[Editor’s note: The following letter, written in response to a crass attempt at historical revisionism by Rabbi Cooper, serves as an excellent primer/overview on the subject of the Jewish role in both the oppression of black people and the promotion of white supremacy. This has become particularly relevant today as we see the exact same factors at play in sponsoring and promulgating the current waves of inter-ethnic violence in the USA. Ian]
BY JACKIE MUHAMMAD
On July 15, 2010 Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center wrote an article titled “The Road to Nowhere: Tracing Farrakhan’s Anti-Jewish Paranoia” which was also republished on the Huffington Post. This was written in response.
To: Rabbi Abraham Cooper
From: Jackie Muhammad
Re: The Road to Nowhere: Tracing Farrakhan’s Anti-Jewish Paranoia
Date: July 16, 2010
Dear Rabbi Cooper:
I read your essay “The Road to Nowhere: Tracing Farrakhan’s Anti-Jewish Paranoia” with a great deal of interest and consternation. Permit me, for the purposes of historical accuracy, to respond to several of the points you raise in your missive.
Apparently, you have not read the book The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews, Vol. 2; nor is it apparent that you have heard either of Minister Farrakhan’s two speeches (June 26 and July 11, 2010) titled “Who Are The Real Children of Israel?” The book, in my opinion, is a mesmerizing masterpiece. The speeches were nothing short of brilliant, coming from the mind of a spiritual genius.
Why do I use such adjectives to describe the speeches and this tome? The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews, Vol. 2, to which The Minister in his speeches refers, is over 400 pages in length and contains more than 2,000 footnotes. Each controversial aspect of what is written is fully annotated, primarily from Jewish historians, writers, and rabbis like you. As an educator I have not read any similar scholarly treatise with as much proof backing every claim made. Therefore, to compare either volume of The Secret Relationship to Mr. Ford’s diatribe, The International Jew, and The Protocols of the Elders of Zion is both specious and historically inaccurate.
Your claim—which you attribute to historian Jacob Rader Marcus—that “American Jewish businessmen were accountable for less than two percent of the slave imports into the West Indies and North America” is misleading. Jews, though a tiny portion of the White population, became significant players in the economies of the Caribbean and the Americas. According to Jewish scholar Dr. Arnold Wiznitzer, Jews “dominated the slave trade. … The buyers who appeared at the auctions were almost always Jews, and because of this lack of competitors, they could buy slaves at low prices.”
According to the co-author of your essay, Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Dr. Harold Brackman, during the 1600s “slave trading in Brazil became a ‘Jewish’ mercantile specialty in much the same way it had been in early medieval Europe.” Rabbi Marc Lee Raphael wrote that in Curacao in the seventeenth century, as well as in Barbados and Jamaica in the eighteenth century, “Jewish merchants played a major role in the slave trade.” In fact, the Jewish Encyclopedia states that “Jewish commercial activity” in this time included a “monopoly of the slave trade.” And the largest shipments of Africans arriving in New York in the first half of the 1700s were commissioned by Jewish merchants. I could go on and on, but you really ought to read The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews, Vol. 1.
The Jewish participation in the slave trade was an international business enterprise. For example, the unparalleled success of the House of Rothschild, an international banking and business enterprise based in Germany, was started from the proceeds of American slavery. Profits from slavery built factories and established the most extensive banking system in Europe at that time. The proceeds of slave labor fueled the Industrial Revolution.
I am sure you are familiar with the expression used in the South during and after slavery, “cotton was king.” According to a book footnoted in SR Vol. 2, Cotton and Race in the Making of America by Gene Dattel, cotton was America’s largest export between 1803 and 1937. It was the single biggest engine of Western expansion. It was a German Jewish immigrant, Morris Ranger, of Galveston, Texas who “held the key to the cotton trade of the world” and became one of the largest cotton operators in the world. Mill owners Herman and Emanuel Sternberger of Greensboro, North Carolina “helped to transform their sleepy town into an industrial center” and were called the “cotton king.” For many Jews “cotton was gold.” The international trade in cotton made numerous Jews fabulously wealthy. The now defunct financial giant Lehman Brothers began as the owner of “a string of plantations” and slaves. Cotton mill owner Jacob Elsas retired “with a cool $10,000,000 to his credit.”
Your claim that “Jewish owners of plantations … were decidedly outnumbered by free Blacks who owned other African Americans” is a decidedly misleading and disingenuous statement. Many of these “free” Blacks claimed their relatives and friends from their former slave masters and housed them on their farms as a means of removing them from the dehumanizing plantation life of their Jewish and Gentile overlords. But they certainly did not “outnumber” the many Jews, who owned, insured, and financed slave ships and outfitted them with chains and shackles, or the many Jews who were auctioneers, brokers, and wholesalers, or the many Jews who, according to Dr. Jacob Rader Marcus, “were active as plantation owners.” Rabbi and historian Dr. Bertram W. Korn, whom you quote, confessed that “… many Southern Jews believed slavery to be indispensable to their happiness and security.”
Of course, these so-called free Blacks also suffered under the repressive slave codes, or Black codes, which Jews actually helped to create and never, ever had to face. Not only that, there were many, many, many Jewish office-holders in the South who—long before the Civil War—were officially responsible for law enforcement tasks that included the apprehension and punishment of Black people who wanted freedom more than slavery. In addition, according to a noted Jewish historian, “[s]ince emancipation, Jews in Dixie had helped to readjust state and local laws and customs to keep Blacks substantially less equal in their freedom.” In other words, Jews helped to create the very Jim Crow laws that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Civil Rights Movement struggled to uproot!
You say in your essay that “Jewish owners of plantations … constituted only a tiny proportion of the [slave holding] Southerners.” Yet Dr. Harold Brackman wrote, in an article in the Encyclopedia of American Jewish History titled “Black-Jewish Relations in the Nineteenth Century,” that “Jews were about twice as likely to be slave owners as the average White Southerner.” Rabbi Dr. Korn wrote: “It would seem to be realistic to conclude that any Jew who could afford to own slaves and had need for their services would do so. … Jews participated in every aspect and process of the exploitation of the defenseless Blacks.” In fact, the Jewish Encyclopedia in 1901 made an astounding claim that put Jewish Americans at the epicenter of the slavocracy: “[T]he cotton-plantations in many parts of the South were wholly in the hands of the Jews, and as a consequence slavery found its advocates among them.”
One of the side effects of our enslavement in America at the hands of our “Jewish friends” was the psychological damage done to Black people that made us become haters of self. However, I am also aware that Black people do not have a monopoly on self-hatred. Are you aware that the same disease affects Jewish people? Are you familiar with the term Judenrat? They were Jews in Poland and the occupied territories of the Soviet Union who collaborated with the Nazi Germans to sell out and betray their own people.
I challenge you to name one so-called Black slave owner who used the profits gained from slavery to purchase publications like the New York Times to degrade Black people. Adolph Ochs, a racist, White supremacist Nashville, Tenn., and Jewish used the New York Times—which he purchased with loans from colleagues who made money from the profits from slavery, one of whom was the Rothschilds’ New York agent, August Belmont—to refer to Black people as “animals,” “people of color,” and “coons.” None of Ochs’s Jewish backers admonished him for his racial animus.
I challenge you to show how a handful of so-called Black slave owners can possibly compare to the legions of Jewish immigrants from Poland, France, and Germany who exited from boats on American shores, were handed packs of manufactured goods and products, sent to the South and directed to establish country stores on the plantations, and parlayed those plantation stores into multibillion dollar mega stores like Macy’s, Gimbels, Blumenthal’s, Sachs, Neiman Marcus, and Rich’s.
Surely, Rabbi Cooper, you are not comparing so-called Black slave owners to Judah P. Benjamin, a Jewish member of the U.S. Senate, the Confederate Secretary of State, and Secretary of War, a close confidant of President Jefferson Davis, and the person who used his relationship with the international bankers to arrange to have another Jew, French banker Emile Erlanger, loan the Confederacy $7 million. No wonder he became known as the “brains of the Confederacy.” And, by the way, Secretary Benjamin was the owner of a 140-slave plantation.
Finally, I challenge you to give me the name of one so-called Black slave owner who produced the Talmudic-based Curse of Ham Myth as a justification for Black inferiority and White superiority and use that myth as a justification for the enslavement of millions of Black people around the world. Discussing the Jewish invention of the Hamitic Myth, Dr. Harold Brackman wrote: “[T]here is no denying that the Babylonian Talmud was the first source to read a Negrophobic content into [the Biblical story of Noah]…”
Are you familiar with a Jewish group called the Radanites? The Radanites were Jewish merchant traders who rose to power in the Middle Ages. Their influence held sway all over the known world. These global merchants spoke every major tongue in the world, namely, Arabic, Persian, Roman, the language of the Franks, Andalusians and Slavs. They traveled from east to west and west to east. They were the only group of traders allowed into both the Muslim world and the Christian regions. They monopolized the trade routes from India to China to Africa and Turkey and all routes in between. They trafficked in spices, raw materials, weapons and especially slaves, both White and Black.
One reason they monopolized global trade was that they were permitted to do so by both the Muslims and the Christians. Muslim goods were permitted into Christian territories, but the Muslims themselves were not. Likewise, Christian goods were allowed into Muslim nations, but Christians were not. The Jews, however, were not only permitted as middle men, but they were permitted to travel freely between both nations of people. And they were protected by both religious groups. When the Muslims ruled in Spain and spurred the rebirth of civilization in Europe after the fall of the Roman Empire, Jews were given privileged positions throughout Western Europe. One can reasonably argue, therefore, that the greatest freedom the Jewish people ever experienced was under the tutelage and protection of the nations of Islam.
As previously mentioned, the Jewish Radanites played a central role in the trafficking of human cargo. They supplied the Iraqis with African slaves from Zanzibar. These Africans were called the Zanj. They developed such a significant presence in Iraq in the 9th Century A.D. that their presence caused a security threat for the nation. Subsequently, the revolt of these slaves led to one of the great rebellions of world history and the first major uprising in the history of the African Diaspora.
Scottish-born Louis Isaac Rabinowitz (1906–1984), historian, author, Chief Rabbi of United Hebrew Congregation, Johannesburg, South Africa, and an expert on the subject, wrote several published works on the Radanites. It has been concluded that they became so wealthy that when the lucrative trade routes were shut down by the new rulers of the Tang Dynasty, the emerging Venetian merchants, who viewed them as a threat, and the ousting of Jewish traders by the Christian Crusaders, they had to pursue other occupations. From the enormous profits they gained from the trade in slaves and raw materials, the Radanites parlayed their gains into money lending, and pawn broking. Rabinowitz joins another Jewish author, Joseph Jacobs, author of Jewish Contributions to Civilization, and states that they emerged as the leading bankers of Europe. Indeed, the Universal Jewish Encyclopedia (1948) states unequivocally that “[i]n Eastern Europe there were very recently countries in which 90 percent or more of the trades was in Jewish hands; in some branches of trade and export they controlled the entire 100 percent.” It goes on to say: “Here [Central Europe during the 18th and the beginning of the 19th centuries] they were pioneers in the primary stages of capitalist development and therefore held a dominant position in these cultural economic functions which may be called the nervous system of capitalist economy. Banking, the stock market, export and import fall within this classification.”
The experience and finances the Jews gained in perfecting the movement of human cargo from East Africa to Asia, added to the expertise they employed in the sale, transportation, and auctioning of West Africans into America and the Western world several hundred years later. So to deny that the Jewish people did not play a major role in the enslavement of Black people in America, in light of these historical truths, is quite dishonest.
Furthermore, Rabbi Cooper, you mention that 78 percent of the Jewish vote went to elect Barack Obama as president. All people support a candidate based on their enlightened self-interests. As long as Jewish people felt President Obama would serve their interests, they voted for him. Now, Jewish people are calling Mr. Obama some of the vilest names imaginable. A relative of the Prime Minister of Israel called the president a racist and an anti-Semite. What they don’t say is that the State of Israel did more to support the racist, Apartheid government of South Africa than any other nation on Earth. If Israel did not support that racist settler state with its technical knowledge of a nuclear delivery system, then the colonial oppressors could have been defeated much sooner and numerous Black lives could have been saved. The same analogy could be made here in America. If our “Jewish friends” had not in fact been at the very center of the trans-Atlantic slave trade as merchants, financiers, shippers, and insurers and among the leading international marketers of the products of African slave labor, America’s slavocracy could have been defeated sooner, and untold Black lives could have been saved.
How different is the Jews’ collaboration with the Ku Klux Klan in the South in the 1800s any different from the Jewish nation of Israel’s collaboration with racist, apartheid, settler state of South Africa in the 1970s? In reading SR Vol. 2 many of the Jews who fought on the side of the Confederate Army were key supporters of the KKK. For example, one of Birmingham’s leading businessmen, Jewish pawnbroker Joe Denaburg, supplied the Klan with both weapons and sheets, and referred to members of the Klan as personal friends of his. Mr. Denaburg was not a lone operative. SR2 is replete with myriad examples of Jewish collaborations with the Klan throughout the South. Hence, it should come as no surprise that there was a secret collaboration between the racist apartheid state of South Africa and Israel.
Therefore, those who are insidiously referred to as our “friends” have been cruel, craven and cowardly. This does not serve your people or mine. Both of us might agree that the time for a transition in that relationship has come. Unless we are prepared to factor into this equation the solutions proffered by the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan then a viable and amicable solution to this century’s old dilemma will continue to elude us.
(Jackie Muhammad is a former presidential appointee, member of the Oxford Round Table, educator, youth-trainer and businessman. He can be reached at [email protected])