In nineteenth century England the British Israel movement emerged in the UK, which identified the English (and later, all western Europeans) as descendants of Israelites who had lost their Jewish identity. The foundational text of the movement was a work by John Wilson (?-1871) titled Lectures on Our Israelitish Origin, published in 1840.
In his Lectures on Our Israelitish Origin (1840), Wilson claimed that the British were the lineal descendants of the 'ten lost tribes' of the northern kingdom of Israel, whose religious election was illustrated by the increasing world dominion of the Anglo-Saxon and Celtic peoples. The British were deemed to be the descendants of Ephraim, while the settlers of North America sprang from Manasseh. - Black Sun: Aryan Cults, Esoteric Nazism, and the Politics of Identity, Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke, pg. 235From the beginning, British Israelism had a strongly Zionist bent, even at a time when the majority of the world’s Jews were either indifferent or opposed to Zionism:
The Jews themselves were deemed heirs of the two tribes in the southern kingdom of Judah, whose destiny was linked to the British Israelites in a millennial vision of the future. The reuniting of All-Israel, a prerequisite of the Last Days, required that the ten tribes of Israel, namely the British, should once again join the descendants of the remaining tribes—that is, the Jews—in the Holy Land. Throughout the early twentieth century, the joint enterprise of the Anglo-Jewish resettlement of Palestine remained an important part of British-Israelite millennialism. – Ibid.The British Israel movement proved highly influential on both sides of the Atlantic, finding followers among many politicians, church leaders, and even in the royal family itself, as Queen Victoria and later King George VI (father of Queen Elizabeth II) are said to have had British Israelist beliefs and sympathies.
Naturally, the British-Israelists were pleased by the Ottoman loss of Palestine and the preparations made to resettle Jews there:
When the British Army invaded Palestine in 1917, the famous Balfour Declaration was issued, promising that the British would facilitate the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jews. In 1922 British-Israelite prophecy seemed again confirmed when the League of Nations gave Britain a mandate to rule Palestine and secure that objective. - Black Sun: Aryan Cults, Esoteric Nazism, and the Politics of Identity, Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke, pg. 238However, many British Israelists were displeased at finding out that the objectives of the actual political Zionist movement (rather than the idealized Zionists of their fantasies) did not include sharing a state with their Anglo-Saxon Israelite “brothers”:
Once Zionism articulated its demand for an exclusively Jewish state, the withdrawal or expulsion of the British would imply that Palestine would be left with Judah but Israel would be absent. – Ibid.This disappointment caused a backlash in many quarters of the British Israel movement. Once strongly Zionist and philo-Semitic, many British Israel ideologues, particularly in America, began devising theories accusing the Ashkenazi Jews of being impostor Israelites: Descendants of Esau in one theory, descendants of the Central Asian Khazars in another, and, in the most fanciful theory, descendants of an unholy union of Eve and Satan.
By 1957, when the “White Identity Church of Jesus Christ–Christian” (later to be more famously known as Aryan Nations) was established, the British Israel theory had taken on a distinctly anti-Semitic tone. British Israelism had become Christian Identity, which remains the most widespread form of White Supremacism in America.
Despite their history of anti-Semitism, white supremacists and related far-right elements have increasingly been moving away from rhetoric against Jews and focusing their hatred on Muslims instead. Taking a look at any popular white supremacist forum, one is likely to find a great deal more posts railing against “Eurabia”, “creeping shari’ah” and other Islamophobic red herrings than one is to find much discussion on Zionism and Jews. Granted, you will still find references to “Jewish bankers” and the like, but these topics have much less “red meat” for your modern bigot to sink his teeth into. One even finds anti-Semitic canards being transferred from Jews to Muslims, whether they fit or not, such as replacing the “Kol Nidre” (all vows) argument against the trustworthiness of Jews with the “taqiyya” libel against Muslims; or the identification of Islam as an ethnicity. Far-right parties in Europe are increasingly synthesizing their race-hatred of North African, Middle Easter, and South Asian immigrants with a rabid Zionism. While these parties are not Christian Identity in nature, their demagogic leaders receive accolades from many on “white nationalist” forums with heavy Christian Identity presence, such as Stormfront.
It is not unlikely that a great number of Christian Identity believers and those attracted to it could be swayed to the more traditional Zionist form of British Israelism, given the high praise many are willing to give to Zionist extremists for opposing Muslims. Increasingly, these people are calling Muslims “the main enemy”, while Zionists are only seen as a “minor enemy”. But just as David Duke, for the sake of political expediency, dropped Catholics from the list of the Klan’s enemies during his tenure as Grand Wizard, it seems a small step from “minor enemy” to “no enemy”, and on from there to “ally”.
Brit-Am Israel: Modern British Israelism from a Rabbinical Jewish Perspective
Since the early nineties, an Israeli Rabbi named Yair Davidy, founder of the Brit-Am Movement of the Ten Tribes, has been working to revive British Israel doctrine. His teachings are in the philo-Semitic and Zionist spirit of the original movement, but differ in that they he is an Orthodox Jew (while the original movement was a thoroughly Protestant affair), and strongly opposes any attempt to convert Jews to Christianity (which the early British Israelists assumed would happen as a matter of course). His teachings are mostly a rehash of nineteenth century British Israel thought: the “ten lost tribes” of Israel settled in Western Europe, becoming the forefathers of the white people of Western Europe and America. But whereas the original British Israel movement was largely unconcerned with Islam, Brit-Am Israel is intensely anti-Islamic. Rabbi Davidy refers to Muhammad (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) as a “madman”, states that Muslims hate all Israelites (he chalks Muslim hostility to western imperial powers are coming from hostility towards their “Israelite” descent), encourages the “Lost Tribes” (white Europeans and Americans) to start colonies in Syria, Lebanon, and surrounding nations, advocates as mass expulsion of all Palestinians to a western nation (possibly Brazil, for some reason), “for their own good”.
Davidy is not well-known at this time, but his synthesis of a white-supremacist doctrine which identifies western European and American white people as chosen by God to lead the world, mixed with militant and fanatical anti-Islamic, Zionist rhetoric, is likely to reverberate with many people on the racist right, especially young people who have developed racist ideals, but for whom “the enemy” has always been Muslims and who see Zionists as liked-minded individuals of the same struggle. I can see Islamophobic young men and women, filled with a newfound sense of Israelite identity and entitlement to the land of Palestine, traveling to the Middle East to form the colonies (and, most likely, armed militias) that Davidy proposes. The identification of western European and American whites with the descendants of the Israelites (and thus, in Zionist parlance “rightful owners” of the land of Palestine) is an incendiary and irresponsible ideology which synthesizes the worst elements of Talmudic Zionist racism with White Supremacism, and one which, if it gains any amount of influence, can only breed violence.