I want to introduce Ben Ammi Ben-Israel the leader of the largest resettlement of African Americans over the past 30 years. In the 1960s, he led 350 African Americans over to Liberia; and in 1969, to Israel; to form the African American Hebrew Israelites in Jerusalem. Touting that Israel is the promise land for African Americans, he and his people, of an estimated 2,000+, have been fighting for permanent citizenship in Israel. Known there as the Black Hebrews, he and his group believes in the Bible as a history book; and touts a healthy lifestyle shared with the wider community through its Soul Vegetarian restaurants, within 14 markets worldwide, including Atlanta. The highly sought-after, divine preventive, the health system they also tout is fundamental to eradicate the major common causes of death found in the western world. Vanderbilt University, and other academic and scientific institutions have researched it. They are also known for their organic farm cooperative, and god-centered education system. He has also been profiled in the BBC, Dallas Morning News, Jerusalem Post, etc. The leader of the African Hebrew Israelites in Jerusalem, Mr. Ammi is in the studio with us welcome sir, and thank you for joining us.
Mr. Ammi: Thank you. I am honored to be here, Rob; to share in the good news of the coming of the Kingdom of God to our people.
So why are you in Atlanta? What brings you to America?
Mr. Ammi: My main objective, is I am trying to influence the direction of the struggle of our people, and to change that struggle from one that is secular, political, and economic, to one that is spiritual and redemptive. Our people have been involved over the last 400 years in a secular struggle; and in a secular struggle, you cannot invoke God into your struggle, on your side. I am simply saying that our problems are spiritual; and subsequently, our struggle has to be spiritual; wherein that we are fighting to advance the interests of God on this Earth.
There are a lot of things that you have written several six in front of me including The God; God, The Black Man, and Truth; God and The Law of Relativity it goes on and on. It seems like you are fairly involved in disseminating information through your work, sir. Let me ask, how is that progressing? And how large is your group of people in America?
Mr. Ammi: In America, those that are active, I would think at least 20,000; worldwide, about 30,000. Im relatively pleased to some extent, but I do find a problem, with the ability of our people to hear. Our people continue to have dull ears when we refer to the name God. You see, because they continue to confuse religion and righteousness. And my writings are continuously an attempt to differentiate religion and righteousness; religion fashions you in the image of man, and righteousness fashions you in the image of God. But my people, when I say God, they automatically think religion, and subsequently, they think Im trying to influence or change their religion, and they become defensive! In fact, I am not referring to religion at all! Religion only requires that you follow the traditions of that religion. You can find a religion that will allow you to do whatever it is that you desire to do, because it fashions you in the image of man; righteousness is not that lenient. Righteousness will fashion you in the image of God. And because they do not understand the difference, they continue to be involved in all the problems that continuously beset our people. All of the problems that continuously beset our people are the result of a spiritual problem there is a conflict between the direction of our people, and the direction that The Creator desires for them to go.
Now, its interesting that you should mention religion; I know that you dont believe in organized religion, according to a source
Mr. Ammi: Right. Because, when we go to The Bible again, nowhere from Genesis to Malachi has The Creator ever authorized the freedom of religion. The First Commandment states, I am the Lord thy God, thou shall have no other gods before me. Nowhere in The Bible have people ever been authorized to allow freedom of religion! There is only one God, and it is for that reason we continue to teach our people; it is for that reason I am here today; organized religion has not solved the problems of our people! We have to apply knowledge no religion comes without being attached to knowledge.
Now, your complex is in Dimona, Israel right?
Mr. Ammi: The center of our community is in Dimona.
Isnt that an organized religion? To have a center, where people are educated isnt that organized?
Mr. Ammi: No, absolutely not! See, again, we go back to the laws of The Bible, when our fathers came out of Ancient Egypt. When our fathers were coming out of Ancient Egypt, Moses was not giving them a religion; he was giving them a way of life. You see, it is not a religion to love God; it is not a religion to dress properly; it is not a religion to have an ecology of people all through The Bible, the creator was trying to make us into an ecology of people! Religion continues to cause division in the midst of our people.
Your leaders continue to cause you to compromise with that which is wrong; and that which will maintain your present predicament. I am saying that [you should] accept that there is new leadership, [and without it] there will never be a new direction. If we will go back to June of 1999, we find that recently, our people have inducted President Bill Clinton into the Black Hall of Fame! They say he was the first white Black President! But in June of 1999, President Clinton proclaimed that the month of June would be Gay Pride Month! Now, Gay Pride Month and our people have endorsed him as the best President for black people? Can you see what I am referring to? Perversion is in complete opposition to God. Our people have got to be led back to The Creator!
You believe very heavily in The Old Testament, right?
Mr. Ammi: Right.
And how reliant is your religion on The Old Testament?
Mr. Ammi: In its entirety.
In The Old Testament, and other books sacrifices are very prevalent. Do you still believe sacrifices are needed?
Mr. Ammi: Absolutely not. We have to understand when our fathers were coming out of Ancient Egypt, Moses first of all had to structure many of the habits that our people had picked up in Egypt; before he could actually begin to guide them into the newness of God! Many of the things he allowed them to do, he simply put the best structure there, as he continued to guide them back to The Creator! In our generation, we must extract the eternal idea there are things we must do to cause The Creator to draw nigh close unto us. In our generation there will be no sacrifices of animals in the temple; because the temple will be spiritual.
Speaking of spiritual youve answered the question about sacrifices so if you are relying solely on The Old Testament what of The New Testament? Why not deal with that, either?
Mr. Ammi: Because we have to go back history no one starts reading a book in the middle, and starts to understand the book! You see, one of the cornerstones of Eurocentric theological institutions is that The Old Testament has been fulfilled; I would question them why did they say that The Old Testament has been fulfilled when they were discarding all of the words of the ancient prophets and the Law of Moses? But Im simply saying that in order to understand The New Testament; you must go back and read The Bible, from Genesis to Malachi. For example, let us take the names of the books of The New Testament: Mark, Matthew, Luke, John, and other participants, Titus, Phillip, Paul. Now when you hear those names, do you think African or European? There is a reason why those names are there: there was no one in antiquity by the name of Matthew; there was no one in antiquity by the name of Mark; there was no one in antiquity by the name of Jesus Christ! All of these things came into existence the name Jesus Christ was never heard in antiquity! It only came into existence in the last 500 years! Now Im simply saying this when we go back, the writers of The New Testament were Hellenists! These were Hellenists, that Yeshiva the Hebrew Messiah, the Hebrew Anointed Person did not start a new religion. He came in opposition to established religion, because established religion as it is today, was a part of the social system that was oppressing our people!
The land that youve chosen well in Dimona have you chosen it, or was it just given to you by the government [of Israel] as a concession?
Mr. Ammi: Where we, where were settled at, we were divined there by destiny. We, being Israelites, descendants of the tribe of Judah, up on our initial return we would have had to be settled at Judea; and Dimona is in southern Judea.
Now, there are some concerns that the land is actually sound there used to be a nuclear facility around it. Are your people safe?
Mr. Ammi: Absolutely. Because, though we walk in the valley under the shadow of death, we fear no evil; neither are we naïve, but one thing we know: applied truth will cause you to be protected from the forces of evil!
All right; I want to get a caller up: Virginia youre up!
Virginia: Greetings, Dr. Ben Ammi. Sir, I just had an inclination this morning; I feel like I am Israelite. I had an inclination that we walked across Siberia years and years ago! I dont know how true it is; I had one when I was small, about the Jews. I feel very closely related to the Jews; could you tell me do you think that all peoples supposed to go to Israel?
Mr. Ammi: No, all people are not to return to Israel. But I do want to say, historically, that a significant number of slaves that were brought into captivity in America are in fact descendants of the biblical Israelites. It is for that reason that we continue to cause our people to go back and review their history; and it is for that reason that they have been cut off from their history! Because history controls destiny! No, not all people are not to return to Israel, but we are to return to Israel; and to continue to fulfill our chosen role: to become a light then, unto all of the nations! The nations today are walking in darkness simply because our people continue to remain under the dominion of those that are the authors of that darkness.
Do you include anyone thats not black, in that chosen few?
Mr. Ammi: Absolutely! The gospel of truth is for all men, and the house of prayer of Israel is a house of prayer for all of the human family. As a matter of fact, Rob, we are motivated by our love for humanity! You see we are motivated by our love for our people and the love for humanity. The reason why we can stay focused is because we know what we are doing is right; and accept that if we dont succeed, there will literally be no flesh alive on this planet!
Let me ask you, why is citizenship so important to your people in Israel?
Mr. Ammi: It is not that citizenship is so important; it is the land of Israel that is so important for us, if we will never attain complete citizenship. Because we had to return to the promise land, as if had been prophesized by Isaiah the Prophet in the second chapter, verses 1 thru 3: And law shall go forth from Zion and the word of God from Jerusalem. We had to get back to the chosen spiritual center for our people; in order to activate a spiritual movement, which would set forth the redemptive movement for our people. In the beginning, when the vision came, we were guided back to the promise land of Israel.
Since you use the word Savior when talking about yourself, what are the provisions within the community, to take care of the community, should something happen to you? In the event of your death, what is the line of succession? Is there one in place, is there one needed?
Mr. Ammi: No again Rob, it is the spirit that beckoned it. My people are well taught. My people I have infused in them this truth; my flesh is of no significance. It is the word that I speak, the truth that I speak, that is deeply imbedded in their souls. So I take on many forms and fashions today; because I am simply a word. I am a doctrine; I am truth. And this truth has come, not a flesh. I cannot in the flesh I am flesh, blood, and spirit but it is the spirit I possess; the spirit the ancient prophets possess, that is of such significance to the redemption of our people!
So will that be reincarnated in someone else? Or is there someone who is going to take control of the community? What happens to the community in the event of your death? I do not understand your answer
Mr. Ammi: No there are no plans for my death, first of all. Even in the course of our teachings, because death is not our friend. We are in war against death, simply because the promise in the beginning was eternal life. If by chance I would be called to be with the fathers, then The God of Creation would have to designate it wont come by vote, like in liberal democracy; he would have to make the decision as to who it would be that would take my place. I have no plans to retire, or make my transition.
Im sure you dont I understand the designation has to take place, but doesnt that risk parts of the movement branching off, because theres no selection?
Mr. Ammi: Absolutely not. This is not that kind of a movement. You see we have come in harmony with Daniel, the second chapter, in the 44th verse. I had to return to the promise land, according to the will of God, in a vision that came in 1966, to establish the long awaited Kingdom of God. You see I am here on this Earth as a representative of another king that is much greater than I The King of the Universe! So, this is not a movement, this is not a cult, this is not a sect this is the prophesized Kingdom of God, in its inception!
Now I know that youre vegans. The community thats what they practice. How important is that to eradicating all the illnesses we see in this country? What is your secret? I dare ask, how old are you?
Mr. Ammi: That is an excellent question Rob. We look today, and we see a multiplicity of diseases and ailments affecting our people. And someone is misleading them 86% of our people are not aware that diet influences health. That is a sad state of affairs, its documented 86% of African Americans do not know that what theyre eating affects their health! Now, we have to go back to those leaders again, but what weve done, we had to go back to the new beginning in the Book of Genesis. We find that it is written in The Bible, God created man Adam from the dirt; from the dust of the earth. So now, if in fact we were created from the dirt of the earth, there would have to be some synergy between us and the earth! Let us consider, there are 112 minerals in the earth; you have 112 minerals in your body. There is iron, calcium, phosphorus, manganese, and all of those minerals that you find but in his infinite wisdom, he knew we could not consume them as ores! So what did he do? I cannot go out and hack off a piece of iron, and internalize it, consume it, and metabolize it. But what did he do? Knowing in fact, that we were products of the earth, and it was a necessity for us to have those minerals, he caused plants, to grow from the same earth from which we were created; to supply us with all the vitamins and minerals that would be needed to sustain our lives. But as we fell away from God, and the promise to Cain is that the earth would not yield its increase unto Cain Cain in defiance of God, had to find another source to supply his vitamins and minerals. And he then instituted the diet based upon the slaying of animals; the diet of blood is the diet of the curse! We must go back, we had to go back to eat from the source from which we were created! And after we had achieved that, I can give you some statistics in 33 years, we have only lost two brothers to a medical problem; thirty- three years, were talking about tens of thousands of individuals. Weve never had one case of prostate cancer; one case of kidney failure; weve never had one case of cancer; weve had two cases of stroke; weve never had one case, in all the saints of the land, of diabetes thats a miracle in the desert! You would think, with statistics like that, that the African American Medical Association, the black scientists you would think that they would be beating down our doors to find out how we have achieved this miracle in the desert. Not one delegation of black doctors, black scientists have ever come to Dimona. Why? Because they do not have best interests of our people at heart! Im saying these things publicly! We have achieved these things, because we went back to consume from source which we were created!
Mr. Parker, youre up and aboard with Mr. Ammi!
Mr. Parker: Mr. Ammi, how are you?
Mr. Ammi: Fine, thank you.
Mr. Parker: I think I met members of your organization in 2002 at the Georgia State University National Reparations Symposium. They represented your organization very well.
Mr. Ammi: Thank you.
Mr. Parker: I believe the lecturer was saying something to the extent that we should repatriate to the land of our origin; and expatriate from this land that we call the United States of America. I imagine it would be hard for Negroes in America to give up their pigs feet, Cadillacs, and white women; and go off to the barren land in the desert it would probably be difficult to get us to leave but I want to compliment you and your organization, for doing that in the 1960s. Its always been a mystery to me, but Ive always felt, deep in my heart, that I was in the belly of the beast and Ive always had this yearning to go back to where it is I need to be! Having said that, is there a time period, in which we must leave from this existence we are living in here? And come back to the motherland, if you will? Is there a time period involved here?
Mr. Ammi: Yes, you see, the redemptive process for our people has been set in motion, with our return to the promise land, and the establishing of the Kingdom of God. So, what I am also doing at this time, with representatives of our community, were in search of volunteers to partake of a spiritual social experiment a voluntary resettlement plan for 80,000 African Americans, or 20,000 families, in four English-speaking countries and the West Africa. We have the prototype now, in Israel; and when you have a prototype, it is just a matter of expansion. We now will be establishing or replicating the community in Israel, in four African countries; we are in fact, in the process of establishing those villages to receive our people. I say voluntary, because they are experimenting with everything else here in states! They are experimenting with prisons on the stock market, boot camps I am simply saying, experiment with us! Allow, if there are to be reparations, I am simply saying at this point in our history, we must put our faith in ourselves! Im saying, what we must do now is that there has to be a resettlement plan. Were looking for 20,000 families, 80,000 African Americans, for a voluntary nothing [bad], no one being coerced, give us the opportunity; since we were brought here by force, give us the opportunity to be resettled in our land, if it is the desire of the individual, then the United States government should assist them! The prototype now exists in Israel. We know how to establish our institutions we bare witness that it will work! We are a testimony, of the great miracles that will flow from the midst of our people, if in fact they go back, and begin to govern themselves!
Jacob, youre up!
Jacob: Yes, how are you doing, sir?
Mr. Ammi: Fine, thank you.
Jacob: Yes, I am also a Hebrew Israelite and I am a part of a congregation here in Atlanta, called New Coming of The God of Israel. And we believe that The New Testament does nothing but repeat what is in The Old Testament my issue, brother and I greatly honor you sir, for what you have done, and your children of Israel; and trying to get this prophecy out there that there is another hope our hope is not here in America! And in reality, prophecy is telling us that America is going to fall and we dont want to believe it. We have another issue of the [U.S.] Constitution we believe that mans law is greater than Gods law, and could you expound on us, because even in our other captivities our great challenge was to worship our God instead of the god of our captors. Thank you for coming
All right, Jacob, thank you for your phone call; go ahead, sir.
Mr. Ammi: The objective of the captors has always been to keep a division between the children of Israel and The Creator. We cannot escape this predicament except that we are reconciled with The Creator. So when you go back, and mention the Constitution you know, that our people, of all religious faiths and beliefs, we must understand that no religion, or belief, or god, is disconnected from knowledge. All of them come with a form of knowledge that is taught, and their adherents must apply that knowledge! In 2002, I implore our people, in 2002, there is time for an assessment. Why? Because we are capable now of assessing, nothing is born in a vacuum. If you are a Christian, if you are a Hebrew, if you are Muslim, if you are Hindu, it comes connected with knowledge. And when we behold the predicament today, that all of the knowledge has been applied, and the predicament has prevailed, I am simply saying that it requires the application of a new knowledge; it requires the application of redemptive knowledge! The knowledge of another god, the only God on record for delivering our people from the hands of Pharaoh!
R.B., youre up!
R.B.: Yes, sir! I just wanted to know your take on the turmoil between the Israelis and the Palestinians, and does that affect your colony over in Israel?
Mr. Ammi: Were very safe; see thats a secular struggle, ours is a spiritual struggle. We are bringing a message to all the inhabitants of the land that peace can only be achieved through righteousness; that is to do what is good and what is right, first, in the eyes of God, and then to each other. But there are no long lasting political solutions in those holy lands by way of politics.
So are you terming yourself as pretty much anti-politics, and staying out of politics in general, and believing God will I guess, take care of those matters in a peaceful situation?
Mr. Ammi: Right we do not get ourselves directly involved in politics. But we do give advice to politicians; because these individuals who are seen as leaders, if they would hear a message based upon truth, then it would influence that which they say they seek after and that is peace. But without truth, and without spirituality, there can never be any genuine peace achieved in those lands.
I agree with that!