Lucas Payne is the co-founder and President of Force Energy Group, LLC. His company Force Medical Supply is a division of Force Energy Group. Lucas has launched a campaign committed to donating 100,000 free masks. We sat down to discuss his business and the impact of the pandemic on society and business.
What is your motto, and how did it begin?
Lucas Payne: Our motto is “Responding to the call for Essential Equipment” (back in February 2020). But normally it’s “Factory Direct to End Customer” through my company Force Energy Group. Early on in my twenties, I learned how to buy direct. I wanted to start a company that utilized these skills, and I found a need that was not filled. We have worked with essential businesses and provided services like changing LEDs to solar panels. We were doing what we could do to mitigate costs and resources for our regular business and try to help as many people as possible. I was altruistic at first, but I realized the impact of inflating the costs of goods my original plan was not feasible. However, we were still committed to donating as much PPE as possible. This is where the campaign for 100, 000 masks came about.
I have been importing to places like China and other countries for over twenty years. Most people have to pay the middleman. If you can eliminate these costs, it will save your business in the end by buying direct. This is how we keep our business alive. Often, I was going to African-American business owners out of necessity and going through other middle people, and it would jack the price up. I got creative in my early twenties about learning how to buy direct. The main thing is keeping pricing down. How we got here is reactionary. We should not be relying mostly on foreign countries for critical care. We should try to bring some of the infrastructures back. After what we learned this year, we should be striving to make more masks and gloves here in the US and make it more readily available to the community.
Force Medical Supply was reactionary to the cause. PPE is here to stay because it is a necessity. We are committed to the highest quality of products for the lowest price possible. With manufacturing, we should not be relying on foreign countries for critical care. We should be making more masks and gloves, striving for more, and being pro-active. We are working on anti-microbial masks from the people that took Krocs from “Zero to Hero.” We partnered with Krocs and Safe-Face. The products are 95% washable and reusable masks. Next phase of production- What does personal protection look like? We will be more conscious of social distancing. I want to be able to be safe and push the limit on how we interact. I am pushing the envelope in ways like developing different types of shields and glasses.
What is Force Energy Group?
Lucas Payne: A Commercial Force Energy Service provides H factor, changing lighting to solar panels and parking lots for over ten years. We have been importing goods too, working with St. Sabina Church, and lighting at Woodfield Mall.
My team and I buy FDA approved products. We have made 25 million in six months. The increase in revenue came so quickly, and we have donated thousands of masks (toward our 100,000 PPE goal). So far, we have worked with the State of Maryland, the State of Massachusetts, the State of Illinois & the University of Illinois, the majority of schools in Ohio, Archdiocese Loyola, and New York State.
How are minorities affected by the pandemic and essential workers, and what has been your observation with this?
Lucas Payne: African Americans are disproportionately affected by this. There is a campaign for 100,000 masks to commit to. Our goal is to keep pricing down to a minimum. As far as distribution, we started with the test with first responders and firefighters. We ended up helping much more, for example, groups of nurses and home health care. In addition, countries like Nigeria and Malawi reached out to us for help. But our goal is to hit the neighborhoods of Chicago. We helped Chi Give Back with 30 teachers, gloves, masks, and sanitizers. We want to focus on community-based organizations. People that care for seniors in our neighborhoods need help too.
The black community has a history of distrust with the healthcare industry that goes back before the Tuskegee experiment. There is also misinformation about how serious this is. It is not about Democratic or Republican. This country has mixed messages. Trump knew about the virus, failed to communicate the situation’s seriousness, and was slow to take action. Poor urban folks in black communities are infected, just like poor rural Appalachian people. We are not done with this yet.
What is your advice?
Lucas Payne: How do you know when you have it? Is it the sniffles or the flu? If in doubt, get tested. To prevent the spread of germs and viruses, we can social distance ourselves, hand-sanitize, and wash our hands. Neglect and not eating well can put our bodies at risk for disease, and then we do not know the long-term effects of what the virus can do. I hope folks are taking this seriously. I think we are all in for a bumpy ride (especially this winter coming up). There is no vaccine. They stopped doing the trials. We are going to need to be diligent about how we approach a seeable future.
I have learned to pivot and respond. This is the difference between failing and being successful. I feel sorry for the restaurant and bar industry right now. We, as people and as a country, have to be ready for anything. Our past 20 years have been important, drawing from our credit and building those strong relationships with companies.
I did not know anything about medical supplies, but I learned early on in the year how to pivot. I drew on those relationships that I had built and kept my word. I drew from my network and past performances. People need to know they can trust you and put faith in your company.
What I learned in 6 months is about different styles of gloves. I learned how to be outside of my comfort zone during an economic downturn. What has hurt businesses is people not doing their homework, border patrol, and being a stronger businessman. Focus on doing good for people, and positive energy will come back to you. We have been able to support our business and move forward.
One obstacle I faced and overcame-
Lucas Payne: I did not expect the US to be so aggressive with tariffs in place. We had to pivot with bringing things from China. We strengthened our relationship with Mexico by not relying on bad policies put in place with China. We saw freight costs, expedited shipments coming across the ocean instead of air. We put the packages on boats, which cut down on the price of goods. I found the US was playing politics by not accepting emergency equipment. US contractors wanted to protect the vendors. We needed to pivot so that we could bring supplies from other countries.
Tell us about a story of gratitude-
Lucas Payne: One of my mentors instilled in me early on about commitment and loyalty. In 2008, he had a factory in an economic downturn, and he did not layoff anyone. I took the same approach with this crisis with my employees. I had responsibilities and challenges; there was a new way to approach the problem. In addition, I saw a video from an orphanage in Malawi. This showed me people could work, be safe, and use the supplies to protect themselves. We had acknowledgment from Father Pfleger, home health care nurses, teachers, and firefighters. It feels good to give back and to help people feel safe. We are dedicated to giving out 100,000 masks throughout the campaign and beyond, and we are here to serve the people.
Antonia Kirkland is Global Lead on Legal Equality & Access to Justice at Equality Now*
Credit: Equality Now, Tara Carey
NEW YORK, Sep 30 2020 (IPS) – In September 2017, Secretary-General António Guterres launched the “System-wide strategy on gender parity”, which set the goal of reaching gender parity within the United Nations by 2028 and outlined a strategy on how to achieve this, including the introduction of special measures, senior appointments, targets and accountability, amongst other things.
Three years have passed and it is heartening to hear that the UN has made significant progress towards this goal by achieving gender parity within its senior management. We look forward to the organization hopefully achieving this at all levels by 2028, or preferably sooner.
The principle of equal rights for women and men is one of the pillars upon which the UN was founded. It is rooted in the recognition that gender equality is a fundamental human right and that empowering all women is essential for a peaceful, prosperous, and sustainable world.
The blueprint to achieving this was outlined by the UN in 2015 with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which enshrines the ambition in Sustainable Development Goal 5 to “achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls”.
As an agenda-setting organisation that plays an influential role on the world stage, the UN has a responsibility to lead by example in advocating for gender equality from the inside out. This entails ensuring that women from a variety of backgrounds are equally represented at all levels of the UN system, and is necessary for both its credibility and effectiveness in applying a gender lens to its policies and programs.
An inclusive, gender-balanced and culturally diverse workforce, operating within a system that support’s women’s equal access to decision-making, will enable the UN to carry out its mandate more successfully.
Whilst it is encouraging to see the progress being made at the UN, there are still areas where commitments must be translated into effective action, and this pertains particularly to the handling of sexual abuse and harassment within the work environment, even as the workplace itself is evolving in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
It contributed to the adoption of the UN System Model Policy on Sexual Harassment by the Chief Executives Board, as well as promoting much-needed awareness raising and open discussion of the issue at the highest levels of the UN itself.
Unfortunately, this office has just been closed permanently, undermining the Secretary-General’s “zero-tolerance” policy on sexual harassment and putting into question the UN’s commitment to priortizing this as in important issue in need of addressing.
Greater attention and improvement are required regarding the handling of sexual harassment and abuse cases involving UN staff, including those in senior management. A staff survey investigating sexual harassment within the organization was carried out in 2018.
Only 17.1 percent of staff responded but of those who did, a third reported they had experienced harassment, with junior and temporary staff being particularly targeted. 12 percent of the perpetrators were in senior leadership positions and incidents were cited in which offenders were not punished or condemned, despite numerous charges being levied against them.
This type of failure was clearly illustrated when the UN’s own internal Dispute Tribunal called the “accountability gap deplorable” in a recent case involving compensation for sexual harassment committed by a previous chair of the International Civil Service Commission against a UN staff member who worked under him.
Although the chair was a UN official elected by the UN General Assembly, he was deemed to be outside the jurisdiction of the UN Secretary-General and as such, no action was taken by the Tribunal. This demonstrates a systemic failure in dealing with cases of this kind.
Sexual harassment and abuse thrive where there is a culture that fosters a lack of accountability that enables perpetrators to act with impunity. Tackling it requires clear and effective leadership to ensure the implementation of adequate safeguarding measures.
Senior management must enact changes to embed transparency across the board, tackle the continuing problem of under-reporting, and provide better support to victims and whistle-blowers who disclose allegations. Only then, will the UN truly be on course to achieve gender equality within its own ranks and stand as a role model for others.
For media enquiries and interview requests please contact Tara Carey at firstname.lastname@example.org; +44 (0)20 7304 6902; +44 (0)7971 556 340.
*Equality Now is an international human rights organisation that works to protect and promote the rights of women and girls around the world by combining grassroots activism with international, regional and national legal advocacy. It’s international network of lawyers, activists, and supporters achieve legal and systemic change by holding governments responsible for enacting and enforcing laws and policies that end legal inequality, sex trafficking, sexual violence, and harmful practices such as female genital mutilation and child marriage.
Although most people tend to think that the Jews are the nation of Israel, the truth is that the Jews (ie. from the tribe of Judah) are only one of twelve Israeli tribes. The other eleven tribes are: Revbn (commonly referred to as Reuben), Shmavn (ie. Shimon), Lvi (Levi), Zbvlvn (Zebulun), Yshshchr (Yisschar), Dn (Dan), Gd (Gad), Eshr (Asher), Nptli (Naphtali), Yvsp (Yosef), and Bnymyn (Binyamin).
If we count the members of these “lost” tribes, then the total number of Israeli’s worldwide is at least 200 million people.
The Pashtuns in Afghanistan – The Taliban Is Israeli
Here I am going to start bringing evidence to the fact that the Pashtuns in Afghanistan and Pakistan are from the lost tribes of Israel, who fell into exile when Asyria conquered the Kingdom of Israel a few thousand years ago. These Pashtuns are also the ones currently waging a war against American troops who invaded Afghanistan almost twenty years ago. They number around 50 million people.
Even though they are Muslim, many of them have a tradition that they are from the tribes of Israel, although I do not know how many of them will be willing to talk about this tradition publicly as long as the State of Israel continues to treat the United States as its best friend.
In this section of the book I quote extensively from Eliyahu Avichail’s book, “The Tribes of Israel — the Lost and The Dispersed”, because of his extensive field work in gathering evidence about the identities of Israel’s lost tribes.
Before delving into Avichail’s proofs, I would like to first mention a short movie that also speaks about the Pashtuns’ Israeli identity, and even contains interviews with Taliban organizers and village elders who acknowledge their Israeli identity:
“Quest for the Lost Tribes – Part 1”, directed by Simcha Jacobovici.
In minute 6:40 of the movie, Dr. Sayid Wahab, a local Pashtun judge, talks about how some of the Pashtuns in rural villages have a tradition of granting shelter to someone accused of murder, which is similar to the Torah commandment to provide cities of shelter to those accused of murder, until it can be determined if it was an accidental death or intentional homicide (Numbers 35, 11).
In minute 10:55, Abdullah Musakhel (ie. congregation of Musa/Moses) talks about how his grandfather would tell him that he is Israeli. The interview with Musakhel is especially interesting because he called himself a “Taliban organizer”. The Taliban is normally regarded as a fanatical Muslim group, yet, Abdullah Musakhel, an organizer within that group, still found it necessary to speak on camera with an Israeli director (Simcha Jacobovici) about their shared Israeli heritage. With that said, the interview was conducted a few decades ago, before America invaded Afghanistan. I am not so sure if Musakhel or his children would be willing to talk about their Israeli heritage now, considering that the “State” of Israel still remains one of America’s best friends in the Middle East.
In minute 11:40, Muhumad Ashrat, a village elder, says that his grandparents told him that the Jews are Pashtuns, just like the Pashtuns are Pashtuns (because both groups are part of the nation of Israel).
In addition to this movie and Avichail’s book, there is also a Facebook group for Pashtuns and Jews who want to talk about their shared Israeli identity:
“The People of Israel’s Jirga – Pashtuns and Jews” https://www.facebook.com/groups/1673613199574399
A Partial List of Proofs That the Pashtuns are Israeli
Some of them have a tradition that they are from “Bnai Yisrayel”.
Some of their tribes carry the same names as Israel’s tribes: The Yusefzai tribe – “sons of Yusef/Joseph” in Pashto; Afridi tribe, similar to the Israeli tribe of Ephraim, who was one of Joseph’s sons; Reuveni tribe, named after the Israeli tribe of Reuben; Shinari tribe, named after the tribe of Shimon; Levani tribe, named after the tribe of Levi; Dephtani tribe, like the Israeli tribe of Naphtali; Gadi tribe, after the tribe of Gad; Ashuri tribe, after the tribe of Asher; and more.
Pashtun men have Israeli names not found among other Muslims, such as Shmuel and Yisrael.
Most of them have an external appearance that is very similar to that of Mizrahi Jews, while some also have lighter skin, like Ashkenazi Jews. The Pashtuns are the only large community in Afghanistan who look so similar to the Jews, while other Afghan ethnicities tend to look more like Asians.
Parts of Afghanistan are called after places in Israel. For example, the Dashet Yehud Desert located on the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan is named after the Judean Desert – “Mdbar Yehuda“.
The Afghan royal family has a family tree dating back to the first King of Israel, Shaul, son of Kish, from the tribe of Benjamin. They claim that Afghanistan is called after Afghana, who they say was a grandson of King Shaul and the forefather of the Afghan monarchy. Aabd e Rashid is one of the most famous members of this royal family because he was one of the first Afghans to accept Islam, and, to his disgrace, he and his followers also forced many other Pashtuns to convert to Islam; there is evidence that some of the more rural tribes tried to fight and stay loyal to their Israeli traditions up until a few hundred years ago, but eventually fell under the control of the Muslim converts.
Even after converting to Israel, rural Pashtuns have still managed to keep a few of the Torah’s laws because these laws are considered part of the Pashtun tribal code, also known as Pashtunwali. In rural Pashtun areas, Pashtunwali law is viewed as more important than Islamic law, which is why many of them faithfully keep Pashtunwali, even when it contradicts Islamic laws.
Pashtunwali Contains Vestiges of Torah Law
Eliyahu Avichail contains many interviews from Jews who used to be part of Afghanistan’s small Jewish community and saw the similarities between Pashtun traditions and Torah law firsthand. Here is a list of some of these Pashtun traditions, along with a reference to how those traditions are based in Torah law:
Covering of the Blood: The Torah commands to cover the blood spilled after slaughtering an animal (Leviticus 17, 13). The Pashtuns also do this.
Circumcision on the Eight Day: Afghans are some of the only Muslims who circumcise their sons on the eight day, just as the Torah commands. Among other Muslims there is no requirement to carry out the circumcision on the eight day, which is why many of them conduct the circumcision when the boy is older.
Four Cornered Garment: Some of the tribes wear a traditional four cornered garment with strings attached to it, which is similar to the Torah commandment of tztzit (Number 15, 37).
Female Purity: Pashtun women are not supposed to touch others during their menstrual period, and when their period is over, they are supposed to wash themselves. This is similar to the Torah commandments for a woman during her state of Nida/menstrual impurity (Leviticus 15, 19).
Keeping Kosher: Unlike other Muslims, traditional Pashtuns won’t eat certain types of food that are considered unkosher according to the Torah, such as oysters, shellfish, camel meat, and horse meat. They also have a tradition of kosher birds that they are allowed to eat (Leviticus 11, 1). Many of them also do not eat meat and milk together, just as the Torah commands (Exodus 23, 19).
Keeping the Seventh Day as Shabbat: The seventh day of the week is a day of rest for the traditional Pashtuns, called “the day of Phatah”, which is similar to the Torah commandment to treat the seventh day of the week as a holy day of rest – Shabbat. In contrast, Islam claims that the sixth day is supposed to be a holy day, which is why most Muslims don’t treat Saturday as different than any other day of the week.
Passover: Some rural Pashtuns have a tradition of brushing their door posts with blood during times of plague, just as Israel was commanded to do during the plague that killed every Egyptian firstborn son. Although there is no Torah commandment to continue doing so after Israel left Egypt, this Pashtun tradition is, nonetheless, another piece of evidence that the Pashtuns are the decedents of those same Israeli’s who had to do so before leaving Egyptian slavery.
The War in Afghanistan is a War Against Amalek
America’s invasion of Afghanistan is one example of the was that has been raging between Amalek (the ancient Germanic tribes which conquered Europe 1,500 years ago) and Israel over the last thousand years.
This is true even though America did not invade Afghanistan with the stated intention of hurting Israel, but because they wanted to avenge the toppling of the Twin Towers by killing Osama Bin Laden. Now that they’ve killed Bin Laden, they are staying there because American military bases allow them to sow terror among regional leaders in Southwest Asia, so that these leaders will allow American companies unfair access to their labor force and natural resources.
Similarly, the Pashtun Israeli tribes there are not fighting Amalek because they heard that doing so is part of a Torah commandment to wipe Amalek out of existence. They just want to expel the foreigners who invaded their land almost twenty years ago because one man, Osama Bin Laden, chose to hide among them. It doesn’t help America’s case that Osama Bin Laden was assassinated in 2011, and yet, American troops still remain there at the time that I am translating this book, in the year 2020 of the Christian/secular calendar.
This has remained the case even though the Afghan Taliban has never carried out any acts of global jihad because it is a local Islamic movement, whose focus has always been on imposing Islamic law within Afghanistan – not on the whole world. That’s also the reason why the Taliban has publicly stated that it is willing to stop providing shelter to members of Al-Qaeda once America pulls its troops out of Afghanistan.
If that is the case, then why is it still correct to label the war between America and the Pashtuns as a war between Amalek and Israel?
The bottom line is that America is an Amaleki/Germanic country, while the Pashtuns are an Israeli people, which is why a war has managed to break out between them, even though they are located on opposite sides of the world. The war broke out because both of them are not only on opposite sides of the world, but on opposite sides of the moral spectrum: the Pashtuns are mostly poor and rural people who live a humble lifestyle, while the Americans are a mostly rich and urban group who live a lifestyle of promiscuity and moral abandonment, which they fund by exploiting African-Americans and Hispanics at home, and internationally exploiting almost every other non-Western nation abroad. The moral clash is what has always led to a military clash between Israel and Amalek, even when the Israelis don’t identify as Israelis and the Amalekis don’t identify as Amalek.
A historical review of the Israel-Amalek war also shows that the war between America and the Pashtuns is only one of many wars that have taken place over the last century between Israel’s lost tribes and the West, and this is a subject that I will expand upon later in the chapter, when talking about America’s wars in Asia.
Important Side Note: I do not identify with the theology of the Taliban or with some of their tactics, but I do identify with the Israeli Pashtuns, who are currently suffering from a foreign invasion and daily aerial bombardments by American planes. That has been just part of their suffering for the last 18 years.
The Kashmiris in Northern India
Similar to the Pashtuns, there are also numerous Israeli tribes in Kashmir, with names such as: Asheriya (tribe of Asher), Gada (tribe of Gad), Denad (tribe of Dan), Levi (just like the Israeli tribe of Levi), Kehan (named after the Cohen family, who are the sons of Moses’s brother, Aharon, as well as being spiritual leaders within Israel).
Similar to Afghanistan, certain areas of Kashmir have also been named after places in Israel. One such area is Goshen, located in the Ananteng region, which is perhaps named after the Goshen area of Egypt, where Israel settled during its time of enslavement there. The Israeli tribes in Kashmir most probably called it Goshen in order to remind themselves that just as they were saved from the exile in Egypt, they will also one day return to Israel from the exile in Kashmir.
Another few examples: Cohen, in the Ogtipor region, and Levi Pora, in the Handoera region.
The Pashtuns and Kashmiris share a historical connection, which is why some Kashmiris used to speak Pashto (the language of the Pashtuns), and also why some Pashtuns tribes helped the Kashmiris during a civil war there. Just as the Pashtuns continue to fight for independence from both America and Pakistan, the Kashmiris are also engaged in a struggle for independence, but in their case the foreign occupier is India.
Israeli Tribes in Africa
The Igbo in Nigeria
They are the third largest ethnic group in Nigeria, at around 30 million people. Many of them are avid supporters of Zionism, and some of them have already started treating the Torah’s commandments as something that must be kept, instead of only being talked about. The Israelis of Igbo are currently known to include members from the tribes of Dan, Naphtali, Gad, and Asher.
Approximately 15% of all Africans abducted to European and American slavery were Igbo, which makes them one of the ethnic groups to suffer the most from the Trans-Atlantic slave trade.
The slavery didn’t stop in Egypt, but continued at the hands of Western Amaleki countries, who kidnapped, tortured, and enslaved Israelis from Africa. One of the most troubling aspects of this story is that Amaleki slave holders so thoroughly oppressed the Igbo Israelis that many of them were not able to pass down the tradition of their Israeli heritage to their descendants, which is why most African-Americans have no idea whether they are Igbo Israelis or not. Some of them have even joined the American army in order to find a way out of poverty, without knowing that by serving in Afghanistan, they are helping Amalek kill and oppress their fellow Israeli brothers. We can add this to the long list of horrible byproducts of slavery, in addition to the job discrimination, police harassment, discriminatory court proceedings, and media character assassination carried out against African-Americans on a daily basis.
The way to recover from American servitude is not that much different than the path of recovery from Egyptian servitude: it requires learning and keeping the Torah, and leaving the land in which you were enslaved, so that you will not be there when they invent a new excuse for subjugating their minorities.
Although there have been quite a few academic studies proving the Igbo’s Israeli identity, the state of Israel currently refuses to formally recognize their Israeli identity because the state’s leaders fear that a formal recognition of the Igbo’s Israeliness would cause millions of Igbo’s from Nigeria to move to Israel, in which case Israel would stop being a Western state and start being a more Israeli/Yashar-Eli state. Doing so could also lead to an end to the state of Israel’s unholy alliance with the West, which is why the state’s secular leaders prefer to betray their brothers.
The irony of this situation is that the grandparents of many Israeli Jews suffered from the same time of discrimination when British warships stopped them from coming to Israel. Yet they still choose to do the same thing to their brothers with the darker skin.
I have listed a few sources about the Igbo’s Israeli identity in the article, “Better to Be a Nigger from Nigeria – A Letter”.
The Lemba in Zimbabwe, Malawi, and South Africa
They are a congregation of around seventy thousand people, who have kept certain commandments from the Torah, such as: kosher food, male circumcision, socially ostracizing those who choose to marry outside of the congregation (in order to prevent the congregation from assimilating into other cultures), sanctifying one day of the week for resting, and more.
They also have a tradition which says that they arrived to Africa by way of Yemen, after leaving Israel.
Most of them are currently Muslims or Christians, but genetic testing has shown that many of them carry the specific Y-chromosome associated with the Cohen family, who are supposed to be the spiritual leaders of Israel. This is in addition to other genetic findings.
The Rusape in Zimbabwe
There are certain resemblances between them and the Lebma, but with fewer proofs about their Israeli identity.
I will not outline these proofs here because I am trying to cover many different topics in this book, which is why I cannot expand on the full body of evidence for each lost tribe or even talk about all of the lost tribes. With that said, there is a great need for more research on this topic, and whoever decides to do so is doing a good thing.
Today, most of them are Christians, but they have a tradition which says that they are from the sons of Israel. One of their princes, Ndriana Rabarioelina, has publicly talked about his family’s Israeli identity.
Three years ago, 120 of them formally converted to Orthodox Judaism, and there are many others who would like to do so. This is in addition to a small congregation within Madagascar who engage in animal sacrifices in a way that is similar to what is written in the Torah.
There are about 25 million people in Madagascar, but I have not seen any information specifying how many of them are from the Israeli tribes.
Eliyahu Avichail’s book claims that there a few hundred thousand Israelis there who have kept some of the Torah’s commandments, such as eating kosher food. His book claims that most of them converted to Christianity, but not all of them did so by choice.
The Huassa tribe traces its lineage to the Israeli tribe of Yissachar. The Bankon and Ba-Sa tribes also trace their heritage back to Israel, and the Ba-Sa’s tribe’s name even means “in transit” in Hebrew, which could be a reference to the fact that they wanted to view their stay in Africa as a temporary transit point, until returning to Israel.
Eliyahu Avichail’s book does not talk about the Somalis, but Isaiah’s prophecy hints that those living on the Somali coast are form the tribe of Zebulun. Many of them are also fishermen, just like the tribe of Zebulun during the First Temple period.
Side Note on Somali pirates: Somali piracy began when foreign ships began taking advantage of the Somali navy’s weakness to dump industrial waste on the Somali coast. In order to stop the ships from killing off their livelihood, armed fishermen began threatening the ships. Eventually, the completely understandable desire to guard their livelihood and the environment deteriorated into the very undesirable actions of Somali piracy.
Israeli Tribes in the Far East
Japan – Tribe of Reuben
The Japanese have a history of war with China, which seems to have started since the early days of Japan, when the Japanese traveled eastwards from Israel to Japan. According to my understanding, they are from the tribe of Reuben.
Here is a list of proofs for their Israeli identity from Eliyahu Avichail’s book:
There is a Japanese organization for those who want to return to their Israeli identity, called “the Association of the Ten Tribes”. Many of them try to keep the Torah according to the mistaken interpretations of the Rabbis, but with the added addition of also ascribing importance to Jesus, even though he is a Christian idol. The movement back to the Torah is a very important step that deserves a lot of praise, but ascribing religious importance to Jesus is a big mistake, and keeping the Torah according to the mistaken interpretations of the Rabbis can only provide partial help because they are only partially keeping the Torah themselves.
There is a famous Japanese professor who has made it his specialty to trace many of the words in ancient Japanese songs back to their original Hebrew roots.
They used to have certain traditions for guarding against menstrual impurity and other types of impurity, similar to what is outlined in the Torah.
The family members of a murder victim used to be the ones who were supposed to carry out the death penalty against the murderer, which is something that the Torah also commands to do.
Unfortunately, the biggest and most important piece of evidence to the Japanese’s Israeli identity remains hidden in the High Shinto Temple.
There are certain similarities between the Shinto Temple and the Israeli Temple, such as the division of the temple into three areas of holiness: one in which any man can enter, one in which only the Cohanim/priests can enter, and one in which only the High Priest can enter (“Cohen Hagadol” in the Israeli Temple).
The holiest layer of the Israeli Temple contained the Ark of Testimony, which had carrying poles on the outside and held the stone tablets of the Ten Commandments on the inside – the fact that the Ten Commandments were engraved in stone was supposed to serve as testimony to the true version of the Ten Commandments, if any later generation were to ever forget this. The Shinto Temple also contains a similar ark with carrying poles on the outside and a holy document kept inside, which is why they call their ark the “Ark of the Book”.
The similarity between the two arks is because Japan’s Israeli forefathers wanted the document and holy objects contained in the “Ark of the Book” to provide testimony about Japan’s Israeli identity to any later generations who might forget where they came from. These forefathers tried to copy the method used in the Israeli ark, but the problem is that most Japanese have, in fact, forgotten their Israeli identity, while the Shinto priests seem to have forgotten that the whole point of the “Ark of the Book” is that they show it to any Japanese generation who forgets their Israeli identity.
Eliyahu Avichail claims that the Japanese he visited with told him that one of these artifacts is a sword with the Hebrews words “I will be that which I will be” engraved upon it, which is exactly what Yhvh told Moses when commanding him to go to Pharaoh and lead Israel out of Egypt – אהיה אשר אהיה. The Shinto priests bring this sword with them to certain rituals of the Japanese royal family, but keep it wrapped, so that the public won’t see.
The time for publicly showing these artifacts is long past due.
Korea – Tribe of Gad
Eliyahu Avichail’s book does not talk about the Koreans, but a few years ago I read that there may be a connection between them and Israel because of the origins of the Korean tribe of Buyeo. Isaiah’s prophecy also contains hints about their Israeli heritage, and there the Korean Peninsula is referred to by the Hebrew name Erym/ארים – אר ים, which is in contrast to the name given to the Americas – איים – אי ים.
Currently, there are many South Koreans who learn the Babylonian Talmud currently used by the Jews out of a desire to become smart and successful, just like the Jews. The decision to express their desire for success by trying to learn a Jewish interpretation to the Torah is an expression of a larger desire to rediscover their Israeli identity, which is something positive, but it’s better to simply open the Written Torah and learn it yourself, instead of doing so through the lens of mistaken Rabbinic interpretations. Why learn a translation of the Rabbinic interpretation to the Written Torah (ie. the Babylonian Talmud, translated to Korean), when you can at least learn a translation of the Written Torah itself, without the addition of the Rabbinic commentary?
[The best would be to learn the written Torah in its original language, Hebrew, but that is something which can only be attained as part of a gradual process of learning.]
In my opinion, the Korean’s decision to attain success by learning from another Israeli tribe is at least partial proof of their Israeli identity because many nations want to be successful, but most of them do not express that desire by connecting with Israel. The fact that the Koreans chose to express that desire by connecting with another Israeli tribe at least shows that they have Israeli tendencies.
I currently haven’t found any evidence to prove that they are specifically from the tribe of Gad, except for the fact that Gad and Reuben were both located on the eastern border of Israel during the First Temple Period, which is similar to the way in which the Koreans and Japanese have settled in the Far East.
Both countries have also suffered from wars with the United States – Amalek. Japan was conquered by the U.S.A. in World War Two, while South Korea was conquered in the 1950’s, during the Korean-American war. The defeat suffered by both countries was so great that both have surrendered to the fact that American troops and military bases will continue to remain on their soil with no end in sight. Unlike Japan, the United States had no clear justification for their invasion of Korea, other than the fake slogan that there was a need “to fight communism”. Amaleki countries almost always come up with some sort of moral excuse to explain their conquests, even though the true reason has always been to sow fear among world leaders and then extort them.
All of this is in addition to the economic sanctions placed upon North Korea since it succeeded in repelling the American invasion. The sanctions have not really helped topple North Korea’s evil dictatorship, which is why the ruling family there still continue to live in decadent luxury. But it has caused millions of North Koreans to suffer from malnutrition and starvation.
Instead of cooperating with those sanctions, we need to start imposing our own set of sanctions on America and Europe. At the very least, we need to stop helping Amalek starve the North Koreans.
Proof of the Connection Between Korea and Japan
There is some proof of a connection between the Japanese ruling family and the Koreans, especially with the Baekje Kingdom in Korea, which is called Kudara in Japan. For example, in the Battle of Baekgang, the Japanese sent tens of thousands of soldiers to help their allies in an internal Korean war, but lost, and had to evacuate thousands of Korean refugees to Japan in order to save them.
Japan’s previous Emperor, called Emperor Ahito, publicly talked about this connection when quoting a document called the Shoku Nihongi. The Samguk Sagi also talks about a historical connection between the two, although it does so through the use of mythical stories.
The Shilong in Burma and India, and the Kerans in Burma
The Kerans fled China in the distant past and are now fighting for independence from Burma. I have not seen much evidence of their Israeli identity other than the fact that the Shilong say that they are related to the Kerans, and there is plenty of evidence to the Israeli identity of the Shilong.
Some of the Shilong currently live in Israel, after converting to Orthodox Judaism. They identify themselves as members of the Joseph subtribes, Ephraim and Menasheh.
Many of those who have stayed in Asia still keep practices that are similar to what is outlined in the Torah, such as:
They abide by a lunar calendar.
Eating blood is prohibited.
They keep the laws pertaining to menstrual impurity and leprosy, to a certain extent.
They give a tenth of their income to their spiritual leaders, which is similar to the Torah commandment to give a tenth of one’s income to the tribe of Levi, who then must separate ten percent of that and give it to the Cohen family.
The Chiang Min in North-West China
They also keep some traditions that are similar to those written the Torah, such as bringing part of their fields produce to the spiritual leaders. They also tend to throw blood on their door posts in order to guard the home, which is similar to what Israel was commanded to do when leaving Egypt.
Israelis Who Completely Assimilated
The Anusim in Portugal
Many Jews were forced to convert to Christianity or die during the Spanish Inquisition, and they are called Anusim in Hebrew. Common estimates maintain that around one third of the Portuguese are descendants from these Jews. This is in addition to the Jews who fled to South America out of the hope that the Spanish would not persecute them there; that hope was, unfortunately, short-lived for many of them.
Eliyahu Avichail’s book claims that many Israelis living in the area of Kurdistan assimilated into Kurdish society and now consider themselves to be Kurdish Muslims. I have yet to see proof of this, but Avichail was the one who actually traveled around the world and saw many of the proofs written in his book with his own eyes, which is why I don’t doubt his claim.
While he mostly wrote about Jews who assimilated to Kurdish society after the destruction of the First Temple, some Jews were forced to do so in the not-so-distant past because of the anti-Semitic riots that rocked the Arab world upon the creation of the state of Israel.
I have read in the news how some of the Jews would currently like to return to their Jewish roots and move to Israel, but the state is unwilling to recognize them as Jews because they only have a Jewish father, instead of a Jewish mother. This is an example of the very significant negative effects that mistaken Rabbinic law can have on the lives of others because the decision to only recognize the sons of Jewish mothers, instead of Jewish fathers, completely contradicts the Written Torah. In the Written Torah, the son of an Israeli father and non-Israeli mother is Israeli, but the son of an Israeli mother and non-Israeli father is considered to be a part of his father’s nation, and not his mother’s. He can accept the Torah’s commandments and be a part of the congregation, but he is not an Israeli; he is a righteous member of another nation, who will receive reward for choosing to keep the Torah.
Just as tribal identity is passed down from the father, Israeli identity is also passed down from the father, because tribal identity and Israeli identity are inseparable.
There are people in Kurdistan whose lives may one day be at stake because of the Rabbinic refusal to return to the original document of the Torah. Now is the time to fix the mistakes of our forefathers, whether they were Muslims in Afghanistan, Christians in Africa, or Rabbis.
Website Describing Many of the Lost Tribes
For a description of the many Israeli tribes in Africa, Pashtun Afghanistan, Japan, Korea, and more, this website may come in handy: https://shavei.org
It’s available in a few languages.
The show “Kings of Kin” – brings together the work of Chéri Samba (pictured above), Bodys Isek Kingelez and Moké, known affectionately as the kings of Kinshasa, as their art is closely linked with the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, their home and work base. Credit: AD McKenzie
PARIS, Sep 28 2020 (IPS) – Chéri Samba has a sly sense of humour, both in person and in his work. Standing in front of his 2018 painting “J’aime le jeu de relais” (I Love the Relays) – which criticizes politicians who cling to power instead of passing the baton – Samba is asked about the resemblance of one of his subjects to a famous statesman.
“Oh, I was just portraying a politician in general. I didn’t really have a particular person in mind because they all have certain characteristics,” he responds. Then he adds mischievously, “Isn’t it me though? Doesn’t it look like me?”
In this case it doesn’t, but the Congolese artist sometimes depicts himself in various guises in his paintings. Visitors to the current exhibition in Paris featuring his work and those of two of his equally acclaimed countrymen will have fun trying to spot him on canvas.
The show – Kings of Kin – brings together the work of Samba, Bodys Isek Kingelez and Moké, known affectionately as the kings of Kinshasa, as their art is closely linked with the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, their home and work base. All three have participated in numerous exhibitions around the world, in group and solo shows, but this is the first time they’re being shown together in galleries.
Kings of Kin is being held jointly at the MAGNIN-A and the Natalie Seroussi galleries (running until Oct. 30) and features some 30 works, including Samba’s latest paintings. He is undoubtedly the star attraction with his bold, massive canvases commenting on social and political issues in Africa and elsewhere, but the others command attention as well.
Samba also is the only surviving “king” as Moké died in 2001 and Kingelez in 2015.
On a recent unseasonably hot afternoon, the artist is present at the MAGNIN-A gallery, speaking with a visitor who’s wearing a mask, although he himself is without one. He says he came to Paris in January, then got caught in the lockdown as the Covid-19 pandemic spread in France. He has used the time to complete several paintings for the current show.
Asked if he doesn’t miss the “inspiration” that Kinshasa provides, Samba replies that all artists should be able to produce work wherever they find themselves.
“I live in the world, and I breathe as if I’m in Kinshasa,” he says. “In my head, I want to live where I can speak with people and where they understand me. I travel with the same brain. I would like to be in Kinshasa, but this doesn’t prevent me from creating. The world belongs to all of us.”
His new paintings fill the entry and the main hall of the MAGNIN-A gallery, with bright greens, reds, blues – inviting viewers into his mind or current state of world awareness.
The first work that strikes the eye is “Merci, merci je suis dans la zone verte” (Thank you, thank you I’m in the green zone), which depicts a man – the artist – seemingly caught in a vortex of some sort. Painted this year, the painting reflects the current global upheavals with the Covid-19 and other ills. It could also be referencing the DRC’s past under brutal colonialism and the difficulties of the present.
Another equally compelling work features the faces of six girls of different ethnicities, produced in acrylic with particles of glitter, and titled: “On Est Tout Pareils” (We’re All the Same). Samba says that his daughter served as the model and that the painting is a call for peace, equality and the ability to live together without discord.
The oldest of his paintings on display dates from 1989 and reveals a very different style, with softer colours and intricate workmanship, as he portrays a Congolese singer – the late feminist performer M’Pongo Love – wearing an attractive dress. Here the broad strokes are absent, and the designs on the dress are meticulously captured.
He says that although viewers may notice variations between his earlier output and the new works, he tends not to take note of such differences.
“All the paintings are like my children,” he says. “I can’t make distinctions between them.”
In contrast to Samba, the paintings by Moké comprise softer hues and have a more earthy feel, but they also compel the viewer to see into the lives of those depicted. Moké’s subjects nearly always elicit a certain empathy, a certain melancholy, and sometimes hope – whether these subjects are performers or an older couple simply having dinner together.
Moké lived for only 51 years, but his output was impressive – dating from the time he arrived in Kinshasa as a child and began painting urban landscapes on cardboard. He considered himself a “painter-journalist” and portrayed the everyday life of the capital, including political happenings. One of his paintings from 1965 depicts then-general Mobutu Sese Seko waving to the crowds as he came to power in Zaire (the previous name of the DRC).
In the Paris show, Moké’s paintings depict boxers, performers, frenetic city scenes, and portraits of women staring out with expressions that are both bold and solemn.
Meanwhile, the work of Kingelez takes viewers into a sphere of colourful towers and other “weird and wonderful” structures with a utopian bent, as he imagines a world that might possibly rise from the ravages of colonialism, inequity and bad urban planning.
The first Congolese artist to have a retrospective exhibition at New York’s Museum of Modern Art (“City Dreams” in 2018), Kingelez used everyday objects such as paper, cardboard and plastic to produce his first individual sculptures before creating whole fantastical cities.
His futuristic urban settings, which also address social issues, thus form a perfect companion to the “surreal earthliness” of Samba and Moké in Kings of Kin.
“These are artists who worked because of deep necessity, because they had something to say. It wasn’t about the art market or commerce,” said French gallery owner and independent curator André Magnin, who first encountered their work in the 1980s in Kinshasa.
The author of several books on Congolese art, Magnin said he hoped visitors to the exhibition would discover the unique “artistic richness” of the Congo region as exemplified by the “kings”. As for “queens”, he said that there weren’t many women artists working at the time, but that more are now becoming known and should be the focus of coming shows.
Dorine, a French art student of African descent who visited the exhibition, said she admired the artists and particularly Samba because he “speaks of African reality”.
“Their work is very interesting, and the message is extremely strong,” she told SWAN.
Special Issue on the contributions of non-governmental organisations and civil society to agricultural and rural development
– Involving local communities in setting the agricultural development agenda – Ten years of opportunities to improve the lives of family farmers – BRAC’s contributions to agricultural development – Updated data sets for more efficient investment strategies for family farms – Can food production keep up with population increase in Malawi?
– Northern civil society in agriculture in the South: a failure? – A systems approach to unlock the potential of African agriculture – Promoting biodiversity and livelihoods through community forest restoration – Introducing the new Chair of TAA – Alternative livelihoods in an opium-based agricultural economy – News from NGO institutional members