Holding Antisemites Accountable.

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 Black Hebrew Israelites (BHI)

The Black Hebrew Israelites (BHI) is a fringe, religious movement that mimics the extremist rhetoric of the Nation of Islam (NOI) and fuels Jew-hatred and antisemitic violence. Listed as a hate group, its core agenda, which many characterize as cult-like Christian fundamentalism, is the false belief that Black Americans are the true descendants of the biblical Israelites (the 12 tribes of Israel) and that modern-day Jews are imposters who stole the religious heritage of Black people.

The BHI sect maintains that today’s Jews are religious converts who descended from the Khazars, with no historical connection to the land of Israel. Such anti-Zionism and historical revisionism entrenches BHI members in bias against Jews, ending up in the propagation of classic Jew-hatred such as Holocaust denial, and conspiratorial claims, such as Jews controlling the media.

BHI’s rejection of widely accepted definitions of Judaism has led to real-world violence and bias against Jews, including the Jersey City shootings, in which two BHI members murdered a police officer and three civilians in a four-hour gun battle at the JC Kosher supermarket. In another incident, a group of Black juveniles allegedly harassed Jewish community members in Pennsylvania, asking if they are “fake Jews” and swearing at them.

Jersey City Kosher Deli Massacre by Black Hebrew Israelites

In Brooklyn, a man was taken into custody after hurling hate-filled expletives at Jewish people, such as “you ain’t no (expletive) Israel, I’m the real (expletive) Israel.” Also in Brooklyn, hundreds of BHI supporters demonstrated outside the Barclay Center in Brooklyn, chanting, “we are the real Jews.”

Notable Black celebrities, athletes, and influencers have used their platforms to promote BHI ideology and inspire Jew-hatred, including former NFL running back Larry Alphonso Johnson Jr., NBA player Kyrie Irving, rapper Ice Cube, and disgraced recording artist Kanye “Ye” West.

Johnson has advanced Israelite theology, proclaiming that the Jewish people are fake, “Khazar Jews,” and Ice Cube has posted troubling BHI memes on Twitter. Irving was recently the subject of public outrage after promoting the BHI documentary, “Hebrews to Negroes: Wakeup Black America,” based on the book series of the same name, written by BHI member Ronald Dalton Jr.

The documentary engages in explicit Jew-hatred, pushing longstanding tropes about Jewish power and greed, and promoting global Jewish conspiracies, such as NOH leader Louis Farrakhan’s debunked lie that Jews are largely responsible for the transatlantic slave trade. The film also promotes classic antisemites, such as Adolph Hitler and Henry Ford, and argues that Jewish people engaged in cover-ups to oppress and defraud the Black community, preventing them from knowing their true identity.

Such antisemitic epithets about “fake Jews” have also been echoed by West, who continues to be explicit and unhinged in his Jew-hatred and anti-Zionism in multiple interviews and on his social media. StopAntisemitism.org named West 2022’s “Antisemite of the Year” for his relentless barrage of violent threats and conduct against Jewish people, which has resulted in real-world antisemitic acts perpetrated by BHI members, white supremacists, and other fringe groups.