Mizo community safe amidst Israeli-Hamas conflict

In a recent communication to the Mizo newspaper, Zoram Chronicle, Asriel, the Secretary of Shavei Israel Mizoram Chapter, has affirmed the safety and well-being of the Mizo community in Israel. The Mizo and Manipuri communities, numbering around 1500 from Mizoram and 3500 from Manipur, have found a new home in Israel as part of the belief that they are descendants of the mythical ‘Lost Tribe’ of Israel, Menashe. Additionally, approximately 800 to 900 individuals are still awaiting relocation to the country.

The theory suggesting a connection between the Mizo and Manipuri communities and the ancient Israelites, known as Bnei Menashe (BM), gained official recognition in April 2005. This significant development occurred when the Sephardi Chief Rabbinate of Israel, Shlomo Amar, officially acknowledged them as the descendants of the ancient Israelites.

One remarkable aspect of this community’s presence in Israel is its active participation in various facets of Israeli society. A considerable number of Mizo and Manipuri individuals, including women, have chosen to serve in the Israel Defense Forces. Some have even achieved coveted positions in elite Israeli armed corps, while others work as nurses and caregivers.

A significant portion of the community has found employment in the agricultural sector, particularly in greenhouses and farmlands. This labor force plays a pivotal role in meeting approximately 70 percent of the demand for fresh vegetables and fruits in Jerusalem markets, highlighting their indispensable contributions to the nation’s food supply.

The historical connection between Mizoram and Israel traces back to the 1980s when a senior Rabbi, Eliyahu Avichail, embarked on a mission to explore the potential link between the Mizo community and the lost tribes of Israel. Rabbi Avichail’s endeavors led to the founding of “Amishav,” an organization dedicated to locating and uniting descendants of the lost tribes of Israel.

The Palestinian militant organization Hamas initiated an unprecedented offensive against Israel, involving the infiltration of hundreds of armed individuals into communities near the Gaza Strip. The conflict has resulted in the tragic loss of over 1,300 Israeli lives, with several Israeli soldiers and civilians, including women and children, held captive in Gaza.

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On the Palestinian side, more than 1,300 individuals have also lost their lives due to numerous airstrikes conducted by Israel’s military in response to the situation. Furthermore, Israel has implemented a comprehensive blockade on Gaza, leading to the denial of essential provisions, including food and fuel, to the territory.

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