The Israelite Identity movement originally arose in Britain — and it closely coincided with Oliver Cromwell’s advocating for the readmission of the Jews to England after they had been exiled for 350 years after their expulsion by Edward I in 1290 — in return for Jewish financing of the Civil War.
Cromwell was heavily influenced by his relationship with the Amsterdam-based Jew, Menasseh Ben Israel, who provided him with the rationalization that the readmission of the Jews to England, and their subsequent conversion to Christianity would hasten the return of Christ.
It appears that Menasseh convinced Cromwell that since the British could be counted among the ten lost northern tribes of Israel, the readmission of the Jews to England would fulfill the prophecy of the regathering of the tribes of Israel, which would signal the second coming.
One of the founding documents of British Israelitism was The Rights of the Kingdom written in 1649 by John Sadler, a philosemite who also just so happened to be a friend of Menasseh Ben Israel — and it was Sadler’s work that apparently convinced Cromwell that Menasseh’s theories were legitimate.
But Menasseh wasn’t the first to point out that the Anglo-Saxons could trace their ancestry back to the “lost” ten northern tribes of Israel — the French Huguenot, Pierre Le Loyer published his book, The Ten Lost Tribes, in France in 1590 — copies of which cannot be found anywhere on the internet.
So it appears that Menasseh observed that the European people had already begun to awaken to the fact that they were descendants of the ten northern tribes of Israel, so he saw an opportunity to steer this awakening to the advantage of Jews — by affirming that, yes, the Europeans were counted among “lost” Israel, but more importantly that the Jews were Judah — which they were decidedly not.
But it would take historians and researchers another couple hundred years to figure out that Europe’s “Jews” were not, in fact, legitimate descendants of Judah — mainly the work of Israelite Identity Christians in America who had sloughed off the pernicious influence of the judaized British-Israelite advocates.
So here we will take a look at a chapter from the 1896 book Anglo-Israel: The Jewish Problem by British-Israel writer, Thomas Rosling Howlett.
Like all Christians in the British-Israel movement, Howlett appears to be aware of some difficult problems around the notion that the “Jews” are actually Judah — he accepts the idea at face value, which puts him in a position to come up with some implausible explanations to account for certain contradictions.
In Chapter III entitled “The Hebrew Nations — Changed Physiognomy — Cause of the Same” (p. 23-26) Howlett attempts to come up with a “reasonable” explanation to account for why the Europeans who descended from the ten lost tribes physically look the same, but the Jews who are allegedly also Israelites look entirely different.
In fact, Howlett points out how early on many Christians rejected the whole idea of the British-Israel thesis because the British people looked nothing like Jews — and since Jews were “Israelites”, the British people could not possibly be Israelites.
Howlett even compares differences of Jews to Englishmen in the same way he compares Englishmen to the Welsh — but this comparison falls flat on its face because the English and the Welsh look the same, whereas Jews and the English do not.
So in order to account for this difference, Howlett utilizes the concept of Lamarckian Inheritance — a theory still popular in the late 19th century but now dismissed by geneticists as scientifically untenable — which claimed that organisms — even humans — an can pass on to their offspring physical characteristics that the parent organism acquired through use or disuse during its lifetime.
Howlett claims that the reason Jews have such a twisted and distorted physical look to them is because of the “persecution” that they experienced over the centuries at the hands of Christians — and he goes on to claim that once Jews spend enough time in England without further persecution, they will eventually begin to look indistinguishable from English Israelites.
Of course, over time Jews in England and elsewhere have started to look more like the native Europeans but not because they are no longer “persecuted” but rather because they have often inter-bred with real European Israelites — and in England, especially, often with the elite or aristocracy.
Ironically, despite Larmarkian Inheritance being discredited, Jews still publish “studies” that use this spurious theory — claiming that Holocaust trauma literally shrunk the brains of Jews, an affliction that can be passed down from generation to generation.
Another Jewish “study” claimed that the “barbarous” treatment that Jews experienced at the hands of the “Nazis” has caused Jews to have such a high incidence of schizophrenia — rather than the obvious — multi-generational close inter-marriage — or endogamy.
Even so, Howlett ignores the obvious explanation — that Jews had race mixed in the preceding two thousand years, which made them look discernibly different from White European Israelites who remained relatively genetically pure and homogeneous.
The fact that Jews inherit their “Jewish” identity through the mothers rather than their fathers should have set off alarm bells for Howlett, as he must have known that Israelites always traced their Israelite identity through the father — and that race mixing was strictly forbidden.
To this very day, the British-Israel movement is still controlled by Jews — most notably the website Britam.org — run by the Jew, Yair Davidiy — along with the related site, Hebrewnations.com — both of which insist that the Jews are Judah.
That said, we now present Howllet’s brief chapter on this issue — to see how easily duped the British-Israel movement was — and how that influence has greatly misguided many sincere Christians who have looked into the truth of the fate of the “lost” ten tribes of northern Israel:
“Ethnic traits and peculiarities are conceded to be evidence of racial affinity. These sometimes appear in the physiognomy — oftener in manners, customs, beliefs, and the general racial trend. In the Jews the countenance is often conclusive.
Unlikeness to this people in facial appearance is cited as evidence against the Saxons being a kindred race. But why should there be a facsimile resemblance?
The Israelites of the Ten Lost Tribes never were Jews. To suppose so is one of the errors of our times. There are many diligent readers of the Bible who fail utterly to distinguish between the two families, or nations, into which the Hebrews were divided — the “House of Israel,” and the “House of Judah.”
One of the most celebrated and popular lecturers upon the Prophets of Israel was asked if Jeremiah used the words “Israel” and “Judah” as synonymous, and he was not able to say. He “had not noticed.” He seemed surprised when told that this prophet used the word “Judah” 180 times and “Israel” 90 times, but never once as synonymous. Another, a professor in a Theological Seminary, said he “had no confidence in the Anglo-Israel theory because it would make us out to be “Jews.”
Another, a diligent Bible student and an extensive writer of Sunday school literature, asked the author how he distinguished between Israelites and Jews, supposing them to be synonymous.
The Jews get their name from their own tribe and house. The Anglo-Saxons descend from the “House of Israel,” consisting of the ten tribes. The “House of Israel,” the “House of Jacob,” the “House of Issac,” the “House of Ephraim,” the “House of Joseph,” are used synonymously.
But the “House of Judah” denotes another and a separate nation of the Hebrews. Only in the latest period of the Old Testament history, long after the disappearance of the ten tribes from the Holy Land, is Judah used as synonymous with Israel. Even in New Testament times, it was only in common parlance that other Israelites than those springing from the “Jewish nation” were called Jews. All Israelites are no more Jews than all Britons are Welshmen.
Into this common error of confounding Israel with Judah Tom Paine fell, and declared that he was led into infidelity, because he saw that the Jews could never verify the promises given to Israel.
The more acute observer, William E. Gladstone, in his “Impregnable Rock of Holy Scripture,” writes, “Now the name of Israel is the name under which, in the Psalms, the chosen people are described. We have this name repeated twenty-six times. The name Judah occurs ten times, and never with this paramount significance. It is mentioned either together with Israel, or in conjunction with other tribes, as with Ephraim and Manasseh, or with Zion, but always locally or tribally.”
Much confusion would have been prevented if all readers of the Scriptures had been thus observing. Jehovah is constantly called the “God of Israel,” but not once is he called the “God of Judah.”
“Israel” is the named employed to denote “the chosen people” consisting of the twelve tribes; but these twelve tribes were divided into two nations. Christ recognized this when he said to the Jews, “The kingdom of god shall be taken away from you, and shall be given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.” Consistently with all Old Testament promises and predictions, He must have meant another Hebrew “nation,” in other words the ten tribed nation, the “House of Israel.”
Since these things are so, why should the descendants of the ten tribes be expected to resemble the Jews in physiognomy?
Besides it is not certain that the facial appearance of the Jew was always the same as it is now. There are reasons for believing that it has been changed since their dispersion, that it is the result, in part, of the social and physical degradation into which they were thrown after the destruction of Jerusalem, and in which they have continued in may lands until the present day.
The change in physiognomy has been in the two tribes, not in the ten from which the Anglo-Saxons sprang. The open, frank, bold, fearless countenance so marked in our race may have once belonged to the sons of Judah also.
The shy, timid, fearful look that often marks them now belonged not to them originally. Under the tyranny and persecutions of the ages, they have been made to tremble at the shaking of a leaf.
Is it unusual for inward fears and passions to be mirrored in the face? Even black men turn pale from excessive fright. It is but recently — and that only in the British Empire and the United States — that the Jews have been wholly emancipated, and lifted from racial degradation.
This surely is an important consideration. A few generations among the Anglo-Saxons may smooth from the brow and face of Judah the furrows of care, fear, and sorrow, which centuries of persecution have made, and restore to his very physiognomy the symmetry and beauty of his youth.
“A merry heart cheereth up the countenance; but when the heart qeeleth pain, the spirit is depressed.” (Proverbs 15:13)
Howlett’s Note: Young’s Concordance thus defines Jew as “A descendant of Judah; in later times also an Israelite. In 2 Kings 16:6, this appellation is applied to the two tribes. Strictly speaking, the name is appropriate only to the subjects of the kingdom of the two tribes after the separation of the ten tribes. B.C. 975.”
The first time this historic name occurs in Scripture history is during the reign of Pekah, on of the last of the kings of the House of Israel. He joined Rezin, the king of Syria, in war against Abaz, king of Judah. “At that time Rezin, king of Syria, recovered Elath to Syria and rove the ‘Jews’ from Elath.” (2 Kings 16:6. B.C. 742).”