Context: As the Israel-Palestine conflict is back in news, there is a focus on Jewish community among the Kukis. A section of Kukis community in Manipur and Mizoram identify themselves as Jews and have overtime emigrated to Israel.
About Bnei Menashe
- Around 5,000 Kuki tribal people live in Israel as they emigrated under Israel’s open-door policy for communities recognised as ‘Lost Jewish Tribe’ by Israel. Most of Kuki resettled in Israel live in small town of Sderot, close to Gaza.
- The community is known as Bnei Menashe in Hebrew which translates as children of Manasseh. Menashe is the first son of Joseph, revered in Judaism as the first prophet.
- Bnei Menashe claim descent from one of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel, who were sent to exile by the Assyrian Empire 2700 years ago who wandered all through Asia to settle in the Northeastern India.
- Kuki have integrated well and many of them are part of Israel Defence Forces.