After a man from the Indian Bnei Menashe community was critically injured in a car ramming and stabbing terror attack on Friday, the head of aliyah organization Shavei Israel urged the government to bring the remaining 7,000 members of the lost tribe back to Israel as a “Zionist response.”
“In the wake of the terror attack, I call upon the Israeli government to adopt a fitting Zionist response and to immediately approve the aliyah (immigration to Israel) of the 7,000 remaining Bnei Menashe in India,” Michael Freund said in a statement.
Evenezer Khawlring, a 35-year-old father of six who made aliyah from India in 2006 and currently lives in Kiryat Arba, was waiting at the Gush Etzion junction on Friday morning when he was hit by a Palestinian terrorist driving a car and badly injured. Another man, 70, was also injured but is in moderate condition.
Khawlring remains in critical condition at the hospital after suffering a serious head wound requiring brain surgery. His wife sent out a request for prayers in a video.
“I am asking everyone to pray for him, Even Ezer, the son of Malka,” she said.
Freund said that his organization would assist and support the family. “We are all praying for his full and speedy recovery,” said Freund, who was personally acquainted with the victim.
He added, “The Bnei Menashe are descendants of a lost tribe of Israel and are part of the extended Jewish family, and their place is here with us in the Land of Israel.”
The Bnei Menashe are believed to be descendants of the lost tribe of Manasseh who ended up in India. Though 27 centuries of exile, they kept many Jewish customs, including observing the Sabbath and kosher laws and celebrating Jewish holidays.
About 1,700 members of the tribe have made aliyah with the help of Shavei Israel, including 162 members just last week, but thousands still remain in India. “Many of the Bnei Menashe have been waiting for decades to move to Israel and it is time to put an end to their suffering,” urged Freund in his statement.