A stay of expulsion has been granted to eight Black Hebrews who arrived in Israel in October on tourist visas and declared that Israel was their homeland "by the will of God".
GV PAN Dimona housing estate (2 shots)
MV & CU Children in courtyard (3 shots)
GV & CU Negro Jews (6 shots)
SV & CU Jews singing Jericho (5 shots)
SV & CU Two negro Jews talking to people(4 shots)
Initials SGM/1202 SGM/1218
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Background: A stay of expulsion has been granted to eight Black Hebrews who arrived in Israel in October on tourist visas and declared that Israel was their homeland "by the will of God".
The men, who belong to a sect claiming 15 million negro members -- and they are the only true descendants of the Jewish patriarchs and King Solomon -- were to have been expelled by the Ministry of the Interior. An appeal to the highest appeal court, however, resulted in the decision that the Minister of the Interior has 30 days to show why the Black Hebrews can not be regarded as Jews. (Under the Law of Return all Jews have the right to settle in Israel).
SYNOPSIS: In Israel, the definition of exactly what and who a Jew is, is again at the forefront of political debate. Here in Dimona, a small town in the Negev desert, about two hundred members of an American sect -- the Black Hebrews -- live among Israeli Jews. But they consider themselves to be the only true Jews. White Jews are false Jews, they say. Last month, eight more Black Hebrews, who arrived in Israel on tourist visas declaring that "Israel is our homeland by the will of God", were to be expelled when their visas ran out. Now, after an appeal to the highest appeal court in the country, the Ministry of the Interior has thirty days to prove that the black Hebrews are not Jews. For under the Law of Return, all Jews may settle in Israel.
The Minister, Dr Joseph Burg, has thirty days to justify his expulsion order, The Ministry is concerned that thousands of Black Hebrews, who do not observe the Jewish religion but consider themselves the only true descendants of the Jewish Tribes, will settle in Israel. Two hundred of them came on tourist visas two year ago, and were allowed to settle and work on humanitarian grounds. But they've kept very much to themselves.
The debate is an important one in terms of interpretation of rabbinical law. But to the Black Hebrews, it's a simpler matter. They say they're discriminated against because they're black.