Igbo Claims To Israeli Ancestry Receive Credible Boost
Repeated claims by the Igbo in Nigeria that they migrated from Israel to their present homestead may have received some credence.
Many in Nigeria easily dismiss claims that the Igbo have Israeli blood running in their veins with a wave of the hand.
But the presence of Israeli filmmakers in the West African country to shoot a documentary “exploring Jewish communities in African countries such as Kenya, Madagascar, Uganda, and Nigeria” may lend serious credence to the Igbo claim.
Efforts to link Igbo ancestry to the Christian and Jewish Holy Land resurfaced after Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, who is facing trial embarked on a mission to secure a new country for his kinsmen.
Kanu who is a British citizen has repeatedly insisted that Igbos are Jews.
Now, it appears that the Israeli may be thinking so, if the presence in Nigeria, of some filmmakers from that country is anything to go by.
A post shared on “We Were Never Lost” Facebook page appeared last Thursday. It read;
“We Were Never Lost is a project working to reconnect unknown, disconnected and re-emerging Jewish communities around the world. Our first season is set in Africa and we are currently filming our first episode on the Jews of Nigeria.
“There are many Jews in Nigeria, Igbos included and we are here only to help the local practicing and observing Jewish communities, to provide them with resources, and to document their lives, experiences and aspirations.
“We do not take any position on political movements as we are not here as politicians nor as a part of any governmental delegations.
“After days of being here our team has experienced and met some of the most amazing humans beings (Jews) in the world and we can’t wait to share their story.”
The Port Harcourt Telegraph Correspondent reports that this may bring a sense of relief to the Igbo in Nigeria who have been insisting they have Israeli roots.
“Until events began to unfold”, our Correspondent reports, “nobody in Nigeria took the Igbo claim seriously.
“But the emergence in Nigeria, of Israeli filmmakers who are doing a documentary on re-emerging Jewish communities in Africa may considerably change that picture.”
Last week, Sahara Reporters, an online newspaper, reported that the “We Were Never Lost” group met with Igbo leader, Eze Chukwuemeka Eri and presented him with a framed Shiviti made in Jerusalem.
Rochman also presented another Igbo community with a Torah scroll whose cover was designed by British-Israeli street artist Solomon Souza.
Meanwhile, security operatives who have the Israeli filmmakers in custody are asking prying questions.
The Nigerian authorities are trying to determine if the Israelis are in the country to lend support in any way to IPOB which has been proscribed.
According to the Peoples Gazette, Nigeria’s foreign ministry confirmed the arrest of the Israelis on Tuesday July 13.
It further disclosed that the Israeli Embassy in Abuja has been following up on the case.
The Israelis whose activities may lead to a diplomatic row are Rudy Rochman, a Zionist activist, filmmaker Noam Leibman and French-Israeli Journalist E. David Benaym.
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