Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

Black Hebrews Appeal to Supreme Court for a Stay on Deportation Proceedings

January 4, 1972
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Eight Black Hebrews who were served with deportation orders in Jericho last month have appealed to the Supreme Court for a stay in order to prepare their case against the Interior Ministry. The group won a two-week delay in deportation proceedings which expires this Wednesday. The Interior Ministry meanwhile must answer an order nisi to show cause why it should not refrain from deporting the Black Hebrews.

The outcome of the case of the Jericho eight may determine the future of about 300 Black Hebrews who began coming to Israel from the US two years ago and have settled mainly in Dimona. Most of them have been living on temporary residents visas and the Interior Ministry has intimated that they will be expelled from the country when the visas expire.

The Black Hebrews claim to be descendants of the Biblical patriarchs and contend that as such they are the legitimate heirs to Israel. Israeli authorities have questioned their credentials as Jews and have rejected their bid for citizenship under the Low of Return. But if the Interior Ministry does not answer the order nisi by the appointed time, the courts will begin hearings on earlier applications by several Black Hebrews for citizenship under the Law of Return.

The Jericho group seems to have a claim of sorts. A baby girl born to one Black Hebrew fam. fly last year was registered as Jewish by the local registrar. Registrars normally accept the parents’ declaration unless there are reasons to doubt its veracity.

Recommended from JTA