When Britons Imagined Themselves to Be Descendants of the Ten Lost Tribes

According one popular legend, dating back to the 9th century and persisting even into modern times, the British polity was founded by Brutus of Troy, a descendant of Aeneas—thus linking Albion’s history to that of both ancient Greece and Rome. But others have tried to connect their national history to the Bible, a case made by John Garnier in the 1890 book Israel in Britain: A Brief Statement of the Evidences in Proof of the Israelitish Origin of the British Race. Jeffrey Maynard writes:

John Garnier was a colonel in the Royal Engineers and a prominent member of the British Israelite movement, which believed that the British were the descendants of the ten lost tribes. This small book is in my library as a curiosity—providing perhaps, for its believers, a theological justification for the British empire. It is, of course, quite fanciful.

Maynard reproduces some excerpts, in which Garnier sees Great Britain as the fulfillment of various divine promises to the Israelites:

There is the prediction that the descendants of Joseph were to possess “all the precious fruits of the earth and sea, and the chief things of the ancient mountains, and the precious things of the lasting hills” (Deut. xxxiii. 13–17). In other words, they were to possess all the valuable fruits of the earth, the products of the sea, and the vast mineral products which are chiefly found in hills and mountains.

This exactly applies to Britain and the United States. No other nation can compare to them in riches. Their iron, tin, and coal mines have been the foundation of their wealth, and they at present possess all the principal gold, silver, copper, diamond, and other mines in the world. They own all the most valuable fisheries, and the rich and increasing products of the lands they possess all over the world make them independent of any other sources of supply. So complete a fulfilment of the prophecy to the British race alone is a strong confirmation that they are the people of whom it was foretold.

It may also be remarked that the British obey all the other demands of the old covenant made with Israel. The British laws are based on those given by God to Israel, and are enforced to rich and poor alike with a justice and equity unknown to other nations. The command to help the poor and needy is also strictly obeyed, as may be seen by the numerous benevolent institutions and societies for the assistance of the poor and the suffering, and in the fact that every appeal for help in any case of undeserved hardship and suffering is immediately responded to.

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Read more at Jewish Miscellanies

More about: Hebrew Bible, Ten Lost Tribes, United Kingdom

How European Fecklessness Encourages the Islamic Republic’s Assassination Campaign

In September, Cypriot police narrowly foiled a plot by an Iranian agent to murder five Jewish businessman. This was but one of roughly a dozen similar operations that Tehran has conducted in Europe since 2015—on both Israeli or Jewish and American targets—which have left three dead. Matthew Karnitschnig traces the use of assassination as a strategic tool to the very beginning of the Islamic Republic, and explains its appeal:

In the West, assassination remains a last resort (think Osama bin Laden); in authoritarian states, it’s the first (who can forget the 2017 assassination by nerve agent of Kim Jong-nam, the playboy half-brother of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, upon his arrival in Kuala Lumpur?). For rogue states, even if the murder plots are thwarted, the regimes still win by instilling fear in their enemies’ hearts and minds. That helps explain the recent frequency. Over the course of a few months last year, Iran undertook a flurry of attacks from Latin America to Africa.

Whether such operations succeed or not, the countries behind them can be sure of one thing: they won’t be made to pay for trying. Over the years, the Russian and Iranian regimes have eliminated countless dissidents, traitors, and assorted other enemies (real and perceived) on the streets of Paris, Berlin, and even Washington, often in broad daylight. Others have been quietly abducted and sent home, where they faced sham trials and were then hanged for treason.

While there’s no shortage of criticism in the West in the wake of these crimes, there are rarely real consequences. That’s especially true in Europe, where leaders have looked the other way in the face of a variety of abuses in the hopes of reviving a deal to rein in Tehran’s nuclear-weapons program and renewing business ties.

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Read more at Politico

More about: Europe, Iran, Israeli Security, Terrorism