Controversial 'Kuki Go Back To Israel' Posters Emerge in Manipur Amid Ethnic Conflict

Editor Editor
Saturday, October 14, 2023
Controversial 'Kuki Go Back To Israel' Posters Emerge in Manipur Amid Ethnic Conflict
Unfolding Tensions: Kuki Community's Unexpected Role in Israel-Palestine Conflict

Manipur, India – October 14, 2023: Recent incidents in Moirang town, located in Manipur's Bishnupur district, have thrown a spotlight on the ongoing ethnic conflict between the Meiteis and Kukis in Northeastern India. Posters calling on Kukis to 'go back to Israel' have emerged in the region, as tensions escalate.

The root of this unusual development can be traced to reports of over 200 Kuki community fighters from Manipur and Mizoram, joining the conflict between Israel and Hamas in Palestine. Surprisingly, these 206 Kuki fighters represent a small fraction of the 360,000 reserve soldiers of the Israel Defense Force (IDF). This community, with its origins in Manipur and Mizoram, has migrated to Israel over the years under the country's open-door policy for members of what Tel Aviv recognizes as a 'lost Jewish tribe.'

Under this policy, recognized 'lost Jewish tribes' were allowed to immigrate to Israel, leading to the presence of approximately 5,000 Kuki community members in the country. Unfortunately, their location near the Gaza Strip has put them directly in the line of fire during Hamas attacks. The majority of Kukis reside in Sderot, a city adjacent to Gaza, which has experienced some of the worst violence in the region. While there have been no casualties, one Kuki family's home was burned during the clashes.

Referred to as Bnei Menashe in Hebrew, this community's unique position has led to prayer services being held in Aizawl, Mizoram, for those who have lost their lives in the Israel-Palestine conflict, particularly the IDF soldiers from the Kuki community. The pride and support for these Kuki soldiers in Israel are evident, with the community following the situation in Gaza closely.

A viral video featuring a middle-aged man in military attire, armed with an assault rifle, has gained attention. In the video, he vows to defend his homeland from enemy attacks. Notably, this individual hails from Manipur's Churachandpur district, an area deeply affected by the ongoing violence.

The ethnic conflict between the Meitei and Kuki groups in Manipur, which erupted in May, has already claimed the lives of at least 170 people and displaced thousands. As the conflict continues, the involvement of the Kuki community in the Israel-Palestine conflict adds a unique dimension to an already complex situation. The emergence of posters urging Kukis to 'go back to Israel' underscores the significance of this issue, making it a matter of international concern.

While tensions persist in the Northeastern states, the world watches to see how the Kuki community's unexpected role in a foreign conflict will influence the already complex dynamics of the region.