|David Mark [Dawid ben Eliyahu]|
Founder & Chief Editor
It is an honor to publish my Conversation with David Mark and shine a light on the great work he is doing through Israel Rising and Israel Africa Hub. If you look at David's work and ideals, you can see how this new generation of Israeli thinks and works to enable Israel to be the best in the new world order that is emerging.
Naomi: What is the purpose of Israel Rising? What is your mission; what do you want to achieve as an organization? How do you prioritize your goals?
David Mark: Israel Rising is an alternative right wing online magazine. I have believed for a while that Israel’s rights to all of its ancestral lands, which includes Judea and Samaria has been dismissed because the right has often sided with Western nations, who have followed a neo-colonialist agenda. The Right in Israel is not neoconservative in the slightest and is very multifaceted. The fact that many of its leaders have sided with the American right due to expediency does not reflect the deep ideological divide that exists there.
Our biggest priority at Israel Rising is creating a new Right-Left Paradigm in relation to Israel’s connection with its own land and placing this in its rightful context. I have always been a proponent of charting our own course, one which is specifically separate from those countries that have often times been our biggest abusers. We are an ancient people unduly ripped from our homeland and justice dictates we have a lawful right to all of it. Given this outlook, an Israeli nationalist should find himself far more connected to the plight of Biafra, Native American rights, Indian Nationalism, etc. rather than adopting a Western orientation.
This is why we emphasize a united Israel agenda as well as pushing for lasting partnerships with African and Eastern countries.
Naomi: Would you please define anousim and crypto Jews in the context of your interest and organization for our audience?
David Mark: Anousim are clearly Jews of Spanish and Portuguese origin that fled the Inquisition and are now awakening to the fact that they are actually Jewish or have Jewish ancestry. There are at least 25 million of them. Some experts say 100 million. Not all are Halachic Jews, but many are; with many more sharing ancestry.
In terms of Crypto Jews, I use that term a bit more loosely when it comes to Jewish or Israelite communities that share many traditions with normative Torah Jews, but these communities became lost or disconnected. With the advent of the Internet, coupled with the rise of Israel as real power, these communities are awakening and seeking a real return to their roots.
Naomi: Can you explain the concept of Global Israel that I heard you speak of on your podcast with Rabbi Harry Rozenberg? Can it become a reality or is it just an idea?
David Mark: There is a Midrash that says at the end of time the Land of Israel will spread throughout the world. This is not fairy tale stuff. Wherever an Israelite is he or she can activate what is called in Kabbalah, their nekudat Tzion or point of Zion. I am not talking about the State here, but rather a consciousness. With the Internet a true consciousness like I am talking about is possible. The State of Israel can certainly facilitate this, but in reality it doesn’t need to. We can and we will. None of what we read in the Bible or Midrash is hokey pokey, but rather coded blueprints for us to implement in order to create a better, more perfect world.
So yes, it is possible and really it is happening now. Whether it is Rabbi Harry’s iTribe or much of our own network through Israel Rising or our sites like Israel Africa Hub people are waking up to something much bigger than becoming an Israeli citizen. Israelite traditions and our approach to the world are becoming the basis for many communities around the world. In many ways these ordinances that we are all striving to live by is an alternate form of governance, free of boundaries and yet striving to create the ultimate global community.
Naomi: Regarding the self-determination of Biafra; do you think they are ready to self-govern? Do you believe they have any monetary funds behind them?
David Mark: They certainly have the potential to have the monetary funds. The Igbo people in diaspora are some of the most wealthiest cultural groups in the world. Money is not the issue. IPOB is also very organized, so if there was to be a Biafra they could certainly govern themselves. The only question is will.
Naomi: In your March 11, 2016 article you state: “Is Biafra Next?
Following a similar pattern and necessity in terms of Israel’s geopolitical needs, Biafra is a strong candidate to secure covert aid. Nigeria was supposed to be Israel’s new Africa ally, but the ascendancy of Islamist Buhari to the Presidency has forced Israel’s government to rethink its strategy. This is why Biafra, if positioned correctly, could play a vital role in securing the Jewish state’s first long term ally on the Gold Coast. There is just one challenge, Biafra is no South Sudan. Last time it tried for independence three million innocent Biafrans lost their lives. Israel will have to weigh whether or not it can be successful in helping Biafra secure freedom. If so it may be the first time the Jewish state would be able to legitimately plant its flag in West Africa as a partner with the continent’s first Hebraic Nation."
What is the real danger to Israel for coming forward for Biafra, considering that Israel has an embassy in Nigeria and had normalized relations with Nigeria before the Islamic Buhari became president? Is Israel afraid of sparking a larger conflict?
David Mark: I don’t think Israel acts overtly in situations as these. Bibi was a commando in the highest unit in Israel. This unit, prides itself on secretive missions. If you notice Bibi never does anything crazy. Even his Gaza war as opposed to Olmert’s was far more mild despite the news to the contrary.
Israel is in transition now. With America’s best days behind it and its power receding in the Middle East, Israel is trying to figure out its role. It is hard to get used to being independent and a leader. This is new for Israel.
Biafra makes sense for Israel, but Bibi’s style as I mentioned is quiet and secretive and he is also dealt a very complicated hand with our own chaotic regional situation.
I for one believe that Bibi will decide to help Biafra if Russia does or if he can get assurances of prolonged assistance from some of our new East African allies. This could come as soon as he shores these relationships up. But it is impossible to tell. One may like or dislike the current Israeli government, but everyone agrees that Bibi Netanyahu is always ten steps ahead and never tells anyone his next move.
Naomi: I am trying to convey to our Biafran friends the reality that no one may step forward to help them and that they must get trained in self-defense immediately. Do you have any ideas for them as to training? Do you think their twitter campaign is doing anything to help?
David Mark: I believe they should reach out and hire Israeli defense experts on a contractual basis to train them. There are enough rich Igbos to finance this. Virtual campaigns may help, but real action is necessary. The Igbo need to come back to their roots and reach out in a meaningful way to Israelis and ask these firms and contractors for assistance.
Naomi: The recent events concerning the slaughter and carnage of Fulani Herdsmen on our Biafran friends is horrific. It is believed that Boko Haram has now taken over the Herdsmen and is also selling human body organs. How can Biafrans protect themselves against this terror?
David Mark: They need to build real counter terror forces in their communities. I live ten minutes South of Hebron. I was not in the army, but I carry a gun. All of us do guard duty along with the army. We have a core group that is trained if there is G-d forbid a terrorist infiltration. I have no doubt this group would be very, very effective. The Biafrans need to get tough. They need to be vicious without losing their cool or humanity. They are used to being slaughtered and need to create local protective forces that can take over in an instant. With proper training and a change in attitude they can do this.
Naomi: Please add what your burning issue for Israel is at this time amid so much going on in the region.
David Mark: Israel needs to free itself from the confines of neocolonialism. We have to stop listening to the voices of our past and realize we are now a regional leader and need to take a proactive stance to all the things going on. A proactive Israel could wipe out ISIS, guarantee a free Kurdistan, and bring an end to the Palestinian issue by insisting that the Jordanian occupation of the Eastern half of Palestine ends and create an Arab Palestine there with Amman as its capital.
All of the above and more can be undertaken by Israel if the government as well as us, its citizens are capable of freeing our minds.
Naomi: Thank you David, for taking the time to speak out on these issues. I know that our Biafran friends appreciate your ongoing support during these harrowing times as well as all our followers who are interested in these issues.
David Mark is the CEO of the Cahil Group (www.cahilgroup.com) a leading Israel advocacy strategy group focusing on the indigenous rights of the Jewish people in the Holy Land. The Cahil Group specializes in using new media outreach across an array of platforms and services to help position Israel as a 21st century global leader. David is also the founder of Israel Rising (www.israelrising.com), an online magazine that stakes out an alternative approach to the geopolitical situation in Israel and the surrounding region. He is a member of his community’s managing committee and deals heavily with local security strategy in relation to surrounding Arab communities. He lives in the Southern Hebron Hills with his wife and 5 children.