The civil war that broke out recently in the northeastern Indian state of Manipur is endangering the Bnei Menashe community, necessitating their immediate rescue and resettlement in Israel, according to a Jewish group promoting immigration for crypto-Jews abroad.
Michael Freund, the Founder and Chairman of the Jerusalem-based nonprofit organization Shavei Israel which works to facilitate Aliyah for groups claiming Jewish descent, called on the Israeli government to bring the remaining members of the Bnei Menashe community in Israel to the Jewish state.
Freund and Shavei Israel had already been lobbying the Israeli government for more than 20 years for the mass Aliyah (immigration to Israel) of the Bnei Menashe.
In light of the latest unrest, Freund reiterated his call: "The area in northeastern India where the Bnei Menashe community lives is experiencing grave ethnic conflicts and its members are in real danger. Tragically, some Bnei Menashe Jews have been killed and wounded in the past day. In addition, at least two synagogues and a Torah scroll were burned."
"Only about 5,000 Bnei Menashe remain in India, all of whom wish to make their home in the Jewish state. It is time for Israel to act and bring them home to the Jewish state before more Bnei Menashe Jews are killed."
The Bnei Menashe claim to be descendants of the tribe of Manasseh, one of the Ten Lost Tribes exiled from the Land of Israel more than 2,700 years ago by the Assyrian empire.
Throughout their exile, the Bnei Menashe maintained some Jewish traditions, including observing the Sabbath, keeping kosher, celebrating the festivals, and following the laws of family purity.