Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

Mukhtar of Bedouin Tribe Explains Why Tribe Wants to Adopt Judaism

August 30, 1924
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Sheikh Mustapha, the Mukhtar of the Bedouin Al-Simalni Tribe, whose intention to embrace Judaism was reported recently, has stated in an interview with Jewish visitors that there are two reasons for the tribe’s proposed action — historical and economic.

For the historic side, it was eighty years ago, he said, that a Bedouin came from Egypt to Palestine. His came was Simlon (in Hebrew, Simon) and he was of Jewish origin. He married a woman of the Egyptian tribe Nasarow, which lives in Transjordania, and had six children. The tribe Al-Simalni is descended from them. Simlon was a Jew by religion, but was forced to embrace Islam by the persecution of his Moslem neighbors. Sometime ago, the Mukhtar went on, one of the chiefs of the tribe, Ibrahim Abdualle, saw in a dream one of the fathers of the tribe, who instructed him to urge the whole tribe to return to Judaism.

For the economic side — the Al-Simalni tribe lives principally in the district of Tabgha, on the northern shores of Lake Kinoreth (Sea of Galilee) and its lands are registered in the name of a rich Moslem family, Murad, of Safed, which regards the land as in its possession because the Kushans are deposited in its hands.

Recommended from JTA