7/29/2010

Amar'e Stoudemire's Views on Israelite Tribes; Now Everyone Can Shut Up

The mainstream media has picked up on Amar'e Stoudemire's claim that his mother is a Hebrew and has run with it. Some are even suggesting that he join the Israeli national team. Everyone can calm down now.

Back in May, Amar'e's Pheonix Suns wore "Los Suns" jerseys to protest the new Arizona immigration law. As part of this show of solidarity, 'Re tweeted: "We support the Latin commuity. They are apart of the 12 tribes of Israel. It 1 Nation under YAH (god). Let's come together. Shalom !! 1love. [sic]" At the time, I came across this article during my wide-ranging researches for JID.


So the new Knick thinks that Latin Americans are part of the 12 Tribes of Israel (technically speaking, he would not consider them Jews, who are members of specifically the tribe of Judah). This belief is weird, but not as uncommon as one might think. In fact, Black Hebrew Israelites, Rastafari, and Mormons all believe that some or all of the the Israelite tribes made their way to the Americas. To be sure, belief that Amerindians are descendants of the Lost Tribes was extremely popular in the 17th century among Europeans and even Jews. Manasseh Ben Israel (the subject of a feature article in Segula last issue) was probably the best-known Jewish proponent of this theory; in his messianic vision, the exile would be complete - and the redemption could begin - only when Israel would be scattered over the entire globe. This was his impetus for petitioning Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell to admit Jews into England, but I digress.


Let us sum up: Stoudemire has apparently adopted some sort of belief in Hebrew roots of some Africans, Latin Americans, or Amerindians. Adherents of these theories probably take such belief seriously, but the rest of the world, including the scientific community, generally relates to it as a bunch of baloney. Yes, it was fun to entertain the idea that Amar'e is fun unzere, but sadly, no. Farmar and Casspi are still the best we've got.
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