe is split into 3 geographical areas: one in South Sinai (east), one at the Mediterranean Sea, and another one right next to the Channel of Suez.

Muszeina: this is the largest tribe in Sinai. These Beduines are living in the most southern part of Sinai and visitors of Sharm El Sheik will most probably see them on their visit to Sinai.

Qararsha (Suwalha): In South Sinai this is one clan of the overall tribe Suwalha.

Tarabin: The Tarabin or Tirabin, who have tribal territories, or dirha, in both North and South Sinai, are of Palestinian Jewish origin

Tiyaha: This tribe occupies an enormous territory in central Sinai; they origine - just as the Tarabin - from Palestine.


The Suwarka are the most numerous ones, They live in the north of Sinai, at the Mediterranean coast centered on Al Arish. They have Jewish origin like the Tirabin & many other Bedouin tribes.
Unfortunately, with the arrival of tourism in South Sinai, the living conditions of the Beduines have changed dramatically. They have to fight for their land and are in deep discussions with local investors as well as with the Egyptian government.

In southern Sinai, the beautiful tropical coastline of the Gulf of Aqaba has recently experienced major development. The government has routed the area as the Egyptian Riviera in the interest of attracting international tourists and investors. The initial plan for the development of the Sinai was sponsored by the United States Agency for International Aid, as a result of the Camp David Peace Accords.

The indigenous people of South Sinai, the Bedouins, generally did not benefit from employment in the initial construction boom because the wages were too low to make it worth their while. Sudanese and Egyptian workers from other areas were brought in as laborers instead. The Bedouins increasingly moved into tourist industry positions such as cab drivers, tour guides for sight-seeing on camels or in jeeps, managing cafes or campgrounds. However, they soon had severe competition from foreign tour operators, Egyptians from the Nile Valley, and even with each other.

Since the mid-1980s, the Bedouins who held desirable coastal property have lost control of much of their land as it was sold by the Egyptian government to hotel operators. In the summer of 1999, the latest dispossession of land took place when the army bulldozed Bedouin-run tourist campgrounds north of Nuweiba as part of the final phase of hotel development in the sector, overseen by the Tourist Development Agency (TDA). The director of the Tourist Development Agency dismissed Bedouin rights to most of the land, saying that they had not lived on the coast before 1982. Bedouins had been living on the coast, but their traditional semi-nomadic culture has left them vulnerable to such claims. Most of the Sinai Bedouins have been in Sinai since the fourteenth to eighteenth centuries.

Israelis and Jews are advised to leave or not visit places where there are large concentrations of Muslims

This might be the reason why the millions of Muslims of Jewish & other Israelite origin in the Greater Middle East don't dare to disclose their identity.

The Israeli Counter Terrorism Bureau issued its quarterly travel advisory today ahead of the high holy days which begin next month. Israelis are advised against visiting 41 out of the 193 countries and territories in the world.

For instance, Israelis and Jews are advised to leave or not visit Turkey, Azerbaijan, Nigeria, Kenya, Sudan, Somalia, Afghanistan, Algeria, Djibouti, Mauritania, Libya, Tunisia, Indonesia, , Burkina Faso, the Ivory Coast, Togo, Mali, Malaysia, Pakistan, Kashmir, southern Thailand, southern Philippines, Kashmir, Chechnya, the UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Morocco, Oman and of course Iran, Syria, Sinai, Lebanon, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Egypt, Jordan, the Palestinian territories.

Or, in other words, pretty much anywhere in the world where there are large concentrations of Muslims.

Which begs the question: why just not issue us with places we CAN visit? But hey, aren’t the Muslims taking over Europe anyway? And aren’t the Europeans anti-Semites, boycotting our settler brothers and sisters and funding all these anti-Israeli NGOs? I mean, isn’t that what we are told?

So this leaves us pretty much with only America [Obama hates us], Canada [too cold], Australia [too far], Micronesia and Palau. Anyone know if there’s a Beit Chabad in Palau?

The Abdals of Turkey

The Abdals of Turkey come from Ephtalites (Nephtalites) that came from Central Asia, being this Israelites of the tribe of Naphtali. The name Abdal comes from Ephtal, being the f interchangeable with p or b & the d with t as in Punic/Phoenician. The Abdal are a socio-cultural group found mainly in central and western Anatolia, who follow an itinerant lifestyle. This lifestyle is closely connected with the activity of music making at weddings. Other occupations associated with the Abdal include tinning, basket making and sieve manufacture. They do not seem to be related with the Abdal of South Asia. The Kurds often refer to the Abdal as Gawanda.

The three most remarkable characteristics of the group are its close relationship with the Alevi sect, its use of a secret language or argot and its wide distribution. It seems that the name Abdal was associated with Alevi dervishes of Central Anatolia, whose existence is first recorded in the 16th Century. These Abdalan-ı Rum were extreme Alevis practicising celibacy and withdrawal from the world. Their unorthodox behavior led to their suppression by the Ottoman authorities. At least some of the present day Abdals are descended from these groups. The Abdal language consists of borrowing from Persian and other Iranian sources, some Kurdish and Romany with an essentially Turkish grammar. A possible connection with the Romani people is seen by the facts two of their subdivisions are the Gurbet and Kara Domen, signifying possible links with the Gurbati of Iran and the Dom of the Arab Middle East. According to the Abdal themselves, they came originally from Khorasan (
Khwarezm has been known also as Chorasmia, Khwarezmia, Khwarizm, Khwarazm, ... areas of which were a part of ancient Khwarezm, Khurasan and Greater Khorasan) in Iran, and are a tribe of Turkmen.

Alevi old couple

It's interesting that Abdals of Turkey are related with two ethnic groups regarded as Israelites (Gypsies & Alevis) by different scholars. Moreover since Khurasan was one of the areas were the Lost Ten tribes were transplanted.

In south western Turkey, the Abdal play a particular role as musicians, minstrels, jewelers and magicians to the nomadic Barak Turkmen, as a dependent group. Abdal encampments are found at the edges of the Turkmen camps. A similar relationship also exists with certain Kurdish tribes. In the area north of Ankara, many Abdal are sedentary, but associated with certain socially demeaning activities as circumcision and barbering.

Secret Berber Jews

The only defeat that Mohammad’s army suffered in their very successful campaigns in the 7th century CE was at the hands of a Jewish Berber queen named Kahina, who is still revered in Tunisia to this day. Ibn Khaldun, the great Arab historian of the 15th century, wrote that at the time of the Arab invasion many Berber tribes were Jewish; “this was true of the Jarawa in the Aures mountains, the tribe of the Kahina.” Khaldun says that it was the Arab General Hassan Ibn Numan who wiped out the Jewish tribes in the Maghreb i.e., most of the region of Northwest Africa, west of Egypt. The only defeat General Hassan Ibn Numan suffered was at the hands of Kahina. When he came back with enormous reinforcements and she realized that the end was near, Kahina allowed her sons to go over to the enemy – since they worshipped the one God – but, for herself, she chose to die in battle.

Her personal name is one of these variations: Daya, Dihya, Dahya or Damya (with Arabic spellings it's difficult to distinguish between these variants). Her title was cited by Arabic-language sources as al-Kāhina (the priestess soothsayer). This was the nickname used by her Muslim opponents because of her reputed ability to foresee the future.

According to legend, her son Tariq conquered Spain on behalf of the Muslim armies. Gibraltar – Jabel el Tariq – is named after him.

Until the 1950’s, there were many Berber tribes practicing Judaism openly in Morocco. Many Moroccan Jews in Israel have Berber origins. But because the whole story doesn’t fit anyone’s stereotype, Berber Judaism has fallen off the historical radar. Clearly, with the rise of extreme Islam, it is getting more and more difficult for Berbers to come out of the Jewish closet. And yet, I encountered “marrano” i.e., secret, Jewish Berbers in Tunisia as recently as 16 years ago.

                                                      Berber women with Jewishlike headscarf

It’s unfortunate that the world Jewish community in general, and Israel in particular, haven’t realized the enormous ideological power that Judaism still has in North Africa. If someone will reach out to them, the Jews/Israelites of North Africa will rally to the flag.

The Saharan Jewry & its main clans: Ka'ti, Iberogen, Idaksahak. How about the Isawaghan?

The same year of 1492 when Catholic Spain ordered the Jews to leave or convert Muslim Mali ordered the same

There’s a large a large of Jewish blood (and traditions) among the Touaregs & the rest of Berbers (the Touaregs are part of the Berbers). On Gamla, city on the Golan, thousands of zealots died as other Jewish zealots died in Masada . North Africa , a Judean outpost rose in rebellion against the Roman emperors Trajan & Hadrian. The Touaregs are called “the Blue Men of the desert” because of their blue clothes they wear. Blue is also a color related to Jews as in the case of talits or the very Israeli flag. I don’t believe to be coincidental the great appreciation for the color blue by both, Jews & Touaregs. In the Mellahs (Jewish quarters in Muslim countries, similar to ghettos), it was said, that there were Jews in the Magreb since the destruction of the first Temple in 586 BCE.

Is it by chance that the Iddaoisahak, or Children of Isaac, are related to the iSawaGhan? Isawaghen is another name of this people. Their home town bears the GaLl word of diaspora in Hebrew. They speak Tasawaq or Sawaq language is also called Ingelshi or Ingalkoyyu (probably after the town in which they live or the other way round. These names bear the consonants of GaLut of the Hebrew diaspora), a name very similar to English. The English are considered Lost Israelites, so I don't think to bee by chance. As can be noticed this last tribe has also the name of Isaac in its consonants SK because g & K are close sounds & usually interchangeable. The neighboring Ihaggaran people may come either from Haggar, mom of Ishmael, or from GaR or GoLa, diaspora, like the name of Ahaggar mountains in the western area of the Sahara desert. The fact that one of the towns, teGuiDa has the consonants of Gad, as does the neighboring town of aGaDez makes catalog them as Israelite Gadites. It's interesting that the iSawaGhan (also called Ingalkoyyu, similar begining to English as comment before about other words) ethnic group speakers of taSawaQ bear the SG equivalent of the SC sounds of the name of iSaaC & the GN equivalent of Cn of CaNaan. They live in a place called In GaLl, in Niger,suggesting the GaLut or diasporic name of this town too. I believe these terms give us clues of the diasporic state, ethnic origin & original land of the iSawaGhen. The w & y are consonants interchangeable for vowels. tamaSheQ, taSawaQ or tamaJaQ are the names of one of the neighboring Berber languages & as I point in capitals, also have the consonants of the name of iSaaC as well as the consonants of Jacob, patriarchs of Israel. This would prove further the Israelite origin of many Berbers. Even the name Berber resembles Heber, another ancestor of Israel from which the word Hebrew comes.

Early Arab scholars who visited the southern fringes of the Sahara desert report the presence of jewish tribes in places such as ancient Ghana and Mali. Many tribes in Africa today still recall their Hebraic roots and many more continue their ancient jewish laws and tradition unadulterated by the politics of the modern days.


Alternative names: Ingalci, Ingelshi. Classification: Tasawaq can be seen as a variant of Northern Songhay, and is strongly influenced by the neighbouring Hausa and Tamazight languages. Area: Niger, in the towns of Ingall and Teguidda-n-Tessoumt, near Agadez. Number of speakers: approximately 8,000, according to the website Official sources point to a figure in the range of 10,000, but that probably refers to the whole of the population living in the Ingall region, which includes Tuareg camps.

Status of the language: Tasawaq is an indigenous (or national) language; a status that means it must be promoted in various ways. The Nigerien authorities have stated that a law will in future determine how indigenous languages are to be promoted and developed. They have also said that indigenous languages will be the language of teaching in primary schools. The Department for the Teaching of National Languages was recently created within the Ministry of Basic Education and National Languages.

The historical origins of Tasawq are not yet clear. It is said that Tasawaq is an archaic form of Songhay, which evolved as a result of contact with Tamasheq and Hausa. Speakers of the language are known as Isawaghan, but don’t believe they belong to a Tuareg tribe, nor do they call themselves Songhay, even if Nigerien administrators consider them as such. All adults are bilingual in (Tamasheq/Tasawaq), while seasonal migrant workers and schoolchildren are sometimes trilngual (Hausa/Tamasheq/ Tasawaq).

Vocabulary is drawn from Songhay, Tamajaq and Arabic. We can see that numbers in Tasawaq from 1 to 5 are the same as in Songhay. Beyond that, up to 20 we can see a similarity with Arabic (sita, which is six), and 100 is temede (which comes from Tamajaq). Compound numbers come from Arabic, Tamajaq and Songhay (e.g. ashirin nda hinka, which is 22). As for technical terms, we can see that when denoting animals, Tasawaq uses Tamajag vocabulary to specify males or females, generally with a Songhay base. For example, there is yó (the Songhay word for male camel), térígàn (Tamajaq for she-camel), hàawì (Songhay for cow), and àmàka (Tamajag for bull). Religious terms in Tasawaq are similar to those in Arabic, but that is not peculiar to Tasawaq as such borrowings are common in other Nigerien languages. However, Tasawaq keeps the Arabic article, something that perhaps makes it different. For example, they use alqali (judge), and alliman (imam).

The Jewish community of North Africa

The Jewish community of North Africa must not be confused with the later Jews who arrived after their expulsion from Spain. Under the Roman rule the Jews were living in harmony with the native Berbers, until the first century when the Israeli Jonathan reportedly incited the poor to revolt in Cyrene (in 73 BC), only to be crushed by the Romans.

A second revolt followed in 115 in Cyrene, in Egypt and in Cyprus. When the Germans occupied Benghazi the Jews were subjected to an ordeal that saw them persecuted and even deported; resulting in many Jews fleeing to other North African countries and Europe for refuge. The number of Jews in Libya during the Italian occupation was estimated by Agostini to have been around 25,000 Jews, mainly living in the old city of Tripoli (al-H'ara), which was characterised by its narrow and roofed lanes - still to this day a great tourist attraction.

The Berbers who adopted the Jewish faith, long before the arrival of Islam, like the "Nafusa" in Tripoli, the "Nefzawa" in Tunisia, and other tribes from Algeria, Morocco and some desert oases.

Foreign Jews arrived from other countries. Their numbers began to increase as more Jews began to arrive from Spain, first in 1391, and then after the 30th of July 1492 when the entire Jewish community (Except the crypto-Jews), said to be around 200,000 people, was expelled from Spain.

The Saharan Jewry, not to confuse with the Mizrahi Jews that mostly had run away from the Arab countries in 1948

Scholars of North African Jewries have recently begun to study, rethink and challenge some of the field’s terminology and conceptualisations of the Maghribi Jewish experience, including, for example, terms such as ‘Berber Jews’, ‘Arab Jews’ and even the most deeply entrenched ‘Sephardic Jews’. Such categories of analysis remain largely unexamined, despite the fact that they constitute an essential part of larger colonial and post-colonial discourses on the Islamic world and its diverse populations. In this article, I focus on one such category, ‘Saharan Jews’, & attempt to assess its meanings and articulations within the history and imagined identities of the Sahara.

The meaning of ‘Saharan Jews’, moving us from Sijilmasa to Timbuktu by way of the Saharan oases Tuat, Akka and other areas of Jewish settlement in the region.

Despite the long historical presence of Jews in the Saharan region, the history of African Jewries in general and Saharan Jews in particular is one of the most understudied subjects in African historiographies. A number of historical and ethnographic works have focused on Saharan Jewries, based on the fact that Jews have played a major role in the relationship between the Sahara, Barbary States, and the territories south of the Sahel.

In recent decades, many scholars have tried to revisit similar categories such as ‘Berber Jews’), ‘Arab Jews’ and ‘Sephardic Jews’. While these scholarly discussions partly examine the historical, cultural and religious meanings of these terms, the category of Saharan Jewry remains largely unexamined, despite the fact that it has constituted an essential part of larger colonial and post-colonial scholarly debates. I argue that Saharan Jewish communities developed with extensive social networks in the northern termini of the Sahara rather than on its southern fringes. Despite cases of Jewish movements south of the Sahel, many northern settlements, largely oases that were sometimes referred to as ‘Little Jerusalems’ by these Jewish communities, were the last desert ports where Jews settled as minyan with established synagogues, quarters and communities of practice.

Saharan Jews acted as agents of economic and cultural exchange, similar to that of mestizos in the context of the US/Mexican border. There were Jewish settlements around the oases of Sijilmasa, Tuat and Akka. African communities have used these historical constructions today to claim a Jewish heritage and identity based on the belief that they are descendents of the Jews who settled in the Sahara since the destruction of the First Temple.

                                                  Border liminality and Saharan Jewry

It is in similar spaces of danger and opportunity that Saharan Jews have struggled to be part of the Saharan ‘borderlands’, just as Mexican Americans/Chicanos have struggled to be part of the American Southwest.

Jews were traders and strangers, &, according to Simmel, Jews existed in ideological communitas. They were accepted in the Saharan borderlands, but, to assure their security, they were required to establish a relationship of friendship with a Muslim as their protector. The protégé–protector dynamics became the rule that governed movements of Jews, as merchant strangers, throughout the Sahara.

Jews, Jewish and Muslim myths tell us, arrived in the African interior in stages since the destruction of the First Temple in 587 BCE. Jewish colonies throughout the Saharan fringes from the Libyan Desert to the Mauritanian Atlantic Ocean built their economic survival largely upon trans-Saharan trade. Their impact in the region is evident in the work of Nahum Slouschz, who wrote an early-twentieth-century account of Jews in the Sahara. In all the districts of the Sahara, from Tripoli to Dra’a of Morocco, the traveller could easily imagine himself transported ported into some ancient Judean colony.

The early history and migration of Jews into the Moroccan Sahara is vague. Some arrived before and after the destruction of the First Temple, and others came from Arabia. Nomadic Saharan Jewish tribes descended from the region of Khaybar which they left after it was taken by Muslims.

Jewish peddlers, merchants and communities were prominent across the full extent of North Africa, from Sijilmasa (Morocco) through Tuat (Algeria) and Kairouan (Tunisia) to Nefusa (Libya). Rabbis mention Jews in Biskra, Touggourt, Mzab, Sijilmasa and Tuat. These northern desert ports formed nodal trading regions in which Jews served as necessary intermediaries for diverse Muslim tribal groups since the ninth century. From a sociological perspective, the Saharan Jew reveals a paradox: he wanders across the Sahara’s oases; yet, he remains a stranger to an Islamic identity that came to characterise the Sahara after the Arab conquest.

Despite the absence of conclusive historical data, many historians argue that ‘members of the Israelite tribes were among the earliest Phoenician traders who colonised the African coast and founded Carthage’. Slouschz traces the origin of Saharan Jews in the southern interior of Libya, Algeria and Morocco to the ancient Israelites, and the first dispersion of the Jews. Cyrenaica (the north-eastern part of present-day Libya) was believed to house the first wave of Egyptian Jews who settled there under Ptolemy, Alexander the Great’s successor in Egypt. James Hamilton asserts that after Ptolemy conquered eastern Libya and turned it into a province of Egypt under the name of Pentapolis, Jewish colonies were introduced in the region of Cyrene. Many Jews who moved farther into the African interior were thought to be of Cyrenaican origin. In other legends, the first Jews who arrived on the Saharan fringes of Cyrenaica came after the destruction of the First Temple by Nebuchadnezzar. This early migration is believed to have facilitated the spread of Judaism among the local population at the northern and southern fringes of the Sahara.

The Almoravids controlled Sijilmasa by 1056, forcing its population to adopt their strict Islamic interpretations. Their call for religious purity began to reach the confines of Ghana and the rest of Bilad al-Sudan. Some Jews were forced to convert while others left Tuat, settling in western oases such as Goulmim, Akka and other settlements in the Dar‘a and Sus region.

Tementit [Tuat] was once a capital of Judaism.... Between Tementit and El Hamme´da there is still today descendents of Jews once expelled from Tementit, we call them Tementilins. They & the inhabitants of El Hamme´da have conserved their tradition and their history. There’s something of interest to visit in Timbuktu—a community of 1000 “Jews” who recently revealed their identity.

These claims emerge in the context of the political and democratic liberalisation in Mali. In addition, the religious and financial support of global organizations in the United States and Israel to these marginal Jewish communities has encouraged many Malian families to ‘come out in the open and set up the Timbuktu Association of Friendship with the Jewish World.

Ismail Haidara, a Malian historian, has become the leading advocate for those claiming Jewish ancestry in Mali. Tony Benson writes a short article on the Jews of Timbuktu and the role of Haidara in salvaging their history: In 1984 a historian from Timbuktu called Ismael Haidera began to investigate his family history. He discovered, in old documents relating to his family, Hebrew writing and many Jewish names, and concluded that he was in fact of Jewish descent, though the family had long since converted to Islam and sought to hide its origins, a fulfilment of the prophecy that the scattered Jews would come to worship other gods. He investigated further and came across other families in Timbuktu and the villages around who appeared to have Jewish origins. All were practising Muslims, although there were stories of villages where Jewish rites were practised in secret.

Under the leadership of Haidara, the Zakhor Association [Remember] comprised around 1000 individuals in 1993. In 29 May 1996, Zakhor published its manifesto claiming that its members are direct descendants of Saharan Jews:

We are Jews because our ancestors were Jews, whose genes are found in all our families. Our Judaism is based on ethnicity. We have to take it and the world has to accept it....Our history can only be told as the destiny of de-Judaized Jews who nonetheless recognize themselves as being of Israelite origin.

As an American-based contemporary organisation, Kulanu shares some of these ideas and works with people who discover their Jewish identity. It was created to locate dispersed Jews and make them part of the larger Jewish community of brethren. Kulanu offers financial support and provides logistical contacts with Jews or people with presumed Jewish identity through the teaching of Hebrew and setting up of synagogues. In many instances they have helped people and groups relocate to Israel (e.g. Abayudaya Jews from Uganda, Telugu Jews from India and other groups from China and Peru).

 According to Jack Zeller, its president:

Much of Jewish living has occurred in the Diaspora. Jews have been there far longer than Eretz Yisrael.... Never before in Jewish history has it been easier to meet remote and virtually ignored or newly developing Jewish communities. We can do it by phone, fax, email, and best of all, an in-person handshake’.

In Sous there was no difference between Muslims and Jews. Tere were close relations with Jewish brothers. In Casablanca, the anti-Semitic attitude of people was astonishing using phrases such as (Jews, God forbid!). It is one of the reasons that led creating this association.

The association, which includes lawyers and teachers, plans to organise trips for Berbers and Israeli Jews of Berber descent and to promote Berber culture in both countries. It also aims at attracting Israeli investment in the Berber rural regions, which have suffered from the Moroccan state’s negligence. In addition to this call for Berber-Jewish relationship, the association has publicly expressed its political disengagement towards the Palestinian issue – seen as ‘an Arab cause’ that does not reflect the economic, cultural, and political needs and aspirations of the Berbers. By calling for political detachment towards Middle Eastern conflict, the Amazigh-Israeli association revolts against the pan-Arab and Islamic foundation of the Moroccan nation state. 

Around fifty thousand Moroccans have turned to Christianity and that many are interested in Judaism.

Mizrahi Jews

Mizrahi Jews or Mizrahim or Mashriqiyyun, also referred to as Adot HaMizrach ( - ; Communities of the East; Mizrahi Hebrew: ), are Jews descended from local Jewish communities of the Middle East (as opposed to those from Europe, Africa and other places). The term Mizrahi is most commonly used in Israel to refer to Jews who trace their roots back to Muslim-majority countries. This includes descendants of Babylonian Jews from modern Iraq, Syria, Bahrain, Kuwait, Dagestan, Azerbaijan, Iran, Lebanon, Uzbekistan, Kurdistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Yemenite and Georgian Jews are usually included within the Mizrahi Jews group. Some also expand the definition of Mizrahim to Maghrebi and Sephardic. Furthermore, some even reclassify the whole Israeli Jewish society as "Mizrahi" as compared with the Western Jews of Europe and the Americas (some also include the Jews from the Horn of Africa: Abyssinians, Eritreans Jibutians, Somalis; I add the ones descended from them: Tutsis, Hemas, Banyamulenges).

The use of the term Mizrahi can be somewhat controversial. Before the establishment of the state of Israel, Mizrahi Jews did not identify themselves as a separate ethnic subgroup. Instead, Mizrahi Jews generally characterized themselves as Sephardi, because they follow the traditions of Sephardic Judaism (although with some differences among the minhagim of the particular communities). This has resulted in a conflation of terms, particularly in Israel, and in religious usage, where "Sephardi" is used in a broad sense to include Mizrahi Jews and Maghrebi Jews as well as Sephardim proper. Indeed, from the point of view of the official Israeli rabbinate, any rabbis of Mizrahi origin in Israel are under the jurisdiction of the Sephardi Chief Rabbi of Israel. Today those of Sephardic rite make up more than half of Israel's Jewish population, and Mizrahi Jews proper are a major part of them. Before the mass immigration of over one million people from the former Soviet Union, mostly of Ashkenazi descent, followers of the Sephardic rite made up over 70% of Israel's Jewish population. As of 2005, 61% of Israeli Jews are of Mizrahi ancestry.


"Mizrahi" is literally translated as "Eastern", (Mizra ), Hebrew for "east." In the past the word "Mizrahim," corresponding to the Arabic word Mashriqiyyun (Easterners), referred to the natives of Syria, Iraq and other Asian countries, as distinct from those of North Africa (Maghribiyyun). In medieval and early modern times the corresponding Hebrew word ma'arav was used for North Africa. In Talmudic and Geonic times, however, this word "ma'arav" referred to the land of Israel as contrasted with Babylonia. For this reason many object to the use of "Mizrahi" to include Moroccan and other North African Jews.

The term Mizrahim or Edot Hamizra , Oriental communities, grew in Israel under the circumstances of the meeting of waves of Jewish immigrants from the Europe, North Africa, Middle East and Central Asia, followers of Ashkenazi, Sephardic and Yemenite rites. In modern Israeli usage, it refers to all Jews from Central and West Asian countries, many of them Arabic-speaking Muslim-majority countries. The term came to be widely used more by Mizrahi activists in the early 1990s. Since then in Israel it has become an accepted semi-official and media designation.

Interestingly, most of the "Mizrahi" activists were actually originated from North African Jewish communities, traditionally called "Westerners" (Maghrebi), rather than "Easterners" (Mashreqi). Many Jews originated from Arab and Muslim countries today reject "Mizrahi" (or any) umbrella description and prefer to identify themselves by their particular country of origin, or that of their immediate ancestors, e.g. "Moroccan Jew", or prefer to use the old term "Sephardic" in its broader meaning.

Religious rite designations

Today, many identify all non-Ashkenazi rite Jews as Sephardic - in modern Hebrew "Sfaradim", mixing ancestral origin and religious rite. This broader definition of "Sephardim" as including all, or most, Mizrahi Jews is also common in Jewish religious circles. During the past century, the Sephardic rite absorbed the unique rite of the Yemenite Jews and lately the Ethiopian Jewish religious leaders in Israel have also joined the Sefardic rite collectivities, especially following rejection of their Jewishness by Ashkenasi and Hassidic circles. 

The reason for this classification of all Mizrahim under Sephardic rite is that most Mizrahi communities use much the same religious rituals as Sephardim proper due to historical reasons. The prevalence of the Sephardic rite among Mizrahim is partially a result of Sephardim proper joining some of Mizrahi communities following the 1492 expulsion from Sepharad (Spain and Portugal). Over the last few centuries, the previously distinctive rites of the Mizrahi communities were influenced, superimposed upon or altogether replaced by the rite of the Sephardim, perceived as more prestigious. Even before this assimilation, the original rite of many Jewish Oriental communities was already closer to the Sephardi rite than to the Ashkenazi one. For this reason, "Sephardim" has come to mean not only "Spanish Jews" proper but "Jews of the Spanish rite", just as "Ashkenazim" is used for "Jews of the German rite", whether or not their families originate in Germany.

Many of the Sephardic Jews exiled from Spain resettled in greater or lesser numbers in many Arabic-speaking countries, such as Syria and Morocco. In Syria, most eventually intermarried with and assimilated into the larger established communities of Arabic-speaking Jews and Mizrahi Jews. In some North African countries such as Morocco, Sephardic Jews came in greater numbers and largely contributed to the Jewish settlements that the pre-existing Jews were assimilated by them. Either way, this assimilation, combined with the use of the Sephardic rite, led to the popular designation and conflation of most non-Ashkenazi Jewish communities from the Middle East and North Africa as "Sephardic" rite, whether or not they were descended from Spanish Jews, which is what the terms "Sephardic Jews" and "Sepharadim" properly implied when used in the ethnic as opposed to the religious sense.

In some Arabic countries such as Egypt and Syria, the Sephardic Jews arrived via the Ottoman Empire would distinguish themselves from the already established Arabic-speaking Jews known as Moriscos (Moorish-like in Ladino), in some others such as Morocco and Algeria, the two communities largely intermarried with the latters embracing the Sephardic customs and thus forming a single community.


Most of the so-called Oriental Jewish or Mizrahi communities spoke Arabic, although Arabic is now mainly used as a second language, especially by the older generation. Most of the many notable philosophical, religious and literary works of the Jews in the Orient were written in Arabic using a modified Hebrew alphabet.

                                                                 Abrahamic alphabets

Among other languages associated with Mizrahim are Judeo-Persian (Dzhidi), Georgian, Bukhori, Kurdish, Juhuri, Marathi, Judeo-Malayalam and called by some Judeo-Aramaic dialects. Most Persian Jews speak standard Persian.

Neo-Aramaic is a Semitic language closely related to Hebrew. It is identified as a "Jewish language", since it is the language of major Jewish texts such as the Talmud and Zohar, and many ritual recitations such as the Kaddish. Traditionally, Aramaic has been a language of Talmudic debate in yeshivoth, as many rabbinic texts are written in a mixture of Hebrew and Aramaic. As spoken by the Kurdish Jews, Jewish Neo-Aramaic dialects are descended from Jewish Babylonian Aramaic, also known as "Assyrian lettering" (Ktav Ashurit), the "square-script", by Ezra the Scribe, as could be seen from its hundreds of reflexes in Jewish Neo-Aramaic. The Assyrian language is still spoken by Assyrian people.

By the early 1950s, virtually the entire Jewish community of Kurdistan a rugged, mostly mountainous region comprising parts of Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Iran, and the Caucasus, where Jews had lived since antiquity relocated to Israel. The vast majority of Kurdish Jews, who were primarily concentrated in northern Iraq, left Kurdistan in the mass aliyah (emigration to Israel) of 1950-51. This ended thousands of years of Jewish history in what had been Assyria and Babylonia.

In 2007, a book was published, authored by Mordechai Zaken, describing the unique relationship between Jews in urban and rural Kurdistan and the tribal society under whose patronage the Jews lived for hundreds of years. Tribal chieftains, or aghas, granted patronage to the Jews who needed protection in the wild tribal region of Kurdistan; the Jews gave their chieftains dues, gifts and services. The text provides numerous tales and examples about the skills, maneuvers and innovations used by Kurdistani Jews in their daily life to confront their abuse and extortion by greedy chieftains and tribesmen. The text also tells the stories of Kurdish chieftains who saved and protected the Jews unconditionally (the Kurds are among the most pro-Jewish Muslims & that's probably because they are aware of their Israelite origin).

Post-1948 dispersal

After the establishment of the State of Israel and subsequent 1948 Arab-Israeli War, most Mizrahi Jews were either expelled by their Arab rulers or chose to leave and emigrated to Israel. According to the 2009 Statistical Abstract of Israel, 50.2% of Israeli Jews are of Mizrahi or Sephardic origin.

Anti-Jewish actions by Arab governments in the 1950s and 1960s, in the context of the founding of the State of Israel, led to the departure of large numbers of Mizrahi Jews from the Middle East. 25,000 Mizrahi Jews from Egypt left after the 1956 Suez Crisis, led to the overwhelming majority of Mizrahim leaving Arab countries. They became refugees. Most went to Israel. Many Moroccan and Algerian Jews went to France. Thousands of Lebanese, Syrian and Egyptian Jews emigrated to the United States and to Brazil.

Today, as many as 40,000 Mizrahim still remain in communities scattered throughout the non-Arab Muslim world, primarily in Iran, but also Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, and Turkey. There are few Maghrebim remaining in the Arab world too. About 5,000 remain in Morocco and fewer than 2,000 in Tunisia. Other countries with remnants of ancient Jewish communities with official recognition, such as Lebanon, have 100 or fewer Jews. A trickle of emigration continues, mainly to Israel and the United States.

Absorption into Israeli society

Refuge in Israel was not without its tragedies: "in a generation or two, millennia of rooted Oriental civilization, unified even in its diversity, had been wiped out, writes Mizrahi scholar Ella Shohat. The trauma of rupture from their countries of origin was further complicated by the difficulty of the transition upon arrival in Israel; Mizrahi immigrants and refugees were placed in rudimentary and hastily erected tent cities (Ma'abarot) often in development towns on the peripheries of Israel. Settlement in Moshavim (cooperative farming villages) was only partially successful, because Mizrahim had historically filled a niche as craftsmen and merchants and most did not traditionally engage in farmwork. As the majority left their property behind in their home countries as they journeyed to Israel, many suffered a severe decrease in their socio-economic status aggravated by their cultural and political differences with the dominant Ashkenazi community. Furthermore, a policy of austerity was enforced at that time due to economic hardships.

Mizrahi immigrants arrived with many mother tongues. Many, especially those from North Africa and the fertile crescent, spoke Arabic dialects; those from Iran and Central Asia (Uzbekistan and Tajikistan) spoke Persian; Baghdadi Jews from India arrived with English; the Bene Israel from Maharashtra, India arrived with Marathi, Mizrahim from elsewhere brought Georgian, Judaeo-Georgian, Tajik, Juhuri and various other languages with them. Hebrew had historically been a language only of prayer for most Jews not living in Israel, including the Mizrahim. Thus, with their arrival in Israel, the Mizrahim retained culture, customs and language distinct from their Ashkenazi counterparts.

Disparities and integration

The cultural differences between Mizrahi and Ashkenazi Jews impacted the degree and rate of assimilation into Israeli society, and sometimes the divide between Eastern European and Middle Eastern Jews was quite sharp. Segregation, especially in the area of housing, limited integration possibilities over the years. Intermarriage between Ashkenazim and Mizrahim is increasingly common in Israel and by the late 1990s 28% of all Israeli children had multi-ethnic parents (up from 14% in the 1950s). It has been claimed that intermarriage does not tend to decrease ethnic differences in socio-economic status, however that does not apply to the children of inter-ethnic marriages.

Although social integration is constantly improving, disparities persist. A study conducted by the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics (ICBS), Mizrahi Jews are less likely to pursue academic studies than Ashkenazi Jews. Israeli-born Ashkenazim are up to twice more likely to study in a university than Israeli-born Mizrahim. Furthermore, the percentage of Mizrahim who seek a university education remains low compared to second-generation immigrant groups of Ashkenazi origin, such as Russians. According to a survey by the Adva Center, the average income of Ashkenazim was 36 percent higher than that of Mizrahim in 2004.


Jews from Arab and Muslim lands

Bukharian Jews
Persian Jewish community
Kurdish Jewry'
Iraqi Jews (Babylonian Jewry)
Damascus Jewry 
Jews of Lebanon
Jews from Egypt
Tunisian Jews
Algerian Jewish
Moroccan Jewish 

Nash Didan Community Persian Azerbaijany

The Kehat/Kohat/Ka'ti Berber Levitish clan

Kohathites related to Kohat, Pakistan? & the Berber Jewish Kehat/Kat'i family?

Kohathites related to Kohat, Pakistan? Seems likely. The "Berber" clan or family of Kehat (or Ka'ti) has the name of one of the priestly clans. In some versions the name of the clan was Kehat, in others Kohat. It doesn't really matter if the name was Kohatite or Kehatite, because in Semitic languages like Hebrew vowels didn't really count.

Members of the Kehath (Ka'ti) family founded 3 villages near Timbuktu (Kirshamba, Haybomo, & Kongougara).

The Kati (Kati is a name of different Israelite groups) are a Levitic clan coming from the priestly Kehat/Kohat clan of the Old Testament.

Egyptian Jews trading with tribes in the northern part of Mali since biblical times. In the eighth century CE. Rhadanites (multi-lingual Jewish traders) settled in Timbuktu as a base from which to solidify their trade routes through the desert. In the 14th and 15th centuries, Jews fleeing Spanish persecution joined them. Members of the Kehath (Ka'ti) family founded three villages near Timbuktu -- Kirshamba, Haybomo, and Kongougara. In 1492, King Askia Muhammed threatened execution to Jews who did not convert to Islam. Some Jews fled, some converted, some remained in Mali with centuries of persecution and random massacre. By the 20th century, no practicing Jews remained in Mali. In the 1990s Malian Jewry began a revival. Ismael Diadie Haidara, a historian from Timbuktu, has explored Mali's Jewish past. In 1993 Haidara established Zakhor (the Timbuktu Association for Friendship with the Jewish World) as an informal association of Malian descendants of Jews to teach their children about their Jewish heritage, learn Hebrew and learn their histories. A community of 1000 "Jews" have recently revealed their identity.

The Igdalen or Iberogen are Hebrew Berbers

The Igdalen (var.: Igdalan, Agdal) are a Berber people living in northwestern Niger and parts of Mali and Algeria. They speak Tagdal, a Mixed-Berber or Northern Songhai language. The Igdalen are closely related to Dawsahak people of eastern Mali and the Sawaq of Ingal in Niger, with whom they share very similar language. Culturally, the Igdalen are often considered a Tuareg faction. In the past they have formed a sub-confederation with the Kel Fadey, Kel Ferwan and others in the Kel Ayr Tuareg confederation or Drum Group.

There are an estimated 27,000 Igdalen, and are centered around Tanout and Tchin Tabaraden in northern Niger, although seasonal transhumance with livestock take them well north and south. Igdalen are Muslim, and have previously been a Marabout (religious) and herding caste within Tuareg society.

Idaksahak people (Islamized Jewish Berber tribes)

In Mauritania, Jewish communities existed before the arrival of Islam, especially in the north of the country, Adrar, according to history professor Hamed Ould Bah. Reportedly, some French settlers found tribes of Jewish origins. Some families embraced Islam and became well-known in the country. Apparently Iddao Ishaak means "Children of Isaac" following the same model of the Israelite Saxons (Isaacsons). 

A Jewish explorer from the 80's tells us: In Asakrei Valley there are some leather tents scattered about, and as we made lunch in the bushes, a group of six men came. They looked dangerous, dressed in their long, dark gandourahs, hiding their faces by veils. They carried daggers and axes and wore thick skin sandals. They were inscrutable under their headcloths & came on with the dreadful steadiness of an army. Suddenly the interpreter said: Don't worry, these aren't Tuareg, they are Iddao Ishaak & have Jewish origin. They are rich in camels, but not warlike. They speak Hassaniyya Arabic. 

An amazingly elegant tuareg family I interviewed outside of Menaka, in the south of northern Mali.

One of the Ishaak told us that Nsara had given them oil & grain & said: The only thing that saved us was God & the Christians. The government gave us no help. They still take from us the animal tax for animals we don't have.

                                                                 Entrance to Menaka

The Iddao Ishaak fiercely claim their Jewish origin, though they now practice Islam. They saw themselves as offspring of Issak. They are some of the Moslems descended from Sarah.

Refugees from Menaka

The pictures shown are not necessarily from the Iddaos, but they might be. The pictures are at least from people inhabiting Iddao Shaak's villages.

Menaka People in Gao

Maybe the name aSaKRei (the valley where the some IddaoiSahaK live in Nigeria) comes from iSsaKaR (Under the rule of vowelization in Hebrew the only letters that count are the consonants. ), therefore the IddaoSahaK could be dwelling in a place were fellow Issacharite Israelites lived, because they are regarded as Levites. Or maybe they absorbed the minoritarian Issacharites dwelling there.

The Iddao Ishaak are regarded as being the offspring of Solomon's Temple priests, therefore Levites. In fact the garments of white robes & turbans they wear are similar to the ones of biblical times.

Judeo-Berbers: Muslim Berbers of Jewish origin

Jews in North Africa predate the arrival of Arabs and Islam. Jewish communities played prominent economic and po-litical roles throughout the history of North Africa. One of the best-known resistants to the Arab conquest in the seventh century was al-Kahina, who was the chief of a Judeo-Berber tribe, the Jerawa. Afterthe Arab invasion, Jewish communities existed within Berber statesand maintained relations with fellow Jews throughout North Africaand Spain. There was also an important Jewish cultural and commer-cial presence in cities such as Bijaia, Jerba, Sijilmassa, Tafilalet, Tahart, and Tlemcen.

In the Drâa valley of southern Morocco, oralaccounts suggest that in the pre-Islamic period and until 10th century A.D., Jewish Berber groups formed significant states in the region.Other accounts suggest that the Jewish presence in the Drâa valley may date to emigration caused by Nebuchadrezzar II’s invasion of Palestine in 587 B.C.

Based on this interpretation of history, Jews would have settled in the Middle Atlas starting around 361 B.C. In Morocco, until the middle of the 20th century, there were many Berber-speaking Jewish communities, and Berber was not only spo-ken but also written in a Hebraic script. Judeo-Berber was used inbiblical translations and everyday life rituals, and it was the languageof instruction and culture in many communities, such as Tiznit, Ouarzazat, Ufran, Illigh, and Demnat.

After World War II, almost all the Berber-speaking Jewish communities either left to major urbancenters or emigrated to Israel, France, and North America.

There are 3 villages near Timbuktu founded by Jews: Kirshamba, Haybomo, and Kongougara

Egyptian Jews began trading with tribes in the northern part of Mali as long ago as biblical times and pushed further and further into the foreboding Sahara throughout the centuries. In the eighth century A.D. the Rhadanites (multi-lingual Jewish traders) settled in Timbuktu and used it as a base from which they could solidify their trade routes through the desert. In the 14th and 15th centuries Jews fleeing Spanish persecution settled in Timbuktu. Members of the Kehath (Ka'ti) family founded three villages that still exist near Timbuktu --Kirshamba, Haybomo, and Kongougara. In 1492, King Askia Muhammed took power in Timbuktu and threatened Jews who did not convert to Islam with execution. Some Jews fled, some converted, some remained in Mali and faced centuries of persecution and the occasional massacre. By the 20th century there were no practicing Jews in Mali.

However, in the 1990s Malian Jewry has begun to experience a revival. Ismael Diadie Haidara, a historian from Timbuktu, has been at the forefront of the movement to explore Mali’s Jewish past. In 1993 Haidara established Zakhor (the Timbuktu Association for Friendship with the Jewish World) as an informal association of Malian descendants of Jews. Zakhor’s members hope to teach their children about their Jewish heritage, learn and use Hebrew as a second language and publish histories of their ancestry. In Timbuktu alone there are almost a thousand descendants of Jews who have become interested in exploring their identity.
There are several thousand people of unquestioned Jewish ancestry in Timbuktu, Mali. Egyptian Jews began trading with tribes in the northern part of Mali as long ago as biblical times and pushed further and further into the Sahara throughout the centuries. In the eighth century, the Rhadanites (multi-lingual Jewish traders) settled in Timbuktu and used it as a base from which they could solidify their trade routes through the desert. In the 14th and 15th centuries, Jews fleeing Spanish persecution settled in Timbuktu. In 1492, King Askia Muhammed took power in Timbuktu and threatened Jews with execution who did not convert to Islam. Some Jews fled, some converted, and some remained in Mali, suffering centuries of persecution. By the 20th century there were no practicing Jews in Mali.

However, Malian Jewry has begun to experience a revival. In 1993, Ismael Diadie Haidara, a historian from Timbuktu, established Zakhor (the Timbuktu Association for Friendship with the Jewish World) for the almost one thousand Malian descendants of Jews who have become interested in exploring their identity. Zakhor's members hope to teach their children about their Jewish heritage and revive their interest in Judaism.

It's obvious that Berber Jewish Kehat/Ka'ti is related to the same Kehat/Ka'ti Israelite family. This thing happens in every family. For example, my great-Uncle went to Cuba and another went to Argentina. If the one that went to Cuba married a black woman then his offspring could look very different from me but we would be relatives still. This happened to the offspring of the Jews or Israelites that went to Black Africa, Japan, etc.
Jews of Mali
The Jews of Mali, sometimes referred to as “Zahkor,” meaning, “Remember,” are descendants from Egyptian and Saharan Jewish traders.

“In the eighth century A.D. the Rhadanites (multi-lingual Jewish traders) settled in Timbuktu and used it as a base from which they could solidify their trade routes through the desert. In the 14th and 15th centuries Jews fleeing Spanish persecution settled in Timbuktu. Members of the Kehath (Ka'ti) family founded three villages that still exist near Timbuktu -- Kirshamba, Haybomo, and Kongougara. In 1492, King Askia Muhammed took power in Timbuktu and threatened Jews who did not convert to Islam with execution. Some Jews fled, some converted, some remained in Mali and faced centuries of persecution and the occasional massacre. By the 20th century there were no practicing Jews in Mali.” The “Zahkor” movement in Mali made up of about one thousand people, was founded in Timbuktu in 1993 by the Malian historian Ismael Daidé Haïdara. His followers claim to be the offspring of Saharan Jews.

“In a manifesto published in 1996, the members of Zakhor recognize themselves as Jews and declare themselves to be descendants of the Jews of Touat. The Touat, the region at the limit of the Sahara in western Algeria, was, up to 1492, inhabited by Jews involved in trans-Saharan trade. At that time, Sheikh Abd el Krim el Meghili, a scholar and a mystic, exterminated them and ordered the destruction of their synagogues at Siljimassa and Tamentit.”
 Jews and Berbers

History, myths, legends and contemporary political agendas have combined to produce a fascinating picture of the relationships between Berbers and Jews throughout the ages. There can even be surprises. For example, in a conversation with a Moroccan Berber activist, I quoted a scholar who wrote, "Scratch a Moroccan, find a Berber." He suggested an addendum: "Scratch a Berber, find a Jew!"

There is no consensus among scholars regarding the "truth" of Jewish-Berber relationships in pre-Islamic and early Islamic times, just as there are no definitive conclusions regarding the origins of the Berbers. What is known is that Jewish communities existed in North Africa at least since Second Temple times, and perhaps even earlier. As such, they interacted with the rest of the population, mainly in the coastal towns, but also beyond. The ancient city of Carthage (near modern day Tunis), was founded in 813 BCE by Phoenician merchants, and the Punic language was deeply rooted well into even the first centuries of the Christian era. The "Phoenician connection" undoubtedly shaped the popular belief of the Berbers' Semitic origins, making the Berbers cousins of the Jews (and Arabs) by virtue of race and language. Religion would subsequently enter into the picture as well. A further addition to the mixture of myths and legends is the fact that to this day, Jews and Moslems venerate the tomb of Joshua in Tlemcen, in western Algeria, where he is said to have died after warring in the Maghreb.

Religious belief and praxis in North Africa during the late Roman and early Christian eras was highly syncretistic, often combining elements of Judaism, paganism and Christianity. Jewish, as well as Christian proselytization was common. According to the great 14th century Muslim historian Ibn Khaldun, Jewish proselytization had its greatest success with nomadic Berber tribes in the mountains of the central Maghreb (today's Algeria), and farther West. 

The Muslim conquest of North Africa west of Egypt began in the late 7th century. One of the most famous episodes/myths of resistance to the conquerors is the story of the Kahina ("priestess/sorcerer"). According to Ibn Khaldun and earlier Muslim historians, the Kahina was the leader of what may have been Judaized Berber tribes in the Jerawa and Aures mountains who fought long and valiantly before succumbing. The mythical Kahina has since been adopted as a symbol, in turn, by French colonialists, Algerian nationalists, Jewish nationalists, feminists and Berberists, while also winning the grudging respect of Muslim Arab historians.

The number of Judaized Berbers, and the percentage of North African Jews who are descendants of Berber converts cannot be ascertained, and is a subject of disagreement. In any case, over the centuries, nearly all Berbers were Islamicized. Still, many Jews lived amongst, and in proximity to Berber communities, mostly in Morocco, and in some areas of Algeria and Tunisia. According to a Moroccan census of 1936, three-quarters of Morocco's 161,000 Jews were bi-lingual in Berber and Arabic, and another 25,000 were exclusively Berber speakers. As merchants, traders and small artisans in the Atlas mountain villages, Jews may have played an intermediary role between Arabs and Berbers, and between different Berber tribal groupings. As is generally true in North Africa, relations between Jews and Berbers are sometimes presented in overly idealized terms. 

According to the late Prof. Haim Zafrani, "Judaeo-Berber" was used not only in familial situations but also constituted, along with Hebrew, the language of culture and traditional instruction, and was used in the elucidation and translation of sacred texts, like Judaeo –Arabic or old Castillian. Certain prayers, such as the benedictions of the Torah, were said in Berber (Tamazight); some Biblical texts were rendered in Berber, and there even exists a Haggadah in Tamazight, transcribed in Hebrew characters. Today, apart from a minute number of elderly "Berber Jews" living in Israel, there are no more Berberephone Jews. 

Contemporary activism in the "Berber/Amazigh Culture Movement" has a Jewish/Israeli angle. Many Amazigh activists express open admiration for the Zionist project, i.e., the revival of a national language and the successful assertion of ethnonational rights in the face of an intolerant Arab world.. Berberist militants view Arab-Islamic nationalism, the dominant ethos of the all of the Maghreb states, as the source for many of their community's woes. Often they complain that their governments spend an inordinate amount of energy on behalf of the Palestinian cause, at the expense of the real needs of their societies. In one southeastern Moroccan Berber town, an annual masquerade ritual, has been transformed among the youth into an expression of Amazigh activism and militancy, rejecting Islamist discourse and identifying with Judaeo-Berber culture and even Israel. 

Iraq’s Hidden Jews

Amishav, the Israeli organization that assists lost Jews seeking to return to the Jewish people, has been busy on many fronts. In addition to its recent actions on behalf of Spanish Anousim and the Bnei Menashe of northeastern India, it has made an appeal on behalf of Iraq’s secret Jews. The appeal went from Amishav director Michael Freund to US Ambassador to Israel Daniel Kurtzer, asking the US Government to protect these hidden Jews and enable them to emigrate to Israel.

According to a report in Yediot Aharonot, a number of Jews live in secret in northern Iraq in the cities of Kirkuk and Sulaimaniya. Fearing persecution, they have hidden their identities, and some, whose families were forced to convert to Islam, are only now learning of their Jewish ide

Jewish Kingdom of Abiabene

Adiabene (from the Ancient Greek Ἀδιαβηνή, Adiabene, itself derived from Classical Syriac) was an ancient kingdom in Assyria (northern Iraq), with its capital at Arbela (modern-day Arbil, Iraq). Its rulers converted to Judaism from Ashurism in the 1st century. Queen Helena of Adiabene (known in Jewish sources as Heleni HaMalka) moved to Jerusalem where she built palaces for herself and her sons, Izates bar Monobaz and Monobaz II at the northern part of the city of David, south of the Temple Mount. According to the Talmud, both Helena and Monbaz donated large funds for the Temple of Jerusalem.

Adiabene occupied a district in Assyria between the Upper Zab (Lycus) and the Lower Zab (Caprus), though Ammianus speaks of Nineveh, Ecbatana, and Gaugamela as also belonging to it. Although nominally a dependency of the Parthian Empire, for some centuries, beginning with the 1st century BC, it was independent. In the Talmudic writings the name occurs as חדייב,חדייף and הדייב, which is parallel to its Syriac form "Hadyab" or "Hedayab." Its chief city was Arbela (Arba-ilu), where Mar Uqba had a school, or the neighboring Hazzah, by which name the later Arabs also called Arbela.

In Kiddushin 72a the Biblical Habor is identified with Adiabene (compare Yebamot 16b et seq., Yalqut Daniel 1064), but in Yerushalmi Megillah i. 71b with Riphath. In the Targum to Jeremiah li. 27, Ararat, Mini, and Ashkenaz are paraphrased by Kordu, Harmini, and Hadayab, i.e., Corduene, Armenia, and Adiabene; while in Ezekiel xxvii. 23 Harran, Caneh, and Eden are interpreted by the Aramaic translator as "Harwan, Nisibis, and Adiabene."

Adiabene had a mixed population. According to Pliny, four tribes inhabited the region of Adiabene: Orontes, Alani, Azones and Silices. The account of Josephus' Antiquities of the Jews shows that there was a substantial Jewish population in the kingdom, which led to the establishment of a prominent rabbinic academy in Arbela. During the Sassanid era, Persians came to the fore politically. The difficult mixing of cultures can be seen in the story of the martyrdom of Mahanuš, a prominent Iranian Zoroastrian who converted to Christianity. In later times Adiabene became an archbishopric, with the seat of the metropolitan at Arbela.

Based on names of the Adiabene rulers, Ernst Herzfeld suggested a Saka/Scythian origin for the royal house of the kingdom; however, later progress in Iranian linguistic studies showed that these names were common west middle Iranian names. It has been suggested that the royal house of Adiabene after fleeing Trajan's invasion, established the later Amatuni dynasty who ruled the area between lakes Urmia and Van.

Adiabene was a district in Mesopotamia between upper and lower Zab and was a part of the Neo Assyrian Empire and inhabited by Assyrians even after the fall of Nineveh It was an integral part of Achaemenid Assyria (Athura) and Sassanid Assyria (Assuristan). The region was later made a part of the Roman province of Assyria after the invasion by Trajan in the year 116.

According to Patricia Crone and Michael Cook. when the heartland of Assyria was back into focus in early Christianity (during the Parthian era and about six centuries after the fall of the Assyrian Empire), "it was with an Assyrian, not a Persian let alone Greek, self-identification: the temple of Ashur was restored, the city was rebuilt, and an Assyrian successor state that returned in the shape of the client kingdom of Adiabene." Jewish Historian Flavius Josephus states that the inhabitants of Adiabene were Assyrians.

In ancient times Adiabene was an integral part of Assyria. Under the Achamenid Persian kings Adiabene seems for a time to have been a vassal state of the Persian Empire. At times the throne of Adiabene was held by a member of the Achamenid house; Ardashir III (king from AD 628 to 630), before he came to the throne of Persia, had the title "King of Hadyab". The Ten Thousand, an army of Greek mercenaries, retreated through Adiabene on their march to the Black Sea after the Battle of Cunaxa. The little kingdom may have had a series of native rulers nominally vassal to the Macedonian and later Seleucid empires. It later became one of the client kingdoms of the Parthian empire. During the 1st century BC and the 1st century AD, it gained a certain prominence under a series of kings descended from Izates I and his son Monobaz I. Monobaz I is known to have been allied with king Abennerig of Characene, in whose court his son Izates bar Monobaz lived for a time and whose daughter Symacho Izates married, as well as the rulers of other small kingdoms on the periphery of the Parthian sphere of influence.

Izates, the son of Monobaz I and his wife Helena of Adiabene, became a Jew. His conversion to Judaism took place before he ascended the throne and while he lived in Charax Spasinu. At about the same time his mother, Helena, was also converted. The period was characterized by chaos in the Parthian empire, with a string of Parthian kings and counter-kings following each other in quick succession. Artabanus II of Parthia was king of Atropatene. He had succeeded Vonones I, who, having been educated entirely at Rome, was unsympathetic toward the Parthians. Artabanus soon had to flee to Hyrcania to escape from the rival king, Tiridates III. He returned, however, in 36, and, being afraid of a conspiracy, took refuge at the court of Izates, who was powerful enough to induce the Parthians to reinstate Artabanus. For this service certain kingly honors were granted Izates, and the city of Nisibis was added to his dominions. However, around 40, Gotarzes II, an adopted son of Artabanus, was raised to the throne by the nobles, in preference to Vardanes I, his half-brother. In 49 Meherdates Mithridates, a son of Vonones, was sent from Rome by Claudius to take possession of the throne of Parthia. Izates played a double game, though he secretly sided with Gotarzes. A few years later, Vologeses I set out with the intention of invading Adiabene and of punishing Izates; but a force of Dahae and Scythians had just entered Parthia, and Vologeses had to return home.

Izates was followed on the throne by his elder brother, Monobaz II. It is related that in the year 61 he sent a contingent of soldiers to Armenia to assist the Parthian candidate, Tiridates, against Tigranes, who had made an incursion into the territory of Adiabene. The troops of Monobaz, however, were beaten back at Tigranocerta. Monobaz was present when peace was concluded at Rhandea between Parthia and Rome in the year 63. He later sent assistance to the Jews in their rebellion against Rome in the late 60's and early 70's AD.

The "Tomb of the Kings", built outside the walls of Jerusalem by Queen Helena in the mid 1st century AD. From a lithograph by William Henry Bartlett.

The chief opponent of Trajan in Mesopotamia during the year 115 was the last king of independent Adiabene, Meharaspes. He had made common cause with Ma'nu (Mannus) of Singar (Singara). Trajan invaded Adiabene, and made it part of the Roman province of Assyria; under Hadrian in 117, however, Rome gave up possession of Assyria, Mesopotamia, and Armenia. In the summer of 195 Septimius Severus was again warring in Mesopotamia, and in 196 three divisions of the Roman army fell upon Adiabene. According to Dio Cassius, Caracalla took Arbela in the year 216, and searched all the graves there, wishing to ascertain whether the Arsacid kings were buried there. Many of the ancient royal tombs were destroyed.

Despite the overthrow of the Parthians by the Sassanids, the feudatory dynasties remained loyal to the Parthians, and resisted Sassanid advance into Adiabene and Atropatene. Due to this, and religious differences, Adiabene was never regarded as an integral part of Iran, even though the Sassanids controlled it for several centuries. After the Roman Empire declared Christianity as its official religion, the inhabitants of Adiabene, who were Assyrian Christians, sided with Christian Rome rather than the Zoroastrian Sassanids. The Byzantine Empire sent armies to the region during the Byzantine-Sassanid Wars, but this did nothing to change the territorial boundaries. Adiabene remained a province of the Sassanid Empire until the Islamic conquests of Persia.

The current so called Assyrians are natives from the very region of this Jewish kingdom of Abiabene. 

Have the Somalis Hebrew origin apart from the Yibir clan? In the Issaq clan they seem like they have too

It's noteworthy that a great number of Yibirs are peddlers, just as the Jews were. Although the Yibir are Muslim nowadays, they are made to pay by the Moslem government of Somalia a tax which is like a Jyzia (Muslim tax for non-Muslims) as if they were not Muslims, as seems to be the case originally.

Although the ancestors of the Isaaq & Darood clan came from Arabia, it is believed tey had Hebrew origin. Let's remember that Arabia had many Jews & other Israelites since very ancient times.The Somalis are attributed with having a mingle of Jewish, Arab & Black blood. The Kingdom of Himyar was a Jewish kingdom in today's Yemen. In fact it's reckoned that as high as 67% of Yemenis have the Cohen gene. There has been a constant populational interchange between Yemen (with its different names: Himyar, Sheba...) & the Horn of Africa. In fact both sides of the Red Sea have been ruled under the same kingdom for a while. 

Since ancient times the Israelites have been identified as Issaacsons or Children of Issaac. Biblical names can be found in the Quran under an Arabic form but it's not usual that a Muslim calls his child by a Christian name like Issa (Jesus) or an Israelite name like Israil (Israel).  Another fact that may point to the origin of the Isaacs as coming from Hebrews is their entrepeneurial spirit & the high amount of wealthy people among them that will be the last part of this post. The first part of the post has an explanation on two Somali clans & a whole bunch of comments by several Somali individuals on the origin of their people. Although this is a bout the Somalis it's focussed on the clans of the Isaacs &, in a lesser level, on the the Daroods & the Yibirs. Somaliland is mainly an Isaac nation.

According to early Islamic books and Somali tradition, the Isaaq clan was founded in the 12th or 13th century with the arrival of Shaykh Ishaq ibn Ahmad al-Hashimi from Arabia, a descendant of one of the Prophet Muhammad's early followers. He settled in the coastal town of Maydh in modern-day northernwestern Somalia, where he married into the local Dir clan. A similar tradition exists for the Darod, who are said to have descended from one Sheikh Abdirahman bin Isma'il al-Jabarti, another Banu Hashim who came to Somalia around the same time.

God mentioned many times in the Qu'ran that he has chosen the Hebrew people over everybody (before they rebelled) but there are many Somalis whose names are Dawud (David, Hebrew: Dawit), Musa (Moses, Hebrew: Moshe), Issa (Jesus, Hebrew: Yissua, Yeshua), Jibril/Jibrail (Gabriel, Hebrew: Gabra-il), Zakariyyiah (Zachariah, Hebrew Zacharias), Ya'qub (Jacob, Hebrew: Yacob), Harun (Aaron, Hebrew: Aharon), Idris, Ekhnukh (Enoch, Hebrew: Anokh, Hanok).

So there really isn't a problem if they had Hebrew origin, because almost all the Prophets mentioned in the Qu'ran were Hebrews with a few being Arabs like: Mohammed, Salih (Saleh, Methusaleh), Hud (Eber), Shuaib (Jethro or Reuel). Somali people need to take blood and DNA tests to find out who they are.

There was also a biblical prophet named Abdi or Obediah most Somali people's sons names are Abdi:

1 Chronicles 6:29. "And on the left hand their brethren the sons of Merari: Ethan the son of Kishi, the son of Abdi, the son of Malluch."

2 Chronicles 29:12. "Then the Levites arose, Mahath the son of Amasai, and Joel the son of Azariah, of the sons of the Kohathites; and of the sons of Merari, Kish the son of Abdi, and Azariah the son of Jehallelel; and of the Gershonites, Joah the son of Zimmah, and Eden the son of Joah."

Ezra 10:26. "And of the sons of Elam: Mattaniah, Zechariah, and Jehiel, and Abdi, and Jeremoth, and Elijah."

My brother's name is Obaid/Obeid his full name is Obeidallah the servent of God in Hebrew his name is Obadiah or Abdi. Somalis also have named their sons Ayub meaning Job in Hebrew Ayub/Job is Iyyob. Suleiman or Saleman Somalized into Saleban is also a common Somali name translated into Solomon. Non common names that are used among Somalis include Uzair/Ozair which in Hebrew is Ezra, and Mikal or Mikael is translitrated into Michael. Igal a very common Somali name is also a Hebrew name mentioned in the Bible: Igal, the son of Joseph of the house of Issachar, was a scout sent to Canaan prior to the crossing of the Jordan River according to Numbers 13:7.

So if the Somalis have Hebraic origins that would explain their names of Hebraic origin and the Yibir tribe. Like I said there is a difference between being ethnically Hebrew and having the Jewish religion.

Some Somalis used to be Jewish, the ones in the North (Dir, Darood & Isaac), but they converted to Islam. This is definitely the end of times!! Somalis come from the north, and over the centuries their culture spread west and south. Bantus of South Somalia became Somalis due to the superior culture and religion from the north. That is a fact for anyone who can call themselves Somali. Today we have descendants of pygmies and bantu from the south calling northerners Jews and non-Somalis.

The Yibirs were the original Hebrews of Somalia because they call themselves "Yibir Safardi" that means "Sephardic Hebrew/Jew" or Eastern Jewish person. Even in Arabic Hebrew is called "Ibir". Somalis have a lot of Jewish blood because there was a large population of Yemeni Jews "Yehudi Temanim" in Somalia and intermarried with Somalis. A lot of them also hid their identity as being Jews, and some converted also into Islam. There were large Yemenite Jewish grave sites that are to be found in Mogadishu, some were destroyed in recent years due to the war and the building of houses. Somalia is a hostile country for anyone wether Jewish or Christian, and especially if they are foreign such as European or Asian. Some Yemenis, Ethiopians & some Arabs have an easier time blending in because they don't differ much in physical features nor culture.

There are also names that are not rarely used among Somalis and they are of Hebrew origin like: Mattah (Matatayahu/Matthew), Yonus (Jonah/Jonas), Jibril (Gabriel/Gavr'ial), Musa (Moshe/Moses), Ilyas (Eliyahu/Elias), Ubaidullah/Ubaid (Obhádhyah/Ovadiah/Obadiah), Zakariyah (Zekhariah), Yahya (Youhanna/Yohannas/John), Hawa (Hava/Hevah/Eve), Ya'qub/Jakub (Yacob/Yakhob/Jacob), Maryam/Maryan/Marian (Miriam/Maryam/Miriyam/Mary), Ismail (Yismail/Yismael/Ishmael), there are also other Muslim names for Andrew, Lucas, and Marcus not used extensivally now. They are: Andraos/Andrus (Andrew), Lukas/Luqas (Luke), Girgis/Jirjis (George/Georguos), Markus/Marqus (Mark/Marcus), Batrus/Batrous (Peter/Petro/Pedro/Petros)... The Jewish name for Jesus is Yeshua, while there are also two versions for Prophet Isa in the Arabic language. 1. Issa/Essa/Essus/Jesus. Yassu' which can also translate to "Yehoshua" or Joshua. But there is an Islamic and Judeo-Christian Prophet named Joshua and to differentiate it is preferred to call Jesus: Issa and prophet Joshua: Yusha'. You must remember these are the names of the Bani Israel prophets that were sent by God and including the original 12 Disciples of Prophet Issa. They are not "Gaalo" names they are Semitic names, not European.

                                                                    Somali clans

Kahin is also a common Somali name, also called Kohen in Hebrew and Cohen in modern day English. Kohens or Kahins are descendents of Prophet Ahron (Harun, Aaron) the Levite brother of Moses. Any Somali with the last name of Kahin (Kahin/Kohen/Cohen) should check themselves and their DNA. I think that last name is prevalent among Yibir and Somalis of the Northwest and North Central. Not South though, southern Somalis are native Cushites. Hawiye in Arabic means "native" or "aboriginal". I'm talking specifically of Yibir (Arabic: Ibri, Ibro, and Hebrew: Yibiro/Eber) because they are a distinct Somali ethnic group, because not all Somali people have the same ancestors, but the majority are Cushites.

The word Kahin is a Semitic name that means priest. The strange thing about Yibir is that they perform Semitic religious rituals. New mums offer the naxri to the rabiman or raahib, in Arabic. Somalis worshipped some of the Egyptian gods like the god RA whereas the Yibir Somalis are monotheist Hamites who worshipped the god of pharao Akhenaton who was the founder of monotheism, the belief that only one god exicts. Yibir were monotheistic Akhenatons who apparently performed the rituals of old Semitic monotheism.

There is no such thing as " Soomalian people" or "Ethiopian People". The Horn of Africa was the home of the East African Cushite tribes like Boni, Wata, Yaaka, Dahalo, Hawiye, Ajuuraan, Samale, Oromo, Afar, Boran & other Cushite tribes.

I have no doubt some clans have Jewish origin. The Arabs and Islam that followed buried this fact. Even for so long period that were some groups of other Somali clans related to Jews. This is mainly people in Northern Somalia or current Somaliland, that is ISSAC clans. If you count genealogies of Issac clan individual especially after the 7 generations all names are typically Hebrew as mentioned before. There is strong evidence in this. This was also used as a tool by the former dictator, Siayed Barre in collecting support when the Issac led freedom fighting was ignited in the 80's from some Arab states. It is common now if you ask other clans about Issac clan's origin that they will say they came from Amahara lands of Ethiopia and are Jewish. As member of this clan I am proud of being Jewish and Muslim at the same time. Being Jewish does not necessarily mean Jewish by religion. We should acknowedge the spread of Jews across the globe induced some of them to be converted to other religion (Islam)-Issac Clan of Somali is a Good example.

Isaaq and Darood claim being Arab surprisingly Darood is actually Banu Dawud or Tribe of David in Arabic and Isaaq is Banu Ishaaq or Tribe of Isaac. Many Somalis have the name Kahin/Cohen which is actually the priestly name of the Levite Jewish tribe, they are called Kohanim in Hebrew and Kahinin in Arabic. Moses is said to have married a Cushite woman named Zipporah and so did many Hebrews which explains their Cushitic blood/DNA: E1b1b. Generically Somalis are 5% Jewish and 3% Arab, which means we are more Jewish than Arab! The Isaaq are good with business & are economically prosperous like the Jews.

Why do you wanna get Somalis to become Jews? Being 5% of something does not say we are that ethnicity. Every ethnicity has a mix of genes, nobody is 100% pure ethnically. We also had trades with Arabs and Jews and that might be the reason for the Jewish and Arab percentage. But this was taken only on Darood clan, other clans for example Hawiye or the Ogaden Darood clan might be more ethnically pure because they might not have as much contact with Arabs and Jews.

Yahud (Jews) are a racial ethnic Semitic group cousins to their Semitic brethren like the Arabs, Assyrians, and Aramaens who live close to them and share similar cultures and languages. They can be Muslim, Christian (Messianic Jews), or Jewish in religion. Simple as that.

I think there are a lot of Somalians who are Jewish but they don't know. They were brainwashed by Arabs who told them they were born to be muslims but in reality they were forced or converted. Not only Somali names have Hebrew origin but just listen to their language. It is very close to Aramaic or Hebrew. Many countries from east to west have Hebrew heritage.

I'm from northern Somalia, called Somaliland country. I believe that our origin is not far from the Egyptians or the Israelites. My tribal name is Isac and he is buried in a town called Meedh. And he and his children are buried there. What is surprising is that there have always been people who looked after the grave all the time until now I write this. In his grave there are Stars of David & it does not look like they have done it afterwards because there are guards there all the time even now. It looks like it's as old as the grave. I'm Isac and I'm Muslim but it is good to know where you come from originally.

The tomb of Sheikh Isaaq, the founding father of the Isaaq clan, in Maydh.

Somali male population has approximately 15% Y chromosomes from Eurasia and approximately 5% from sub-Saharan Africa. "The origin of haplogroup E is also disputed, with most recent studies actually ascribing it an Asian origin, not an African one. And E1b1b itself is actually quite common in the Arabian Peninsula, with it representing almost 40% of male lineages in coastal Jordan. But the point is, your rant above does not change the fact that the study in question does not once mention anything about either the Darod or the Isaaq Somali clans. Here is what the study does actually state with regard to Somalis, African and Middle Eastern populations: "East Africans are more related to Eurasians than to other African populations. Investigations of Y chromosome markers have shown that the East African populations were not significantly affected by the east bound Bantu expansion that took place approximately 3500 years ago, while a significant contact to Arab and Middle East populations can be deduced from the present distribution of the Y chromosomes in these areas."

It is interesting that the Somali primitive religion was monotheistic as the one of the Jews, a rarity in old times.

The Isaaq make up 80 percent of the former British Somaliland. The Majerteen, and the Hawiye are the other two clans.

Due to Barre's dislike for the Isaaq, he reportedly organized settlements of Ogadeen Somali refugees in the North which is Isaaq territory. Armed clashes between the Ogadeen and Isaaq multiplied, with the government appearing to side with the Ogadeen. These practices are believed to have contributed to the formation by the Isaaq exiles in Great Britain of the Somali National Movement (SNM), a guerrilla front, dedicated to the overthrow of the Siad Barre government.

The grievances of the Isaaqs include: the Daaroods and Hawiyes domination of power and privilege to the deprivation of the Isaaqs since independence; and that southern Somalia, former Italian Somalia, due to being more developed and densely populated, has tended to dominate the north Isaaq territory. The Isaaqs dissatisfaction with the government as it relates to inequitable distribution of resources became evident soon after independence when northern officers staged an abortive coup in December 1961. Since then, there have been episodes of the Isaaqs venting their grievances against the central government. A case in point was the bloodless coup staged by General Barre which resulted in the removal of the Isaaq premier (1967-69), Mohamed H.I. Igaal, from power, thereby confirming the Isaaqs view that there was an anti-Isaaq hidden agenda to exclude them from leadership positions. The Isaaqs, through their guerrilla front, Somali National Movement, later launched an offensive in May 1988, on the towns of Bur'o and Hargeisa. They were defeated by the military regime after bombardment of the towns with artillery and planes, leaving those towns completely destroyed. Between 27 May and December, it is estimated that about 5000 Isaaqs were killed, including women and children who were alleged to have been cold-bloodedly bayoneted to death. The city of Hargeisa, with over half a million inhabitants before the government's offensive, was in ruins as well as Bur'o.

Isaaq: an intelligent and driven people in the Greater Horn of Africa

Isaaq is one of many main tribes that make the nucleus of the Somali race. The Isaaq population across the Horn is probably any where between 2 and 2.5 million. The largest population is concentrated in Somaliland and Ethiopia's Somali region is home to the second largest followed by Djibouti and Kenya. The Isaaq population in Somalia is probably no more than 15 families including the two al Shabab leaders (Ahmed Godane "Abu Zubeir" and Ibrahim Haji Jama Mee'aad "al Afghani"), Somalia's Foreign Minister and few other opportunistic individuals.

The greatest asset the Isaaq brings to the table is always their drive, determination, commitment and most of all entrepreneurial spirit.

When the Somali Republic was united between Somalia and Somaliland from 1960 to 1991, the wealthiest men have always been Isaaq and they included the likes of Jirde Hussein (who owned most of the factories in Mogadishu), Abdi Awad Ali (Indha Deero Group of Companies), his companies today cover more than four continents and operate in Somaliland, Djibouti, Somalia and Ethiopia (Dire Dawa)), Omar Arteh Ghalib (foreign minister of Somali Republic but also one of the wealthiest Somali man) and many others. 

Today the richest Somali woman is Isaaq, Amina Mogeh Hirsi and she is also Uganda's richest woman. She is said to worth as much as $200million. She owns construction company, cement plants, malls, hotels, etc. Her father started the business and her uncle served as a Financial Secretary of Treasury in Kenya's Ministry of Finance. She was born in Kenya.

Amina with Ugandan President - he came to inaugurate one of her projects in Kampala.

Amina quickly adapted to her new environment and acted as a convenient link on the ground for her family's commercial trade. She began expanding the family business and entered the real estate sector. Amina would eventually become one of the wealthiest people in Uganda and come to own the Oasis Centre, a multi-million dollar shopping mall complex and grand scale luxurious apartment Laburnam Courts that are both situated in the center of the capital. She also runs one of the largest distributors of cement and other hardware materials in the country. In 2008, Amina received the Woman Investor of the year Award for her large-scale projects that are changing Kampala's skyline.

The richest Somali man is Isaaq and his name is Ibrahim Abdi Kahin (Ibrahim Dhere). He is considered one of the richest men in the Horn, in an interview with The Economist last year. It is said he is worth $1.6 billion (imports food for 20 countries in Africa via Djibouti port). No Somali is ever said to have a billion except for this man.

Mohamed Said Geudi - he is said to be worth over $200 million...currently he is investing $58m in Somaliland to install the fastest broadband network. He will eventually take it to Ethiopia as well. 

The brain - CEO of SBI (Somaliland Beverage Industry (contracted to Coca Cola)) Ahmed Osman Guelleh

Mohamed Said Guedi recently bought a stake in the company Afro Shanghai-Djibouti, in which he is now the main shareholder along with another wealth Isaaq, Ahmed Mohamed Abokor. 

In 1999 Mohammed Yusef, a UK educated and train solicitor and commercial lawyer, founded Invicta, a private equity firm providing finance for the media, commercial property and renewable energy sectors which, according to its website, has raised over £1.4bn ($2.3bn) of investment capital. Mohammed is investing multi-million dollars in Somaliland's petroleum exploration. He set up an exploration company called Petrosoma and he will jointly operate with Jacka Resources, an Australian oil exploration company.

The wealthest people from such small tribe when compared to Horn of Africa's large players are countless but they include Jama Haid family, Omar Aideed (he is building his own power-line from Ethiopia to Somaliland and Djibouti - importing Ethiopian electricity), Ahmed Osman Guelleh (who invested $17 million coca-cola plant in Somaliland) and others. Ahmed Osman's wealth is unknown but it is said to run in the hundreds of millions. He is the top man in Djibouti's tobacco business, postal services (DHL), shipping Inchcap shipping line exclusive agent of Maersk line containers, car rentals, beverages, money wiring and money exchange, and much much more. He also has contracts to the new port in Tadjourah directly benefiting from Ethiopia's growing market. 

The list is countless and I don't even know who to add next but let me add one that almost all Ethiopians are familiar with.

Dahabshiil - the largest Money Transfer company in Africa with network of more than 24000 agents and branches in 144 countries worldwide. Dahabshiil was founded in the late 1970s by Mohamed Saeed Duale. Today the company handles over $700 million annually and has became the got to solution for all aid agencies and international donors who want to transfer funds fast to remote regions of the Horn of Africa and beyond. The United Nations was surprised when it was able to transfer money to Sudan's Darfur region during the height of the conflict using Dahabshiil.

Ina Afdile is the king of Khat trade between the Horn of Africa. He became so rich of khat/qat he now runs empires of hotels, petroleum businesses, malls, transportation between Somaliland and Ethiopia. He is said that he pays $25 million annually to the Ethiopian government alone for taxes.

Mohammed Abdullahi "Ogsadey" (in Somali Xoogsade meaning someone who works hard and puts in the labor) the MAO Horse Harar company which to this day is available globally from any coffee store near you. MAO is his initials (Mohammed Abdullahi Ogsadey).

Have the Jordanian & Saudi monarchies & a large amount of their subjects Jewish origin? & the Yemeni folks?

The Arabian Peninsula is in South West Asia. The settlement of Jews in this region back to biblical times and even to the era of the First Temple. Immigration on a larger scale (from Palestine and also from Mesoptamia-modern day Iraq, etc.) does not appear to have preceded the 2nd cent. CE. Inscriptions discovered in the Bet Shearim catacombs evidence the existence of Jewish communities in Yemen in the early 3rd cent., and Byzantine sources testify to them from the 4th cent. At first, the number of Jews was small (the figure for the Yemen in the first centuries CE is estimated at 3,000, scattered all over the country), but it rapidly increased through conversion of Arabs to Judaism, especially in the south where even some rulers, e.g. Dhu Nuwas, embraced Judaism. In the 6th and early 7th cents, there was a considerable Jewish population in Hejaz, and particularly in Medina and its vicinity. Judaism spread from Medina to the South. Smaller Jewish communities also existed in Bahrein, at Makna on the Gulf of Akaba, at Adhruh between Maan and Petra, and further North at Jarba. 

Dhu NuwAs (d. 525) was an Arabian king; the last ruler of the independent Himyarite kingdom. He embraced Judaism under the name Yusuf (Joseph) after ascending the throne (c. 518). An Arabic tradition holds that his subjects also became converts. According to legend, in retaliation for the persecution of Jews in the Christian Byzantine empire, he put to death some Byzantine merchants who came to his kingdom. On the surrender to his forces of the Christian city of Najran (probably in 523), he invited the inhabitants to embrace Judaism and when they refused, executed many of them. He was killed and his kingdom destroyed in a combined attack by Abyssinia and Byzantium.  After his death and the downfall of his kingdom, Christianity rapidly gained ground in Southern Arabia, especially among the former converts to Judaism; but even then, some Yemenite rulers were of the Jewish faith.

According to Eldad HaDani there were Ephraimites & Manassehites dwelling next to Mecca. Even in Pathan accounts they mention the Israelites living in Saudi Arabia. There's a high frequency of Cohen genes among the Bedouins, Yemenis (67%), and Jordanians (55%) and a precipitous drop in frequency as one moves away from Saudi Arabia and the Near East. Moreover, there is a striking contrast between the relatively high frequency of J-58 in Jewish populations (»20%) and Kohanim (»46%) and its vanishingly low frequency in our sample of non- Jewish populations that hosted Jewish diaspora communities outside of the Near East. According to genetic & historical studies, the numbers of Jews & other Israelites in Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Jordan & vicinity, would be counted in the millions, although they practice Islam & have all the Arab culture & language as their own. The highest number is in Yemen since there were Israelites from such an early time. The establishment of a Jewish state in Yemen must have atracted even more Israelites, especially Jews. The Arab converts to Judaism obviously made the ethnic Israelites mingle with the Arab converts. That's probably why Yemen has such high percentage of Cohen gene. According to these genetic studies we could say that in the Middle East there are More Jewish states besides Israel, at least genetically: Yemen would be a Jewish state & Jordan would be another Jewish state.

According to this, are the Yemenis & Jordanians Islamized Israelites? I would say so, especially about Yemenis. So the Yemeni Jews are but a handfull of a whole Yemeni Israelite population that's Muslim. The scholars Shukla & Hommel agree that there's a common genetic between Jews & Yemenis, Muslim ones included, of course. Shukla even goes further to the point to affirm that "both are twigs of the same branch". In other words, Jews & Yemenites are Israelites ethnically speaking. I would add that they are in a large proportion coming from the tribe of Levi. It would be very interesting if we see them performing offerings to the Most High God in His rebuilt temple. Can you imagine former islamists performing in the 3rd. & last temple? These genetic studies agree with historical accounts of Hebrews going to Yemen. Yemen corresponds with the kindom of Sheba or Saba. The Bible narrates the event for which the queen of this kingdom visits the famous king Solomon. Later this kingdom was called kingdom of Himnyar or Himnyarite & became officially Jewish. If previously there were Jews & other Israelites sojourning there, afterwards the number must have swelled. Obviously many of the Arab subjects converted to Judaism. For sure these Arab converts to Judaism mingled with the ethnic Hebrews that were dwelling already in the Happy Arabia, Yemen, called this way because of the abundance of fruit & rainfall.

The southwestern corner of the peninsula, enjoying more rainfall, is much greener than the rest of the peninsula and has long enjoyed more productive fields. The high peaks and slopes are capable of supporting significant vegetation and river beds called wadis help make other soil fertile. In 26 BC Aelius Gallus under Augustus's order led a military expedition to Arabia Felix which ended in the utter defeat of Roman troops.

Part of what led to Arabia Felix's wealth and importance to the ancient world was its near monopoly of the trade in cinnamon and spices, both its native products and imports from India and the Horn of Africa.

Jews of Hadramaut celebrating the Seder

As late as 1665, when the Shabbetai Zvi had returned to Turkey, rumors were current of a Jewish Army which would advance from the Arabian desert to conquer Palestine. 

Several Jewish colonies were found North of Medina including a) Khaibar, b) Fadak, c) Wadi 'I-Qura, and d) Taima. The Jewish population increased through the conversion of Arabs to Judaism. Some Jews lived in Mecca, at least temporarily, before the rise of Islam.  Mohammed subdued the Jewish colonies North of the city but permitted the inhabitants to stay. Under the reign of Omar, the Jews were expelled from Khaibar and Fadak and possibly from Wadi 'I-Qura. In Wadi 'I-Qura they were able to reestablish themselves in the 10th cent, but after that there are no subsequent traces of Jews in Hejaz (Saudia Arabia).

In 628 Khaibar, an oasis north of Medina was subdued by the Prophet Mohammed. 

The earliest mass-migration of the Jewish people was the wholesale deportation to Babylonia (Iraq) at the close of the First Temple Period, followed by the voluntary return from exile. In Second Temple times, there was a considerable movement of Jewish population, partly compulsory and partly voluntary from Mesopotamia (Iraq) into Asia Minor (Turkey) and from Palestine to Egypt, where a great Jewish settlement was built up. Later, when Palestine came under Roman rule, the deportation of Jewish prisoners of war and the voluntary migration of merchants resulted in the establishment of an important Jewish center in Italy. The Jews were to some extent affected by the general movement of population in the Dark Ages. There seem to have been three main lines of migration from the Middle East into Europe:

From Palestine to Southern Italy, and thence over the Alps into France and Germany; From the Byzantine Empire up the valley of the Danube into Central Europe; From Mesopotamia (Iraq) and Egypt through Morocco into Spain.

History of immigration to Arabian peninsula & surroundings 

Contemporary researchers have pieced together a mosaic of Judaized Arabian Tribes but we have little evidence that Judaism found its place in the Arabian Peninsula by immigration of Jews, which took place mainly during five periods—after the collapse of Kingdom of Judah in 586 BCE, after the Roman conquest of Judea, after the Jewish rebellion in 66 CE, and the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus in 70 CE, exiles found a home in the desert, survivors of the Bar Kochba Revolt, in 135 CE, who sought religious freedom in the Arabian desert rather than live under the yoke of the Romans, immigration, around 300 CE, by people who are known in Islamic literature as the Banu Aus and the Banu Khazraj who fled the Ghassanids in Syria, migration from Judea into southern Arabian Peninsula to ride the ascent of the Himyarite Kingdom around 380 CE. 

Yemen, the Crucible of al-Qaida, Was Once a Powerful Arabian Kingdom Run by Jews called Ḥimyarite Kingdom or Ḥimyar (in Arabic مملكة حِمْيَر Mamlakat Ḥimyar) (Hebrew: ממלכת חמיר‎) (Flourished 110 BC–520s), historically referred to as the Homerite Kingdom by the Greeks and the Romans. Established in 110 BCE, it took as its capital the modern day city of Sana'a after the ancient city of Zafar. The Kingdom conquered neighbouring Saba' (Sheba) in c.25 BC (for the first time), Qataban in c.200 CE, and Haḍramaut c.300 AD. Its political fortunes relative to Saba' changed frequently until it finally conquered the Sabaean Kingdom around 280 CE. Himyar then endured until it finally fell to Christian invaders in 525 AD. The Ḥimyarite Kingdom was the dominant polity in Arabia until 525. Its economy was based on agriculture, and foreign trade centered on the export of frankincense and myrrh. For many years, the kingdom was also the major intermediary linking East Africa and the Mediterranean world. This trade largely consisted of exporting ivory from Africa to be sold in the Roman Empire.

Ships from Ḥimyar regularly traveled the East African coast, and the state also exerted a large amount of Influence both cultural religious and political to the trading cities of East Africa whilst the cities of East Africa remained independent. The Periplus of the Erythraean Sea describes the trading empire of Himyar and its ruler Charibael (Karab Il Watar Yuhan'em II), who is said to have been on friendly terms with Rome: "23. And after nine days more there is Saphar, the metropolis, in which lives Charibael, lawful king of two tribes, the Homerites and those living next to them, called the Sabaites; through continual embassies and gifts, he is a friend of the Emperors." During this period, the Kingdom of Ḥimyar conquered the kingdoms of Saba' and Qataban and took Raydan/Zafar for its capital instead of Ma’rib.

In the early 2nd century CE Saba' and Qataban split from the Kingdom of Ḥimyar; yet in a few decades Qataban was conquered by Hadramawt (conquered in its turn by Ḥimyar in the 4th century), whereas Saba' was finally conquered by Ḥimyar in the late 3rd century AD. Zafar's ruins still lie on Mudawwar Mountain near the town of Yarim. During this period, they began to decline and fall. Their trade failed to a very great extent, firstly, because of the Nabetaean domain over the north of Ḥijāz; secondly, because of the Roman superiority over the naval trade routes after the Roman conquest of Egypt, Syria and the north of Hijaz; and thirdly, because of inter-tribal warfare. Thanks to the three above-mentioned factors, families of Qaḥṭān were disunited and scattered about all over Arabia.

The Himyarite Kingdom in had a client buffer state in the northern part of the Arabian peninsula: this was Kinda, which ruled Hadramawt and the Najd, and was usually under Himyarite influemce. (Imr'ul-Qays, the great pre-Islamic poet, was a son of one of the last Kings of Kinda.) Meanwhile the Hijaz, including the caravan cities of Mecca and Yathrib (later Medina), provided the trading corridor among these rival powers, where all the competing political and religious tendencies would be in evidence.

Arabized Jews

The Sanaite Jews have a legend that their ancestors settled in Yemen forty-two years before the destruction of the First Temple. According to the Prophet Jeremiah some 75,000 Jews, including priests and Levites, traveled to Yemen. The Banu Habban in southern Yemen have a legend that they are the descendants of Judeans who settled in the area before the destruction of the Second Temple. These Judeans supposedly belonged to a brigade dispatched by King Herod to assist the Roman legions fighting in the region.

The Himyarite royal family in exile commanded vast wealth and resources, particularly the Nabatean bedouin with whom they had controlled the market of trade by Land from North-East Africa for centuries.

By the close of the fifth century, the Banu Aus and Banu Khazraj had become masters of Yathrib. During these events, or possibly in coordination with them, Yathrib was host to a noble visitor. In 470 CE, Persian King Firuz was attempting to wipe out the Exilarchate. The Exilarch Huna V, who was the son of Mar-Zutra bar Mar-Zutra, whisked his daughter and some of his entourage to Yathrib (Medina) for safety.

Judaized Arabs

In about 400 CE, Himyarite King tubba Abu Karib As'ad Kamil (385-420 CE), a convert to Judaism, led military expeditions into central Arabia and expanded his empire to encompass most of the Arabian Peninsula. His army had marched north to battle the Aksumites who had been fighting for control of Yemen for a hundred years. The Aksumites were only expelled from the region when the newly-Jewish king rallied Jews together from all over Arabia, with pagan allies. The relationship between the Himyarite Kings and the polytheistic Arab tribes strengthened when, under the royal permission of Tubba' Abu Karib As'ad, Qusai ibn Kilab (400–480 CE) reconstructed the Ka'aba from a state of decay, and had the Arab al-Kahinan (Cohanim) build their houses around it. Qusai ibn Kilab was the great-great- grandfather of Shaiba ibn Hashim (Abdul-Mutallib, who had a Jewish wife). Shaiba ibn Hashim was fifth in the line of descent to Muhammad, and attained supreme power at Mecca. Qusai ibn Kilab is among the ancestors of Sahaba and the progenitor of the Banu Quraish. When Qusai came of age, a man from the tribe of Banu Khuza'a named Hulail (Hillel) was the trustee of the Kaaba, and the Na'sa (Nasi)—authorized to calculate the calendar. Qusai married his daughter and, according to Hulail's will, obtained Hulail's rights to the Ka'aba. Hulail, according to Arabian tradition was a member of the Banu Jurhum. Banu Jurhum was a sub-group of the Banu Qahtani from whom the Himyarites originally descend.

Around 455 CE, the last Himyarite King is born, Zur'ah Yusuf Ibn Tuban As'ad Abu Kaleb Dhu Nuwas or Dhu Nuwas. He died in 510. His zeal for Judaism brought about his fall. Having heard of the persecutions of Jews by Byzantine emperors, Dhu Nuwas retaliated by putting to death some Byzantine merchants who were traveling on business through Himyara. He didn't simply kill them with hanging—he burned them in large pits—earning him the title "King of the burning pit".

These killings destroyed the trade of Yemen with Europe and involved Dhu Nuwas in a war with the heathen King Aidug, whose commercial interests were injured by these killings. Dhu Nuwas was defeated, then he made war against the Christian city Najran in Yemen, which was a dependency of his kingdom. After its surrender, he offered the citizens the alternative of embracing Judaism, under coercion, or being put to death. As they refused to renounce their faith, he executed their chief, Harith ibn Kaleb, and three hundred and forty chosen men. Many scholars suspect that the Hamyarite Kings, in their display of violent recruitment, lend the greatest weight to any explanation of "why contemporary Jews do not proselytize"—in fact Contemporary Judaism actively discourages conversion and converts even after conversions have occurred.

Rise of Islam

Four-hundred ninety years years had passed from the destruction of Bar Kochba's armies until the year 622 CE. Bar Kochba was a failed Messiah and now, according to Daniel, "would come the true warrior Messiah". "A warrior with 'the helmet of deliverance on His head' and clad in armor". "He will don garments of vengeance (as his) clothing and will put on a cloak of zealousness". "He will fight the battle of Gog ha-Magog and against the army of Armilos (Heraclius)". Most of the Jewish tribes of Arabia were on alert for a new Messiah—anxious to usher his arrival. This is in agreement with Islamic sources which state that the coming of the Final Prophet, Mohammed, was predicted in both the Torah and Bible and other sacred scriptures, and as forefold by prophets and messengers of God. With this knowledge in divinely revealed books, the Jewish tribes of Arabia were aware that soon a new divinely-appointed leader would arise in Arabia and that he would usher in a new era.

The Jewish tribes played a significant role during the rise of Islam. Mohammed had many contacts with Jewish tribes, both urban and nomadic, and apparently was influenced by Judaism, as his early teachings seems to borrow from Jewish tradition. Mohammed could neither write nor read, and history attests to this fact; so it is highly questionable to assert he borrowied from Jewish writings. However, when the Jews began to distance themselves from Mohammed, not recognizing him as a prophet, he started to minimize the Jewish influence on Islam, shifting the direction of prayers from Jerusalem to Mecca, making Friday a holy day, and shifting from the Jewish dietary laws, although the eating of pork has always been strongly prohibited in both religions, which contradicts the suggestion that he aimed to only oppose them. It is noteworthy to mention that the holy day of Friday was never considered holy in the sense it is to Jews. And although Islamic and Jewish dietary laws share many similarities, the two sets of rules are not identical nor equal. The shift of the prayer direction from Jerusalem to Mecca can be viewed from a religious a divine test from Allah to distinguish the true believers that followed the Prophet Mohammed, from those who would turn their back on the Prophet of Allah. (Quran 2:143). According to Abraham Farissol, the remaining tribes were in the desert, on the way to Mecca, near the Red Sea

In 622 CE, Mohammed, hoping to capitalize on Jewish-Arab despondency at successive military defeats, abandonment by Persian Jews, loss of Jerusalem, the murder of the Exilarch Nehemiah ben Hushiel, and the renewed opposition of the Banu Quraish, set out for Taif. Mohammed worked hard to turn the hearts of the Jewish-Arabian and Pagan tribes from the Jewish prophesies and Pagan beliefs respectively, hoping thatt the Jewish Arab tribes waiting for redemption at the hands of a Messiah would receive him well. But when Mohammed arrived in Taif, and called upon the Jewish tribes to hear his teachings, he was rejected.

In late 622 CE, Shallum ben Hushiel went to visit Mohammed in Medina, and offered his submission (desiring conversion to Islam). With the submission of an Exilarch, Mohammed found resistance to submission, by some Judaized Arab tribes, begin to wane.

Some of these tribes, or some of their members, were conquered and converted to Islam, some lived as crypto-Jews, while others remained Jews living among Muslims though protected by the Constitution of Medina. Other tribes, who still resisted conversion, were banished or put to the sword.

The Jordanian monarchy has some Jewish ancestry

It's believed that the Saudi Arabian monarchy is crypto-Jewish, in other words, they hide their Judaism. It's a known fact that the Jordanian monarchy has some Jewish ancestry. This might be why the Jordanian kings have been & still are pretty sympathetic with the Jewish State of Israel. At least as compared to the region's general approach to Israel. This would prove there's even more ethnic closeness between the Arabs & the Jews apart from the widely known common ancestry thru Abraham/Ibrahim or Jethro/Reuel/Shuaib.

These are some of the Jewish tribes of Arabia historically attested: Banu Aws fled Syria under Ghassanid rule, then fled Yathrib (presently known as Medina), and after explusion by Muhammed, back to Syria. Banu Harith, Banu Jusham, Banu Najjar, Banu Qaynuqa, Banu Sa'ida, Banu Shutayba, Banu Kinanah, Banu Yar'ak ba'si. Jafna Clan of the Banu Thal'aba who were exiled members of the Banu Ghassan - while both tribes were not Jewish, they did have Jewish members; whereas the Jafna Clan was solely Jewish. Banu Zaura, Banu Zurayq, Banu Quda'a — Himyarite tribe of converts to Saducee Judaism. Banu Qurayza — sub-clan of the al-Kāhinān, located in Yathrib (Medina), "principal family" fled Syria under Ghassanid rule, then fled Medina, after explusion by Prophet Muhammed, back to Syria. Banu Nadir — sub-clan of the al-Kāhinān, located in Yathrib (Medina). Banu Juw — sub-clan of the Banu Qaynuqa, Fled to North Africa.

                                                                    Eldad ben Mahli

Scholars believe the 10 tribes were resettled in the region now embracing parts of Kurdistan, Afghanistan, northern Syria and Iran. In the ninth century Eldad ben Mahli ha-Dani came forward, claiming to give specific details of the contemporary existence of the Ten Tribes and of their location at that time. Dan, Naphtali, Gad, and Asher were in Havilah; Zebulun and Reuben in the mountains of Paran; Ephraim and half of Manasseh in South Arabia; Simeon and the other half of Manasseh in the land of the Chazars. According to him, therefore, the Ten Tribes were settled in parts of southern Arabia, or perhaps Abyssinia, in conformity with the identification of Havilah. The connection of this view with that of the Jewish origin of Islam is obvious; and David Reubeni revived the view in stating that he was related to the king of the tribes of Reuben situated in Khaibar in North Arabia.

King On was native of Heyaz, current Saudi Arabia. His last name was Hashem. Although in Arabic means something else, in Hebrew is the name of God. It doesn't seem to be coincidental. It's widely known the origin of many of the first Moslem converts as having Jewish origin. It's interesting to notice the former Jordanian Coat of Arms had a Lion & a Unicorn (a horse in this case) like in the British Coat of Arms. The Lion and Unicorn were representative of Israel in its aspect of power in the End Times. The lion and unicorn are on the coat of arms officially symbolizing Britain. Bilaam the heathen prophet foresaw that in the End Times the descendants of Israel would be very powerful. He likened them to a lion and a ram or unicorn. The Coat of Arms of Britain Britain Numbers 23:22 God brought them out of Egypt; they have the strength of a wild ox. 23 There is no divination against Jacob, no evil omens against Israel. It will now be said of Jacob and of Israel, ‘See what God has done!’ 24 The people rise like a lioness; they rouse themselves like a lion that does not rest till it devours its prey and drinks the blood of its victims.”

Indeed there was a large number of Jews in southern Arabia in the time of the Muslim prophet Muhammad. There were so many Jewish tribes in southern Arabia that although there's very few practicing Jews in both Yemen & Saudi Arabia, there might be hundreds of thousands of crypto-Jews in both countries. If there are not many crypto-Jews, there are many Arabs (Saudis & Yemenis) with Jewish blood. Here's a list of Jewish tribes in the time of Muhammad:

King On's mum was Jewish so he was Jewish , because according to the main branch es of Judaism, the children of a Jewess are Jewish. Although some branches consider the paternal side to be the transmisor of Judaism. This statement of the Jewish origin of king On's mum was declared by Faisal I in 1917.

King On was the grandfather of emir Faisal I which became the king of Syria & then of Iraq. King On's offspring ruled over Syria, Iraq & Jordan. Nowadays his offspring still rule Jordan. Together with Egypt, Jordan is the only Arab nation which fully recognizes Israel, & the only Arab monarchy that recognizes the Jewish State.

The Saudi Royal Family Are Crypto-Jews

By Abdulaziz Saud

RESEARCH AND PRESENTATION OF: MOHAMMAD SAKHER , who was ordered killed by the Saudi Regime for the following findings: 
1. Are the Saudi Family members belonging to the Tribe of ANZA BEN WA'EL as they allege to be? 
2. Is Islam their actual religion? 
3. Are they of an ARAB ORIGIN at all?
 In the year 851 A.H. a group of men from AL MASALEEKH CLAN, which was a branch of ANZA Tribe, formed a caravan for buying cereals (wheat and corn) and other food stuff from IRAQ, and transporting it back to NAJD. The head of that group was a man called SAHMI BIN HATHLOOL. The caravan reached BASRA, where the members of the group went to a cereal merchant who was a Jew, Called MORDAKHAI BIN IBRAHIM BIN MOSHE'. During their bargaining with that merchant, the Jew asked them : "Where are you from?" They answered: "From ANZA TRIBE; a clan of AL MASALEEKH." Upon hearing that name, the Jew started to hug so affectionately each one of them saying that he, himself, was also from the clan of AL MASALEEKH, but he had come to reside in BASRA (IRAQ) in consequence to a family feud between his father and some members of ANZA Tribe.

After he recounted to them his fabricated narrative, he ordered his servants to load all the camels of the clan's members with wheat, dates and tamman; a remarkable deed so generous that astonished the MASALEEKH men and aroused their pride to find such an affectionate (cousin) in IRAQ- the source of their sustenance; they believed each word he said , and , because he was a rich merchant of the food commodities which they were badly in need, they liked him (even though he was a Jew concealed under the garb of an Arab from AL MASALEEKH clan).

When the caravan was ready to depart returning to NAJD, that Jewish Merchant asked them to accept his company, because he intended to go with them to his original homeland, NAJD. Upon hearing that from him, they wholeheartedly welcomed him with a very cheerful attitude.

So that (concealed) Jew reached NAJD with the caravan. In NAJD, he started to promulgate a lot of propaganda for himself through his companions (his alleged cousins), a fact, which gathered around him a considerable number of new supporters; but, unexpectedly, he confronted a campaign of opposition to his views led by SHEIKH SALEH SALMAN ABDULLA AL TAMIMI, who was a Muslem religious preacher in AL-QASEEM. The radius of his preaching area included Najd, Yemen, and Hijaz, a fact which compelled the Jew (the Ancestor of the present SAUDI FAMILY to depart from AL QASEEM to AL IHSA, where he changed his name (MORDAKHAI) To MARKHAN BIN IBRAHIM MUSA. Then he changed the location of his residence and settled at a place called DIR'IYA near AL-QATEEF, where he started to spread among the inhabitants a fabricated story about the shield of our Prophet MOHAMMAD (p.b.u.h), that it was taken as a booty by an Arab Pagan in consequence of OHOD Battle between the Arab pagans and the Muslems. "That shield, he said, was sold by the Arab Pagan to a Jewish Clan called BANU QUNAIQA' who preserved it as a treasure! He gradually enhanced his position among the Bedouins through such stories which indicated how the Jewish clans in Arabia were so influential and deserved high esteem. He gained some personal importance among the Bedouins, and decided to settle permanently there, at DIR'IYA town, near AL QATEEF, which he decided to be his (Capital) on the Persian Gulf. He aspired to make it his spring board for establishing a Jewish Kingdom in Arabia.

In order to fulfill his ambitious scheme, he started to approach the desert Arab Bedouins for support of his position, then gradually, he declared himself as their king!

At that juncture, AJAMAN Tribe together with BANU KHALED Tribe became fully aware of that Jewish cunning plan after they had verified his true identity, and decided to put an end to him. They attacked his town and conquered it, but before arresting him he had escaped by the skin of his teeth.

That Jewish Ancestor of the SAUDI FAMILY, (MORDAKHAI), sought shelter in a farm called at that time AL-MALIBEED-GHUSAIBA near AL-ARID, which is called at our present time : AL-RIYADH.

He requested the owner of that farm to grant him an asylum. The farmer was so hospitable that he immediately gave him sanctuary. But that Jew (MORDAKHAI), no longer than a month had he stayed there, when he assassinated the land lord and all members of his family, pretending that all were killed by an invading band of thieves. Then he pretended that he had bought that real estate from them before that catastrophe happened to them! Accordingly, he had the right to reside there as a land lord. He then gave a new name to that place: He named it AL-DIRIYA - the same name as that he had lost.

That Jewish Ancestor of the SAUDI FAMILY (MORDAKHAI), was quick to establish a "GUEST HOUSE" called "MADAFFA" on the land he usurped from his victims, and gathered around him a group of hypocrites who started to spread out false propaganda for him that he was a prominent Arab Sheikh. He plotted against Sheikh SALEH SALMAN ABDULLA AL TAMIMI, his original enemy, and caused his assassination in the mosque of the town called (AL-ZALAFI).

After that, he felt satisfied and safe to make (AL-DIRIYA) his permanent home. There he practiced polygamy at a wide scale, and indeed, he begot a lot of children whom he gave pure Arab names.

Ever since his descendants grew up in number and power under the name of SAUDI CLAN, they have followed his steps in practicing under ground activities and conspiracies against the Arab Nation. They illegally seized rural sectors and farm lands, and assassinated every person who tried to oppose their evil plans. They used all kinds of deceit for reaching their goals: they bought the conscience of their dissidents; they offered their women and money to influential people in that area, particularly to those who started to write the true biography of that Jewish Family; they bribed writers of history in order to purify their ignominious history, and make their lineage related to the most prominent Arab Tribes such as RABI'A, ANZA, and ALMASALEEKH.

A conspicuous hypocrite in our era whose name is MOHAMMAD AMIN AL TAMIMI- Director/Manager of the contemporary Libraries of the SAUDI KINGDOM, made up a genealogical tree (FAMILY TREE) for this JEWISH FAMILY (THE SAUDIS), connecting them to our Great Prophet, MOHAMMAD. For his false work, he received a reward of 35 (THIRTY FIVE) THOUSAND EYPTIAN POUNDS from the then SAUDI AMBASSADOR TO CAIRO, EGYPT, in the year 1362 AH.- 1943 A.D. The name of that Ambassador is: IBRAHIM AL-FADEL.

As aforementioned, the Jewish Ancestor of the SAUDI FAMILY, (MORDAKHAI), practiced polygamy by marrying a lot of Arab women and begot many children; his polygamous practice is, at the present time, being carried out " to the letter" by his descendants; they cling to his marital heritage!

One of MORDAKHAI'S sons called AL-MAQARAN, arabized from the Jewish root (MACK-REN) begot a son called Mohammad, then another son called SAUD, which is the name of the present day SAUDI DYNASTY.

Descendants of SAUD (the present day SAUDI FAMILY )started a campaign of assassination of the prominent leaders of the Arab Tribes under the pretence that those leaders were apostates; renegading from the Islamic Religion, and deserting their Koranic doctrines; so they deserved the SAUDI condemnation and slaughter!

In the History Book of the SAUDI FAMILY pages (98-101), their private family historian declares that the SAUDI DYNASTY considers all the people of NAJD blasphemous; so their blood must be shed, their properties confiscated, and their females be taken as concubines; no Muslim is authentic in his /her belief unless he/she belongs (affiliates) to the sect of MOHAMMAD BIN ABDUL WAHAB, (whose origins are also Jewish from TURKEY.) His doctrines give authority to the SAUDI FAMILY to destroy the villages with all their inhabitants-males including children, and to sexually assault their women; stab the bellies of the pregnant, and cut off the hands of their children, then burn them! They are further authorized by such a BRUTAL DOCTRINE to plunder all the properties of whom they call renegades (not following their Wahabi Sect).

Their hideous Jewish Family has, in fact, done all that kind of atrocities in the name of their false religious sect (the Wahabi), which was actually invented by a Jew so as to sow the seeds of terror in the hearts of people in towns and villages. This Jewish Dynasty has been committing such brutal atrocities ever since 1163 A.H. They have named the whole Arabian Peninsula after their family name (SAUDI ARABIA) as if the whole region is their own personal real estate, and that all other inhabitants are their mere servants or slaves, toiling day and night for the pleasure of their masters (THE SAUDI FAMILY).

They are completely holding the natural wealth of the country as their own property. If any poor person from the common people raises his/her voice complaining against any of the despotic rules of this Jewish Dynasty, (the Dynasty) cuts off his/her head in the public square. A princess of theirs once visited FLORIDA, USA, with her retinue; she rented 90 (NINETY) Suite rooms in a Grand Hotel for about One Million Dollars a night! Can anyone of their subjects comment about that extravagant event? If he/she does, his/her fate is quite known: DEATH WITH THE EDGE OF THE SAUDI SWORD IN THE PUBLIC SQUARE!!!!!!

Witnesses on the Jewish Ancestry of this Saudi Family:

In the 1960's the "SAWT AL ARAB" Broadcasting Station in Cairo, Egypt, and the YEMEN Broadcasting Station in SANA'A confirmed the Jewish Ancestry of the SAUDI Family.

King FAISAL AL-SAUD at that time could not deny his family's kindred with the JEWS when he declared to the WASHINGTON POST on September 17, 1969 stating: "WE, THE SAUDI FAMILY, are cousins of the Jews: we entirely disagree with any Arab or Muslem [sic] Authority which shows any antagonism to the Jews; but we must live together with them in peace. Our country (ARABIA) is the Fountain head from where the first Jew sprang, and his descendants spread out all over the world." That was the declaration of KING FAISAL AL-SAUD BIN ABDUL AZIZ!!!!!

The guilt of FAISAL DARWEESH at that time was that he had criticized King ABDUL AZIZ AL-SAUD when the king signed the document which the English Authorities prepared in 1922 as a declaration for giving PALESTINE to the Jews; his signature was obtained in the conference held at AL AQEER in 1922.

Who are Sheba and Dedan?

That was and still is the system of this Regime of the JEWISH FAMILY (SAUDI FAMILY): All its goals are: plundering the wealth of the country, robbing, falsifying, and committing all kinds of atrocity, iniquity, and blasphemy-all are executed in compliance with their self invented Wahabi Sect which legalizes the chopping of the heads of their opposing subjects.

Tarshish is the place to which Jonah attempted to flee. It’s generally regarded as having been part of what is now Spain. In this verse, I think it’s safe to interpret it as including not only literal Spain (though we can accept the literal — Spain being a key part of the EU) but to all kinds of merchants who are faraway over the seas, i.e., places not contiguous to Israel which have primarily commercial relationships with Israel. The reference to Tarshish a different concept from the other parties referred-to in Ezekiel 38 in that it’s not a nation, but a class of people, in this case, basically: businesspeople, the world over. Merchants.

So then, who are Sheba and Dedan?

In a word: Saudi Arabia.

In other words, what Ezekiel 38:13 is saying (in somewhat sarcastic fashion) is that, as it begins to become crystal clear to everyone that the nations of the world are closing ranks and hatching real, concerted plans to come against Israel, Saudi Arabia and most of the corporate interests of the world say: hold yer horses, bucko… not so fast. Not that they can do anything about it, but they voice their opinion and try and influence it. They ask: “are you come to take spoil?” Knowing, I suspect, that the answer is ‘no’. This war is not about spoil. It is not a commercial or even a territorial war, but an ideological one. And they don’t like that.

Remind you of anything?

In a testy personal telephone call on Jan. 29, Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah reportedly told President Obama not to humiliate Mubarak and warned that he would step in to bankroll Egypt if the U.S. withdrew its aid program, worth $1.5 billion annually.

America’s closest ally in the Gulf made clear that the Egyptian president must be allowed to stay on to oversee the transition towards peaceful democracy and then leave with dignity.

“Mubarak and King Abdullah are not just allies, they are close friends, and the King is not about to see his friend cast aside and humiliated,” a senior source in the Saudi capital told The Times… The revelation of Saudi concerns sheds new light on America’s apparent diplomatic paralysis and lays bare the biggest rift between the nations since the oil price shock of 1973.

The tough line from Riyadh is driven by concern that Western governments were too eager to shove aside Mubarak when the uprising began, without proper consideration of what should follow him.

“With Egypt in chaos, the kingdom is Washington’s only major ally left in the Arab world and the Saudis want the Americans to remember that,” said a source in Riyadh.

Mugadishu, capital of Somalia, & the domination from the Jewish kingdom of Himyar (Current Yemen)

The first dynasty to rule Muqdisho (Capital of Somalia) was the Tubba’ dynasty of the Himyar kingdom, with the king “Ascad Karb“.  Ascad Karb is most likely As’ad Abu-Karib ibn Malik-karib, a king of Yemen who ruled between 418 and 433 CE and a convert to Judaism by Yathrib’s Jewish community following a military campaign there, this dates the foundation of the old town of Xamar Weyne to roughly 420-430 CE.

The area of Banaadir (the traditional region including Muqdisho, Baraawe, Marka and other coastal cities) is described in the Greek document the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea (written around the year 460 CE) as part of “Azania“, a region subject to Charibael of the Homerites (who can be identified with ‘Amir Sharahbil Ya’fir ibn As’ad Abu Karib, the son of the aforementioned king), so the Muqdisho tradition is backed up with documentary evidence.  Sharahbil was a Christian, as was his branch of the Tubba’ family, and the religious differences in the country of Himyar would seal the doom of the nation.

Himyar was in this time the strongest state in Arabia, and they would remain a strong state for nearly a century, but on the death of ‘Amir Sharahbil’s son Ma’adi’Karib Yan’um ibn Sharahbil in 516, Himyar faced religious turmoil as Christians and Jews fought murderous battles.  A Jewish zealot and member of the Tubba’ dynasty named Yusuf Asar Yathar (better known as Dhu Nuways) seized the throne in 518 attacked and butchered the Christians of Najran (the martyrs of Najran are mentioned in the Qu’ran in Surat al-Buruj).  The slaughter shocked the Christian nations of the time, and the Christian Emperor of Aksum, Negusa Negast Kaleb Ella Atzbeha invaded Himyar in 522 and conquered their lands in Yemen in 525. Other lands under the Tubba’ dynasty were not conquered and fought a long resistance against the kingdom of Aksum.

According to Law of Moses and Ishmael

Instead of quarreling with the Palestinians, come and let us reveal the truth to them: they are Jews after all. That is the proposal of Tsvi Misinai, whose emissaries are already passing the word around, at least when abu Mazen’s police are not arresting them. If the neighbors agree to join up to the Jewish people en masse, a significant boost to the Ashkenazi community is anticipated.

B. is standing on a construction site in a moshav in the center of the country, shifting his weight from one leg to the other. He is large-bodied, and speaks quickly, with fervor. “Sharon laughed at me when we met in ’91. He said ‘Ha-ha-ha…I found someone more Jewish than me.’ I was in favor of Sharon at that time, but he fled from Gaza and paid dearly. If they carry on this way, one concession after another, the state will be gone in another three or four years.”

B. is a resident of the village of Bidya, which is in Samaria. Like many others, he was forced to abandon his Palestinian village and live in Israel as a resident-refugee in which no one relates to him, much less salutes him. In his view, he is not quite a refugee, more a lost son. “I thought of this for many years, and I reached the conclusion that most of the residents of the village of Bidya are Jews,” B. says very seriously. “You see this by the behavior, by their mentality, by appearance. They are light-skinned, many of them are blue-eyed. How many people in Bidya worked with Israel? Over 80 percent. This did not materialize out of thin air.”

He has specific names. “The Taha family, for instance; everybody knows that they are Jews. The Amar family, throughout the West Bank, in Gaza and Jordan, they are Jews. If you ask them ‘who was your first grandfather,’ all will respond ‘Yaaqov,’ not Ishmael. And the Rabi family, they say that they are Jews in every way. Even the families of Salami, ‘Othman, and Boolad.”

Do you also know anything about Jews in the Palestinian leadership?

“Abu-Ala, of the Kre’a family - look at his face; he is Jewish, clearly. If they give us a little support, we will rise up. Look at the result, if the government would only give it a chance.” B. not only believes in this theory; he also labors to promulgate this among Palestinians. The person is backing this mission of his is Tsvi Misinai, a high-tech retiree. On the backdrop of the past century, this sounds unreal, but in the eyes of Misinai, B., and others, they are the first harbingers of the avant-garde of the great revolution: the return of the Palestinians to the welcoming bosom of the Hebrews. “My father taught me of the Jewish origin of the Palestinians,” Misinai says. “The fathers of Zionism spoke of this as well: David ben Gurion, Israel Belkind, Dov


The village of Bidya is known to Israelis primarily by virtue of the Sabbath market, which attracted masses of Israeli until the second Intifada broke out. But the ‘Israeli’ past of Bidya is yet more interesting. In ’82, during the outbreak of the first Lebanon war, the dignitaries of the village approached the governor of Tul-Karm in a request to enlist in the IDF and to combat the PLO, shoulder to shoulder with the Israelis. They were not conscripted to the IDF, but Ariel Sharon came up with an initiative - the ‘Association of Villages’ - an organization that became an apparatus of bribery and extortion and was eventually shut down.

They are those who will argue that the initiative of 1982 was invented by opportunistic sheiks, but B. is convinced that it concerns something more profound (i.e., their knowledge about their Jewish roots). Presently, at any rate, the gunmen of various organizations rule in Bidya too. B. himself was saved from an assassination attempt when he visited there several months ago. Despite this, his optimism knows no bounds: “Religion is a bit of a problem, but there are many who are prepared to be Jews. In fact, why shouldn’t they be Jewish Muslims, as there are Turkish Muslims and Turkish Christians?”

Because religion and nationality are intertwined in Judaism.

“OK, there are those that are Jews in every way. They have adopted a Jewish name, are beginning to observe the Sabbath. I actually want to be secular. I believe in the Almighty but I want to drive on the Sabbath. What, is my blood” - he outstretches an arm - “less Jewish than that of a Jew who does not believe in God at all? I say thanks to God every morning, for all things emanate from Him. My girls will marry only Jews.

I led operations of the GSS (Shabak,) I gave my soul to the state. In which way am I less Jewish than others? When I sat with the GSS on an operation, lieutenant colonels would leave the room (due to the too high level of confidentiality involved).”

Sulayman, a Fatah operative that sat in Israeli prison for several years, speaks in similar terms, albeit more cautiously. “There is no difference between the peoples in this country,” he states in a conversation form Bethlehem. I believe that peoples were mixed in ancient times. Part of the families here in town were such as these, even if not all of them wish to declare the matter.” Sulayman, who actually claims that there are no Jewish roots in his family, decided to renounce the way of terror, and to seek solutions to the conflict between Israelis andPalestinians. Today, he is winning over hearts and minds in Bethlehem for Tsvi Misinai’s idea, according to which the Palestinians are by overwhelming majority Jewish fellahin (farmers) who were forcibly converted to Islam, and their return to the Jewish people is to bring about an end to the wars in favor of a shared life of fraternity in one Jewish state.

“The idea could be realistic if we utilize it to the benefit of both sides,” Sulayman says. “Tsvi says that there is no need to convert whomever possesses sources that state that he is a Jew. So fine, it is possible to ply that solely as a political solution. If you tell them to accept Judaism, it will not happen so quickly. There is a need to discuss this more and more, particularly among Orthodox Jews. I think that the response of the rabbis will be a trigger for debate.”

Misinai (62,) the founder of the Sapiens International Company and among the pioneers of software development in Israel, emphasizes that he is a realistic individual, and that both his legs are on the ground. Nowadays he devotes all his time - and not a small amount of his fortune- to collecting bits of evidence and oral traditions of Palestinians and Bedouins concerning the Jewish origin of their families. He diligently catalogs the documentary material according to indices of the extended families, villages, and tribes.

“Subsequent to the first Gulf War, when they began discussing a new order in the Middle East, I wrote a ten-page article on the subject, and I tried to reach Sharon with it,” Misinai recounts, but then the Oslo Process came about, and although I detested the agreement, I sensed that I could not measure up to the energy that was created around it.”

He was awakened anew to promote the topic with the outbreak of the second Intifada. At that time, there was publication of Hebrew University Professor Ariela Openheim’s research about Palestinian and Jewish genetics. Most of the Ashkenazi Jews were pleased to discover that they are genetically related to some Norwegian tribe. However, Openheim’s research showed that they are actually closest to the Palestinians, even more than they are related to descendants of the Yemenite community. Incidentally, the people second closest to the Jews is the Kurds, which requires renewed study of the national treasury of humor.

In Misinai’s eyes, these things are additional proof of the claims that have been made from the beginning of the twentieth century. “If we sit to research the origin and makeup of the fellahin, we regard their internal lifestyle, and we delve into the ancient oral traditions that are preserved in their speech to this day,” thus wrote Ben Gurion, “we see that there is almost nothing shared between them and the true Arabs, the scions of the Arab race…most of the masses and classes of the Muslim fellahin in Western Israel demonstrate a different racial specie and an entirely variant classification, and there is no doubt that much Jewish blood flows in their veins - the blood of those same Jewish farmers, ‘the salt of the earth,’ who elected in the tribulations of the era to deny their religion if only so as not to be uprooted from their land.”

Israel Belkind even revealed practical and political implications to this: “In ‘Arabs’ that reside in our country, we will find the offshoots of the People of Israel…We, before whom the Chronicles of History lie open, recognize them as our brothers, and they cannot perceive us as brothers that have traveled far afield, and treat us as strangers…On the basis of these facts, we will determine our relation to this people in the future. And it is obvious that there can be but one relation between us, that of brothers; not only brothers in the political sense, after History decreed that we share our lives as a nation, but rather brothers racially, as well, brothers of one people.”

Two-and-a-half years ago, Misinai published his book on the subject 'Not To Be Believed,' and he received media attention, among other things in two newspapers in Arabic. He has since published an additional book, 'Brother Shall not Raise His Sword Against Brother,' a pocket book that has appeared in Arabic, too - 'The Engagement.' "Today we have Palestinian operatives that are spreading the word among Arabs, and the reactions are wonderful," says Misinai.

According to him, he is attempting to get a meeting with Abu Mazen and Abu Ala. The concept of partitioning the country, creating a Palestinian state, and evicting additional Jews from their land, unnerves him; his proposal is to create one state. “Abu Ala has already stated that it is impossible to move on a two-state solution. I say – please, one state - not bi-national, but rather, uni-national, Jewish. The extremist Muslims will oppose this, of course, because I pull the rug out from under their feet, but we will attract those Palestinians that are close to us. By the same measure that they are religious or secular today, they will accept Judaism instead of Islam. If I as a secular individual am considered a kosher Jew, there is no reason to force them to be religious, for they are Jews just as I am. We were one people and we will return to being one people, but if I tell them to convert now, the sane Islamic world will join the insane Islamic world and oppose us.

Moreover, as a democratic state, we cannot coerce them into converting. For this reason, I differentiate between the religious aspect and the national one.”


According to Misinai, circa 85 percent of the Arabs living between Jordan and the sea are Jews in one way or another, and at least the half of them know this. “After we inform them that they are Jews de facto, we will be successful in bringinging them back to the Jewish nation at the tempo of 50 thousand persons per annum. They will undergo training in a sort of intensive course of evening and weekend studies, and over the course of a year or two will learn Hebrew, Bible, Judaism, and Jewish history – particularly theirs as coerced Jews. This way, they will be fully prepared for conversion. They will eventually take an oath that they are not Arabs, but rather, Jews – or Israelites, for not all of them are from the tribe of Judah, and within 40 years, we will return the majority of them to Jewish awareness.”

Awareness or not, they will not be recognized as Jews without conversion.

“Whoever is not Muslim will be recognized as a kosher Jew, as they are already Jews. There is no need to convert Jews. There were in an exile of consciousness, as we experienced a geographical exile. Most of the Palestinians of Arab origin already left in 1948 and 1967. Today only five percent of the Arabs in the land of Israel are of Arab origin, and another nine percent are of a Byzantine origin and were compelled to convert to Islam like the Jews. When I tell them ‘I am also Palestinian and you are Jews as well, the land is yours and mine,’ I not only resolve the conflict – I eliminate it. And besides, ‘when there is no bird of song, even a cockroach becomes a nightingale.’ This plan is the sole solution, and even if it were only idle chatter, we must believe in it and promote it.”

Misinai’s partner on this journey, Attorney EIon Yarden, has written a row of books that deal with the issue of the land of Israel (‘Zion Shall be Redeemed in Justice,’ ‘A Common Homeland, not Disputed Land,’) and he even reached the same conclusion. “Transformation instead of Transfer,” as he summarizes his doctrine. “Partitioning the country is impossible, and even transfer was feasible only up to the 50s. The situation is paradoxical: in order to preserve the identity of the State of Israel, we are required to endanger its existence, and in order to preserve its existence, we must endanger its identity. Therefore, the solution is transformation, alteration of the identity. This is our ‘Right of Return.’”

And what about their identity as Palestinians?

“Their national identity is not developed, for they think in religious terms, not territorially. Their identity today is Islamic, and there is a need to cause them to desire to obtain a modern national identity, neither ‘The Nation of Islam,’ nor ‘Arabness.’ By way of ethnic-territorial identity, they will encounter their Israeli identity. Palestine is a fiction; the country never had such an identity, there was only the Israeli identity, and they themselves are the progeny of Israelites. In other words, there are two bluffs: the semantic bluff of the name ‘Palestine,’ and the genetic bluff. ‘Palestine’ means the scions of the Philistines, while their true identity is Israelite.

The conversation with Yarden and Misinai, which occurred in a Jerusalem restaurant, was momentarily interrupted: the Arab waiter, who was evidently listening from the side, approached the table, introduced himself as Riyadh, and stated his opinion: “This is quite true, what you say. My family’s name was originally Cohen. There were two brothers who fled Iraq at
the time of some massacre, one reached Syria and remained Jewish, and the second one made it here and became a Muslim out of fear. We live in the Old City; and if you go there today and inquire of my family, they will tell you, “Ah, the Jews.” To this day, names like Yaaqov and Itsik are in circulation in my family.

The Jerusalemite families, Nashashibi and Husseini, they are all Jews,” Riyadh continues. “According to the Muslim religion, if you read well, all the residents of this land are the People of Israel. The Prophet Muhammad was also from the People of Israel. One family, but they do not know how to manage. Many wish to hear what you are saying, but there is a need for
someone who can speak, and is not afraid. This will bring peace.”


Talk is cheap, but it could cost the life of Palestinians that are openly active regarding the concept of becoming Jewish. Changing one’s religion, in the eyes of Islam, according to some interpretations, is a transgression for which the punishment is death. However, it appears that ‘changing nationality’ can be discussed with a bit more freedom. This is the idea that Misinai’s activists are attempting to promote among their neighbors, despite considerable skepticism and fears.

T., a resident of the village of Sawakhra that is near Jerusalem, met Misinai at an Israeli-Palestinian discussion event. “When I saw his book there, I thought that this is another madman,” he says, but when I read (it,) I was not surprised by what is written in it. We knew that part of our family is Jewish by origin. I learned this from my father, as well, who was a teacher of history.”

The factual basis does not make the idea easier to assimilate. “There is a combination of knowledge and denial,” says T. “I have spoken with many, and I asked them ‘Maybe your family is Jewish,’ and they all responded, ‘No, it cannot be.’ It is not easy to discuss this with them. Whoever has a doctorate will not agree to discuss this with you, but a simple farmer actually will.”

From what he says, there are new musings among Palestinians about the second Intifada and suicide bomber terror, and concurrence concerning Oslo. “The Palestinians do not like Oslo. The roadblock was created along with Oslo, and the fear started with Oslo. They want one state, but know that the Jews harbor fears about being a minority.”

And how do they relate to the idea of The Engagement?

“People laugh at the idea of a Muslim-Jew, but Judaism is not merely a religion, it is a people. Some of them ignore it, some of them say ‘perhaps,’ or ‘it is not a good time,’ it still requires investigation,’ ‘this is another way of the Jews to take over the world.’ At the present, the Hamas takeover is generally more worrisome to them than the conflict with Israel. My mission is to continue publicizing the subject, in any case.”

While in the eyes of many Palestinians the idea of a vanished Jewish grandfather sounds distant and menacing, there is a not small population of Palestinians and Bedouins that from a cultural and mental standpoint see themselves as Jews in every way, after they crossed the lines and came to reside in Israel.

Eli Pelled, director of a non-profit organization for collaborators, is originally a resident of Bidya, a son of the Boolad clan. He is now married to a Jewish woman and the father of two – Shulamit and Yosi. A mezuzah is affixed to the entrance to his home, although he himself has not converted. “The very fact that there is one mosque in a village of 50 thousand people indicates the absurdity (of considering them true Muslims),” he says about Bidya.

Pelled does not know to point out any Jewish custom that exists in his family, but “this is passed down among us from generation to generation. Grandfather says that his grandfather was a Jew, and each family has rumors of its own. Our extended family is only a part of the ‘Uthman clan, which came from Yemenite Jews. Our neighbors call us “Samaritans,’ which is a polite term for non-Muslims, that is to say, Jews.”

Pelled is raising his children as Jews in every aspect; “They do not know that they have any ties whatsoever to Arabs.” His wife even wanted to send them off for Haredi education, but he insisted on a state-oriented school. “If you look in the yeshiva seminaries you will find a lot of Palestinians there. There are several in Qiryat Arba as well, and is Bat Yam there is a young man from Balata (a refugee camp near Gaza), who wears a yarmulke. I made acquaintances with a man who came here from Egypt, after his grandmother told him, “You are a Jew, go live in Israel.”

He came to Israel and said, “My grandmother told me that I am a Jew,” and they did not accept him, for he had no documents. They threw him back to the Sinai. We have no documents,” Pelled explains. “During the time of the “Ottoman regime, people did everything in order not to preserve them so as to avoid paying taxes, and for that reason there are no written documents.”

Even if there are no written registries, there are perhaps other signs. In the village of Meskha near Elqana, the Palestinian police recently arrested one of Misinai’s activists who was trying to photograph signs of mezuzahs in the doorways of homes. After a month-and-a-half of lockup, he was conditionally released. This treatment may explain, perhaps, why even those about whose Jewish origin there is no dispute are not rushing to publicly recognize their roots.

A., originally a resident of southern Mount Hebron, tells of a fractured identity: “Our elderly women light Sabbath candles, and our doorways show traces of mezuzahs, although by now they have obliterated almost all of them.” In his words, Israel is responsible for the fact that many residents of southern Mount Hebron have strayed from their Jewish origin. “As far back as 1983, Yediot Aharonot published an article about my family, but the Jewish establishment neglected us for a long period. They brought Jews from all over the world, but they abandoned us, who are here.”

Is there a chance that Palestinians would return to being Jews?

“They do need not to ‘return’ to being Jews, for they remained Jews. They say one simple thing: ‘If we return to Judaism, we need to understand that we return to be first class citizens and not second class.’ I have heard that there are residents in the area that are in stages of conversion. I say: if we are Jews by origin, it is forbidden to convert. If I should convert, it is a sign that I am a gentile. There are no other communities in the southern Mount Hebron, we married no others, and we are Jews, therefore. Many will return to Judaism when they see the proof, and when Jews behave nicely towards them and they will speak to them nicely.” There is a need to see a positive reaction on the Israeli side, security backing, so that anyone who desires to return to Judaism need not fear, and then many others will come.”

In Israeli reality, even A.’s children have difficulties seeing positive reactions. “I brought my 18-year-old son to Israel. It is hard, he has problems, and so he now wants to return to our village although Hamas rules there. I sat for four hours at a roadblock yesterday before I got through. My small son told me: ‘if they are our brothers, why do they treat us this way? Why do they all pass and we are at the roadblock?’ I want to prove to him that the soldiers are OK, that they only catch the bad ones, but if we are stuck, it is a sign that we are bad. Only in the end, after they understood our story, a woman soldier came and brought us snacks and water.” Rabbi Eliezer Altshuler, the rabbi of the community of Susya, which is in southern Mount Hebron, is convinced that despite it all, Palestinian-Jews will not make real steps toward being Israeli or Jewish. “Local residents once approached us about converting without deserting Islam.

They wanted to be Jewish-Muslims. So there is a riveting historical issue here, but to say that this could create a change in orientation vis-à-vis Jews – I do not see it. Maybe this will happen if a dialog commences. I am not ruling anything out, but I am not developing any great hope. Over the years, we have met Palestinians who know axiomatically that they are the descendants of Jews, but this is not something makes a difference one way or the other in everyday life. I sense no extraordinary interest on their part. The people that are more interested in this are the bunch from our side, not from their side.”


In the framework of his activity, Misinai made contact with the ‘Sanhedrin’ under the tutelage of Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz – an organization that deals with fresh examination and Halakhic ruling on the current issues of the Jewish People – that decided to aid and examine the chance of returning the lost Palestinian descendants to the bosom of the nation. Rabbi Dov Stein, the recording secretary of the Sanhedrin that accompanies Misinai in his meetings, disagrees about accepting Palestinians with inordinate ease. “I worry that Tsvi possesses insufficient understanding of Halakha,” he says. “It is not simple to transform them into kosher Jews, but it is an important issue in any case: a common religious origin, even if it does not prevent hostility, would assuredly blunt the hostility.”

“Their Jewish roots are of great interest to them, but there are those who no longer relate to it. I think that in light of our common origin, we can offer them a way in which they remain Muslims and live in peace with us. After we break down the walls of rancor, we can propose that they observe the Seven Noahide Laws, as was the initial objective of Islam. Whoever desires it can later proceed and convert. It may be easier for the Bedouins, as the Islamic orientation is less strong there. We are working on that currently, preparing work teams, and we will move ahead slowly.”

Among the Bedouins, which Ben Gurion wished to Judaize back as early as the 50s, it is indeed possible to hear some enthusiastic voices. One such is Ovadia Yerushalmi, a Bedouin of the Sawarqa tribe, now residing in a small alcove in Rehovot, beneath photographs of Rabbi Kadouri and romantic couples in jeans. The Hebrew name, the mezuzah, and the pictures of the rabbis are more than enough for him.

“The neighbors’ children would call my family ‘Jews,’ when I was still there,” Yerushalmi recounts. “They call all the people in my tribe that way. I have heard that there was a great famine once, and our fathers became Muslims because they had nothing to eat. I am a pure Bedouin and Jew just as you are. Many Bedouins are of Jewish origin. Are the immigrants from Russia more Jewish than us? They are all non-Jews!”

Shlomi, a Bedouin from Rafiah (Rafah,) is residing in Tel Aviv today. He married his cousin who lives in Lod, divorced, and is now married to a ‘regular’ Jewish woman. Hundreds and thousands like him are living in Israel, but unlike them, he is in stages of conversion, although his Israeli citizenship is vouchsafed under ‘reuniting families.’ “I work like a dog, pay alimony, and live in a pair of wretched rooms,” he says. “No one is paying me to convert. What profit is there for me? But despite it all, I will never forget it for all my days if they accept me for conversion.”


Before my father passed away, he came and told me: ‘Listen to this secret, and do not reveal it until the day arrives. I am a Jew and you are a Jew.’ I was nine years old at that time, the only son in the family, and therefore they told only me. The day of which my father spoke arrived yesterday, and I told it to the conversion court. I want to convert for four years now. I have two children from my second wife, and I want them to grow up as Jews, as I am a Jew born of a Jew. The children from my first wife want to convert as well. They tell me, ‘where you go, we will follow you.’ “

Asher, a Bedouin of the tribe of Rahat, tells of the Jewish tradition that is passed down through his small tribe. “Not all of the tribe knows about Judaism, but our customs are those of Jews. For example, our slaughtering is ‘kosher’: we do not only slaughter, we also examine the lungs and other organs, and do not eat it if there is a blemish. There are other tribes that follow our slaughtering method. We are working on this idea, of finding individuals who are Jewish. This is moving ahead slowly, but well.”


Dr. Mordekhai Nisan, an Orientalist from the Hebrew University, was asked by the ‘Sanhedrin’ to serve as its professional consultant on this issue. “The topic was not foreign to me,” Nissan says. “I also had faint clues as to the Jewish origin of some of those dwelling In Israel, perhaps from Yitzhaq Ben Zvi’s writings. This matter requires dividing into two. The first
part is research-academic related, i.e., the question as to how much truth there is in the claim that the Arabs in Israel are of ancient Jewish origin. If this is so, then it is necessary to afford them the opportunity to return to their Jewish origin. If we are interested in locating secret Jews in Spain, in South America, and Africa, then it should definitely interest us here. The phenomenon of secret Jews residing in the Land of Israel that is supposed to function as a center of attraction is riveting. The second part concerns the aspect of feasibility – whether they identify with the idea.

Let us suppose that they are actually Jewish in origin; what are we to do? Is there an option of offering them a possibility of moving closer to the Jewish People, such as studying Judaism in a social-cultural setting of ours? Have we the rabbinic-economic-social tools to make this change in their life, in addition to the significant aspect of security? The practical side is enormous. It is not that the State of Israel and its institutions openly declare ‘These are our brothers by law,’ and make themselves available for this project. It still involves an initiative of private individuals.”

A., from southern Mount Hebron, sums up the bottom line: “It’s not simple to transform an enemy into an ally. It is a tremendous revolution that does not occur overnight.”

Palestinians are the offspring of the Jewish farmers that never left the land (Palestinians are ethnic Jews too)

The majority of Palestinians, have by far, Israelite origin (mostly Judean) from the ones that never left the Holy Land, but it's even more note worthy that a lare amount of them is the offspring of Jews that came back to their land in different migrating waves. This happened from the very beginning of their dispersion. The oficial history of zionism & of Aliyah started in the 1800s, but the real beginning of both started (lasting centuries) right when the Romans expelled the Jews, therefore when the Palestinian leaders complain about the Jewish olim (migrants to the Land of Israel) they're also complaining, without realizing, about the Jewish immigrants that are the ancestors of many. How great hypocrisy! 

As a result of remaining in the Land of Israel, the ancestors of the Palestinians partially converted to Christianity during the Byzantine era. Later, with the coming of Islam, they were Islamized through a combination of mainly forced conversions, but also nominal conversions (that is, conversions for forms sake to derive benefits as Muslims, and avoid tributes owed by non-Muslims, in Muslim ruled lands) and others yet out of genuine theological conviction.

Standing before the Sapiens building in Rehovot, Misinai and Ovadia Yerushalmi, a Bedouin Jew and key Engagement Movement activist from the Banu Sawarka tribe

Conversion to Islam occurred progressively throughout the successive periods of foreign elite minority rule over Palestine, both on an individual basis and en masse, starting with the conversions during the various dynasties of Arabian Muslim rulers from the initial Muslim conquest of Palestine. Following these came rule by Muslim non-Arab dynasties such as the Ayyubids (Kurdish Muslim), Mameluks (Turkic Muslim) and finally the Ottomans (Turkish Muslim). This continuous phase of elite minority foreign Islamic rule over a local indigenous (now largely Muslim) mass was only briefly interrupted by the elite minority foreign Christian rule by the European Crusaders, which lasted from 1096 until their expulsion by the Mameluks in 1291.

Misinai states that of this gradual process of conversions (often accompanied by Arabization), the majority were forcibly converted during the Fatimid era under the reign of Caliph al-Hakim who was crowned at the age of 11, and reigned from the years 996 to 1021. Due to his young age, in practice, it was his ministers who wielded the actual power behind the throne for some time. They gave the young Caliph power to influence religious matters only, and appointed him as Imam. In 1009, the extremists among his ministers gained the upper hand and brought upon a series of decrees against Christians and Jews.

The endless cycle of bad animosities can only end through a "One State"

The endless cycle of violence and old animosities can only end through a "One State" solution with the Jews and Palestinians being united as one people. Especially taking into account that both Jews Falestinians have Jewish/Israelite origin. That is unity in the true sense.In order for this to happen, the Palestinians must reject their "Palestinian" nationality and reclaim their ancient identity as Jews. They can continue to follow their own religions, yet embracing their identity as ethnic Jews. On the other hand, the Jews must also be accepting of their new brethren.

Judeira (Judayra) & the one of Judeidah have clear origin in Judah, namesake of the Jews. Both are Palestinian towns. There's plenty of Israelite/Jewish names in Palestinian areas. This with plenty of studies confirm prove even more the Israelite origin of the so called Arabs of this country.

Palestinians (Falestinians) are between 80 to 90 % of Jewish origins

Classification of the Palestinians

Tsvi Misinai separates the Palestinian people into three main groups; the "Descendants of Israel", "Brethren of Israel" and "Palestinians of miscellaneous origins". He states that until recently, there had been very few inter-marriages between these groups, as Palestinians usually tended to marry within their own clans or related clans.

Descendants of Israel

The "Descendants of Israel", he claims, comprise descendants of the ancient biblical Hebrews which are native to the land west of the Jordan River (the West Bank, Gaza strip and Israel proper). They are more specifically descended from the inhabitants of the Kingdom of Judah, as opposed to the Samaritans who are mainly descended from the inhabitants of the Kingdom of Israel.

Misinai claims that the Descendants of Israel had ceased to call themselves Musta’arbim, when the Brethren of Israel returned to their homeland during the 18th and 19th centuries. Despite this, stories about the Jewish origins of the family were passed on among the Descendants of Israel, and a few Jewish customs were preserved. Both groups began seeing themselves as one people, although endogamous marriages with their own clans ensured the purity of their blood lines until very recently.


The Samaritans are distinguished among Descendants of Israel, given that their ancient history serves as an analogous precursor to the present situation that Tsvi Misinai argues exists between world Jewry and the Palestinians—that upon their returns from exile and re-establishments of Israel, world Jewry misidentified as foreigners the descendants of those Israelites who had stayed behind, first in antiquity misidentifying the Samaritans as foreigners, and today in modern times misidentifying the Palestinians (Arabized Hebrews of the Muslim and Christian faiths) as foreigners.

             Samaritan High Priest with the Paleo-Hebrew alphabet Samaritan Torah, Nablus, c. 1920.

The Samaritans are Descendants of Israel, being descended from farmers among the Israelite Tribes, part of whom were never exiled by the Assyrians or the Babylonians during the period of the destruction of the First Jewish Commonwealth. Their maternal lineages, however, derive from the Small Nations (those who came from Cuthah and others) who were exiled to Samaria by the Assyrians and intermixed with their paternal Israelite ancestors. The alien minority who remained in the land, adopted the Israelite religion (Samaritanism, the sister Israelite religion to Judaism) in the course of time, after the destruction of the First Temple. A portion of the Samaritans exiled by the Assyrians, were later repatriated by the prophet Jeremiah in the days of the Judean king Josiah.

The Babylonians, who followed the Assyrians as the dominant entity in the Fertile Crescent, exiled many Samaritans but skipped over a significant part of the Samaritan population. By the time they arrived in Samaria, the Babylonians found many alien elements in the land of Israel. Consequently, they did not undertake a thorough ethnic cleansing expulsion from Samaria, since the Assyrians had led many areas to be viewed as places whose indigenous population had already been replaced by aliens and needed no further expulsion.

Later, when the exiled Israelites (now known as Jews) returned from the Babylonian exile under prophets Ezra and Nehemiah, they misidentified the Israelites who had stayed behind (now known as Samaritans) as foreigners. The reason for the misidentification was because the deportations had led the exiled Israelites and the Israelites who remained behind to develop in different ways. The Babylonian captivity had a number of serious effects on the exiled Israelites (Jews), their religion (Judaism) and their culture. Included among the most obvious of these changes was replacing the original Paleo-Hebrew alphabet (see also Samaritan script) with what is in fact a stylised form of the Aramaic alphabet (now commonly called the "Hebrew alphabet" because it is the normative form in which Hebrew is written due to Jewish numeric superiority), changes in the fundamental practices and customs of the Jewish religion, the culmination of Biblical prophecy (in the Jewish prophet Ezekiel), the compilation of not only of the Talmud and Halakha (Jewish religious law, absent in Samaritanism) but also the incorporation of Nevi'im (Prophets) and Ketuvim (Writings) as a part of the cannon together with the Torah (in Samaritanism, only the Torah is canonical, see Samaritan Torah), and the emergence of scribes and sages as Jewish leaders (see Ezra and the Pharisees). These resulting differences in religious practices between returnees and those who remained in Israel led to a schism in the Israelites, and whenceforth the creation of separate Samaritan and Jewish entities. Over the centuries, Judaism and world Jewry have come to the acceptance that the Samaritans are indeed descendants of Israelites.

The Islamic conquest of Palestine in the first half of the 7th century, and the subsequent Arab rule, marked the beginning of the phase of decline and erosion of Samaritan identity, even more detrimentally than the extreme toll on Jewish identity. The passing of the aforementioned al-Hakem Edict in 1021, along with another notable forced conversion to Islam imposed at the hands of the rebel Ibn Firasa, decreased their numbers significantly, such that they decreased from more than a million in Roman times to just 712 people today.

For those who maintained a Samaritan identity and religious association into modern times, they too, like their Palestinian counterparts who had additionally adopted Christianity and later Islam, were nevertheless thoroughly Arabized in language and culture. After the establishment of modern Israel, Samaritans living in what became the State of Israel replaced Palestinian Arabic with modern Hebrew as their day to day language (although Samaritan Hebrew had always been maintained as the liturgical language, along with liturgical Samaritan Aramaic and liturgical Samaritan Arabic).

Brethren of Israel

The "Brethren of Israel", which is originally native to the land east of the Jordan River (the East Bank, that is, modern-day Jordan) comprise the descendants of the brother nations of the Hebrews, i.e., the ancient Edomites, Ammonites and Moabites who variously converted to Judaism and moved to Israel before the Roman invasion, and were later forcibly converted together with the "Descendants of Israel" first to Christianity and then Islam.

Misinai states that the history of the Brethren of Israel are mostly intertwined with those of the Descendants of Israel. The Moabites, the Ammonites and the Edomites were forcibly converted to Judaism and made an extension of the Israelite nation during the course of King David’s conquests. Despite this, their kings were allowed to continue to directly hold the reins of power, and they were not incorporated into any of the Israelite tribes. In the case of the Edomites, their fierce opposition to Israelite occupation led King David to order the killing of all male Edomites. Thus, the women in Edom had no alternative but to marry members of the Israelite garrison and other Israelites. As a result, the bloodlines of Edomites from that point onwards were partially Hebrew.

After the destruction of the First Jewish Commonwealth by the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar, a considerable part of the Edomites and Moabites were exiled together with the Israelites. The majority of the Ammonites were exiled and those who remained were assimilated into the Moabite communities. The kinship between the Brethren of Israel, and the Israelites continued throughout the period of the Second Commonwealth and henceforth.

However, after the destruction of the First Commonwealth and the absence of the hegemony of an Israelite regime, the Moabites and Edomites discarded their affiliation to the people of Israel and left Judaism en masse. To bring them back into the fold, the Hasmonean leaders decided to re-convert them a second time. The mass Judaization campaign was started by John Hyrcanus with the conversion of the Moabites and was ended by Alexander Jannaeus who completed the conversion of the Moabites and also the Edomites after he added their territory to his Kingdom. For the next 1,600 years, these Brethren of Israel continued to be an inseparable part of the People of Israel. The Edomites and Moabites (along with the Samaritans) participated in the First Jewish–Roman War and inflicted more damage on their enemies, relative to their small numbers, than the Jews.

Since the Edomites and Moabites ancestral lands were located east of the Jordan River, this made them more close to Arabia and more removed from the Jewish people. As a result, they were more susceptible to conversions to Islam, and hence, subsequently became Musta’arbim. When devastating famines broke out at the beginning of the 16th century, many among these Brethren of Israel emigrated to Persia. As a result of juggling different religious identities to avoid persecution, they eventually forgot their Jewish and Musta’arbi origins and became radicalised, and started considering themselves to be Arabs.

Later, as things improved in the 18th and 19th century, many of those who left returned from Persia, Yemen and Sudan, shifting residences between present day Jordan and Israel, with the former mountain dwellers returning to their ancient homes, and the Edomites, Moabites, etc., settling in the plains. It is these "Brethren of Israel", Misinai contends, who constitute most of the Palestinian population east of the Jordan river and the Palestinian refugees (both within the Palestinian territories and outside), while the majority of Palestinians who did not flee and remain in Israel proper, West Bank and Gaza area, are "Descendants of Israel".

Misinai traces the beginning of the Arab-Israeli conflict and a Palestinian "Arab" identity to the simultaneous immigration of the Jews from various places and Brethren of Israel (from the east), to the land west of the Jordan river from 1840 to 1947. He states that by 1914 the Brethren of Israel became a very large group among Palestinians there and would remain so, until they were mostly expelled during the Palestinian exodus in 1948. He argues that these people have now returned to their ancestral homeland east of the Jordan river, and possess no right to the land of Israel.

Misinai states it is this group that are the most anti-semitic and most active in terrorist activities in the intifada, with their objectives being to return to the lands they abandoned in 1948.[6] He claims that the leadership of the Palestinian militant organisations such as Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, Fatah al-Islam, Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, etc., are primarily internally supported by over 1,300,000 Brethren of Israel, who all reside west of the Jordan river. The victims of such terrorist acts tend to be the People of Israel, the Descendants of Israel and a small number of others.

According to Misinai, the Brethren of Israel are the smartest group among the Palestinian people and make up the majority of the Palestinian leadership. He states that the early leadership of the various Palestinian nationalist organisations such as Fatah, PLO, PFLP, etc., came primarily from among the Brethren of Israel refugees in the 1948 exodus. While he acknowledges that the Brethren of Israel have suffered more than any other Palestinian, he blames the Brethren of Israel leadership of perpetuating the problem for more than 50 years in order to gain camp followers both among those of their brethren who continue to suffer and among the Arabs and others who feel sorry for them.

Misinai (far right) at a meeting with elders from the Bedouin Al-Huzeil tribe that claims Jewish descent and Sanhedrin members, which took place in Rahat on 13 October 2009


In addition to these two main components, there also include a significantly small percentage of Arabs, descendants of the soldiers who served in the occupying Roman army after the destruction of the Second Temple and even some survivors of the ancient Canaanite and Philistine who are idol worshipers that live in Gaza and in the village of Jisr az-Zarka, near Haifa. A minuscule percentage of Palestinians are also descendants of 500 European Crusaders who stayed behind in Palestine and converted to Islam. These Crusaders, he indicates, are the source of the smatterings of blond haired and blue-eyed Palestinians one witnesses today.

The various entities among the neighbouring small nations of gentiles, such as the Philistines, Canaanites, Jebusites, Amorites, Hivites and Perizzites inhabited the remainder of the historical region of Canaan, from which the Hebrews under Joshua had driven them off and carved out a nation for themselves called Israel. These nations were all eventually vanquished by King David and made a  part of the Kingdom of Israel. A large number were later exiled by King Nebuchadnezzar in the course of the destruction of the Kingdom of Judah and the Babylonian exile. A mass Judaization process in Israel in the course of the Hasmonean Period left only a handful of Philistines, Canaanites and other members of the Small Nations. Since conversion was not imposed on remnants of these Small Nations who had been Hellenized, they continued to worship Greek deities. They were forced to nominally accept Christianity during the Byzantine period, and later finally expelled by Caliph Al-Hakim during the Fatimid rule, together with the majority of the Christian descendants of the Roman Army and almost all the Christian Arabs.

  A Druze man in Peki'in, Israel. Misinai claims that the Druze are of mostly Jewish descent.

A few hundred, however, remained and their descendants constitute the small numbers of idol worshippers who live in Israel in modern times. These include a few Canaanites that reside in the village of Jisr az-Zarqa near Caesarea, a few thousand Philistines and Canaanites in Gaza, and descendants of the Phoenicians in the form of Maronite Catholics (primarily the refugees from Ikrit and Kafr Bir'im).

Misinai also claims that the Druze of Israel, Syria and Lebanon are partially of Jewish descent, along with Arab, Midianite, Assyrian and Egyptian origins. He further states that there were Jewish villages that became part of the Druze community, mostly to avoid being forcibly converted to Islam, such as the residents of the Western Galilee villages of Abu Snein and Yarka.

Muslims pray towards Mecca but in Jerusalem they point their behind to the Dome of the Rock & the Temple Mount

Muslims pray towards Mecca but in Jerusalem they point their behind to the Dome of the Rock & the Temple Mount. Surprisingly enough, the Holy Land is mentioned in the Quran as the land that was written by Allah to Israel & even says that the Jews will return to their land.

Quran 5:21 Moses: O, my people, enter the Holy Land that God has written for you, & don't turn your backs, or you will become losers.

Quran 17:104 And we said after him to the Children of Israel: Dwell in the land, then, when the time of the second promise comes, we'll bring you all together as a mixed crowd.

Conversions and Arabization of Palestinians

In 1012, the al-Hakem Edict was issued, under which all Jews and Christians in Palestine were ordered to either convert to Islam or leave. This led to the majority of non-Hebrew origin Christians (i.e., foreign Christians) to leave Palestine, while over 90 per cent of Jews, Samaritans (also of Hebrew origin) and Hebrew-origin Christians converted and became Muslims. They would also become Musta'arabim (Arabized), acculturated into Arab language, custom and culture.

Later, when the edict was finally repealed in 1044 during the reign of Caliph Al-Mustansir of Cairo, only 27 percent of the Jewish converts to Islam returned to Judaism openly, although they too would remain Musta’arabi (culturally and linguistically Arab). The remainder continued to live as Muslim crypto-Jews in order to continue enjoying the economic advantages of Muslims, such as exemption from paying jizya and kharaj, the ability to sell their agricultural products to the foreign authorities, or gain employment in the government machinery. Many younger persons of Hebrew-origin (Jewish, Christian or Samaritan) saw it simultaneously possible to lead dual lives, incorporating their prior faith while being outwardly Muslim, and accruing material benefits. Later, with the advent of Mameluk rule, Judaism had reached a breaking point in Palestine.

When an Empire takes over a country, it exiles the elite & leaves the lower classes, & that's what happened after the destruction of both the First Temple & the Second Temple. Therefore the Palestinians are the offspring oh the Jewish farmers that never left the land.

When the different Moslem empires & coutries invaded the Holy Land they forced or coerced the Jews that stayed in the Land of Israel and gave them two options: to convert & keep their land or to stay religiously Jewish & lose their loved Land of Israel. They stayed in Eretz Israel losing or hiding their identity.

The Muslims of Jerusalem were buried in a particular cemetery, & it can be appreciated that many, if not most of them, face the Temple Mount, not Mecca.

                                           Bedwin Israeli (possible of Jewish origins)

“Ansar Beit al Maqdes” literally means the “Army of the Holy Temple” in Arabic

Over the weekend, four terrorists preparing a rocket attack against Israel were killed by a drone – probably Israeli – as they were getting ready to launch their lethal weapons.

The group that took “credit” for preparing the terrorist attack is an Al-Qaeda affiliate calling itself “Ansar Beit al Maqdes”.

Writing in response to my recent post on the origin of the name “Palestine”, my friend Ilan Pomeranc pointed out that this Jihadi group’s name witnesses to the Jewish status of Jerusalem.
“Ansar Beit al Maqdes” literally means the “Army of the Holy Temple”.

Media outlets mistranslate the name as “Army for Jerusalem”, but Jerusalem does not appear in the name at all. In Arabic, “Jerusalem” is often called, in shorthand vernacular, “al-Quds”.

What this term literally means is “the Holy”, “Quds” is merely an Arabization of the Hebrew “Kadosh” i.e., “Holy”.

So if you put the two Arabic names for Jerusalem together what you get is “al-Quds al-Maqdes” which literally means “the place of the Holy Temple”.

Proportion of Hebrew-descended Palestinians

Tsvi Misinai claims that nearly 90 per cent of the Palestinian people living in Israel proper and the occupied territories are of Hebrew descent (with the percentage among the population of the Gaza Strip being higher than 90 per cent), but a greatly reduced percentage among Palestinian refugees living outside those areas. In his book Brother shall not lift his sword against Brother, Misinai puts forward the following statistics pertaining to the proportion of the "Descendants of Israel" and the "Brethren of Israel" populations among the Palestinians and Arab Israelis, as of December 2007. It is detailed as four main areas (Judea and Samaria, Gaza strip, East Jerusalem and Israel proper) and are as follows:

In Judea and Samaria—not counting East Jerusalem, the number of permanent residents was 956,000, of which over 580,000 (61 per cent) were Descendants of Israel. Another 27 per cent were 259,000 Brethren of Israel (of whom were 158,000 descendants of the Edomites and 101,000 descendants of the Moabites). The remainder included 43,000 Arabs (4.5 per cent), 44,000 descendants of the Roman Army, 24,000 Christians from Distant Places and 6,000 Kurds.

In the Gaza strip, there were 891,000 permanent residents, including Bedouin. Out of the non-Bedouin, 275,000 were Descendants of Israel, 520,000 were Brethren of Israel (approximately 270,000 descendants of the Moabites and approximately 250,000 descendants of the Edomites), 43,000 descendants of the Roman Army, 4,000 Arabs who live in the Jabali’ya refugee camp; 3,400 Canaanites and 2,700 Philistines all living in Gaza city, and 3,000 Druze that live in the Dir al-Balakh  refugee camp. Among the Descendants of Israel in the Gaza Strip, 30,000 are descendants of the Samaritans and 245,000 (27.5 per cent) are descendants of authentic Jews. The population of the Gaza Strip also includes 40,000 Bedouin. The internal distribution of the Gaza Bedouin is 18,000 descendents of Moabites, 14,000 descendants of Edomites and 8,000 Descendents of Israel. In addition to the Bedouin, the total number of the Descendants of Israel is 283,000 (32 per cent), of the Brethren of Israel is 552,000 (62 per cent, 288,000 or 32 per cent descendants of Moabites and 264,000 or 30 per cent descendants of Edomites).

                   A thinly disguised star of David on a doortop in Yatta, Southern Mount Hebron

Of the 200,000 non-Jewish residents of East Jerusalem, 82,000 are Descendants of the People of Israel, out of which 2,000 are descendants of Samaritans living in the Samaritan neighbourhood, A-Sumera or Al-Abid. Out of this group, 7,000 are Christians. Some 48,000 are descendants of Kurds who came during the reign of Saladin. Over 32,000 are Brethren of Israel (24,000 descendants of the Moabites and 8,000 descendants of the Edomites). Some 27,000 are of Arab origin, and constitute the main concentration of population of Arab origin among Israeli citizens today. This includes 9,000 members of the veteran Arab settlers, and 14,000 descendants of the Arab Army living in the Mount of Olives neighbourhood. There are also another 11,000 inhabitants who are recognised as non-Arab citizens: 5,000 Armenians and 6,000 non-Arab Christians from various distant locations.

Within Israel proper, 642,000 (45.5 per cent) out of 1,413,000 non-Jewish residents within the Green Line (not counting East Jerusalem) are Descendants of the People of Israel. Some 457,000 are Brethren of Israel in the State of Israel (and another 32,000 in Jerusalem), or 36 per cent of all the Palestinians there (489,000 or 34.5 per cent, including Jerusalem). A further breakdown of this figure shows that the descendants of the Edomites number 166,000, and constitute 13 per cent (of the Palestinians in the State of Israel, or 174,000 or 12.5 per cent, with Jerusalem). The descendants of the Moabites number 291,000, and constitute 23 per cent (315,000 or 22 per cent with Jerusalem). The sum total of veteran inhabitants who are neither Palestinian nor Jewish is 140,000 and includes 121,000 Druze and 19,000 foreigners from Distant Places. The descendants of the Roman Army number 150,000, or 12 per cent (10.5 percent with Jerusalem). The rest, some 16,000, or 1.25 per cent, are Arabs, (43,000 or 3 per cent with Jerusalem). The number of Palestinians within the Green Line is 1,273,000.

Palestinians are Jewish like the Jews

Arabs have an imaginary state that they call Palestine. They say they are against Israel because they are against the 'breakup' of Palestine. But it is okay for them to break Jordan away from the original Palestine. Among the Palestinians (i.e., those without Israeli citizenship) within the Green Line (not including East Jerusalem) the percentage who are Descendants of the People of Israel is close to 50.5 per cent.

Most of the Jews where taken by the Romans and scattered throughout the Roman Empire & they travel even further. Depending on the area they were called diferently: Askenazim, Sephardim, Mizrahim, Beta Israel... But these were only the urban & rich group. The poor & rural group never left & they were Christianized through the Crussades & Islamized through Jihad: (Videos are worth a look)

The Pamphlet:

From 1948 on the Palestinians that knew of their Jewish origins mostly changed outside Stars of David for 5 pointed stars or Lions of Judah for fear to be attacked by other Palestinians.

The book "The Arabs who are in the Land of Israel" written by Israel Belkind seems to be a great book. So it is with "Memories of the Land of Israel" written by Ham Ya'ari. There's no way to find any of the books or pamphlets mentioned in the engagement nor for free nor with price. I think "the engagement", or the Government of Israel should publish them in Hebrew, Arabic & english. They will be a good tool for the good. I bet many people would be willing to get them even if they are not for free.

These 2 articles might be interesting to you: 1 "Gypsy Israelites and the relation"16 Petaled flower"/Imperial Seal of Japan/16 Spoke Gypsy Wheel" 2 "Are the Japanese Hebrews or at least is the Hata clan Hebrew? The Hata clan for sure it is."

This link might be interesting too regarding the Japanese Israelites that can give some connection in the relations Of Jews/Palestinians:

It's interesting that the clan that it's believed to have Israelite origin in Japan is called "Hata" Which is almost like the "Khata" clan of Tulkarem. It's  not a coincidence. It's amazing being able to watch on Youtube the videos of these Japanese Israelites. This is another prove that the Palestinian Khata (and with them the rest of Palestinians) are Israelites.

The Rabbi, Cohen, Abu Nadir & other Palestinian family /clans of levitic origin could be brought back to Judaism with the help of the Temple Institute. They need to know they belong to the Levites & when they convert back to Judaism they will have the honor to serve with the rest of Levites in the 3rd & definitive Temple of Jerusalem to prepare the Coming of the Messiah. If the "Palestinian" Levite clans come back to Judaism, could attract the rest of "Palestinians" with Jewish origin, back to Judaism, since priests have a wide reaching power. Priests are often great musicians too and music attracts very much too. If they have priestly origin they might be good musicians too. It's interesting to notice that the mentioned "Abu Nadir" Palestinian has the name of one of the Jewish tribes of ancient Arabia.

The Appropriation of the Philistines

Phoenicians, Canaanites and other peoples of the region were non-Arabian Hebrew-speaking peoples as the Phoenician and Canaanite dialects represented mere variations of the shared Hebrew idiom.

(1) While the Roman change of name of its province of Judaea was intended to semiotically formalize the Roman genocide against the indigenous Jewish nation, (2) the British Empire under local and regional, political Arabist influence, calamitously prevented persecuted Jews in 1939 and onwards from immigrating to the internationally recognized Jewish homeland.

Palestinian villages, towns, cities with "Arabs" of Jewish origins & their last names

Gilead or Galaad is known today as Jalʻād

Gilead or Galaad (Hebrew: גִּלְעָד, "Heap/mass of testimony/witness", Standard Hebrew Gilʻad, Tiberian Hebrew Gilʻāḏ) in Arabic is known today as Jalʻād. Gilead is divided among the tribes of Gad and Manasseh. There's a Jalad in India close to Kashmir, an area with plenty of Hebrew names.

                                                                       The hills of Gilead (current day Jalʻād), Jordan

The Jews of Iran are generally regarded, even by themselves, as Benjamites, although the ones of Gillard & Demavent areas regard themselves as Manassehites. Some Muslim tribes of Kayah-Kola, Mazandaran are crypto-Jewish. Indeed all the Mazandarans are descendants of people regarded as Lost Israelites. Some regional Kurds also admit their Israelite origin too. Between Hamadan & Kazwin (or Qazvin) there are several villages of Marrano Moslems. The name Hamadan might have Dan added as suffix because the local captive Israelites might come from that tribe. It might have been added as a way of saying "Hama of Dan" ro distinguish from "Hama of Aram", neighboring Israel. There's more crypto-Jews in Sadah. There's a village called Sarah in thr south of the Baluchi Iran.

                                                                    Jalad, India

As mentioned above, according to the Jews of Teheran, the name of the Irani village of Gillard is a corrupted one of the Israelite name "Gilead". Apart from that "Gilardino" & "Gillardeau" are also clear variants of the same name. Gillardino is an Italian last name from the north of that country, the area of Italy were Lost Israelites are believed to dwell according to the Two-Housers. Gillardeau is a French last name, therefore Reubenite according to the Two-Housers. The oysters Gillardeau are quite celebrated. Gillard is also a British last name. It's the last name of a former Australian Prime Minister. For the Two-Housers the British would be Ephraimites mostly. Gilead was, according to the Book of Numbers, the son of Machir, and hence the grandson of Manasseh. After him was called the hilly area East of the Jordan river. This area was assigned to half of the tribe of Manasseh & their inhabitants were called Gileadites although they were Manassehites. A few of other Israelites from other tribes lived there too, so they were also called that way. Currently Gilead is known as Jalʻād & belongs to the modern nation of Jordan. Jalad or Jallad is a last name. Jordan logically is the country with more people with that last name, then come Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates... Gillard, that Persian village called after Gilead, was also known as Persian Gilead. The mount Damāvand, Donbavand or Demavent is a dormant volcano d an important place in the Persian mythology. Gillard is near this mountain in northern Iran. Demavent is also a village next to Gillard.

The Jewish "New Muslims" of Meshhed

 Lived as Dhimmis

IV.              Jews came to Meshhed in early 1700s: Situation of Jews prior to 1839 – selection from Patai
V.                 The Incident- March 26, 1839
A.                  Shi'ite day of mourning – 10 th of Muharram, holiest day of Shi'ite year

B.      Day of fasting, self-flagellation, commemorating death of Hussein, second Imam.

C.      Jewish woman asked Moslem doctor to treat her hand

D.     Advised to wash hand in the blood of a newly killed dog: standard medical science at time
E.      She hired a local boy to kill the dog, had argument over price

F.       Boy ran away, cried out Jews had killed dog and called it “Hussein” to mock Moslems on their holy day

G.      Slander heard by thousands of fasting Moslems in Imam Riza mosque

H.     Mourners poured out of masque, stormed nearby Jewish quarter

I.        Broke into homes, stole property, destroyed books and religious articles, burned synagogue

J.        Killed 32 Jews, gave rest ultimatum: conversion or death

VI.              All chose to become Moslems

A.     Not accepted by neighbors, known as a Jadid al-Islam, “new Moslem”

B.      Attended separate mosque

C.      Continued to use Oriental Hebrew script even when writing Persian

D.     At first too frightened to become underground Jews

Some became converts
Some prayed alone in secret
Soon old men began gathering for Jewish prayers after finishing Moslem ones
Soon were studying Torah and observing Jewish holidays
Soon resumed “complete” Jewish lives
If caught, penalty death

E.      Continued to live in old Jewish quarter
Houses with private courtyard in middle
No windows face street, only inward
Internal doors to go from one house to another
Shi'ite law – improper for stranger to enter house where woman were present
When met secretly, stationed women to sit by doors and forestall unexpected visitors

F.       Partial religious observance

Shops open on Shabbos, but sold nothing, quoted ridiculous prices, left small children in charge
Bought extra wheat to bake matzos secretly for Passover, and bought bread in market place
Yom Kippur observed, but not Succos
Circumcised boys on 8 th day. Told curious Moslems it was done for the health of the baby
Secret Jewish names given, used only at home, otherwise used Moslem names
Mezuzahs explained as protection from evil eye
Kosher slaughtering at night, meat carried from house to house
Women bought non-kosher meat in market. Fed to dogs. Jewish pets said to be fattest in Meshhed
Women observed Jewish family purity laws, but did not go to Mikvah

VII.            Great Danger – “old Moslems” did not know what to make of the Jadidis

A.     Spies – Fasting on Yom Kippur
B.                  Checked corpses for Jewish burial shrouds

C.      Shortly a fter forced conversion, kosher slaughterer caught in act was himself slaughtered

D.     Jadidis rarely forced to marry Moslems

Arranged mar riages at very early age, even earlier than usual in Iran – girls 4 to 6, boys not much older
First Moslem ceremony, then Jewish rite in secret
Two marriage contracts – public Moslem and secret Jewish Kesuva
Even on Moslem contract witnesses signed in Hebrew script – alphabet of “new Moslems”
Wrote no Gitten
Funerals also double – after time had own burial ground. Tombstones in Hebrew and Persian
VIII.         Behaved as “good” Moslems

A.     Joined other Moslems in pilgrimages to Mecca and Karbala (Shi'ite shrine in Iraq ) Received honorary titles on return, hajji and karbalai

B.      Some Jewish hajjis honored with positions in Imam Riza Mosque

C.      Stories of Mashhadis who brought Talleisim and t'phillin to Mecca

D.     Detoured on way back from Mecca to Jerusalem , leaving other pilgrims in Alexandria and taking boat to Jaffa

E.      Prayed at both Dome of the Rock and the Western Wall
IX.               Education

A.     No formal education of children for 20 years after forced conversion – expected to learn by watching elders

B.      When entire generation grew up without knowing Hebrew started secret school

C.      After studying Koran in Moslem school, boys came home to study Torah in a basement.

D.     Girls learn from older relatives

E.      Children under 11 not trusted and not e ducated or told anything about Judaism

F.       After 1910 when national education reform gave summer vacation, then small children enrolled in a secret Jewish “summer school.”
X.                  Benefits of double life

A.     Inside Iran Mashhadis passed as Moslems among Moslems and as Jews among Jews

B.      No subject to anti-Jewish restrictions became wealthiest Jews in Iran . Traveled as wished, no special clothes or taxes, trade in every marketplace – even one's that banned Jews

C.      Outside Iran lived openly as Jews. Built own synagogues, remained separate from larger Jewish community

D.     Remained wary and lived in dread of being discovered

XI.               Immigration – over years to Russia , to India ( Bombay ), to Teheran, London , New York , Jerusalem , Tel Aviv

A.     Around 1910 things improved in Iran . Moved school from basement, and began revealing secret to younger children

B.      Still did not return to Judaism publicly in Meshhed

C.      Power in hands of Shi'ite mullahs, in whose eyes it was crime for a Moslem to become a Jew

D.     Used bribes to keep their secret and stay alive.

XII.            Blood libel in 1946

A.     Jews use blood of a gentile no longer European obsession

B.      Plaque since Middle Ages - Carried to East by Christian missionaries – First in 1144 in England Blood Libel

C.      Passover coincided with Shi'ite day of mourning commemorating death of Imam Riza's sister Fatima

D.     Meshhed's Jewish elders warned community not to provoke Muslims

E.      Just before Passover Moslem boys caught harassing women on streets of Jewish quarter and scolded

F.       Crowd gathered to defend boys, and rumor spread that their blood had been taken for baking matzos

G.      Houses and synagogues were robbed and burned, Jews were beaten and stabbed on the street, and old women and children assaulted in their homes.

H.     Wealthier Jews appealed through the Russian and British consulates until Moslem leaders were finally induced to help.

I.        One Moslem leader announced to the mob: “These Jews are jadid al-Islam who have lived among us for years, and we never saw anything evil among them.”

J.        Over next few years more than 2000 left Meshhed going to Teheran and Tel Aviv. No more than a dozen families left by mid-1950s.

XIII.         Blood libel still alive and well. Saudi Government Daily: Jews Use Teenagers' Blood for 'Purim' Pastries March 10, 2002 . In the second part of the article (March 12), the columnist tells the story of the Book of Esther and concludes, "Since then, the Old Testament, the Jewish holy book, requires the Jews to glorify this holiday and show their joy. This joy can only be complete with the consumption of pastries mixed with human blood." ( A rticle published by the Saudi government daily Al-Riyadh , columnist Dr. Umayma Ahmad Al-Jalahma of King Faysal University in Al-Dammam )

XIV.        Jewishness

A.     Not in question like that of other groups

B.      Never intermarried, no divorces

C.      Fully accepted as Jews

D.     Israel, immigrated as Moslems, then when allowed to stay, began openly practicing Judaism. Founded synagogues

E.      Shocked other Jews and rabbis at first. Investigated and declared Jews with no questions.
XV.           Today

A.     Still tend to keep to themselves

B.      Tend to only marry other Mashhadis, although slowing changing

C.      Many in import business – rugs, other Oriental objects

D.     Successfully withstood forced conversion and remained true to Judaism

Imraguen people

The Imraguen (Berber: Imragen) are an ethnic group or tribe of Mauritania and Western Sahara. Estimated at around 5,000 in the 1970s, most members of the group live in fishing villages in the Banc d'Arguin National Park on the Atlantic coast of Mauritania.

They are believed to have Mande (Niger-Congo) origins and to descend from the ancient Bafour people. The name Imraguen (Berber orthography: imragen) is a Berber word meaning "fishermen". They are Muslims of the Sunni Maliki rite. The Imraguen language is a divergent form of Hassaniya Arabic that preserves elements of the Soninke language, reflecting their Niger-Congo heritage

“The Vanishing Jews of the Arab World,” by Semha Alwaya, was published March 6 in The San Francisco Chronicle. It tells the story of the author, a Baghdad native, who was one of 900,000 Jewish refugees from Arab countries dispossessed by Arab governments in the 1950s. After living in refugee camps, she writes, “housing was eventually built for us, we became Israeli citizens, and we ceased being refugees. The refugee camps in Israel that I knew as a child were phased out, and no trace of them remains. Israel did this without receiving a single cent from the international community, relying instead on the resourcefulness of its citizens and donations from Diaspora Jewish communities.”

“The Saudi Family conceal their Jewish Origins; The Saudi Dynasty: Where do they come from and Who is their real Ancestor”

Summary from Destination Yisrael

Muhammad Salaam – “In the year 851 A.H. a group of men from Al Masaleekh Clan, which was a branch of Anza Tribe, formed a caravan for buying cereals (wheat and corn) and other foodstuff from Iraq, and transporting it back to Najd. The head of that group was a man called Sahmi Bin Hathlool. The caravan reached Basra, where the members of the group went to a cereal merchant who was a Jew, called Mordakhai bin Ibrahim bin Moshe. During their bargaining with that merchant, the Jew asked them: "Where are you from?" They answered: "From Anza Tribe; a Clan of Al Masaleekh." Upon hearing that name, the Jew started to hug so affectionately each on the them saying that he, himself, was also from the clan of Al Masaleekh, but he had come to reside in Basra (Iraq) in consequence to a family feud between his father and some members of Anza Tribe.

After he recounted to them his fabricated narrative, he ordered his servants to load all of the camels with wheat, dates, and tamman; a remarkable deed so generous that astonished the Masaleekh men and aroused their pride to find such an affectionate (cousin) in Iraq-the source of sustenance; they believed each word he said, and, because he was a rich merchant of the food commodities which they were badly in need, they accepted him (even though he was a Jew concealed under the garb of an Arab from Al Masaleekh clan.)

When the caravan was ready to depart returning to Najd, that Jewish merchant asked them to accept his company, because he intended to go with them to his original homeland, Najd. Upon hearing that from him, they wholeheartedly welcomed him with a very cheerful attitude.

So that (concealed) Jew reached Najd with the caravan. In Najd, he started to promulgate a lot of propaganda for himself through his companions (his alleged cousins), a fact, which gathered around him a considerable number of new supporters. But, unexpectedly, he confronted a campaign of opposition to his views led by Sheikh Saleh Salman Abdullah Al Tamimi, who was a Muslim religious preacher in Al-Qaseem.

The radius of his preaching area included Najd, Yemen, and Hijaz, a fact which compelled the Jew (the Ancestor of the present Saud family) to depart from Al Qaseem to Al Ihsa, where he changed his name (Mordakhai) to Markan bin Dir'iya near Al-Qateef, where he started to spread among the inhabitants a fabricated story about the shield of our Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) that it was taken as a booty by an Arab pagan in consequence of the Battle of Uhud between the Arab pagans and the Muslims.

“That shield,” he said, “was sold by the Arab pagan to a Jewish clan called Banu Qunaiqa who preserved it as a treasure!” He gradually enhanced his position among the Bedouins through such stories, which indicated how the Jewish clans in Arabia were so influential, and deserved high esteem. He gained some personal importance among the Bedouins, and decided to permanently settle there, at Dir'iya town, neat Al Qateef, which he decided to be his “Capital” on the Persian Gulf. He aspired to make it his springboard for establishing a Jewish Kingdom in Arabia.

In order to fulfill his ambitious scheme, he started to approach the desert Arab Bedouins for support of his position, and then gradually, he declared himself as their king!

At that juncture, Ajaman Tribe, together with Banu Khaled Tribe became fully aware of that Jewish cunning plan after they had verified his true identity, and decided to put an end to him. They attacked his town and conquered it, but before arresting him he had escaped by the skin of his teeth.

That Jewish ancestor of the Saudi Family, Mordakhai, sought shelter in a farm at that time called Al-Malibeed-Ghusaiba near Al-Arid, which is called at our present time Al-Riyadh.

He requested the owner of that farm to grant him asylum. The farmer was so hospitable that he immediately gave him sanctuary. But no longer than a month had he (Mordakhai) stayed there, when he assassinated the landlord and all members of his family, pretending that they were killed by an invading band of thieves. Then he pretended that he had bought that real estate from them before that catastrophe happened to them! Accordingly, he had the right to reside there as a landlord. He then gave a new name to that place: Al-Diriya-the same name as that he had lost.

That Jewish ancestor (Mordakhai) of the Saudi Family, was able to establish a "Guest House" called "Madaffa" on the land he usurped from his victims, and gathered around him a group of hypocrites who started to spread out false propaganda for him that he was a prominent Arab Sheikh. He plotted against Sheikh Saleh Salman Abdulla Al Tamimi, his original enemy, and caused his assassination in the mosque of the town called Al-Zalafi.

After that, he felt satisfied and safe to make Al-Diriya his permanent home. There he practiced polygamy at a wide scale, and indeed, he begot a lot of children whom he gave pure Arab names.

Ever since his descendants grew up in number and power under the same name of Saudi Clan, they have followed his steps in practicing underground activities and conspiracies against the Arab nation. They illegally seized rural sectors and farmlands and assassinated every person who tried to oppose their evil plans. They used all kinds of deceit for reaching their goals; they bought the conscience of their dissidents; they offered their women and money to influential people in that area, particularly those who started to write the true biography of that Jewish family; they bribed the writers of history in order to purify their ignominious history, and to make their lineage related to the most prominent Arab tribes such as Rabi'a, Anza, and Al Masaleekh.

A conspicuous hypocrite in our era, whose name is Mohammad Amin Al Tamimi- Director/Manager of the contemporary Libraries of the Saudi Kingdom, made up a genealogical tree (family tree) for this Jewish family (the Saudis), connecting them to our Great Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). For his false work, he received a reward of 35 thousand Egyptian pounds from the then Saudi Ambassador to Cairo, Egypt, in the year 1362 A.H.-1943 A.D. The name of that Ambassador is Ibrahim Al-Fadel.”

Four Palestinians claim descent from Jews forced to convert

Four Palestinians from the Hebron Hills contacted a group of rabbis on Tuesday and claimed to be the descendents of Jews who were forced to convert to Islam.

The Palestinians were accompanied by Zvi Mesini, a researcher who wrote a book on the subject and assisted them in learning more about Judaism. According to the Palestinians, their families had removed mezuzahs from their doors in order to avoid harassment by their neighbors.

One of the Palestinians said he kept a tefillin he received from his father's uncle and another told the rabbis that his family had once secretly lit candles on the Sabbath and for Hanukkah, the Jewish festival of lights.

Mesini told the rabbis, members of a group called the New Sanhedrin, that he believes hundreds of thousands of Palestinians are descended from Jews.

"Such evidence renders the conflict redundant," Mesini said. "It proves that Judea and Samaria belongs to both the recognized Jews and the unrecognized Jews."

Mesini accused authorities of being indifferent to his findings.

The New Sanhedrin is known as a right-wing organization that claims to be the rightful successors of the supreme Jewish court of antiquity. Its goal is to create a state based upon Jewish law that will replace the current State of Israel.

Palestinian villages, towns, cities with "Arabs" of Jewish origins (a few Egyptian, Jordanian & Syrian locations are including with the country they belong, or other version or Biblical name in brackets. In brackets are other locations in other countries with the same or similar names):

Irbid (Jordan), Ramlah, Yatta (Biblical Yutta), Midya, Batir (Batîr, Moldavia), Tirah (Tirah, Uttar Pradesh, India), Jenin (Jenins, Switzerland), Akraba, Tabariya (Tiberias), Khalil, Nasirah, Peki'in, khmaineh, Awarta, Funduk, Arba, Kiryat, Ma'aleh, Takua (other versions of the name are Teqoa, Tuqu'. Southeastern China & Indonesia), Dura (Biblical Adora'yim), Anim, Carmil, Samoa (Biblical Eshtamoa. celebrated Pacific nation), Anza (Colombia), Sanur (Bali, Indonesia), Kufar (Ukraine & Hungary), Khizme, Sheba, Na'im, Mas'ha, Surif (Suriname & 3 Surigaos in Philippines & Surigheddu in Sardinia, Italy), Khalkhul (Similar to Khalkhu, Bihar, India, Halhuli, Tripura, India & Khalkhal, Ardabil, Iran), Amman (Jordan), Karak (Jordan. Similar to Karaka, next to Auckland, New Zealand & Caracas, Venezuela), Khirbat, Daharia (Daharia, Bihar, India, close to the Bnei Menasseh areas.), Taben (in Germany too), Fakhot, Awad, Sirat, Mufara (Sicilia, Italy), Yakin, Dirat, Jamalah(same name found in Northeastern South Africa & Kenya), Ein Uja, Awa (The Awá (or Kwaiker) are an ancient indigenous people that inhabit the regions of northern Ecuador (provinces of Carchi and Sucumbios) and southern Colombia (particularly the departments of Nariño and Putumayo. Their entire population is around 32,555 members.), Bid'yah (it has the Yah or Yahweh, the god of Israel), Gerizim, Sinjil, Rugib, Tsafafa, Dis, Baher, Nabal, Jufna (Biblical Gofna), Sakhnin (similar to Sakhalin. Would it come from Isaak or Isakhar?), Arabeh, Bir Zeit, Lakef, Abud, Surik, Inan, Bidu, Taibe (or Tybya is Biblical Ofra), Mughar (or Mghar.Southeastern Pakistan. Several Maghar in Pakistan & northern of India), Tarshikha, Snan (Israel, Egipto, Malaysia & several in India), Yasif, Likiya (Russia & Ukraine), Abu Tur (Does the Skandinavian god Thor come from this toponym? The God was a hero in reality. Are the Two-Housers right in thinking Skandinavians are the 10 Lost Ten Tribes of Israel?), Bu'aina, Nujaidat, Wadi Musa (Jordan, Valley of Moses in Arabic), Baqah, Arish (Egypt), Khanoon (India, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines), Jabelia, Nuseirat, Haifa, Jaffa, Balata, Khan Yunes, Boorej, Sichem, Rafiah, Rafah, Tribil, Nevo, Khau, Hebron, Negev, Kawizba, Miniya, Khalat, Maya (Like the Maya people of Guatemala), Zif (Like the bright metal of the B.O.M.), Sa'ir (or Si'ir), Khussan, Khares (Maharashtra, India), Gaza, Kfar Manda (This was one way to call Manasseh. The Mandan Indians are considered to be Israelites by Two-Housers & Mormons), Kfar, Be'ene, Khurfesh, Gush, Khalaf, Bassah, Ilabun.
                                                                      Kashmiri shepherds
All members of the Greek Catholic & Orthodox churches who live  in the Land of Israel have Jewish origin.

This scripture "Ezekiel 37:21, 22 & 26" could apply to the Israeli Jews & the Palestinian "Arabs", the latter being in reality the offspring of  Jews that never left beloved Land of Israel, but forced to become Muslims & Arabs.

Ezekiel 37:15-28 (One Nation Under One King)

21 and say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will take the Israelites out of the nations where they have gone. I will gather them from all around and bring them back into their own land. 22 I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel. There will be one king over all of them and they will never again be two nations or be divided into two kingdoms.

26 I will make a covenant of peace with them; it will be an everlasting covenant. I will establish them and increase their numbers, and I will put my sanctuary among them forever. 27 My dwelling place will be with them; I will be their God, and they will be my people. 28 Then the nations will know that I the Lord make Israel holy, when my sanctuary is among them forever.’

Last names:

Makhamara (Mahamara, Chirumhanzu, Midlands, Zimbabwe & Makamaru, Orissa, India), Amari, Abu Aram (like the ancient language spoken by Israelites), Matur, Makharik, Aziz, Ta'amra, Huza'yel, Hashwi, Sha'abin, Sawarka or Suwarka (Suwarkor, Jharkhand, India, Suwarkhodri, Madhya Pradesh, India, Suwarkota, Madhya Pradesh, India, Sawarkhede, Maharastra, India & Sawarkhand, Maharastra, India ), Bdool (Badoo, Nagaur, Rajasthan, India), Khatsira (Khatira, Aurangabad, Bihar , India & Khatira, Kamrup, Assam, India), K'kel, Abulafia ( Abraham ben Samuel Abulafia was the founder of the school of "Prophetic Kabbalah", was born in Zaragoza, Spain, in 1240.), Binyamina, Almog (Israeli Kibbutz), Dawood (Daud, David in Arabic), S'sakhyun(Means Zion. There's one Ssakhyun in South Korea. It's also a word in Urdu) , Zakoot (Dhofar, Oman), Tsadok (Like the ancestor of the Saducees. Sadok is a Ukrainian dance), Solomon, Fin Nun (originally Bin Nun like Joshua), Michael, Khazan, Moshe Sharet (Similar like Shared, a B.O.M. personage), Bader, Rezek, S'beitani (litterally People of the Shabbath), Aliyan (similar to aliyah), Shrayn, Tawil, Diba (Deba, Basque Country, Spain), Shwaiki (Swaik Lake, Chakwal District, Punyab, Pakistan), Askharat (Same beginning to the city of Ashkelon & to Ashkenazi. Ascarat, Basque Country, France), Ya'ish, Muslimani, Mituaya or Metukhia (Metuka is sweet in Hebrew. Metohia, Kosovo's largest region. Metohia, Kyustendil, Bulgaria.), Shakshir, Akar, Tamimi, Buwarda, Kasem, Sharaba (Sharabha, a creature in Hindu mythology that is part lion and part bird), Tahar, Muselmani (antes Mafarge), Atiyah (means "wearing" in Hebrew), Aia, Tavor, Shber, Shati, R'al-Yoon, Ralyun, Jaru, Jaroo, Kharzallah, Harzallah, Duweik, Mukhtasebin, Natche, Khawaja (Hawaja), Dahan (tribe of Dan), Dana (tribe of Dan), Tirabin or Tarabin, Rashaidda, Ibri, Toma (Thomas?), Haib, quitar Tachta de pueblos y poner Roosh en pueblos y añadir Tavor y Daburiya. Apellidos y tribus: Ra'oof (Ra'uf), Adhami, Kanafish, Zaharan (Zarah, son of Judah), Kaysi, Hamsyeh, Khamsyeh, Julani, Tamimimi, Shitrit, Shatrit, Milkhem, Lakham, Najajara, Mustafa, Aramin (formerly Armon, similar to Aramean or Armenian), Jaradat, Shlalda, Kawazba (originally Koziba, related to the Jewish hero Bar Kokhba, formerly Bar-Koziba), Amslam, jabarin. Tarabin, Ziadna, Azazama, Lakhza'yel, Kamalat, Nassasra, Balal, Ta'yahwi (Yahwe), Ta'yaha, Swarka, Akhmad, Zid, Tanira, Mekhaimar, Basala, Shafi, Kharzallah, Za'arba, Shber, Akar, Jrai, Ayish, Cohen, Kharamsha, Awazat, Majali, Ghrab, Massakha, Eliyahu (A typial Jewish name), Abidiya, Baki, Shamari, Sliman, Ka'abin, Hashul, Nasaar, Atallah, Shiri, Khabiba, Sufan, Suwara, Samara (like the Russian city of Samara & similar to Samaria), Danf, Sa'id, Makhzan, Nakhas, Mu'ayed, Jafari, Rumeyekh, Ramikh, Taha, Salamah, Salama, Ba'ker, Khamad, Ibrahim, Rabbi, Ahmad, Zahara, Boolad, Otman, Ansirat, Abed, Masalma, Daharia, Gharz, Khamarma, Sha'abin.

The relations between Arabs and Israelites prior to the rise of Islam


The relations between Arabia and Israel may be grouped into three periods. There is a prehistoric period for which we have no historical statements, but have to depend on inference obtained by methods which we believe to be scientific. There is a period for which Jewish historians furnish some materials, beginning with the Old Testament records, and ending with the able chronicler of the end of the Jewish state, Josephus. And there is a period for which we have to rely mainly on Moslem historians, who record how at one time Judaism held sway in South Arabia, and how when Islam commenced, it had to deal with Israelitish communities settled in the cradle of the new system, the Hijaz.

The Arabs and Israel illustrate respectively two different aspects of human tenacity. Of relationship between race and soil Arabia perhaps furnishes a unique example of persistence. The peninsula has undergone in historic times many changes; dynasties have succeeded and effaced each other; its old religions have yielded at times to Christianity and some other form of monotheism, and were all in the seventh century with rare exceptions, surviving to this day, merged in Islam. But we hear of no immigrations into Arabia, whereby successive settlers have ousted or submerged each other, as has been the case in most of the countries of which we have chronicles, such as India or Persia, Greece, Italy, or England. Invaders have rarely succeeded in penetrating the deserts which guard the country, and such success as they have had has been ephemeral. The peninsula has sent out conquering hordes, perhaps more than once on the scale which followed the rise of Islam; its own population, the inhabitants of its oases, have never been swamped or forced back by conquering immigrants. Ethnologically speaking its population has remained the same through the ages (Nevertheless different waves of Israelites have gone to Arabia, especially the "Happy Arabia" or Yemen. First as refugees from the Assyrian & Babylonian invasions & then, before & always as trading immigrants)

On the other hand, Israel offers a rare example of persistence of ideas amid local instability. It is part of the merit of the newer study of the Old Testament that it has brought out the causal connexion between the local instability and the fixity of the ideas. Judaism is in the highest degree monotheistic; but monotheism became dominant in Israel near the time of the first exile; for the scattered communities it became a bond such as they had not required before their separation. Judaism depends on a Bible, a written code or canon; it would seem that the importance of such a possession first came to be recognized during the Exile, and perhaps received full recognition only after the termination of the revived Jewish state.

It was not apparently Mohammed's design to expel the Jews from the Arabian peninsula, and indeed there are documents ascribed to him having the appearance of genuineness, wherein he expressly stipulates that so long as they perform their engagements there must be no interference with them. His second successor ruled that within the peninsula no religion save Islam should be tolerated, and there has never been a renewal of the old Jewish settlements, though there must have been some drifting of Jewish wanderers towards South Arabia, where some are to be found. In the Islamic states, which shortly after the Prophet's death founded capitals at a distance from Arabia, Jewish communities often prospered, and even furnished their Moslem masters with statesmen of distinction, especially in Egypt, Spain, and Mesopotamia. Islam, however, is not identical with Arabia, though it took its rise there; whence our subject does not include these later developments but terminates with the ruin of the Arabian settlements.

The peninsula has only on one occasion formed a political unity; the genius of Mohammed was able to effect this, but disintegration started anew with his death. When he arose, it was divided into independent areas and spheres of influence. As we trace history backwards from that time we find that an analogous condition predominates. At some period, however, one powerful state or another exercises hegemony over a large portion of the peninsula, but the physical features are not in favour of political unity. For all that there is a curious homogeneity among the inhabitants.

The Arabic orthography in several of some cases stands to the Hebrew in the relation of the Greek or Latin to the English. The working of sound-laws has altered the Hebrew pronunciation, but the older writing is retained. A difficulty which together with religious and national prejudices long obscured the inference to be drawn from this fact was the following. The earliest documents which we possess in classical Arabic are many centuries later than the latest portions of the Hebrew Bible; whence, when Arabic is classified as a mediaeval language, this phrase is not inaccurate, if only the literature be considered. The mediaeval Jewish writers whose attention was struck by the similarity of Arabic to their sacred tongue, and who made many valuable observations in consequence, had in their minds the assumption that Hebrew must be the older and indeed the original language of mankind; and in attempting to explain the language of the Old Testament from that of the Caliphate which had become their mother tongue, the Jewish interpreters had to encounter the prejudice of their devout brethren. But even when there is no such prejudice, it seems a doubtful proceeding to claim for a mediaeval language an antiquity superior to one which was spoken and written at any rate some centuries before the Christian era.

We have an occasional reference to the deity Gad, whose existence crops up in connexion with the eponymus of the tribe Gad in Gen. xxx. 11, and perhaps in the name עזגד (Ezra ii. 12). The formula used in the former passage בגד 'by favour of Gad' is similar to that wherewith the votive tablets usually terminate. קינן, who in Genesis is a patriarch, appears in an inscription as a god.

When the true sense of the names of gods and goddesses is discovered, it is usually found to mean something like master or mistress. Why Baal, which simply means 'master', should have been tabued, whereas Adon, which signifies the same, should have been retained, is hard to explain; if the former was associated with an alien cult, no less certainly was the latter. Among early Christian preachers we find an Apollos, among the fathers of the church there is a Dionysius, and a great Christian heresiarch was called after the Greek god of war. It is a curious thought that the patron saint of royalist France was a saint called after the dissolute god of wine.

The question whether the immigrants brought with them the divine name YAHO, which ultimately gave their descendants their importance in the world is interesting; it seems to be settled by those names Joash and Josiah with which we have been dealing. Of these the verbal element became utterly obsolete in the Hebrew language, but can be identified certainly with a familiar Arabic word on the evidence of the Lihyani inscriptions. That the divine name Yaho could be compounded by Palestinian Jews with an obsolete Arabic verb is unthinkable; the compound must have been made in pre-Palestinian times. And this leads to a conclusion which should have been reached on other grounds, viz. that the name Yaho has itself no original connexion with the verb 'to be'; and indeed (as has been seen) the group which corresponds with היה has not that sense in Arabic.

The Hebrew names quoted must go back in their entirety to Arabian times. But this implies the worship of a deity YAHO or YAH in Arabia. And, in addition, this fact separates the divine name from the Hebrew verb meaning 'to be', which was afterwards employed to elicit its theological signification.

The old Arabians offered sacrifices, and it would seem by preference on the seventh day; these were to be sound, but might be of either sex; they offered bulls, but also incense, for which they had altars, as likewise for fragrant herbs; one of the technicalities of the Israelitish altar of sacrifice seems to have been satisfactorily illustrated from a Minaean text. Their sacrifices were at times, perhaps, accompanied by stringed instruments, and some sort of purity legislation was connected with them. Indeed there are several confessional tablets in existence which indicate a system of purity legislation corresponding in some technicalities of both language and practice very curiously with that of the Pentateuch. The Arabs had centres of pilgrimage and built shrines; and the shrines had rights to various dues, which must have gone to the priests or were conceded to various families. Tithes and first-fruits were offered, sometimes as a due, sometimes as a thank-offering for some special service.

When Mohammed gave the North Arabians Abraham and Ishmael for their founders and ancestors there were no archaeological objections so far as we know, because the people had no historically attested account to set against the new system.

The process whereby the settlements of the immigrants were effected is illustrated in the narratives of Judges and Samuel, and the same recurs in the legends of the Arabs. If such enterprises are to be executed with success, there must be some organization and discipline. Some man, not unfrequently a man with a grievance, organizes a band which a little success soon swells. They do not migrate haphazard; scouting parties are sent to ascertain how the land lies; 'the scout', says an Arabic proverb, 'tells no lies to his employers', for he has himself to take part in the expedition.

Great importance attaches to the argument of Winckler that the history of Arabia as learned from the inscriptions exhibits a series of organized states going back to immemorial antiquity. The life of the nomad, as he observes, is not anterior to, but coeval with that of the cultivator. The professions of both and the relations of the two are largely determined by water.

The trade which these states pursued and which formed the source of their wealth required routes which were guarded by fortresses or forts. The wealth which they accumulated led to the acquisition of comforts, to the evolution of tastes, and to the exercise of ingenuity in gratifying them; epigraphy does not often illustrate these matters, but such vessels as the two in the British Museum with four compartments for different sorts of perfume indicate a high standard of luxury.

The migrations of the Arab tribes since the rise of Islam are, as has been seen, partially recorded, and even form the subject of treatises; in the lands whither the great wave of Arab conquest carried them the tribes for a time remained distinct, though intruders were not easily kept out. For the long period which receives flashes of light from the inscriptions a few such migrations can be traced. The steps whereby Sabaean was transformed into Ethiopic are now traceable through a series of inscriptions discovered on Abyssinian soil.


In two cases it is noticeable that the traditions of Genesis assign seniority to other branches of the family. Ishmael, it admits, was the older son of Abraham, only his mother was ignoble, whence a younger son, Isaac, was the heir. Esau, identified with Edom, was the elder son of Isaac; only he was outwitted by his brother, who secured his rights.

The Medinese Jews are said to have tried to awaken the old dissensions between the tribes which Mohammed had succeeded in uniting by reciting some of these commemorative odes, belonging to quite recent times. The danger was perceived by the Moslems and the Jewish expedient for stirring up old passions was rendered abortive.

In the Old Testament we can trace at any rate faintly the process whereby the Arabs came to be known to the Israelites, and how ultimately their name came to be associated with the country lying to the south-east of Palestine, until in the time of Josephus Arabia means a state with Petra for capital sometimes stretching northwards as far as Damascus, and extending indefinitely to the south. In the account of the sources of king Solomon's wealth (1 Kings x. 15) we have the enigmatic statement that in addition to his 666 talents from other sources he had the men of the Tarim and the traffic of the merchants and all the kings of the 'Ereb and the satraps of the country. The Chronicler (2 Chron. ix. 13]) has some difficulty with the syntax of the passage and substitutes for the 'Ereb the word 'Arab, meaning Arabia. His idea is that the kings of that region brought Solomon gold and silver; and the author of Ps. lxxii. 10 is perhaps interpreting the words in a somewhat different way when he speaks of the kings of Seba bringing eshkar, a word used by Ezekiel (xxvii. 15) in some connexion with commerce and indeed that of Arab tribes, though here too the exact sense has to be guessed. It makes against the interpretation of the Chronicler, though it by no means brings light, that Jeremiah knows of the 'Ereb as distinct from the 'Arab or Arabia; they figure side by side in the list of the states whose doom it is his business to proclaim (xxv. 20 and 24). 2 Maccabees makes Arabs and Nomads synonymous (xii. 10). It is quite clear that the Prophet follows no geographical order in his list of states, so that we can learn nothing about their location from this passage. 'Ereb (v. 20) is followed by 'Us; next come the cities of Philistia; then Edom, etc., then Tyre, etc.; then Dedan, Taima, and Buz, and 'those who have the corners of their hair cropped'; then the kings of 'Arab and 'Ereb.

When a country is spoken of as the West, we cannot be sure what is meant unless we know the point of view of those who originally thus designated it. Books are written in Egypt in these days, where the countries involved are by no means to the east of Egypt. Hence the 'kings of the Evening' in the language of the history of Solomon need not necessarily mean to the west of Palestine.

What appears from these passages is that if the Books of Kings embody a contemporary chronicle, the kings of the 'Ereb served at this time as a vague designation for Arabian potentates; whereas 'Arab in a sense somewhat similar to that wherein later Jews employed the term came into Israelitish ken about the same time as it is first found in cuneiform inscriptions; and that when the Chronicles were composed the two were identified, though they were at first distinct.

The states of the interior of Arabia have rarely had much to do with the outside world; world-conquerors have indeed at times made expeditions into their country, sometimes attended with ephemeral success but as often resulting in complete failure. The time at which the Israelitish state attained sufficient importance to have concerns with others than its immediate neighbours was that brief period when the tribes were united under the sway of a single monarch; a time known as yet only from Israelitish records. To this period the Bible assigns the visit of the Queen of Saba to King Solomon. We hear of Arabian queens, if not at this time, still about 250 years later, when Sargon received tribute from the Queen Shamsi and Ita'amara the Sabaean. And the recently discovered realm of Lihyan is shown by the finds of Jaussen and Savignac to have had a queen among its rulers. The Biblical queen is evidently a person of importance, as the gifts which she brings are of unique value, and such as point to South Arabia.

The Queen of Saba, according to the First Book of Kings, comes to Jerusalem to test the king's wisdom rather than on a diplomatic mission. Her name is not stated.

Of the four best known South Arabian kingdoms, Saba, Main, Hadramaut, and Qataban, the first three have been recognized in the Old Testament. In the Chronicles (2 Chron. xxvi. 7) the Main, or as the Greeks called them Minaeans, figure among the enemies against whom King Uzziah fought with success; and in the days of Hezekiah, according to the same authority (1 Chron. iv. 41) they were defeated by the Simeonites who seized their settlements in South Palestine. Glaser and his followers think of these Minaeans as relics of a great Arabian empire which they suppose to have preceded the hegemony of Saba; while it has been suggested that they might be colonies, comparable to those of the Jews at a later time in Arabia. The inscriptions of al-'Ula make it clear that the Minaean kingdom, whose capital was Karna, at one time extended far into North Arabia.

In Chronicles we find the only definite interference of the South Arabians in Israelitish affairs. It asserts (2 Chron. xxi. 16) that the kingdom of Judah was attacked in the days of Jehoram by the Arabs who dwell by the side of Kush, and that their raid was most effective; for they killed all the king's sons except the youngest, Ahaziah, who succeeded to the throne. Jehoram was thereby punished for having put to death all his brothers, a somewhat drastic expedient for the prevention of wars of succession, for which the Ottomans afterwards became renowned. The Arabs who dwell by the side of Kush are evidently those of South Arabia, where the coast approaches that of Abyssinia, whence at the Bab al-Mandeb it is separated by a channel only fifteen miles broad, which, if we may believe an Ethiopic chronicle, was once spanned by a chain to prevent the approach of hostile vessels. We should imagine that a raid from South Arabia would have been conducted from the sea, as it is clear that according to the Chronicler the Arabs did not stay, but went off with their plunder. They are coupled with the Philistines, probably to indicate that this nation which occupied the coast made no resistance to the invaders, but rather co-operated with them in their attack on the Jewish kingdom.

 The mention of Safar (Gen. x. 30), doubtless to be identified with Pliny's Sappharis, the Tafar of some Greek writers and the Dhafar of the Arabs and the modern maps, as well as that of Hadramaut, shows that somehow one of the genealogists had some sort of acquaintance with the whole peninsula. Pliny observes with justice that even in Arabia names change with great rapidity.

The well-known account of the commerce of Tyre which occupies the twenty-seventh chapter of Ezekiel, suggests the mode whereby the Israelites came to hear of these out-of-the-way persons and places. Goods were imported thence by the Tyrians from whose market they were distributed over the rest of Syria. The Prophet, indeed, only mentions the goods which Israel and Judah brought to the Tyrian market (v. 17). It is natural that the goods obtained in exchange should have some account of their origin attached to them, just as in our time the retail dealer learns the names of various places as the source of the articles wherein he deals, though he may have no accurate notion of their geography. 'Arab' in this list is represented as dealing in live stock; this is still the stock-in-trade of the Bedouins, and it is noteworthy that this name does not figure in the tables of Genesis. The products which Ezekiel declares to have been imported by Tyre from Saba, Dedan, Uzal (= San'a in Yemen), and other Arabian localities are such as are known to have been procurable at those places.

If the ecclesiastical historian Philostorgius be right in his assertion that the Sabaeans circumcised on the eighth day, and if that was an ancient practice with them—and both these are hypotheses—this would account for the second derivation of Saba from Abraham and Qeturah; since Ishmael was accounted for by the time in Abraham's life wherein the ordinance was revealed, Saba would have to come later; he could not be Sara's descendant, whence Abraham must have had a later wife.

As has been seen in the time of Nehemiah, the Jews began to regard the Arabs, i.e. their neighbours on the south-east, as their natural enemies, and when the story of Judaea is reopened after long silence in the stirring times of the Maccabaean rising, there is an Arab kingdom, which plays an important part in the fortunes of the turbulent state of South Palestine. Of this kingdom we possess numerous coins and inscriptions; they are, however, in an Aramaic dialect, mixed with Arabic words and expressions, and the names of the kings are Arabic.


One Simeon of Taima is mentioned as an authority; he was a contemporary of R. Akiba, and lived in Yabneh. Taima is mentioned as a Jewish centre by the poet Shammam, who lived under the first three Caliphs.

It is probable that the Arabs with whom the Jews in the early Christian centuries came in contact were those who had come under Roman and Parthian—afterwards Persian—rule; and some of these seem to have come to the seats where Jewish learning was perpetuated. There is a case wherein certain 'Arabs' appeal to Rabbis at one of these universities for a decision in a matter connected with real property.

In addition to those Arabic words which the Jewish tradition preserves, but which like its Greek are not quite easy to identify, it may be observed that these works, including the Mishnah, contain not a few Arabisms, the source of which it would be interesting to trace. So far as these words are pre-Islamic it is likely that they were learned through association with members of the Nabataean state, whose relations with the Jews we have seen.

On the whole, however, it is surprising how rarely the rich language of the Mishnah and its copious technicalities of agriculture and commerce can be satisfactorily illustrated from Arabic.

For Jewish settlements in Arabia our authorities are then Christian and Moslem writers. From both these sources we learn that Jewish elements were to be found in the north and the south of the Peninsula. For the period which these statements cover South Arabian epigraphy is very copious. If we have no continuous chronicles, we have at least some dated fragments.

This was the first settlement; afterwards when the Romans expelled the Jews from Syria, two other tribes, the Nadir and Quraizah, decided to join their brethren in North Arabia. They remained in undisturbed possession till the bursting of the dam of Marib, which led to an emigration from South Arabia in all directions. The pagan tribes Aus and Khazraj decided to settle in Yathrib, and at the commencement of Islam we find three Jewish tribes settled there with the two Arab tribes who have been named.

It is just noticeable for the suggestion that the two tribes which with a third meet us in the biography of the Prophet were not the original settlers, but later colonists who had arrived within historic times.

The name Yathrib is found in two Minaean inscriptions, from which this much is clear, that it was not a Jewish but a pagan settlement at some time B.C., though of course for all we know there may have been Jews there. The Moslem tradition knew of Jews who inhabited Medinah in the Prophet's time; and it preserved the names of three tribes resident there, each of whom in turn incurred the Prophet's hostility. Different suggestions of their origin brought them into connexion with Moses and the Romans. These were harmonized by the supposition of two immigrations.

The members of the Jewish communities thus settled seem also to have had Arabic names; those whom the Prophet's biography mentions, whether as opponents or adherents, ordinarily bear such designations. Reference is occasionally made to their dialect as differing in some ways from that used by their neighbours. From the Qur'an we seem to learn that they possessed copies of the Law, had Rabbis whom they were disposed to overrate, and observed the Sabbath with certain food-tabus. Only neither the tribes nor the individual members observed that respect for the Old Testament which the race usually displays in naming children after the prophets and saints whose exploits it records. When the biographer introduces a whole number of Medinese Jews arguing with the Prophet about the transference of the direction of prayer from Jerusalem to Meccah, or in the affair of the Banu Nadir, whose fate marked the second stage in development of hostility between Judaism and Islam, their appellations are either identical with those in use among the Arabs, or, if they are unusual, have nothing Israelitish about them.

That Judaism was not only known in Arabia, but at one time held sway there as a State religion, seems to be agreed by Christian and Moslem writers. Professor Hartmann even knows the reasons which led the Himyari kings to adopt Judaism. The despotism at which these kings aimed could not dispense with the support of a strong party in the country. The old religion and its priesthood were hostile. The adherents of Christianity were untrustworthy. Hence the kings turned to the Jews, who might enable them to monopolize the finance. They even went so far as to embrace Judaism, in order thereby to secure the fidelity of these financial magnates.

The presence of Jews at the Himyari capital is indeed attested by the ecclesiastical historian Philostorgius (about A.D. 425), who asserts, as has been seen, that the Sabaeans, in his time called Himyar, practised the Abrahamic rite on the eighth day, but sacrificed to the sun, moon, and local deities. A number of Jews were mixed up with them, who offered opposition to the mission of one Theophilus who was sent by the Emperor Constantius (349-361) to convert them and succeeded in founding three churches, of which one was at Dhafar and another in Aden. According to this the Himyar were at this time pagans, though there were Jewish settlers among them.

Himyar (where they Israelites names after Khumri as other groups of Israelites were? Other spellings for Khumri would be Humri or Kumri. HiMyaR has the same consonantical roots.In theory the Himyarites were Arab converts, plus some Israelites & Jews already living there. Perhaps the great amount of Israelites & Judeans made their king adopt Judaism & also adopt the name for which Israelites were also known), whose name he transliterates far more correctly than the other Greek writers as Himmirenoi, had originally been Jews, having been converted by the Queen of Saba; they had afterwards become pagan again, but were converted to Christianity in the time of Anastasius (491-518).

For the statement that there was a series of Jewish kings we must then go to Moslem writers. They tell us that a certain king, Abu Karib of Himyar, designed the destruction of both Meccah and Yathrib, but was deterred by Jewish doctors, who assured him that these places were destined to play a great part in the career of the Arabian Prophet; The king, they say, was converted to Judaism by the efforts of these Rabbis. Abu Karib is to be identified with a king Abu Karib As'ad, whose son, Sharahbil Ya'fur, records in an inscription published by Glaser how in the year A.D. 450 he repaired the mound of Marib. He was certainly a monotheist; but the name which he uses for the Deity, ba'al samayin wa-ar-din, Baal of heaven and earth, seems to indicate a monotheism which had developed out of paganism rather than out of Judaism, since the application of the name Baal to the Divine Being ran counter to Jewish sentiment. The Christian inscription which comes later has for its author an Abrahah, clearly a variety of the name Abraham.

According to most accounts there was only one Jewish king, Dhu Nuwas, whose name figures in the Greek, Syriac, and Ethiopic sources in a variety of disguises. Arab authors say that on conversion he took the name Joseph, whereas the Ethiopic sources call him Phineas (this was a name of one Levite).

The history of this king is of great importance for that of Arabia, as his conduct is supposed to have led to an Abyssinian invasion, followed by a period of Abyssinian domination involving the establishment of Christianity in the south as the State religion, and leading to a rising which relied on Persian support and so introduced Persian suzerainty. The inscription on the mound of Marib confirms the oft-told tale to this extent, that after a unitarian period Christianity became dominant in South Arabia under one Abrahah, lieutenant of the king of Axum.

When Mohammed sent his governors into this part of Arabia, which fell into his grasp without resistance, it appears that there were both Jewish and Christian communities established there, but that the bulk of the people were still pagan. The names of the qails or chieftains are certainly Arabian; neither Judaism nor Christianity appears to have left any trace on the nomenclature.

The conversion of this king is to be put together with other evidences of Arabian movements in favour of monotheism, such as the biographers of Mohammed report and such as certain inscriptions reveal. Since Mohammed himself came near being a convert to Judaism, it might well be that when once the idea was current that paganism was no longer up to date, this king thought the Jews the best informed on religious matters, and accepted their teaching. That such a personage might persecute other sects, especially when there was a political motive for doing so, is not beyond the bounds of probability. But without an account of the affair from Jews or Judaized Arabs we may well be misled concerning the rights and wrongs thereof.

Inquiry into the affairs of these Yathribite Jews leaves on the whole a vague impression on the mind. The mere notion of Jewish tribes, comparable to the Arab tribes, has something surprising in it; when in Islamic times we meet with Israelites in Moslem cities, where the tribal organization of the Arabs was to some extent maintained, as in Basrah, there is no idea of the Jews being similarly divided into tribes; if we hear of tribes at all, they are those whose names are familiar from the Old Testament. The formula 'sons of' Banu implies ancestors.

Judaism cannot indeed be removed from the doctrines of Mohammed himself, since the Qur'an consists largely of material taken from either the Old Testament or the Jewish Oral Tradition.

The archaeologists profess to know of a Jewish king of Taima who ruled shortly before the rise of Islam. He had the Hebrew name Samuel, pronounced Samau'al, and that of his father or grandfather is given as 'Adiyah, evidently identical with the 'Adayah repeatedly found in the Old Testament.

The Christian poet 'Adi b. Zaid, who is dated 587, quite properly knows about the fate of the 'people of Nuh' or Noah.

A poet of Medinah in the Prophet's time, Qais b. al-Khatim, said that the Jews had a temple (mihrab) with a dome reaching heaven high, wherein are fragrant odours. He confirms the statement of the archaeologists that the Jewish tribes Nadir and Quraizah were called the kahinani or 'two priests'.

Samau'al asserts that he has guided a vast army in the darkness of the night, as it made for the dominions of a king, and that he had dealt faithfully.

The poet boasts of his preparations for war and speaks of the military prowess of the kahinani, in support of Qais, a tribe which sits at home while water is being warmed for them and calls our fighting sport. The two kahins are supposed to be two of the Jewish tribes of Yathrib. These verses, which in any case contain obscure allusions, are perhaps more likely to be genuine.

The son or grandson of Samau'al is said to have embraced Islam; his ancestor's verses may have been treasured in the family.

According to the poems Samau'al entertains his guests with the flesh of camels, which as a Jew he would not have been entitled to do.

If, therefore, we are justified in regarding Samau'al as an historical personage, and in supposing some basis of truth to underlie the story of his fidelity, it would seem likely that his grandfather 'Adayah was either an Arabized Jew or a Judaized Arab, who had acquired wealth and built himself a fort, much as the Yathribite Jews appear to have done. Evidently the legend envisaged Samau'al and his family as Arabs of the type depicted in the early poetry, whose interests lay in wine, women, and versification, and who acquired fame by lavish hospitality and reckless courage. This is by no means the type of Israelite depicted in the Qur'an, whose qualities more nearly resemble those of a trading community, people who had welcomed the Prophet in the hope that he would introduce order and quietness.

The Jewish kingdom in South Arabia left little impression on the North Arabian mind, and its fate in South Arabia itself was comparable to that of a still later Jewish state, whose existence would not be credible had we not contemporary authority for both its rise and fall. It is historically recorded that the Khazar nation was converted to Judaism in the time of Harun al-Rashid.

The origin of Islam from Judaism is far more than a hypothesis; for even if we regard Christianity as a coalescence of Judaism and Hellenism, and suppose the first to have influenced the beginnings of Islam, the Hellenic elements which percolated were so few as to be negligible. If we regard Islam as based on the Sabianism of Harran, that, too, appears to have been an Abrahamic system, and so not far removed from Judaism; and even the monotheism of South Arabia, of which we as yet know so little, cannot well have been unconnected with the religion of the Israelites.

The Himyari room in the British Museum, where a goodly collection of these monuments is exhibited, belonging to the three kingdoms of Saba, Main, and Hadramaut, transports us into an Arabia peopled not by illiterate nomads, but by communities great in the arts of peace no less than of war.

A House Divided

The biggest revelation from the recent conflict in Gaza was not the extent of the Hamas tunnels into Israel, nor the willingness of Hamas to sacrifice their own people, but the deep rift running through the Arab world today – which could portend major changes in the region.

Israel’s new allies

Until recently, the Arab world presented itself as a united bloc, particularly when condemning Israel for Palestinian suffering and even for Arab misery in general.

However, this large bloc is disintegrating with surprising speed. Regional powers like Turkey, Qatar and Sudan continue to bash Israel, but Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and especially Egypt have shown a new cooperative spirit with Israel.

A recent study by Khaled Abu Toameh for the Gatestone Institute noted many Arabic press reports voiced support for Israel’s military operation against Hamas. Egyptian Foreign Minister Sami Shukri squarely blamed Hamas for the mounting Palestinian casualties after it rejected Cairo’s original truce terms. A leading Egyptian commentator concurred that Hamas was responsible for Palestinian losses.

Others described Hamas rocket attacks on Israel as “idiotic” while criticising Hamas leaders in Doha for living in luxury as their people suffered. Another commentator, Azza Sami, wrote in Al-Ahram: “Thank you Netanyahu and may God give us more people like you to destroy Hamas.”

It is true that the historic rift between Sunni and Shi’a Islam has often led to conflict. But their common hatred of Israel unified the Arabs. Yet today, Israeli officials are surprised by the realignment with Jerusalem of Arab rulers opposed to radical Islamists – whether Sunni or Shi’ite.

“Who would have ever thought that Saudi Arabia and Egypt would be our allies in our struggle with Hamas,” a senior Israeli official recently told me.

Arab Spring revisited

This realignment can be seen on other fronts. Syria and Iraq are being torn apart by rival rebel groups fighting the regimes and one another. The most notorious is ISIS, which is slaughtering countless Christians as well as fellow Muslims who do not share their repressive ideology.

                                                                New countries out of Syria?

In many ways, the major reshuffle underway in the Middle East was triggered by the Arab Spring ignited in Tunisia in late 2010. Yet this hopeful ‘Spring’ quickly turned into an ‘Arab Winter’ when Egypt voted into power the radical Muslim Brotherhood. Then two years later, an estimated 15 million people (some claim 30 million) took to the streets of Cairo and other Egyptian cities to demand the end of Brotherhood rule. It is considered the largest political protest in human history.

This prompted not only a turn towards more moderate government in Egypt but it also had a ripple effect across the Arab world. Just a few weeks ago, a prominent Saudi commentator wrote that these Egyptian protestors rejecting radical Islam spoke not only for Egypt “but they represent the entire Arab world”.

The rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and the atrocities by ISIS in Syria and Iraq have triggered something which 9/11 and other acts of Islamic terrorism abroad could never achieve – an Arab backlash against radical Islam.

After the mass terror attacks in Manhattan, Madrid and London, most Arabs were silent regarding these violent acts against the ‘decadent’ West. But the sceptre of the Muslim Brotherhood, ISIS and al-Qaida has more and more Muslims today realising that Islamic extremists cannot offer any hope to the Arab world.

The Financial Times recently observed the Arab world is starting to shake off its “long state of denial”, and religious scholars and ordinary people now ask: “What is wrong with us?”

It is a fact that the Arab bloc is one of the most underdeveloped regions in our world today. Four consecutive UN development reports on the Arab states found they have the highest rates of illiteracy and greatest lack of basic rights and freedoms worldwide. For decades, the incredible Arab oil wealth did not go into education, science, research or development, but instead produced a society of consumerism reliant on Western imports.

The Arab millennials

In addition, today’s youth have become a significant force in Arab affairs. In his book “The New Arabs”, journalist Juan Cole describes how the millennial generation is changing the Middle East. These youths have greater access to information than their parents. Twitter, Facebook and Instagram are used to recruit new jihadists for ISIS, but they also give Arab Millennials a window into the free world as never before. They helped ignite the Arab Spring four years ago, and later unseated the Muslim Brotherhood in Cairo.

Their voice can even be heard in a recent manifesto released by Gazan youths, saying: “We have enough of the bearded men on our streets who want to force us what to think and how to dress.”

The last giant falling

Meanwhile, for the first time in Islam’s 1300 years of dominance in the Middle East we see large numbers of people turning to Christ. While ISIS is spreading terror, Arab pastors report unprecedented growth despite the fierce persecution. A decade before the Arab Spring, “Operation World” already reported historic church growth in almost all Muslim states, a trend that has only increased.

I remember well in the 1980s global leaders like Loren Cunningham and David Pawson came to Germany and prophesied the fall of Communism and reuniting of Germany. Some German pastors ridiculed them, as it was the height of the Cold War. But in 1989 everything changed; Communism fell and Germany soon reunified.

I also remember another message from those meetings: “The last giant which will fall after Communism is the giant of Islam.” I personally believe we are seeing today the slow collapse of the stronghold of Islam, which for centuries kept people from freely choosing their religion. It may not mean the end of Islam altogether, but the release of multitudes from a demonic bondage that held them far too long. Communism did not disappear after 1989 but what was removed was its evil, totalitarian control over people.

A region which for generations seemed impenetrable is becoming a house divided. Jesus declared: “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand.” (Matthew 12:25)

Communism enslaved Eastern Europe for 70 years, while Islam has gripped the Middle East for over 13 centuries. Therefore, change in this region might take longer and be more violent.

Yet the signs of Islam’s decline should not surprise us. For decades, Christians have prayed for revival in the 10/40 window. We need to remind ourselves that we serve a prayer-answering God.

Therefore, let us continue to pray for Israel while also recognising God loves the Arabs and beckons us to pray for them, too. He wants Arabs to be saved!

The origins of the Arab nations go back to Ishmael, son of Abraham and half-brother of Isaac. While God clearly sealed His covenant with the descendants of Isaac, Abraham also pleaded: “Oh that Ishmael might live before you!” (Genesis 17:17) And God answered:

“I will establish My covenant with him [Isaac] for an everlasting covenant, and with his descendants after him. And as for Ishmael, I have heard you. Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly. He shall beget twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation.” (Genesis 17:19–20)

The time of blessing for Ishmael seems closer than ever.

Years ago, Rabbi Benny Elon strongly challenged me: “Jürgen, please tell the churches to send more missionaries into the Islamic world.”

I asked him why, as rabbis normally are not very fond of missionaries. He replied: “If the Arabs believe what you believe, then we will have peace in the Middle East.”

May this day come soon!

2 comentarios:

  1. This is the story of history about the ten famous tribes which are no more and consider as lost this is very interesting story all the details from start to end he defined very news in urdu  i also read history corner from this source in urdu.