The Lebanese Muslim who posed as an Orthodox Jewish man and married a Jewish woman became one of the most talked-about items in the Brooklyn Jewish community. Much speculation was abound, but apparently the man posed no threat to the Jewish community.
VIN News, a popular Jewish website, reported that Lebanese imposter Eliyah Haliwa is in fact not Jewish at all. He also does not have any connections to terror groups.
According to a well-placed source, Haliwa confessed to both the authorities, and his Jewish wife who he deceived, that both his parents are not Jewish. He also explained that his motivations are simply to join the Jewish community.
As for why he did not undergo a legitimate conversion, Haliwa allegedly claimed he made an attempt to do so, but it somehow did not work out for him.
Haliwa is not deemed to be a credible threat to the Jewish community at this time. Both of his passports were found to be legitimate. At this time, it does not appear that he broke any laws.
According to a report on the Yeshiva World News web site, on Sunday it came to light that a Sephardic Jewish woman from Brooklyn who had just gotten married has now learned that her new husband may possibly be a Palestinian Muslim from Lebanon and not an observant Jew as he had insisted he was during the courtship period.
The husband, who goes by the name Eliyah Hawila, according to his Twitter page, has presented himself as a strictly observant Jew, speaking fluent Hebrew, and fraudulently claiming to have both Sephardic and Ashkenazic antecedents.
According to a report on Israel’s Channel 13, Hawila’s real name is Ali Hassan and sources close to the woman’s family have said that his passport indicates that he is from Lebanon.
The sources revealed that subsequent to marrying the man a few weeks ago, the woman became suspicious because his command of the Arabic language was too perfect. When the woman’s brothers went to his home to further investigate this matter, it was then that they discovered his Lebanese passport with the name Ali Hassan in it.
The case has been reported to the FBI and now fearing for her life, the woman is currently living in a safe house.
The woman in question who has chosen to remain anonymous for obvious reasons had known that her intended was from Lebanon when they were dating but because he appeared to be a devoutly Orthodox Jew in practice, she never doubted that he was halachically Jewish. Eliyah told the woman that he was estranged from his family and the story he offered her sounded quite convincing. The fact that he spoke Hebrew fluently also helped to buttress his spurious claims.
In addition, the woman learned that Eliyah was affiliated with Chabad-Lubavitch of Texas for approximately six to seven years.
The report also indicated that Eliyah learned Hebrew and seriously engaged in Torah learning during the time he spent in Texas with Chabad. After he has mastered his Hebrew language skills and projected the image of someone who was immersed in Torah did he marry this woman.
A senior member of the Chabad community in the US told the publication Be’Chadrei Chareidim that “Chabad did not convert this Shiite Lebanese imposter and did not perform the wedding or get involved in any way in the identity of the man.”
The member added: “This is an unfortunate case of a confused youth who struck up a virtual relationship with a member of the Syrian Jewish community who was mortified to discover after her marriage that he was not Jewish. A Chabad rabbi in Texas was asked by the officiating rabbi to walk the groom to the Chupah since he did not have any close relatives in the US.”
Information has also emerged that Eliyah had shown the woman a family tree of his antecedents, but soon thereafter it was revealed that his alleged genealogical background was replete with multiple inaccuracies. As shocking as it may sound, Eliyah also recorded on his family tree that one of his ancestors was notorious Jewish mobster, Meyer Lansky and provided names of other prominent Ashkenazic Jews. None of his findings could be verified by reliable sources.