WI - Haile Selassie I, King of Israel!

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by twistedirregular, Dec 2, 2018.

  1. twistedirregular Negus Negast

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  2. JSilvy Well-Known Member

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    Implausible, but I do love the concept. I'm watching this thread.
     
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  3. Lalli Well-Known Member

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    I doubt that happening. Firstly people in OTL Israel probably should share religion with Ethiopians and emperor. Otherwise that hardly would work. And Ethiopia is not strong enough that it could take Israel. And hardly any European power would be intrested help African nation, Christian or not.
     
  4. Gwachiko Well-Known Member

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    He has to convert to Judaism at the very least. Then it is very much possible.
     
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  5. Lalli Well-Known Member

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    But then he would lost crown of Ethiopia. Not way that Ethiopian court would accept any other than Eastern Orthodox emperor.
     
  6. JSilvy Well-Known Member

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    He wouldn’t be Emperor. He would just have ties.
     
  7. telynk Well-Known Member

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    The Ethiopian Church is not Eastern Orthodox. It is non-Chalcedonian, in the Oriental Orthodox family of churches... But yes, I agrre that the Ethopian wouldn't accept a non-Christian. Unsure if they would accept an Emperor who converted to Eastern Orthodoxy, or would reject anyone who wasn't Ethiopian Orthodox.
     
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  8. BellaGerant Well-Known Member

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    Well, first off, Haile Selassie was an Ethiopian Orthodox Christian so that would be...a difficult thing to reconcile with being the monarch of a Jewish kingdom. Unless the Kingdom of Israel isn't Jewish, in which case it'd probably be Muslim Palestine instead, or Haile Selassie isn't Christian, which makes him an entirely different figure altogether (besides the fact he's being transplanted to a region thousands of kilometers away from where he actually lived in OTL, plus his parents being relocated as well would have some effects on his upbringing).

    Handwavium aside, he almost certainly would not be the same person he was OTL and any resemblance would be the name, nothing more.
     
  9. LostInNewDelhi Anarcho-Shaivist

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    Why not just have a junior member of the Solomonic Dynasty convert to Judaism and be enthroned post-1948? Unlikely, given the progressive republican sentiments of the early Israeli leaders, but theoretically possible.
     
  10. twistedirregular Negus Negast

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    That was actually I was thinking about - having the Ethiopian Royal Family escape to British Palestine in the Italian invasion of Ethiopia and have a member of the Royal Family convert to Judaism, remaining in Palestine and becoming apart of the Zionist movement where he eventually becomes King of Palestine.
     
  11. JSilvy Well-Known Member

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    Count me intrigued. When I first conceived of the whole idea of a Solomonic Ethiopian king of Israel, that was pretty hypothetical and I had no idea how that would work out. This actually sounds really interesting.
     
  12. twistedirregular Negus Negast

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    Would you like to add anything? I'd like to hear your thoughts on this.
     
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  13. JSilvy Well-Known Member

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    Obviously either way it's pretty implausible, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes the best timelines come out things that would seem crazy in our world but are technically possible. In the context of the original post, I will say that it is probably the most likely way to get a monarchist Israel, and I feel like it would be an interesting concept to explore. Of course it may create friction with much of the other Zionist leadership, particularly Republican secularists. You'd likely see a Jewish Ethiopian Solomonic prince working closely with the more religious Zionist faction, and perhaps his rule would be a compromise with the secular Zionists like the Rabbinate was OTL. Of course, a bunch of things would have to go exactly right in order for it to work out. You'd have to see the Ethiopian prince not only convert to Judaism, but then have a long story arch about him rising through the ranks and leading Israel to to victory, perhaps establishing his own powerful organization to rival Haganah. Likely he would be seen as a Messianic figure by his followers (which is not necessarily unheard of, given the history of Messianic movements in Judaism throughout history as well as the fact that Rastafarians see Selassie as a messianic figure). He may even have to make radical promises, such as agreeing to restore the temple, which would create extra friction with Arabs or more tension within the Jewish community (the latter of which would especially be so with the religious Zionists if he had to back out on the promise after independence, which would likely happen). Or perhaps it could go a different way if the Ethiopian prince gets in on the action early enough to the point where an earlier Zionist Congress, say during or prior to the WWI era, is in charge and is more willing to work with whoever however. This latter option would perhaps lead to more support across the board. So it's implausible, but it's technically possible, and it would make a killer story with perhaps one of the most interesting protagonists of an alternate history timeline I've seen on this site.
     
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  14. twistedirregular Negus Negast

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    Looks like you figured out the premise for one of my next Ethiopia TLs! More seriously, I was thinking of having Ethiopia join World War 1 and actually provide troops to the war effort which includes sending a Beta Israeli brigade to the Sinai-Palestinian Campaign that's led by an Ethiopian Royal Family member that converted to Judaism - what do you think?
     
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  15. JSilvy Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps. If it worked that way, the leader would then have to stay in the land, however, and then reform his own force into a broader Pan-Zionist militia in direct correspondence with the Zionist Congress.
     
  16. JSilvy Well-Known Member

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    Basically the king couldn't be an outside force who comes later on. He would have to work from within Palestine and gain broader support among the Jews as a whole from as early as possible, and for that I would say WWI would be the latest I would start this ATL.
     
  17. twistedirregular Negus Negast

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    This is actually what I was thinking about doing!
     
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  18. JSilvy Well-Known Member

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    Also just wondering, does this take place in a TL where Ethiopia goes Meiji? If not then I think there also needs to be an explanation of why Ethiopia joins the Entente against the Ottomans when at that point OTL it would make more sense for them to side with the Central Powers against Italy and the British since that would be the only thing they could do surrounded by both countries.
     
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  19. twistedirregular Negus Negast

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    I was thinking of having a more religious - and foreign-educated - Lij Iyasu V take power in 1913, feeling that he needs to assist Copts in Egypt against the "militant Turks" while also getting financial and material from the Entente.
     
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  20. JSilvy Well-Known Member

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    Got it, but is he a religious Christian ITTL? in that case you would need another prince to actually become King of Israel.