Jew Watch

Keeping a Close Watch on Jewish Communities & Organizations Worldwide

Top: Jewish Founded Organizations: Wiesenthal Center

JAMES FLOYD on AIPAC Corruption, 
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AIPAC is the 'American Israel Public Affairs Committee. Its headquarters are located in New York City. It is not a secret organization; instead, the leaders of AIPAC who direct its affairs never miss a chance to flaunt their authority over the American politician. AIPAC fears absolutely nothing! Exposure of their criminal operations of campaign bribery only serve to intensify their grip on every representative we send to Washington. They all learn quickly to do whatever AIPAC representative tell them to do. Otherwise, the Jewish Press (90% of Americas media companies) will viciously attack the unwary and independent content on other issues not related to Israel until they are doomed to defeat.

Campaign finance reform without denunciation of AIPAC is nothing short of a 'dog and pony show.' How extremely awkward Senators appear as they cautiously avoid any reference to what they call in private "Jew muscle" as seen in the media and in the AIPAC bribes.

Sam Johnson saw such a show back in the seventeen hundreds and wrote, " A dog walking on its hind legs is never done well; but you are surprised to find it done at all."

America's duplicitous Presidents, Senators, and Congressmen are made into out-spoken condemnation of "foreign" campaign money from China, Taiwan, Indonesia and elsewhere, while refusing to even whisper the name of the most illegal, corrupting, alien, election manipulators of all time, AIPAC, the American Israeli Political Action Committee (The Jewish Lobby).


Deafening silence continues from all quarters. The bureaucrats on the Federal Election Commission and those involved in organizations such as Common Cause fare no better than the politicos who take AIPAC's dirty- money. They give the appearance that someone is watching the store when the cruel truth is that nobody is watching the store. They will, invariably, look the other way where AIPAC is concerned. All these hypocrites know that it is suicidal to 'dare to speak-out' against these gangsters. Included in this cowardly silence is every facet of media which is Jewish owned, operated, and pro-Zionist/pro-One World Order and pro-Democratic Party/Socialism.


'Gut Abe' Feinberg, a banker of course, is said to have been "the first Jewish fund raiser for national politics." He wasn't. However, he did demonstrate, in his seduction of Harry Truman, how easy money moves Presidents and even presidential trains.

Remember Truman's train trip across America. Lots of talk about freedom, integrity, honor, etc. Well it is now known that Feinberg had a man at each stop with a brown bag full of cash awaiting this fine man.

Gut Abe, in his unsophisticated bribery was immeasurably more honest than AIPAC is today.

THE SWORD OF DAMOCLES In both Houses and the White House, Representatives sit at their tables under a two- edged sword hanging above their heads by the smallest of hairs. Rewarded if they please the Jewish lobby and cut to pieces if they err in the slightest measure. The AIPAC 'green book' has truly become their 'lambs book of life.' Any Senator or Representative who votes against AIPAC steps on the third rail and dies from political suicide. The Jewish newsapapers attack such wayward Congressmen with a vengeance that no amount of political advertising can overcome. PUKE David Steiner and Harry "Haim" Katz circa October, 1992.

D.S. "I am personally not allowed, as president of AIPAC, to get involved in Presidential campaigns... but I helped him - we raised over $1,000,000 for him in New Jersey... we lent, we gave him two employees from AIPAC... we have a dozen people in there... they're all going to get big jobs... we've collected $63 million for him so far."

And so it goes, volumes could be written about election crimes committed by AIPAC. Through corruption and bribery their organization calls the tune for your favorite Senators, Representatives, and Cabinet Members in Washington. How AIPAC does this is pure magic. The claim is that they don't give a penny directly to any candidate but for years they've had as many as 125 other PACs under their control who sent money as instructed and their budget is over 12 million per year. Now, they seem to be simply giving a 'money list' to their chosen performers.

One thing is absolutely certain about the Jewish Lobby-AIPAC:


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top of page President Armand Koller Federal Council Bern, Switzerland Fax

24 June 1997

Dear Mr. President

The Simon Wiesenthal Centre is an international Jewish human rights organisation comprising a membership of 420,000. Established in Los Angeles in 1977, it draws the lessons of the Holocaust to the analysis of contemporary issues. Our Center, in its on-going investigation of Jewish assets looted by the Nazis, has received the following information through the cooperation of Winterthur Versicherung, Winterthur, Switzerland.

Life insurance policies purchased from Winterthur Versicherung by the following individuals and whose policy-holders disappeared during the Second World War, were paid by that company to the Vermundschaftsbchörde, a Swiss government fiduciary:

Willy Wyler, born 10/1/1895, profession silk merchant, last known residence Danzig, insured for 30,000 CHF;

Rodolph Luzianovich, born 11/7/1905, profession shopkeeper at Reinhart and Company, last known residence Alexandria;

Charles Luzianovich, born 20/1/1914, profession commercial employee, last known residence Alexandria;

Etienne Andlauer, born 13/2/1914, residence Strasbourg, policy for 9888 CHF;

Pierre Andlauer, born 22/7/1911, residence Schletstatt, policy for 9733 CHF;

Salomon Halbreich born 8/8/1882 at Konigsberg, Polish citizen, living at 17 Lessingstrasse, Leipzig, last known residence 9 Aristide Briand, Bucharest, Romania, policy for 1596 CHF;

Wilhem Meyke, born 5/3/1879, German citizen, policy for 1549 CHF;

Harry Arnold Muller, born 8/7/1901, German citizen last known residence Berlin;

Karl Weinberg, born 29/6/1897, German citizen, last known residence 408 Heerengracht, Amsterdam

These names emerge from a preliminary investigation by Winterthur of its files and we shall submit further details as they become available. In the meantime, we have placed these and other unclaimed Winterthur policies on our Internet site,, to attempt to trace their heirs. We urge that monies, paid out by all Swiss insurance companies on the policies of victims of Nazism to Swiss government fiduciaries, be promptly transferred to the Holocaust Compensation Fund if direct heirs are not found.

We commend Winterthur Versicherung for cooperating with our investigation and request that your government impress upon all Swiss insurance companies their duty to follow Winterthur's example.

Yours respectfully,

Dr. Shimon Samuels Director for International Liaison

Rabbi Abraham Cooper Associate Dean Simon Wiesenthal Centre, Los Angeles 

source of letter as of March 11, 1998

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Simon Wiesenthal

WC/Simon Wiesenthal's Self-Serving Biog.

Printed here for scholarly uses under "fair use" provisions of the Copyright Act. top of page  

Simon Wiesenthal was one of the lucky few who survived the Nazi death camps of World War II. Unlike many other survivors, however, Mr. Wiesenthal did not return to his pre-War profession as an architect, but instead became the world famous Nazi hunter, the conscience and voice for not only the Holocaust's 6,000,000 Jewish victims but for the millions of others who were murdered by the Nazis, as well.

When asked why he chose his unique course, Wiesenthal explains, "When history looks back I want people to know the Nazis weren't able to kill millions of people and get away with it." His work stands as a reminder and a warning for future generations.

In November 1977, the Simon Wiesenthal Center was founded. Today, together with its world renowned Museum of Tolerance, it is a 400,000 member strong international center for Holocaust remembrance, the defense of human rights and the Jewish people. With offices throughout the world, the Wiesenthal Center carries on the continuing fight against bigotry and antisemitism and pursues an active agenda of related contemporary issues. "I have received many honors in my lifetime," said Mr. Wiesenthal. "When I die, these honors will die with me. But the Simon Wiesenthal Center will live on as my legacy."

Simon Wiesenthal's Life of Hate... 

Posted for scholarly, educational, and research studies only, under "fair use" of copyright law.

Simon Wiesenthal was born on December 31, 1908 in Buczacz, in what is now the Lvov Oblast section of the Ukraine. When Wiesenthal's father was killed in World War I, Mrs. Wiesenthal took her family and fled to Vienna for a brief period, returning to Buczacz when she remarried. The young Wiesenthal graduated from the Gymnasium in 1928 and applied for admission to the Polytechnic Institute in Lvov. Turned away because of quota restrictions on Jewish students, he went instead to the Technical University of Prague, from which he received his degree in architectural engineering in 1932.

In 1936, Simon married Cyla Mueller and worked in an architectural office in Lvov. Their life together was happy until 1939 when Germany and Russia signed their "non-aggression" pact and agreed to partition Poland between them; the Russian army soon occupied Lvov, and shortly afterward began the Red purge of Jewish merchants, factory owners and other professionals. In the purge of "bourgeois" elements that followed the Soviet occupation of Lvov Oblast at the beginning of World War II, Wiesenthal's stepfather was arrested by the NKVD (People's Commissariat of Internal Affairs - Soviet Secret Police) and eventually died in prison; his stepbrother was shot; and Wiesenthal himself, forced to close his business, became a mechanic in a bedspring factory. Later he saved himself, his wife, and his mother from deportation to Siberia by bribing an NKVD commissar. When the Germans displaced the Russians in 1941, a former employee of his, then serving the collaborationist Ukrainian Auxiliary police, helped him to escape execution by the Nazis. But he did not escape incarceration. Following initial detention in the Jan�wska concentration camp just outside Lvov, he and his wife were assigned to the forced labor camp serving the Ostbahn Works, the repair shop for Lvov's Eastern Railroad.

Early in 1942, the Nazi hierarchy formally decided on the "Final Solution" to the "Jewish problem" -- Annihilation. Throughout occupied Europe a terrifying genocide machine was put into operation. In August 1942, Wiesenthal's mother was sent to the Belzec death camp. By September, most of his and his wife's relatives were dead; a total of eighty-nine members of both families perished.

Because his wife's blonde hair gave her a chance of passing as an "Aryan," Wiesenthal made a deal with the Polish underground. In return for detailed charts of railroad junction points made by him for use by saboteurs, his wife was provided with false papers identifying her as "Irene Kowalska," a Pole , and spirited out of the camp in the autumn of 1942. She lived in Warsaw for two years and then worked in the Rhineland as a forced laborer, without her true identity ever being discovered.

With the help of the deputy director, Wiesenthal himself escaped the Ostbahn camp in October 1943, just before the Germans began liquidating all the inmates. In June 1944, he was recaptured and sent back to Jan�wska where he would almost certainly have been killed had the German eastern front not collapsed under the advancing Red Army. Knowing they would be sent into combat if they had no prisoners to justify their rear-echelon assignment, the SS guards at Jan�wska decided to keep the few remaining inmates alive. With 34 prisoners (out of an original 149,000, the 200 guards joined the general retreat westward, picking up the entire population of the village of Chelmiec along the way to adjust the prisoner-guard ratio.

Very few of the prisoners survived the westward trek through Plaszow, Gross-Rosen and Buchenwald, which ended at Mauthausen in upper Austria. Weighing less than 100 pounds and lying helplessly in a barracks where the stench was so strong that even hardboiled SS guards would not enter, Wiesenthal was barely alive when Mauthausen was liberated by an American armored unit on May 5, 1945.

As soon as his health was sufficiently restored, Wiesenthal began gathering and preparing evidence on Nazi atrocities for the War Crimes Section of the United States Army. After the war, he also worked for the Army's Office of Strategic Services and Counter-Intelligence Corps and headed the Jewish Central Committee of the United States Zone of Austria, a relief and welfare organization. Late in 1945, he and his wife, each of whom had believed the other to be dead, were reunited, and in 1946, their daughter Pauline was born.

The evidence supplied by Wiesenthal was utilized in the American zone war crime trials. When his association with the United States Army ended in 1947, Wiesenthal and thirty volunteers opened the Jewish Historical Documentation Center in Linz, Austria, for the purpose of assembling evidence for future trials. But, as the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union intensified, both sides lost interest in prosecuting Germans, and Wiesenthal's volunteers, succumbing to frustration, drifted away to more ordinary pursuits. In 1954, the office in Linz was closed and its files were given to the Yad Vashem Archives in Israel, except for one - the dossier on Adolf Eichmann, the inconspicuous technocrat who, as chief of the Gestapo's Jewish Department, had supervised the implementation of the "Final Solution."

While continuing his salaried relief and welfare work, including the running of an occupational training school for Hungarian and other Iron Curtain refugees, Wiesenthal never relaxed in his pursuit of the elusive Eichmann who had disappeared at the time of Germany's defeat in World War II. In 1953, Wiesenthal received information that Eichmann was in Argentina from people who had spoken to him there. He passed this information on to Israel through the Israeli embassy in Vienna and in 1954 also informed Nahum Goldmann, but the FBI had received information that Eichmann was in Damascus, Syria. It was not until 1959 that Israel was informed by Germany that Eichmann was in Buenos Aires living under the alias of Ricardo Klement. He was captured there by Israeli agents and brought to Israel for trial. Eichmann was found guilty of mass murder and executed on May 31, 1961.

Encouraged by the capture of Eichmann, Wiesenthal reopened the Jewish Documentation Center, this time in Vienna, and concentrated exclusively on the hunting of war criminals. One of his high priority cases was Karl Silberbauer, the Gestapo officer who arrested Anne Frank, the fourteen year-old German-Jewish girl who was murdered by the Nazis after hiding in an Amsterdam attic for two years. Dutch neo-Nazi propagandists were fairly successful in their attempts to discredit the authenticity of Anne Frank's famous diary until Wiesenthal located Silberbauer, then a police inspector in Austria, in 1963. "Yes," Silberbauer confessed, when confronted, "I arrested Anne Frank."

In October 1966, sixteen SS officers, nine of them found by Wiesenthal, went on trial in Stuttgart, West Germany, for participation in the extermination of Jews in Lvov. High on Wiesenthal's most-wanted list was Fritz Stangl, the commandant of the Treblinka and Sobibor concentration camps in Poland. After three years of patient undercover work by Wiesenthal, Stangl was located in Brazil and remanded to West Germany for imprisonment in 1967. He was sentenced to life imprisonment and died in prison.

Wiesenthal's book of memoirs, The Murderers Among Us, was published in 1967. During a visit to the United States to promote the book, Wiesenthal announced that he had found Mrs. Hermine Ryan, nee Braunsteiner, a housewife living in Queens, New York. According to the dossier, Mrs. Ryan had supervised the killings of several hundred children at Majdanek. She was extradited to Germany for trial as a war criminal in 1973 and received life imprisonment.

The Jewish Documentation Center in Vienna is a nondescript, sparsely furnished three-room office with a staff of four, including Wiesenthal. Contrary to belief, Wiesenthal does not usually track down the Nazi fugitives himself. His chief task is gathering and analyzing information. In that work he is aided by a vast, informal, international network of friends, colleagues, and sympathizers, including German World War II veterans, appalled by the horrors they witnessed. He has even received tips from former Nazis with grudges against other former Nazis. A special branch of his Vienna office documents the activities of right-wing groups, neo-Nazis and similar organizations. top of page  

Painstakingly, Wiesenthal culls every pertinent document and record he can get and listens to the many personal accounts told him by individual survivors. With an architect's structural acumen, a Talmudist's thoroughness, and a brilliant talent for investigative thinking, he pieces together the most obscure, incomplete, and apparently irrelevant and unconnected data to build cases solid enough to stand up in a court of law. The dossiers are then presented to the appropriate authorities. When, as often happens, they fail to take action, whether from indifference, pro-Nazi sentiment, or some other consideration, Wiesenthal goes to the press and other media, for experience has taught him that publicity and an outraged public opinion are powerful weapons.

The work yet to be done is enormous. Germany's war criminal files contain more than 90,000 names, most of them of people who have never been tried. Thousands of former Nazis, not named in any files, are also known to be at large, often in positions of prominence, throughout Germany. Aside from the cases themselves, there is the tremendous task of persuading authorities and the public that the Nazi Holocaust was massive and pervasive. In the final paragraph of his memoirs, he quotes what an SS corporal told him in 1944: "You would tell the truth [about the death camps] to the people in America. That's right. And you know what would happen, Wiesenthal? They wouldn't believe you. They'd say you were mad. Might even put you into an asylum. How can anyone believe this terrible business - unless he has lived through it?" top of page  

Simon Wiesenthal's Hateful Quotations

Printed here for scholars, educators, and researchers only under "fair use" of copyright law.

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Simon Wiesenthal Quotes

Discovering witnesses is just as important as catching criminals.
(Quoted in the introduction to The Sunflower)

The schools would fail through their silence, the Church through its forgiveness, and the home through the denial and silence of the parents. The new generation has to hear what the older generation refuses to tell it.
(Quoted in the introduction to The Sunflower)

The only value of nearly five decades of my work is a warning to the murderers of tomorrow, that they will never rest.
(Quoted in an interview in The Jerusalem Post International Edition, February 5, 1994)

For your benefit, learn from our tragedy. It is not a written law that the next victims must be Jews. It can also be other people. We saw it begin in Germany with Jews, but people from more than twenty other nations were also murdered. When I started this work, I said to myself, 'I will look for the murderers of all the victims, not only the Jewish victims. I will fight for justice.'
(Quoted in an interview in Penthouse Magazine, 1983)

The history of man is the history of crimes, and history can repeat. So information is a defense. Through this we can build, we must build, a defense against repetition.
(Baltimore Jewish Times, February 24, 1989)

Justice for crimes against humanity must have no limitations.
(from Vienna Documentation Center)

We need partners. We cannot fight against the neo-Nazis alone. We need friends. We can win them by telling them their history, by talking about the others, the millions of people other than the Jews, that the Nazis killed. The Holocaust began with the Jewish. But it did not end with the Jews.
(from an interview in the Baltimore Jewish Times, April 3, 1981)

There is no denying that Hitler and Stalin are alive today...they are waiting for us to forget, because this is what makes possible the resurrection of these two monsters.
(from a meeting with President Jimmy Carter reported in The Washington Post, August 6, 1980)

From Justice not Vengeance (London : Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1989):

Survival is a privilege which entails obligations. I am forever asking myself what I can do for those who have not survived. The answer I have found for myself (and which need not necessarily be the answer for every survivor) is: I want to be their mouthpiece, I want to keep their memory alive, to make sure the dead live on in that memory. (p. 351)

I don't think there is any other solution than constantly coming to terms with the past, and learning from it. There is no point in minimizing guilt in order to make it easier for sons and daughters to bear the failure of their fathers and grandfathers, their mothers and grandmothers. (p. 357-8)

Hatred can be nurtured anywhere, idealism can be perverted into sadism anywhere. If hatred and sadism combine with modern technology the inferno could erupt anew anywhere. (p. 358)

The combination of hatred and technology is the greatest danger threatening mankind. (p. 358)

Violence is like a weed--it does not die even in the greatest drought. (p. 359)

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These six "cremating ovens" which seem more like "bread ovens" are hardly enough to cremate all of the so-called "victims" of the so-called "death camps." How many persons would six little cremating ovens dispose of? Ten per day? Fifteen? And, in a time of shortages of coal, how would this be so-ordered? The answers for the Wiesenthal Center are grave. They are never asked. Never answered. 


1. OVENS. 

Look closely at these ovens. This picture is one of Wiesenthal's pieces of evidence. Yet, it is evidence of nothing. It was located at  on page 22. Are these "crematoria" or are they "bread ovens"?



Read closely. Although grim, the description proves these persons died of starvation and not of gassings. As for the statement, "The Germans made a practice of feeding the prisoners only enough to keep them barely alive," that is merely an editorial by a soldier after the war who was in no situation in which to know if that were true or not. The facts are that the Germans had been saturation bombed for the last 12 months of the war, and nearly everyone in Europe was starving to death at that time. Germany only produces 1/3rd of the food it needs for its entire population even in peace time.



The insolent remark, "German Kulture," can only be seen as an indictment and a racist comment.

Do not let the grimness of these photographs fool you. 

There are worse photographs of the war than these, in London, Brussels, Dresden, Nagasaki, and elsewhere. Yet, no one accused Americans there of being genocidal maniacs, but, in fact, the Americans regularly shot to death innocent German mothers from airplanes, women with children, who were simply carrying milk home, because it "was the way of the war" to kill civilians. 

The same type of photographs of Southern prison camps like Andersonville and Northern prison camps like Alton, Illinois are still available from the Civil War, yet no one accused these nations of genocide based on such photographic evidence. 

Only the Germans have been so accused, and the evidence was never questioned. Only the accusations were made and no one was ever given a chance at defending the nation. Instead, even today, anyone criticizing the state's official Simon Wiesenthal Approved "answer" to these questions can be incarcerated. 

What type of evidence is it when anyone can go to jail for questioning it? The answer might be that, quite possibly, it is very flimsy evidence indeed.

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The Jewish Black Slave Debate, Wiesenthal Center, circa 1997

Found at Wiesenthal Center Web Page in 1997. Provided here at the scholarly website for scholarly, educational, and research uses under the "fair use" provisions of the copyright law.


By Harold Brackman
Simon Wiesenthal Center

The year of the Persian Gulf War, 1991, also marked the eruption of another, ongoing conflict which might be called the Black-Jewish "history war" over responsibility for the Atlantic slave trade. In July, 1991, one month before the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn was rocked by three days of anti-Jewish violence after a Hasidic motorist accidentally killed a black child, Professor Leonard Jeffries of the African American Studies Department of the City University of New York delivered a rambling speech at the Empire State Black Arts and Cultural Festival in Albany. In addition to exposing a supposed Russian Jewish/Italian Mafia "conspiracy planned and plotted and programmed out of Hollywood . . . for the destruction of Black people," he indicted "rich Jews" for financing the slave trade.1 Though Jeffries never authored serious published scholarship on this any other subject, he had hinted for years that he was working on a ten volume history of Jewish slavetrading. But before he had the opportunity to offer the profession and the public this still much anticipated work, his thunder was stolen by Louis Farrakhan's Nation of Islam. In October, 1991, two months after the Crown Heights riot, the NOI's anonymous Historical Research Department published The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews. Billed as "Volume 1" of a promised--or threatened--three volume work, The Secret Relationship also had multiple historical targets. These included Jews who, allegedly, poisoned Indian blankets with small pox, originated the opium traffic, and pioneered the prostitution industry.2 Behind all these conspiracies loomed the murderous role of Jews who were "key operatives" bearing "monumental culpability" for the Atlantic slave trade. The guilt of slavetrading merchants was shared collectively by the Jewish community which was "disproportionately" involved and has been "conclusively linked to the greatest criminal endeavor ever undertaken against an entire race of people--the Black African Holocaust."3 This is the central thesis permeating the 334 pages and 1275 footnotes that make up The Secret Relationship.

This Farrakhanite historical bible, for which Jeffries served as a kind of John the Baptist, both reflected and reinforced the current deterioration in Black-Jewish relations. The false charge of Jewish slave trade "domination" seemed novel--and in some ways was. The charge was certainly not a staple of traditional black antisemitism vilifying Jews as "Christ killers" and ghetto exploiters.4 And the innovative marketing strategy--including an "800" number and a promotional tabloid--which the Nation of Islam used to catapult The Secret Relationship into an underground best seller was also unprecedented. Yet scrutinized closely, this canard about Jews and slavetrading emerges as a repackaging for African American consumption of a much older libel. With deep roots in the history of antisemitic polemic, it originated many centuries before the voyage of the first slave ship from Africa to the Americas.

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The slave trade may not be the oldest--or even second oldest--profession, but it was a venerable as well as a disreputable institution. The defamatory linkage between Jews and slavetrading is also very old. Not so old as the deicide accusation,5 but prior in time and almost as influential as the medieval obsession with the Jew as parasitic usurer.6 Jewish slaveownership, viewed as incompatible with the degraded status of a people collectively guilty of killing Christ, was the initial target of Christian emperors and churchmen, from Constantine and Augustine in the fourth century, and incorporated in harsh provisions of the Theodosian and Justinian Codes as well as the canon law.7 St. Augustine's doctrine, that "the Jew is the slave of the Christian," was embraced by Popes from Gregory the Great in the sixth century to Innocent III in the thirteenth century, with the usual corollary that Jews should not liberate their slaves but instead surrender them to Christian masters including the Church itself.8 For a Jew to subject a Christian or a pagan bondsman to circumcision, defined as "the Jewish mark of infamy," was punished as a capital offense in the Byzantine Empire.9 The Frankish and Visigothic successor kingdoms in Western Europe were much slower to adopt and enforce draconian legislation.l0 Yet all of medieval Christendom was fixated on the threat of conversion and corruption posed by Jewish slaveholders in a way that never became typical of the Islamic world where prohibitions were usually both lax and limited to Jewish ownership of Muslim, not Christian or pagan, slaves.ll

Regarding slavetrading by Jews, Pope Gregory I combined a professed horror at the practice with a pragmatic willingness to accommodate it. He sanctioned a legal loophole whereby Jewish dealers could maintain possession of Christian slaves for up to forty days and pagan slaves for up to ninety days while finding a Christian buyer.l2 In the ninth century, however, Archbishop Agobard of Lyons, who accused Jews of kidnaping Christian children to sell across the Pyrenees into Muslim Spain, became the first in a series of crusading churchmen who focused popular wrath on Jewish slavetraders. As Wolfgang Seifirth put it, Agobard "especially deplored the slave trade that extended over the entire Mediterranean . . . [and] confessed that Christians were also involved as buyers and sellers, but he seemed to lay the blame exclusively on Jews."l3 According to Salo Baron, later historians were taken in by the "fulminations of churchmen" on the basis of which even the distinguished Charles Verlinden "vastly exaggerated" and "far too glibly accept[ed] the view that the Jews dominated the international slave trade" during the early middle ages.14 Let me quote at length from a passage from James Parkes's 1934 classic, The Conflict of the Church and the Synagogue, which is both symptom and analysis of the tendency which Baron criticized:

The great paradox was that the mythical Jewish slavetrader loomed ever larger in the medieval Christian imagination at the same time as the commercial reality of Jewish slavetrading was drying up. On the one hand, the Jewish merchants called "Rhadanites" (probably from a Persian word meaning "knowing the way") disappear from slave trade annals as Eastern Europe is Christianized, the Jewish Khazar Kingdom in Central Asia is destroyed, and the Black Sea/Crimean slave exports become a specialty of Venetian and Genoese Christians.l6 S. D. Goitein's study of the Cairo Geniza around the year 1000 found not a single Jewish professional slave trader active either in Egypt or in Indian, African, or Mediterranean waters.17 In medieval Spain, where Christian-Muslim warfare created a significant local slave supply, Jewish merchants continued to participate longer, but their role sharply diminished during the eleventh and twelfth centuries in response to restrictions imposed by both Jewish and non-Jewish authorities.18 There is also no evidence of Jewish slavetraders importing black slaves into Andalusia.l9

But on the other hand, this is the same period when, as David B. Davis puts it, Christians increasingly "became obsessed with alleged Jewish plots to enslave, convert, or sell non-Jews."20 Davis sees the decreasingly real Jewish slavetrader as a convenient scapegoat for an aggressively self-confident, crusading society committed with new intensity to the notion "that only Christians could righteously enslave others, for the purpose of saving their souls."21 Gavin I. Langmuir sees the same phenomenon as a case of "blaming the victim" by a new antisemitic consensus, beyond traditional anti-Judaism, that legally reduced Jews to a status of "perpetual servitude" without even the protections accorded to serfs.22 John Boswell sees a classic case of projection on to Jews of the guilt Christians felt over medieval society's epidemic of child abandonment.23

The charge that Jews bought, stole, and abused Christian children evolved and escalated from a slave trade libel into the ritual murder myth. The 150 known blood libels brought against Jews during the middle ages often reflected local conditions, but they were also typically viewed as Christian self-protection against an international Jewish conspiracy modelled on the slave trade.24 The first trial in 1150 in which nineteen Jews were hanged for the murder six years before of the boy, William of Norwich, set the pattern when the monk Theobold, a converted Jew, claimed that "the chief men and Rabbis of the Jews who dwell in Spain assemble at Narbonne, where the Royal seed [resides], . . . and they cast lots for all the countries which the Jews inhabit" in order to pick the one country each year to target for child killing.25 A generation later, the Jews of Winchester were blamed for murdering a French boy who had been sent to to them by the Jews of Rouen with a letter in Hebrew bearing lethal instructions.26 The intentional Jewish conspiracy was alleged to victimize, not just individual children, but entire Christian communities like Visigothic Spain, which the Jews were said to have sold out to the Saracens in the eighth century, and Barcelona and Bordeaux, which were attacked by Vikings supposedly in league with Jews in the ninth century. Eleventh century accusations that the Jews of Orleans had instigated the Caliph al Hakim to despoil Christians and Christian holy places in Jerusalem helped fuel the First Crusade.27 The ritual murder business was not only global but also "supply side" in the minds of at least a few enterprising Christians who actually offered to sell their children to Jews for purposes of sacrifice.28

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Leonard Jeffries and the anonymous Farrakhanite historians29 are not unaware that there was a medieval European traffic in white slaves. Needless to say, they are sure that the Jews "dominated" it. According to The Secret Relationship, "The Jews' participation . . . incited the moral indignation of Europe's Gentile population," and resulted in their repeated expulsions.30 This purported explanation is standard fare in the "classics" of European antisemitic scholarship culminating in Houston Stewart Chamberlain's Foundations of the Nineteenth Century (1899).31 Jeffries broke new ground, however, by suggesting that "rich Jews and the Catholic church had an alliance for hundreds of years selling white folks . . . into slavery in the Arab world."32 It was probably inevitable that believers in the demonic Jewish slave trader of the middle ages would eventually revive and refurbish the blood sacrifice myth as well. This came in December, 1992, in the New York Amsterdam News, the city's leading black newspaper and a leader in Jeffries's ultimately unsuccessful campaign to regain the CUNY African Studies chairmanship of which he was stripped after his Albany speech. It ran a front page story featuring accusations that the Hasidic community of Crown Heights had tried to lure a black transient into a synagogue basement in order to murder him in retaliation for the initial acquittal of Lemrick Nelson, the black teenager tried for stabbing to death rabbinic student Yankel Rosenbaum during the 1991 rioting.33

Of course, Jeffries has only crocodile tears for the Europeans ostensibly kidnapped and--who knows?-- sometimes even ritually murdered by Jews during what he calls the precursor "white slave trade."34 His, and Farrakhan's, real indignation is reserved for the Atlantic slave trade characterized as "the Black African Holocaust."35 But here, too, there was a tradition of antisemitic polemic, European and ultimately American, for them to use in forging an erroneous version of Atlantic slave trade history.

During the fifteenth century, Spanish Old Christians, particularly from the merchant class, forced the creation of a new Inquisition built around the doctrine of limpieza or "purity of blood." The purpose was to thwart by means of racial stigmatization the economic and political aspirations of the Spanish New Christians who, as Benzion Netanyahu convincingly argues, were hated and feared much more than the Old Jews precisely because of their enthusiastic conversion to Christianity.36 A century later, Fray Prudencio de Sandoval, Charles V's biographer, asserted as Spanish common sense a biological racism precociously reminiscent of the Nuremberg Laws:

A Portuguese scholar in 1623 put it more pithily, declaring that "a little Jewish blood is enough to destroy the world!"38 The problem for Portugal during the merger of the two monarchies between 1580 and 1640 was that it had even more New Christian blood than Spain. The Spaniards extended their racial equation by making "Portuguese" a synonym for "Jew."39 The final addition was the Dutch whom the Spanish Inquisition was believed to have condemned en masse as heretics a generation before Amsterdam became a haven for Portuguese Jews.40 Spanish propagandists and paranoids, who were often one and the same, grotesquely exaggerated the threat posed to their empire by Portuguese New Christians whom they accused of monopolizing the trade of Spanish America "from the vilest African Negro to the most precious pearl."41 Only posing as merchants, they were really agents provocateur of la Cofradia de los Judios de Holanda, the Dutch Jewish Brotherhood which allegedly controlled the Dutch West India Company and masterminded "the grand conspiracies" in Peru and Mexico. Spanish persecution had the perverse tendency to promote the very threat that it sought to prevent, but even so the complex, nonconspiratorial reality was that the Portuguese New Christians, though active commercially as well as culturally ambivalent about their heritage, were not consistently pro-Jewish or pro-Dutch or even anti-Spanish. They may have plotted to oust Spain from Lima, but they were falsely accused of conspiring in Mexico City. They helped the Dutch establish a beachhead in Northern Brazil, but then helped oust them after Portugal regained its independence in the 1640's. And they even returned in some numbers to Madrid and Seville as agents of the Spanish Crown.42 Yet Spain, which itself was pilloried by the Black Legend, managed to create a Jewish Legend about a racial fifth column of Jews and crypto-Jews trying to engross the silver, sugar, and slaves of the Atlantic economy in league with the Dutch and then the English. This legend is swallowed hook, line, and sinker by The Secret Relationship, which then takes an extra giant step by picturing Columbus himself as probably "a slave dealing Jew."43

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Ironically, the Dutch and English, though coconspirators of the Jews in Spanish eyes, had their own versions of the same legend about conspiratorial Jewish slavetrading. Relative Dutch tolerance did not translate from Old Amsterdam to New Amsterdam where Governor Peter Stuyvesant in 1661 remonstrated against "Spaniards and unbelieving Jews" for manipulating the slave trade and denying African labor to the good Calvinist burghers of his colony.44 In Elizabethan and early Stuart England, Samuel Purchas defined the Marranos as "unChristian Christians, who Jewishly hate the name of Jew"; and John Donne denounced them as tinctured by Catholicism.45 The slave market, where "Euery ones price is written on his backe," is the natural element of Christopher Marlowe's Barabas, The Jew of Malta, who betrays Christians to Turks, Turks to Christians, and even his fellow Jews.46 The honorable Moroccan prince who protests "mislike me not for my complexion" appears, not in Shakespeare's Othello, but in The Merchant of Venice where Shylock's malignant blackness of character is subtly reinforced by a reference to his "countryman" Chus (or Cush).47 A half century later, the Protestant millenarian advocacy of Jewish readmission into England set off paroxysms in the mind of Puritan William Prynne who feared that Jews were Jesuits in disguise.48

In Georgian England, Parliament repealed the liberalizing Jew Bill of 1753 after an explosive debate during which the Duke of Bedford argued that the blacks of the sugar colonies were ultimately more assimilable to Englishness than the Jews of the home country.49 Anti-Jewish, though not anti-Catholic, passions were muted in the American colonies, but the Shylock image was integral to the cultural heritage of the young American Republic where in 1794 Susanna Rowson's popular play, Slaves in Algiers, the first native drama with Jewish characters, featured a Jewish villain, named Ben Hassan, who blurred the distinction between usury and enslavement by plotting to betray American captives after stealing their money. Fortunately, his beautiful, unaccented daughter, Jessica, wishes that "some dear Christian man would fall in love with me and carry me off," and the American hero, overhearing her, declares: "I'm your man." A variation on the same theme appears in Royall Tyler's 1797 novel, The Algerian Captive, which characterizes Jews as a "cunning race" worshipping a messiah of gold.50

Much more significant than these early stereotypes was the anti-Jewish dimension of the debate over slavery during the antebellum decades which, Frederic Jaher has recently argued, were the crucible for the formation of American antisemitism.51 In my own 1977 dissertation, I drew a sharp distinction between black abolitionists, whose strong identification with the Hebrew children in Egyptian bondage usually inspired philosemitism, and white abolitionists, who more often harbored anti-Jewish attitudes. Of course, there were also Southern proslavery antisemites, but they complained about Jewish merchants undermining the institution by corrupting slave customers.52 Regarding the abolitionist movement, Ernestine Rose, the Polish rabbi's daughter who in America became an agnostic and antislavery orator, decried "the pernicious example and influence of Puritanism" pervading it.53 In 1853 abolitionist New York merchant Lewis Tappan of the evangelical wing complained that there were not more Jews found among "the friends of universal freedom." He apparently did not see a causal relationship between this and the sectarian campaign by his brother, Arthur, to reorganize abolitionism as "a Christian party in politics."54 The Garrisonian wing journeyed from religious perfectionism back to Enlightenment freethinking. This could, and in some cases did, lead toward universal tolerance--but, unfortunately, not always.55 Logically, one could share Tom Paine's view (which was also Voltaire's) of the ancient Israelites as "a nation of ruffians and cut-throats" without disdaining modern Jews.56 Religiously orthodox abolitionists used doctrines like the special dispersion enjoyed by the Israelite conquerors of Canaan and the progressive revelation to Christians about human brotherhood to counter Southern arguments that the Old Testament justified American slavery. 57 Such convoluted apologetics were scorned by abolitionist freethinkers like Henry Clarke Wright, author of The Bible, If Opposed to Self-Evident Truth, Is Self-Evident Falsehood, and Charles Stearns, who declared that the Bible was "no more the work of God than the Koran, or the Book of Mormon."58 In a Christian culture, even freethinkers were tempted to cite the current degraded status of Jews as a cautionary tale about the fate of a benighted people who stubbornly adheres to outmoded ancestral beliefs.59 Lydia Maria Child, for example, took this step after her 1841 visit to Shearey Hashamayim, a conservative German-Jewish synagogue in New York. "When I hear Christian ministers apologizing for slavery by the example of Abraham," she wrote,

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The abolitionist temptation to picture Jews as emblematically proslavery became well-nigh irresistible when Southern rabbis and even Rabbi Morris Raphall of New York City, in fact, emerged as apologists for the South's "peculiar institution."61 The potent retort--blaming the slave trade on Jews--was seized on by Harriet Beecher Stowe, who was of the opinion that New England bred "better Jews than Moses could." In The Key to Uncle Tom's Cabin (1854), she praised the medieval Church's attack on Jewish slavetraders for producing "abundant results in favour of liberty," and singled out among Richmond's seventy slavetrading firms the Jewish Davis family, "with representatives in Philadelphia, New York, etc.," whom she erroneously identified on the word of an informant as "the great slavetraders" of the place.62

Of course, Bertram W. Korn, a century after Uncle Tom's travails, demonstrated that in the Old South "none of the major slavetraders was Jewish."63 But Stowe's attack was even more unfair. Detestation of slavetrading was the one universal shared by the American rabbis. Citing "the appalling horrors of the slave passage" from Africa as a violation of the Pentateuchal prohibition against "man stealing," Gustav Gottheil of Manchester and then New York lamented that "the law of the Hebrew legislator had been forgotten or trampled underfoot by Christian nations professing to hold it as of divine authority!"64 Sabato Morais of London and then Philadelphia denounced "nations that boast of civilization and religious enlightenment" for "the cruelty, the barbarity, the inhumanity practiced in the prosecution of that abominable trade."65 And Isaac Mayer Wise of Cincinnati, despite his contempt for abolitionists and Republicans, demanded that the North crush the South partly because a victorious Confederacy, in league with Spain, might reopen the Atlantic slave trade.66 After the Civil War, slavery was dead, but not the spectre of the Jewish slavetrader. In another irony, the memory was kept alive by the illustrious amateur history buffs who founded the American Jewish Historical Society in 1892. Jewish slaveholding and slavetrading--far from being "kept secret"--were prominently featured. The impulse could be impartial and documentary, as in Max J. Kohler's account of "Jews . . . engaged in slave-dealing" in colonial New York who, Kohler writes, "were neither better nor worse than the Christian inhabitants" engaged in the same business.67 But it was sometimes tinged with filiopietism and even "the white man's burden." For example, Simon Wolf was a good Republican and friend of Frederick Douglass.68 Yet his American Jew as Patriot, Soldier, and Citizen (1895) contains this politically incorrect passage about savage Black-Jewish conflict in Dutch Surinam:

Much easier to accept today is the naive hope of philanthropist Oscar S. Straus, the Society's president, that his commissioning of a book highlighting (real and imagined) Jewish involvement in Columbus's discoveries "would be an answer for all time to come to antisemitic tendencies in this country."70 Little could he know that the future held in store the Farrakhanite portrait of Columbus as "a slave dealing Jew"! During the first half or so of the twentieth century, Jewish involvement in slaveholding as well as slavetrading continued to be documented by the new breed of professional Jewish historians, from Herbert Bloom to Jacob Marcus, and also to be touched on, sometimes gingerly, in popular histories.71 But the polemical implications remained muted until the civil rights movement entered a crisis stage in the 1960's. As late as 1967, Harold Cruse in his vitriolic, The Crisis of the Negro Intellectual, castigated Jews as exploiters of the black freedmen (citing Dostoyevsky as his authority!), but did not accuse them of "dominating" the slave trade.72 Change was in the wind in 1968 with the publication of James Pope-Hennessy's The Sins of the Fathers, the first popular history of the Atlantic slave trade to play up the role of Jews. In the spirit of his title, Hennessy continued to treat the de Wolfs of Rhode Island as "Jewish slavetraders" even after they intermarried and converted to Christianity.73 Coincidentally or not, 1968 was also the year of the "community control" school dispute in Ocean Hill-Brownsville when a leaflet was placed on a Jewish teacher's desk reading:

In 1977 African American historian Oscar R. Williams, Jr., used the Negro History Bulletin, which Carter G. Woodson had established to reach a popular audience, to propound the thesis that the slave trade--rather than the civil rights movement--was the appropriate metaphor for understanding the history of Black-Jewish relations.75 Fifty years earlier, Woodson, the godfather of African American history, had held up Jewish historical consciousness as a model to emulated:

If a race has no history, if it has no worthwhile tradition, it becomes a negligible factor in the thought of the world, and it stands in danger of being exterminated. The American Indian left no continuous record. He did not appreciate the value of tradition; and where is he today? The Hebrew keenly appreciated the value of tradition, as it attested by the Bible itself. In spite of worldwide persecution, therefore, he is still a great factor in civilization.76

By the 1970's this positive identification, turned problematic, was being eroded by two movements: to eject from the civil rights struggle Jewish activists whose involvement David Levering Lewis attributed to "misconceived ethnic propinquity,"77 and to distance from the study of black history Jewish scholars who had contributed so much to the field.78 The myth of Jewish slave trade "domination" contributed to both. Louis Farrakhan actually began propounding it around 1984, simultaneous with his notorious praise of "great man" Hitler and disparagement of "dirty Judaism," but it took his organization until the 1990's to find the right pseudo-scholarly vehicle.79 The antisemitic wing of Afrocentrism, including John Henrik Clarke and Tony Martin, cultivated the same thesis, as did some fellow travelling African American journalists such as David Mills of the Style Section of the Washington Post who evoked an image of Caribbean Jewish dealers in so-called "refuse Negroes" as the used car salesman of the slave trade.80

Henry Louis Gates, Jr., of Harvard's Afro-American Studies Department warned us not to allow "demagogues to turn the wellspring of memory into a renewable resource of enmity everlasting" in a 1992 opinion piece in the New York Times arguing that The Secret Relationship was a political gambit by black separatists seeking to obscure and discredit the true history of interracial cooperation in this century.81 This is part but not the whole explanation. The other part is the politics of competitive victimization and martyrology. The Farrakhanite claim that the Shoah does not much matter because of the "100 times worse" horror of the slave trade for which the Jews bear "monumental culpability" is a new means toward the old end of Holocaust denial. It is also endorsed by white racist antisemites such as Tom Metzger, Willis Carto, and Lyndon LaRouche, with whom Farrakhan has a mutual admiration society.82 In 1979 Jesse Jackson, angered by the firing of UN Ambassador Andrew Young, described how "the chosen people came up against the master race" during the Holocaust which, he said, was historically not so special because "sixty million blacks" had been exterminated by white racism.83 The Secret Relationship claimed "100 million murder victims," but Farrakhan's deputy, Khalid Abdul Muhammad, immediately upped the ante to 200 million "during Middle Passage alone" and then further inflated it to "over 600 million" at a 1994 press conference on the steps of the U.S. Holocaust Museum in Washington.84 Farrakhan himself went statistically bonkers on the question of Jewish slaveownership, claiming incredibly that Southern Jews owned 75 percent of all slaves while simultaneously denying there was even one Arab-owned slave in today's Sudan.85 But the record for using grotesque multiples of six million in order to bury the memory of Hitler's Jewish victims belongs to the self-styled Afrocentrist historian Jose V. Malcioln. Explaining that "holocaust" means "hell of a cost," he offers this comparative estimate:

The slave trade numbers game goes hand-in-hand with the moral inflation of "Jewish culpability" for "the Black African Holocaust." The Secret Relationship employs ersatz academic prose for this purpose, but S. E. Anderson's The Black Holocaust For Beginners (1995), a "Documentary Comic Book," makes the same point through drawings of Jewish slavetraders in kaftans.87

The final irony, already alluded to, is that The Secret Relationship has not really seceded from interracial politics, but merely substituted for the old alliance with Jewish progressives a new alliance with anti-Jewish reactionaries. Its thesis has been embraced by the Neo-Nazi Sons of Liberty whose own book, Who Brought the Slaves to America (1995), proves that Thomas Jefferson's first draft of the Declaration of Independence was wrong to blame George III because behind him stood the Jewish slavetrader.88 The circle is completed by white Canadian Holocaust denier Michael Bradley whose Chosen People From the Caucasus (1992), published by Afrocentrist "Third World Press," argues that Russian pogroms like Kishinev were the eruption of a repressed historical memory by Christians of their medieval victimization by Jewish Khazar slave stealers.89 With this demented thesis we have moved back--from black to white, from modern to medieval, and from America and Africa to Europe--to where the demonizing of Jews as slavetraders truly began.

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In the 1920's, when Carter G. Woodson launched modern African American history, another zero-sum, intergroup "history war," also centered in Chicago where Farrakhan is headquartered, was fought as Mayor "Big Bill" Thompson threatened "to punch the snoot" of King George V as part of an appeal to predominately German and Irish voters angry at perceived pro-British bias in history textbooks.90 This was a few years after Henry Ford had touted The International Jew, replete with libels about Jewish responsibility for the Civil War and Lincoln's assassination, as "the kind of American history that was not taught in school."91 He might be gratified, were he still around, to see The Secret Relationship, with an unacknowledged debt to The International Jew, bootlegged into Afrocentric course reading lists at Wellesley and elsewhere.92

Whether in the 1920's or the 1990's, it was not unreasonable for Americans from a rainbow of colors and creeds and countries to demand that their distinctive histories get recognition. In the case of black history, scholars like Vincent Harding, John Blassingame, and Nathan Huggins tried unconventional approaches to reach a popular audience.93 But if history is too important to be monopolized by narrow historical professionals, it is also too dangerous to be given over to political demagogues. The battle cry for "history from the bottom up" should not be betrayed by capitulation to "history from the gutter down" like The Secret Relationship with its paranoid as well as polemical thesis about "Jewish domination" of the slave trade.


1. The full text of Jeffries's speech is in New York Newsday, August 18, 1991, and New York Amsterdam News, August 31, 1991. For unsympathetic analyses, see James Traub, "Professor Whiff: Leonard Jeffries's 'Black Truth' Strikes Out," Village Voice, October 1, 1991, pp. 30-41; Jim Sleeper, "The Battle for Enlightenment at City College," in Blacks and Jews: Alliances and Arguments, ed. Paul Berman (New York: Delacorte Press, 1994), pp. 239-53.

2. The Historical Research Department of the Nation of Islam, The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews (Chicago: Latimer Associates, 1991), pp. 24-25, 199, 201, 232. For a refutation of these grotesque charges, see Harold Brackman, Ministry of Lies: The Truth Behind "The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews" (New York: Four Walls Eight Windows, 1994), pp. 76-83.

3. The Secret Relationship, pp. vii, 90, 178. The NOI's claims about "Jews and the Black Holocaust" are now on the Internet. See Blacks&Jews Newspage (December 16, 1996).

4. For historical treatments of black antisemitism, see especially Leonard Dinnerstein, Uneasy at Home: Antisemitism and the American Jewish Experience (New York: Columbia Univ. Press, 1987), Chap. 11; idem, Antisemitism in America (New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 1994), Chap. 10; Louis R. Harlan, "Booker T. Washington's Discovery of the Jews," in Region, Race, and Reconstruction, ed. J. Morgan Kousser and James M. McPherson (New York: Oxford Univ. Press. 1982), pp. 267-79; David R. Hellwig, "Black Images of Jews: From Reconstruction to Depression," Societas, 8 (Summer, 1978): 205-24; Arnold Shankman, Ambivalent Friends: Afro-Americans View the Immigrant (Westport, CN: Greenwood Press, 1982), Chap. 5. Dinnerstein and Stephen J. Whitfield debated "The Origins of Black Antisemitism in America" in the American Jewish Archives, 39 (November, 1987): 193-202. Dinnerstein had the better of the argument, but I'm less impressed than he is by the evidence of black antisemitism prior to the late nineteenth century. See Harold Brackman, "The Ebb and Flow of Conflict: A History of Black-Jewish Relations Through 1900" (Ph.D. Thesis, UCLA, 1977), Chap. 5.

5. Jeremy Cohen, "The Jews as the Killers of Christ in the Latin Tradition, from Augustine to the Friars," Tradition, 39 (1983): 1-27.

6. R. I. Moore, The Formation of a Persecuting Society: Power and Deviance in Western Europe, 950-1250 (London: Basil Blackwell, 1987), pp. 84-85; Gavin I. Langmuir, Toward a Definition of Antisemitism (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1990), p. 138; Mark R. Cohen, Under Crescent and Cross: The Jews in the Middle Ages (Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press, 1994), pp. 80-85.

7. James Parkes, The Conflict of the Church and the Synagogue (New York: Hermon Press, 1974 [1934]), pp. 328-30, 391; Marcel Simon, Verus Israel, trans. H. McKeating (New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 1986), pp. 292-93; Louis H. Feldman, Jew and Gentile in the Ancient World: Attitudes and Interactions from Alexander to Justinian (Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press, 1993), pp. 392-94.

8. Langmuir, pp. 167-69; idem, History, Religion, and Antisemitism (Berkeley: Univ. of California Press, 1990), pp. 294-95; Feldman, p. 394; Ernest L. Abel, The Roots of Anti-Semitism (Rutherford, NJ: Fairleigh Dickinson Univ. Press, 1975), p. 219.

9. Feldman, pp. 391, 393; Salo W. Baron, A Social And Religious History of the Jews (2d ed.; New York: Columbia Univ. Press, 1952-1967), IV, 188.

10. Bernard S. Bachrach, Early Medieval Jewish Policy in Western Europe (Minneapolis: Univ. of Minnesota Press, 1977), pp. 60, 92, 96.

11. M. R. Cohen, pp. 64; Aryeh Shmuelevitz, The Jews of the Ottoman Empire in the Late Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries (Leiden: R. J. Brill, 1984), pp. 36-37; Alan Fisher, "Chattel Slavery in the Ottoman Empire," Slavery and Abolition, 1 (May, 1980): 34-35.

12. Bachrach, pp. 34-36; Edward A. Synan, The Popes and the Jews in the Middle Ages (New York: Macmillan, 1965), pp. 38-43.

13. Wolfgang S. Seiferth, Synagogue and Church in the Middle Ages: Two Symbols in Art and Literature (New York: Frederick Ungar, 1970), p. 62. On Agobard, see also A. Lukyn Williams, Adversus Judaeos: A Bird's Eye View of Christian Apologia Until the Renaissance (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1935), pp. 349-51.

14. Baron, IV, 334-36. Baron is particularly critical of Verlinden's use of dubious evidence to picture French Jews operating veritable "eunuch factories" to staff the harems of Muslim Spain. See also Eliyahu Asher, The Jews of Moslem Spain, trans. A. Klein and J. M, Klein (Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society of America, 1973), I, 286, 289.

15. Parkes, pp. 339-40.

16. Baron, IV, 187, 210, 334, 336-38; Charles Verlinden, L'esclavage dans l'Europe medievale (Bruges, Ghent: De Temple, 1955-1977), II, 122-23, 128-29; Fernand Braudel, Civilization and Capitalism, trans. Sian Reynolds (New York: Harper and Row, 1979-1984), III, 109-10.; Eliyahu Ashtor, The Jews and the Mediterranean Economy, l0th-15th Centuries (London: Variorum Reprints, 1983), Chap. 8.

17. S. D. Goitein, A Mediterranean Society (Berkeley: Univ. of California Press, 1967), I, 140; Leon Poliakov, The History of Anti-Semitism, trans. Richard Howard and Miriam Kochan (New York: Vanguard Press, 1965-1985), II, 73.

18. David B. Davis, The Problem of Slavery in Western Culture (Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press, 1966), pp. 41, 99-100; Abraham A. Newman, The Jews in Spain (New York: Octagon, 1969 [1942]), II, 209-10.

19. Olivia Remie Constable, "Muslim Spain and Mediterranean Slavery," in Christendom and Its Discontents, ed. Scott L. Waugh and Peter D. Diehl (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1595), p. 269; Pierre Chaunu, European Expansion in the Later Middle Ages, trans. K. Bertram (Amsterdam: North Holland Publishing Co., 1979), pp. 120-21, 296-98.

20. David B. Davis, Slavery and Human Progress (New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 1984), p. 89.

21. Ibid., p. 93.

22. Langmuir, Toward a Definition of Antisemitism, pp. 167-77.

23. John Boswell, The Kindness of Strangers (New York: Pantheon, 1988), pp. 352-56.

24. Alan Dundes, ed., The Blood Libel Legend: A Casebook of Anti-Semitic Folklore (Madison: Univ. of Wisconsin, 1991).

25. Gavin I. Langmuir, "Thomas of Monmouth: Detector of Ritual Murder," in idem, pp. 22-23.

26. Moore, p. 37; Baron, IV, 135-37.

27. Moore, p. 37; Norman Cohn, Warrant for Genocide (New York: Harper and Row, 1967), p. 22.

28. Joshua Trachtenberg, The Devil and the Jews (Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society of America, 1943), p. 125.

29. Don Muhammad is identified as "the editor of the book" in the New York Amsterdam News, December 28, 1991, p. 30. There are vague rumors about an African American graduate student, possibly in Leonard Jeffries's orbit, as the author. See Arthur J. Magida, Prophet of Rage: A Life of Louis Farrakhan and His Nation (New York: Basic Books, 1996), p. 184.

30. The Secret Relationship, pp. 9-10.

31. Houston Stewart Chamberlain, Foundations of the Nineteenth Century, trans. John Lees (New York: John Lane Co., 1913 [1899]) I, 341.

32. Kenneth S. Stern, "Dr. Jeffries and the Anti-Semitic Branch of the Afrocentrism Movement," in Issues in National Affairs (New York: American Jewish Committee, 1991), p. 5.

33. Vinette K. Price, "Was Crown Heights Beating Victim 'Betrayed' by Hasidism?," New York Amsterdam News, December 12, 1992, pp. 1, 8. On Jeffries's legal and academic roller coaster ride, ending on a downer, see "The Anti-Semitism of Black Demagogues" (New York: ADL Research Report, 1992), pp. 22-25, 42-44; Sleeper, pp. 239-53; Richard Perez Pena, "In Reversal, Court Upholds University in Jeffries Lawsuit," New York Times, April 5, 1995, pp. Al, A15; "Professor At Large," New Yorker (June 17, 1996), pp. 36-37

34. Stern, p. 5.

35. For reasoned reflections on the polemical vision of the Atlantic slave trade as "Black African Holocaust," see Laurence M. Thomas, Vessels of Evil: American Slavery and the Holocaust (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1993); Seymour Drescher, "The Atlantic Slave Trade and the Holocaust: A Comparative Analysis," in Is the Holocaust Unique? Perspectives on Comparative Genocide, ed. Alan S. Rosenbaum (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1996), pp. 65-86.

36. Benzion Netanyahu, The Origins of the Inquisition in the Fifteenth Century (New York: Random House, 1995), pp. 975-1004; idem, "Americo Castro and His View of the Origins of the Pureza De Sangre," in American Academy for Jewish Research Jubilee Volume, ed. Salo W. Baron and Isaac E. Barzilay (New York: Columbia Univ. Press, 1980), pp. 399-457; Jose Faur, In the Shadow of History: Jews and Conversos at the Dawn of Modernity (Albany: State Univ. of New York Press, 1991), pp. 48, 243.

37. Jerome Friedman, "Jewish Conversion, the Spanish Pure Blood Laws and Reformation: A Revisionist View of Racial and Religious Antisemitism," Sixteenth Century Journal, 18 (Spring, 1987): 16-17.

38. Ibid., p. 17.

39. H. R. Trevor-Roper, Historical Essays (New York: Harper Torchbooks, 1957), p. 42; C. R. Boxer, The Dutch in Brazil, 1624-1654 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1957), pp. 101-02; idem, Four Centuries of Portuguese Expansion, 1415-1925 (Berkeley: Univ. of California Press, 1969), pp. 47-48; idem, The Golden Age of Brazil, 1695-1750 (Berkeley: Univ. of California Press, 1969), p. 370; Seymour B. Liebman, The Jews in New Spain: Faith, Flame, and the Inquisition (Coral Gables, FL: Univ. of Miami Press, 1970), p. 59; idem, The Inquisitors and the Jews in the New World (Coral Gables, FL: Univ. of Miami Press, 1974), pp. 28-29; idem, New World Jewry, 1493-1825: Requiem for the Forgotten (New York: KTAV Publishing House, 1982), pp. 36-37, 62, 169. The reality underlying the sweeping stereotype was that New Christians constituted 5-10 percent of the population of both home country and colonies, and perhaps half the merchant class, during the period that Spain ruled Portugal.

40. Henry Charles Lea, A History of the Inquisition in Spain (New York: Macmillan, 1922 [1905-1907]), III, 489; Edward Peters, Inquisition (Berkeley: Univ. of California Press, 1989}, pp. 152-53; Simon Schama, The Embarrassment of Riches: An Interpretation of Dutch Culture in the Golden Age (Berkeley: Univ. of California Press, 1988), pp. 587-96.

41. Boxer, Dutch in Brazil, p. 102; Frederick P. Bowser, The African Slave in Colonial Peru, 1524-1650 ( Stanford: Stanford Univ. Press, 1974), p. 34.

42. Liebman, Jews in New Spain, pp. 221-24; idem, Inquisitors and Jews, pp. 21, 28; idem, "The Great Conspiracy in New Spain," Americas, 30 (July, 1973): 18-31; Henry Charles Lea, The Inquisition in the Spanish Dependencies (New York: Macmillan, 1908), p. 229; Cyrus Adler, "A Contemporary Memorial Relating to Damages to Spanish Interests in America Done by Jews of Holland (1634)," Publications of the American Jewish Historical Society, 17 (1909): 45-51; Daniel M. Swetschinski, "Conflict and Opportunity in 'Europe's Other Sea': The Adventure of Caribbean Jewish Settlement," American Jewish History, 72 (1982): 212-40; Edgar R. Samuel, "The Trade of the 'New Christians' of Portugal in the Seventeenth Century," in The Sephardic Heritage, ed. R. D. Barnet and W. M. Schwab (Grendon, Northants: Gibraltar Books, 1989), pp. 100-43; Jonathan I. Israel, Empires and Entrepots: The Dutch, the Spanish Monarchy, and the Jews, 1585-1713 (London: Hambledon Press, 1990), pp. 322-23, 328-29; Stephen Haliczer, "The First Holocaust: The Inquisition and the Converted Jews of Spain and Portugal," in Inquisition and Society in Early Modern Europe, ed. and trans. idem (London: Croom Helm, 1987), pp. 7-18, Moses Orfali, "New Christians in the Trading and Banking System of Spain (16th-17th Century)," in The Mediterranean and the Jews, ed. Ariel Toaff and Simon Schwarzfuchs (Tel Aviv: Bar-Ilan Univ. Press, 1989), pp. 179-88.

43. The Secret Relationship, pp. 16-17. Long after the documents allegedly proving Columbus's Spanish-Jewish ancestry were exposed as forgeries, Salvador De Madariaga's Christopher Columbus (New York: Frederick Ungar, 1976 [1940]) rehabilitated the thesis, partly on the basis of Columbus's "typically Jewish" fascination with "the metallic and glittering quality" of gold (p. 91). Samuel Eliot Morison's Admiral of the Ocean Sea (New York: Little Brown, 1942) heaped scorn of Madariaga's still popular "fairy tale of the Enterprise of the Indies . . . as a sort of Zionist movement" as "crackpot Columbiana" (I, 9, 23, 144). For a balanced assessment supporting Morison, see Jacob R. Marcus, The Colonial American Jew, 1492-1776 (Detroit: Wayne State Univ. Press, 1970), I, 130.

44. Herbert G. Cone, "The Jews in Curacao," Publications of the American Jewish Historical Society, 10 (1902): 156; Henry H. Kessler and Eugene J. Rachlis, Peter Stuyvesant and His New York (New York: Random House, 1959), p. 37; Abraham Vossen Goodman, American Overture: Jewish Rights in Colonial America (Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society of America, 1947), p. 95.

45. James Shapiro, Shakespeare and the Jews (New York: Columbia Univ. Press, 1996), p. 19.

46. Stephen J. Greenblatt, Learning to Curse: Essays in Early Modern Culture (New York: Routledge, 1990), pp. 44-46.

47. Shapiro, p. 172; Leslie A. Fiedler, The Stranger in Shakespeare (New York: Stein and Day, 1972), pp. 104, 108, 170-71. Shylock also callously equates slaveholding with his own demand for "a pound of flesh."

48. Shapiro, p. 27; David S. Katz, Philo-Semitism and the Readmission of the Jews to England, 1603-1655 (New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 1982), pp. 220-23.

49. Shapiro, p. 208; Thomas W. Perry, Public Opinion, Propaganda, and Politics in Eighteenth-Century England: A Study of the Jew Bill of 1753, Cambridge: Harvard Univ. Press, 1962), p.108; Frank Felserstein, Anti-Semitic Stereotypes: A Paradigm of Otherness in English Popular Culture, 1660-1830 (Baltimore: John Hopkins Univ. Press, 1995).

50. Jacob R. Marcus, United States Jewry, 1776-1985 (Detroit: Wayne State Univ. Press, 1989), I, 126, 526; Louise A. Mayo, The Ambivalent Image: Nineteenth Century America's Perception of the Jew (Rutherford, NJ: Fairleigh Dickinson Univ. Press, 1988), p. 43; Louis Harap, The Image of the Jew in American Literature (Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society of America, 1974), pp. 205-06. A Jew turned Muslim, Ben Hassan according to Harap is "an unmitigated villain, closer to Barabbas than to Shylock," who personifies Edward Said's "Orientalism" hypothesis.

51. Frederic Cople Jaher, A Scapegoat in the New Wilderness: The Origins and Rise of Anti-Semitism in America (Cambridge; Harvard Univ. Press, 1994).

52. Dinnerstein, Uneasy at Home, pp. 86-87; Wilbur J. Cash, The Mind of the South (New York: Vintage Books, 1941), pp. 341-42; Ella Lonn, Foreigners in the Confederacy (Chapel Hill: Univ. of North Carolina Press, 1940), pp. 335-37; Clement Eaton, A History of the Confederacy New York: Collier, 1954), p. 234. Parson Brownlow may have been unique in his claim that "the statutes of the Southern States are more lenient than the laws of Moses, because they protect the slaves against these Israelitish cruelties." See Ought American Slavery to be Perpetuated?: A Debate Between Rev. W. G. Brownlow and Rev. A Payne (Miami: Mnemosyne Publishing Co., 1969 [1858]), p. 92.

53. Yuri Suhl, Ernestine Rose and the Battle for Human Rights (New York: Reynal and Company, 1959), p. 221.

54. Morris U. Schappes, comp., A Documentary History of the Jews in the United States, 1654-1875 (New York: Citadel Press, 1952), pp. 78-82; Naomi W. Cohen, Encounter With Emancipation: The German Jews in the United States, 1830-1914 (Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society of America, 1974), p. 133; Maxwell Whiteman, "Introduction," to The Kidnapped and the Ransomed: The Narrative of Peter and Vina Still After Forty Years of Slavery (Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society of America, 1970), pp. 36-41; Carl Wittke, Against the Current: The Life of Karl Heinzen (Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 1945), p. 173. George B. Cheever, God Against Slavery (Cincinnati: A. M. Reform Tract and Book Society, 1857), p. 101, offered a typical religious slur by calling "Anglo Saxon" slavetraders "worse Jews . . . more degraded, more debased in your moral principles, than the lowest tribe of Jews who were swept for their sins from the promised land."

55. Louis Ruchames, "The Abolitionists and the Jews," Publications of the American Jewish Historical Society, 42 (January, 1953): 131-55, is a lawyer's brief on behalf of Garrisonian abolitionist tolerance.

56. David B. Davis, The Problem of Slavery in the Age of Revolution, 1770-1823 (Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press, 1975), 526. The English Deist Matthew Tindall viewed the Israelite enslavement of Canaanites and the Spanish conquest of Mexico as both deplorable, yet was a champion of Jewish emancipation, while Voltaire loathed equally ancient and modern Jews. See Arthur Hertzberg, The French Enlightenment and the Jews (New York: Columbia Univ. Press, 1968).

57. Davis, Age of Revolution. pp. 532-37; Caroline L. Shanks, "The Biblical Anti-Slavery Argument of the Decade 1830-1840," Journal of Negro History, 16, 2 (April, 1931): 132-57; Forrest G. Wood, The Arrogance of Faith (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1990), pp. 46, 86, 108.

58. Ibid, pp. 109-10; Aileen S. Kraditor, Means and Ends in American Abolitionism Garrison and His Critics on Strategy and Tactics, 1834-1850 (New York: Vintage Books, 1969), pp. 91-94; Davis, Age of Revolution, p. 523.

59. In terms of the European context, there was striking continuity in the propensity to scapegoat Jews from a Rationalist like Voltaire to a Romantic like Michelet. See Jacob Katz, From Prejudice to Destruction: Anti-Semitism, 1700-1933 (Cambridge: Harvard Univ. Press, 1980), p. 132.

60. Lydia Maria Child, Letters From New York (New York: Charles S. Francis and Co., 1843), p. 33.

61. Schappes, pp. 405-18, 683; Bertram W. Korn, American Jewry and the Civil War (Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society of America, 1957), p. 47. Raphall's sermon was more an attack on abolitionists, whom he disparagingly lumped with "the Biblical critics called Rationalists." than a "positive good" defense of Southern slavery, which he was "sorry to say" was less hedged about with humanitarian protections than Old Testament bondage. For a convenient summary of the views of antislavery rabbis, see Philip S. Foner, The Jews in American History, 1654-1865 (New York: International Publishers, 1945), pp. 57-59.

62. Mayo, p. 55; Bertram W. Korn, Jews and Negro Slavery in the Old South 1789-1865 (Elkins Park, PA: Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel, 1961), pp. 41-42; Myron Berman, Richmond's Jewry, 1769-1976 (Charlottesville: Univ. Press of Virginia, 1979), pp. 166-67; Harriet Beecher Stowe, The Key to Uncle Tom's Cabin (Boston: John P. Jewett, 1854), pp. 223-24, 296-97, 472. New Englanders typically blamed their own slavetrading history on roguish Rhode Islanders without specific reference to Jews. See William Lee Miller, Arguing About Slavery (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1996), pp. 248-49.

63. Bertram W. Korn, "Jews and Negro Slavery in the Old South, 1789-1865," in The Jewish Experience in America, ed. Abraham J. Karp (Waltham, MA: American Jewish Historical Society, 1969), III, 197-98.

64. Whiteman, pp. 58-59.

65. Ibid., pp. 94-95

66. Bertram W. Korn, Eventful Years and Experiences (Cincinnati: American Jewish Archives, 1954), pp. 128-29.

67. Max J. Kohler, "Phases of Jewish Life in New York Before 1800," Publications of the American Jewish Historical Society, 2 (1894): 84. See also Kohler, "The Jews and the Anti-Slavery Movement," 5 (1897): 137-55, and 9 (1901): 45-56; idem, "Jewish Activity in American Colonial Commerce," 10 (1902): 47-64; Leon Huhner, "The Jews of Georgia in Colonial Times," 10 (1902): 65-95; George F. Judah, "The Jewish Tribute in Jamaica," 18 (1909): 149-77.

68. Simon Wolf, Presidents I Have Known From 1865 to 1918 (Washington, D.C.: Byron C. Adams, 1918), p. 274.

69. Simon Wolf, The American Jew as Patriot, Soldier, and Citizen (New York: Brentano's, 1895), p. 466. This passage was actually contributed to the volume by George A. Kohut. For an eerie echo of its racial gaucherie, see Manfred R. Lehmann, "Surinam's Josensavanne and Several of Its Religious Leaders," in Dutch Jewish History, ed. Jozeph Michman (Van Gorcum, Netherlands: Institute for Research on Dutch Jewry, 1993), III, 242, comparing "the beautiful prayer" by the Surinam Jews against "our rebellious and cruel black enemies" to "today's prayer for the Israel Defense Forces."

70. Naomi W. Cohen, A Dual Heritage (Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society of America, 1969), p. 71. Straus invested his hopes in Meyer Kayserling's Christopher Columbus and the Participation of the Jews in the Spanish and Portuguese Discoveries, trans. Charles Gross (New York: Hermon Press, 1968 [1894]), which did not claim to have discovered that the explorer himself had "Jewish roots."

71. Herbert I. Bloom, The Economic Activities of the Jews of Amsterdam in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries (New York: Kennikat Press, 1969 [1937]); Jacob R. Marcus, ed., Memoirs of American Jews, 1775-1865 (Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society of America, 1955). Among the popular historians, Anita L. Lebeson, Pilgrim People (New York: Minerva Press, 1975 [1950]), p. 148, posed the rhetorical question: "And we ask ourselves whether a Jew who annually recited the Passover service in thanksgiving for emancipation from slavery should not have, with his brethren, made some overt gesture of understanding and compassion" toward enslaved blacks. Lee M. Friedman, Jewish Pioneers and Patriots (Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society of America, 1948), pp. 306-10, preferred to discuss the Rhode Island Jews' contribution to spermaceti candlemaking than slavetrading. But Morris A. Gutstein, The Story of the Jews of Newport (New York: Block Publishing Co., 1936), pp. 164-65, stood alone in his apologetic and erroneous claim that: "We have met with no instances where the Jews of Newport traded in black slaves."

72. Harold Cruse, The Crisis of the Negro Intellectual (New York: William Morrow, 1967), pp. 476-78. See also his "My Jewish Problem and and Theirs," in Black Anti-Semitism and Jewish Racism, ed. Nat Hentoff (New York: Richard W. Baron, 1969), pp. 147, 160.

73. James Pope-Hennessy, Sins of the Fathers: A Study of the Atlantic Slave Traders, 1441-1807 (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1968), pp. 226, 234-41. The new cycle of scholarly interest in Jewish slavetraders began soon after with Stanley F. Chyet's Lopez of Newport: Colonial American Merchant (Detroit: Wayne State Univ. Press, 1970).

74. Marc Dollinger, "A Different Kind of Freedom Ride: American Jews and the Struggle for Racial Equality, 1964-1975," in An Inventory of Promises: Essays on American Jewish History in Honor of Moses Rischin, ed. Jeffrey S. Gurock and Marc Lee Raphael (Brooklyn: Carlson Publishing, 1995), p. 72.

75. Oscar R. Williams, Jr., "Historical Impressions of Black-Jewish Relations Prior to World War II," Negro History Bulletin, 40, 4 (July-August, 1977): 728-31. See also Morris U. Schappes's rejoinder, "Another Comment," 41, 5 (September-October, 1978): 890-91.

76. Carter G. Woodson, "Negro History Week," Journal of Negro History, 11 (1926): 239.

77. David Levering Lewis, "Shortcuts to the Mainstream: Afro-American and Jewish Notables in the 1920's and 1930's," in Jews in Black Perspectives: A Dialogue, ed. Joseph R. Washington, Jr. (Rutherford, NJ: Fairleigh Univ. Press, 1984), pp. 83-97. See also Murray Friedman, What Went Wrong? The Creation and Collapse of the Black-Jewish Alliance (New York: Free Press, 1995), especially Chap. 12.

78. Ibid., pp. 5-6, 223-26; Thomas C. Holt, "Introduction: Whither Now and Why?," in The State of Afro-American History, ed. Darlene Clark Hine (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State Univ. Press, 1986), p. 2; August Meier and Elliot Rudwick, Black History and the Historical Profession, 1915-1980 (Urbana: Univ. of Illinois Press, 1986), pp. 107-09, 163-66, 184-85, 291-95; Peter Novick, That Nobel Dream: The 'Objectivity Question' and the American Historical Profession (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1988), Chap. 14; Philip D. Curtin, "Ghettoizing African History," Chronicle of Higher Education, March 3, 1995, p. A44.

79. Magida, p. 186; Louis Farrakhan, Back Where We Belong: Selected Speeches, ed. Joseph D. Eure and Richard M. Jerome (Philadelphia: PC International Press, 1989), p. 205.

80. John Henrik Clarke, African People in World History (Baltimore: Black Classic Press, 1993), pp. 51-55; idem, "More Reflections on Black-Jewish Relations," New York Amsterdam News, August 29, 1992, p. 4; Tony Martin, The Jewish Onslaught (Dover, MA: The Majority Press, 1993), pp. 125-27; "Battling the 'Onslaught': Dr. Tony Martin Resists Jewish Attacks Against Black Progress," Final Call, February 2, 1994, p. 6; Marc Caplan, "Academic Bigotry: Professor Tony Martin's Anti-Jewish Onslaught" (New York: Anti-Defamation League, 1995); David Mills, "Half-Truths and History: The Debate Over Jews and Slavery," Washington Post, October 17, 1993, p. C3, maliciously employing Stephen A. Fortune's Merchants and Jews (Gainesville: Univ. of Florida Press, 1984), p. 161. The Afrocentric Clarke did not dwell on the Jewish role until recently, and--unlike the Arabcentric Farrakhan--still will not apologize for Muslim slavetraders. See "Why I Do Not Support the Million Man March," New American (New York), October 10-18, 1995, pp. 4, 19.

81. Henry Louis Gates, Jr., "Black Demagogues and Pseudo-Scholars," New York Times, July 20, 1992, p. A13.

82. Jonathan Kaufman, "White Racists and Farrakhan's Group," Chicago Tribune, October 3, 1985, p. 11; Judith Cummings, "Klan Figure Met with Farrakhan," New York Times, 3, 1985, p. A19; Dennis King, Lyndon LaRouche and the New American Fascism (New York: Doubleday, 1989), p. 37; Deborah Lipstadt, Denying the Holocaust (New York: Plume, 1993), pp. 14, 126. African American journalist Hugh Pearson's "Blacks and Jews View the Holocaust," Wall Street Journal, April 19, 1996, p. A12, nervously steered clear of any Shoah/slavery comparison to avoid "antisemitic" imputations.

83. Marshall Frady, Jesse (New York: Random House, 1996), pp. 347-48.

84. The Secret Relationship, p. 178; Herb Boyd, "Muslims and Afrocentrics Speak Out at African Holocaust Event," New York Amsterdam News, December 28, 1991, pp. 3, 30; Desda Moss, "Holocaust Suffering Disparaged," USA Today, April 19, 1994, p. 3A; Edward T. Linenthal, Preserving Memory: The Struggle to Create America's Holocaust Museum (New York: Viking, 1995), p. 256. Actually, NOI Founder Elijah Muhammad first invoked 600 million black victims in his Message to the Black Man in America (Chicago: Muhammad Mosque of Islam No. 2, 1965), p. 49.

85. Steven A. Holmes, "Farrakhan Repudiates Speech for Tone, Not Anti-Semitism," New York Times, February 4, 1994, p. Al. In an unusual display of accuracy, The Secret Relationship correctly cited Ira Rosenwaike, On The Edge of Greatness: A Portrait of American Jewry in the Early National Period (Cincinnati: American Jewish Archives, 1985), pp. 68-70, that 240 of 322 Southern Jewish families listed in the 1830 Census owned at least one slave. Farrakhan in an error he still refuses to correct inverted the statistic and made Jews owners of three quarters of all the slaves. On his apologetics for today's Arab slavers in the Sudan, see Steve Farr, "Rift Forming in Black America Over Issue of Slavery in Africa," Los Angeles Sentinel, May 25, 1995, p. A5; Paul Liben, "Farrakhan Honors African Slavers?" Wall Street Journal, October 20, 1995, p. A14; Clarence Page, "How He Can't Ignore Slaves in the Sudan," Chicago Tribune, June 23, 1996, p. 21; Askia Muhammad, "Slavery in Sudan?," Final Call, July 23, 1996, pp. 3, 9.

86. Jose V. Malcioln, The African Origins of Modern Judaism (Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press, 1996), pp. 68-69.

87. S. E. Anderson, The Black Holocaust For Beginners (New York: Writers and Readers Publishing, 1995), p. 21.

88. Richard Abanes, American Militias (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1996), p. 198; Nizkor Project, "Uncommon Ground: The Black African Holocaust Council and Other Links Between Black and White Extremists" (Internet, July 1, 1996). For a white racialist take on indentured servitude as "the real holocaust," see Michael A. Hoffman, II, "The Forgotten Slaves: Whites in Servitude in Early America and Industrial Britain" (Internet, 1996).

89. Michael Bradley, Chosen People From the Caucasus (Chicago: Third World Press, 1992), pp. 195-96.

90. William Hale Thompson, "Shall We Shatter the Nation's Idols in School Histories?," Current History, 27 (February, 1928): 619-25; Lloyd Wendt and Herman Kagan, Big Bill of Chicago (Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1953), pp. 243-302; Bethany Andersen, "Treason or Truth: The New York City Textbook Controversy," New York History, 66 (1985): 397-419; Michael Kammen, Mystic Chords of Memory: The Transformation of Tradition in American Culture (New York: Vintage Books, 1991), pp. 485-86.

91. Poliakov, IV, 252; Leo P. Ribuffo, "Henry Ford and The International Jew," American Jewish History, 69, 4 (1980): 437-77.

92. Brackman, Ministry of Lies, pp. 35-40; Caplan, pp. 1-2; On the attempt in 1995, following Martin's Wellesley precedent, to assign The Secret Relationship at the University of North Carolina, see "Faculty Notes," Chronicle of Higher Education, March 31, 1995, p. A18. For the debate over whether both high school and college history texts are still racially insensitive, or perhaps have moved too far toward the opposite pole of political correctness, see Robert Lerner, Althea K. Nagai, and Stanley Rothman, Molding the Good Citizen (Westport, CN: Praeger, 1995), pp. 76-81; Patrick Healy, "Bias in the Curriculum?," Chronicle of Higher Education, March 3, 1995, pp. A23-24.

93. Novick, pp. 490-91; Meier and Rudwick, pp. 285-87; Vincent Harding, "Responsibilities of the Black Scholar to the Community," in The State of Afro-American History, pp. 277-84; Nell Irvin Painter, "Who Decides What Is History?," Nation (February 27, 1982), pp. 276-78; Jeffrey Stewart and Fath Davis Ruffins, "A Faithful Witness: Afro-American Public History in Historical Perspective, 1828-1984," in Presenting the Past: Essays on History and the Public, ed. Susan P. Benson, Stephen Brier, and Roy Rosenzweig (Philadelphia: Temple Univ. Press, 1986), pp. 326-34.

Paper Prepared for Delivery at the Western Jewish Studies Association April 5-8, 1997

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Black Demagogues and Pseudo-Scholars

By Henry Louis Gates Jr.

Cambridge, Mass.

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During the past decade, the historic relationship between African-Americans and Jewish Americans - a relationship that sponsored so many of the concrete advances of the civil rights era - showed another and less attractive face.

While anti-Semitism is generally on the wane in this country, it has been on the rise among black Americans. A recent survey finds not only that blacks are twice as likely as whites to hold anti-Semitic views but - significantly - that it is among the younger and more educated blacks that anti-Semitism is most pronounced.

The trend has been deeply disquieting for many black intellectuals. But it is something most of us, as if by unstated agreement, simply choose not to talk about. At a time when black America is beleaguered on all sides, there is a strong temptation simply to ignore the phenomenon or treat it as something strictly marginal. And yet to do so would be a serious mistake. As the African-American philosopher Cornel West has insisted, attention to black anti-Semitism is crucial, however discomfiting, in no small part because the moral credibility of our struggle against racism hangs in the balance.

When the Rev. Jesse Jackson, in an impassioned address at a conference of the World Jewish Congress on July 7, condemned the sordid history of anti-Semitism, he not only went some distance toward retrieving the once abandoned mantle of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s humane statesmanship, he also delivered a stern rebuke - while not specifically citing black anti-Semitism to those black leaders who have sought to bolster their own strength through division. Mr. Jackson and others have learned that we must not allow these demagogues to turn the wellspring of memory into a renewable resource of enmity everlasting.

We must begin by recognizing what is new about the new anti-Semitism. Make no mistake: This is anti-Semitism from the top down, engineered and promoted by leaders who affect to be speaking for a larger resentment. This top-down anti-Semitism, in large part the province of the better educated classes, can thus be contrasted with the anti-Semitism from below common among African-American urban communities in the 1930's and 40's, which followed in many ways a familiar pattern of clientelistic hostility toward the neighborhood vendor or landlord.

In our cities, hostility of this sort is now commonly directed toward Korean shop owners. But "minority" traders and shopkeepers elsewhere in the world - such as the Indians of East Africa and the Chinese of Southeast Asia - have experienced similar ethnic antagonism. Anti-Jewish sentiment can also be traced to Christian anti-Semitism, given the historic importance of Christianity in the black community.

Unfortunately, the old paradigms will not serve to explain the new bigotry and its role in black America. For one thing, it preferred currency is not the mumbled epithet or curse but the densely argued treatise; it belongs as much to the repertory of campus lecturers as community activists. And it comes in wildly different packages.

A book popular with some in the "Afro-centric" movement, "The Iceman Inheritance: Prehistoric Sources of Western Man's Racism, Sexism and Aggression," by Michael Bradley, argues that white people are so vicious because they, unlike the rest of mankind, are descended from the brutish Neanderthals. More to the point, it speculates that the Jews may have been the "'purest,' and oldest Neanderthal-Caucasoids," the iciest of the ice people; hence (he explains) the singularly odious character of ancient Jewish culture.

Crackpot as it sounds, the book has lately been reissued with endorsements from two members of the Africana Studies Department of the City College of New York, as well as an introduction by Dr. John Henrik Clarke, professor emeritus of Hunter college and the great paterfamilias of the Afrocentric movement.

Dr. Clarke recently attacked multiculturalism as the product of what he called the "Jewish educational Mafia." While Dr. Leonard Jeffries' views on supposed Jewish complicity in the subjection of blacks captured headlines, his intellectual cohorts such as Conrad Muhammad and Khallid Muhammad address community gatherings and college students across the country purveying a similar doctrine. College speakers and publications have played a disturbing role in legitimating the new creed. Last year, U.C.L.A.'s black newspaper, Nommo, defended the importance of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the notorious Czarist canard that portrays a Jewish conspiracy to rule the world. (Those who took issue were rebuked with an article headed: "Anti-Semitic? Ridiculous - Chill.") Speaking at Harvard University earlier this year, Conrad Muhammad, the New York representative of the Nation of Islam, neatly annexed environmentalism to anti-Semitism when he blamed the Jews for despoiling the environment and destroying the ozone layer.

But the bible of the new anti-Semitism is "The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews," and official publication of the Nation of Islam that boasts 1,275 footnotes in the course of 334 pages.

Sober and scholarly looking, it may well be one of the most influential books published in the black community in the last 12 months. It is available in black-oriented shops in cities across the nation, even those that specialize in Kente cloth and beads rather than books. It can also be ordered over the phone, by dialing 1-800-48-TRUTH. Meanwhile, the book's conclusions are, in many circles, increasingly treated as damning historical fact. The book, one of the most sophisticated instances of hate literature yet compiled, was prepared by the historical research department of the Nation of Islam. It charges that the Jews were "key operatives" in the historic crime of slavery, playing an "inordinate" and "disproportionate" role and "carving out for themselves a monumental culpability in slavery - and the black holocaust." Among significant sectors of the black community, this brief has become a credo of a new philosophy of black self-affirmation.

To be sure, the book massively misrepresents the historical record, largely through a process of cunningly selective quotation of often reputable sources. But its authors could be confident that few of its readers would go to the trouble of actually hunting down the works cited. For if readers actually did so, they might discover a rather different picture.

They might find out - from the book's own vaunted authorities - that, for example, of all the African slaves imported into the New World, American Jewish merchants accounted for less than 2 percent, a finding sharply at odds with the Nation of Islam's claim of Jewish "predominance" in this traffic. They might find out that in the domestic trade it appears that all of the Jewish slave traders combined bought and sold fewer slaves than the single gentile firm of Franklin and Armfield. In short, they might learn what the historian Harold Brackman has documented - that the book's repeated insistence that the Jews dominated the slave trade depends on an unscrupulous distortion of the historic record. But the most ominous words in the book are found on the cover: "Volume One." More have been promised, to carry on the saga of Jewish iniquity to the present day.

However shoddy the scholarship of works like "The Secret Relationship," underlying it is something even more troubling: the tacit conviction that culpability is heritable. For it suggests a doctrine of racial continuity, in which the racial evil of a people is merely manifest (rather than constituted) by their historical misdeeds. The reported misdeeds are thus the signs of an essential nature that is evil.

How does this theology of guilt surface in our everyday moral discourse? In New York, earlier this spring, a forum was held at the Church of St. Paul and Andrew to provide an occasion for blacks and Jews to engage in dialogue on such issues as slavery and social injustice. Both Jewish and black panelists found common ground and common causes. But a tone-setting contingent of blacks in the audience took strong issue with the proceedings. Outraged, they demanded to know why the Jews, those historic malefactors, had not apologized to the "descendants of African kings and queens."

And so the organizer of the event, Melanie Kaye Kantrowitz, did. Her voice quavering with emotion, she said: "I think I speak for a lot of people in this room when I say 'I'm sorry.' We're ashamed of it, we hate it, and that's why we organized this event." Should the Melanie Kantrowitzes of the world, whose ancestors survived Czarist pogroms and, latterly, the Nazi Holocaust, be the primary object of our wrath? And what is yielded by this hateful sport of victimology, save the conversion of a tragic past into a game of recrimination? Perhaps that was on the mind of another audience member. "I don't want an apology," a dreadlocked woman told her angrily. "I want reparations. Forty acres and a mule, plus interest."

These are times that try the spirit of liberal outreach. In fact, Louis Farrakhan, leader of the Nation of Islam, himself explained the real agenda behind his campaign, speaking before an audience of 15,000 at the University of Illinois last fall. The purpose of "The Secret Relationship," he said, was to "rearrange a relationship" that "has been detrimental to us."

"Rearrange" is a curiously elliptical term here: If a relation with another group has been detrimental, it only makes sense to sever it as quickly and unequivocally as possible. In short, by "rearrange," he means to convert a relation of friendship, alliance and uplift into one of enmity, distrust and hatred. But why target the Jews? Using the same historical methodology, after all, the researchers of the book could have produced a damning treatise on the involvement of left-handlers in the "black holocaust." The answer requires us to go beyond the usual shibboleths about bigotry and view the matter, from the demagogues' perspective, strategically: as the bid of one black elite to supplant another. It requires us, in short, to see anti-Semitism as a weapon in the raging battle of who will speak for black America - those who have sought common cause with others or those who preach a barricaded withdrawal into racial authenticity. The strategy of these apostles of hate, I believe, is best understood as ethnic isolationism - they know that the more isolated black America becomes, the greater their power. And what's the most efficient way to begin to sever black America from its allies? Bash the Jews, these demagogues apparently calculate, and you're halfway there.

I myself think that an aphorist put his finger on something germane when he observed, "We can rarely bring ourselves to forgive those who have helped us." For sometimes it seems that the trajectory of black-Jewish relations is a protracted enactment of this paradox.

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Many Jews are puzzled by the recrudescence of black anti-Semitism in view of the historic alliance. The brutal truth has escaped them: that the new anti-Semitism arises not in spite of the black-Jewish alliance but because of it. For precisely such transracial cooperation - epitomized by the historic partnership between blacks and Jews - is what poses the greatest threat to the isolationist movement.

In short, for the tacticians of the new anti-Semitism, the original sin of American Jews was their involvement - truly "inordinate," truly "disproportionate" - not in slavery, but in the front ranks of the civil rights struggle.

For decent and principled reasons, many black intellectuals are loath to criticize "oppositional" black leaders. Yet it has become apparent that to continue to maintain a comradely silence may be, in effect, to capitulate to the isolationist agenda, to betray our charge and trust. And, to be sure, many black writers, intellectuals and religious leaders have taken an unequivocal stand on this issue.

Cornel West aptly describes black anti-Semitism as "the bitter fruit of a profound self-destructive impulse, nurtured on the vines of hopelessness and concealed by empty gestures of black unity."

After 12 years of conservative indifference, those political figures who acquiesced, by malign neglect, to the deepening crisis of black America should not feign surprise that we should prove so vulnerable to the demagogues' rousing messages of hate, their manipulation of the past and present.

Bigotry, as a tragic century has taught us, is an opportunistic infection, attacking most virulently when the body politic is in a weakened state. Yet neither should those who care about black America gloss over what cannot be condoned: That much respect we owe to ourselves. For surely it falls to all of us to recapture the basic insight that Dr. King so insistently expounded. "We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality," he told us. "Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly." How easy to forget this - and how vital to remember.

Henry Louis Gates Jr. is professor of English and chairman of the Afro-American Studies Department at Harvard.

Copyright �1992 by The New York Times Company.

Silly Argument that Talmud is NOT Racist

Archived for scholars, researchers, and educational users under "fair use" of the copyright law by the scholarly website 


By Dr. Ephraim Isaac

Director of the Institute of Semitic Studies in Princeton, New Jersey, Ethiopian-born Ephraim Isaac received his Ph.D. in 1969 from Harvard University where, in addition to advanced research in Semitic languages and literature, he was involved in founding the Afro-American Studies Department. The following short piece refuting the libel that the Talmudic rabbis "invented racism" was written as an Afterword for Harold Brackman's Ministry of Lies: The Truth Behind The Nation of Islam's "The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews" (New York: Four Walls Eight Windows, 1994). For a fuller discussion of his views on this subject, see "Genesis, Judaism, and the 'Sons of Ham'," Slavery & Abolition, Vol.1, No.1 (May, 1980), pp. 1-17.



I am pleased to contribute a few words to this refutation of the false claim that the Jewish people "dominated" the slave trade that victimized so many millions of Africans and African-Americans. I also want to take this opportunity to correct another matter close to my heart, both personally and professionally. I mean the odious libel that the Talmudic Rabbis "invented" racism: a view that is currently being peddled by both white and Black writers in and out of academia.

As a Black Jew, I am profoundly saddened to see the continuing exchange of hate language, mutual reproach, and anger flying across college campuses between African Americans and American Jews. But I have no problem taking sides: I am against hate.

In the late 1960's, when I received my doctorate in comparative Semitic literature at Harvard, the phenomenon of "white racism" took on the status in political discourse of a kind of American version of "original sin." I was glad to see heightened sensitivity to prejudice, as I still am today. But then already I was becoming increasingly concerned as American social scientists, ignorant of the relevant ancient languages, began delving far into the past in search of the origins of racism in ancient literature.

The Babylonian Talmud, the massive pre-fifth century commentary on ancient Jewish law written in Armaic and Hebrew, became one focus of this search. Supposedly, the Talmudic Rabbis read racist content into the Biblical story of how Noah, angered by Ham's irreverence, cursed his son's progeny. According to Hebrew Myths, the oft-quoted book by Robert Graves and Raphael Patai, "Ham is told by his outraged father that, because you have abused me in the darkness of the night, your children shall be born black and ugly; because you have twisted your head to cause me embarrassment, they shall have kinky hair and red eyes; because your lips jested at my expense, theirs shall swell; and because you neglected my nakedness, they shall go naked!"

In an erudite dissertation on the history of Black-Jewish relations completed before my own work on this subject was published, Dr. Harold Brackman cited this sensationalized passage. He did not argue that the Talmudic Sages "invented racism." Quite to the contrary, he showed that racism as it later developed did not exist in ancient times, and that incipient color stereotypes can be found in non-Jewish sources among Hellenistic and early Christian writers. However, he did accept as accurate the Graves-Patai paraphrase of a false attribution to the Talmud. I am gratified that my work has demonstrated to Dr. Brackman and other American scholars that there is nothing in the Talmud even remotely resembling this passage.

The passage is a misleading rendering of a text interpolated into a medieval Hebrew Biblical commentary called Tanhuma that describes Ham as having red eyes, curved lips, and singed hair and beard. It is taken out of context and inflated with additional fragments of post-medieval legends about Ham.

The uninterpolated, older version of Tanhuma and earlier Jewish commentators struggled with the puzzle of why Noah in the Biblical story cursed his grandson Canaan rather than his irreverent son. They held that "a curse cannot be put where a blessing has already been put" and that Ham had been blessed previously with all the members of Noah's family when they left the ark. Other commentators said that Canaan was singled out for the curse to spare the rest of Ham's family including Cush, the ancestor of African peoples. The Book of Jubilees, the oldest known Jewish commentary on Genesis, named even Ham and his other sons including Cush among those who cursed Canaan for allegedly usurping the land of Israel. As in Biblical times, national aspirations - not race - were the crux of Noah's curse in Rabbinic literature.

Distorting the Talmud has long been a favorite anti-Jewish ploy. Catholic writers during medieval times; Martin Luther during the Protestant Reformation; Houston Stewart Chamberlain, later a favorite of Nazis, in the nineteenth century - all did it. I do not like to see my Black brothers falling victim to this same antisemitic lie.

As an African and a Jew, I know the pain and sorrow of being hated, being treated as less than human. Over the years, I have read much offensive and detestable literature comparing Jews to demons and bloodsuckers, or the cranial capacity of Africans to that of crocodiles, African languages to animal grunts, African religious practices and Rabbinic Judaism to nothing more than superstition. Renewed slanders impugning the Universalistic ethic of tolerance embedded in the Torah and the Talmud will accomplish nothing except to play into the hands of racists who hate both Blacks and Jews.

Self-Serving Arguments about the Slave Trade, Civil Rights, etc.



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If a hate speaker were to come to your campus or organization or appears in a public forum, what would you do? There was a time when this question would have been largely theoretical; but now the problem of how to deal with hate speech affects everyone inside and outside of higher education. The First Amendment protects the rights of all of us to state our opinion. We think it is important for all of us to be as well-informed as possible about the issues, and to confront racist speech not with violence or unreasoning hostility but with information.

Our focus here is one group, among a range of groups, that has been targeted for attack. In recent years, campus speakers have made new and astounding accusations against Jews, specifically in relation to the history of Africans and African Americans. Many of these charges concern events about which most students, teachers and citizens have little detailed knowledge. In this Fact Sheet we try to show why these accusations are wrong, and to suggest resource materials for anyone who wants to study the issues in detail. We hope that you will read these materials with an open mind, and judge the issues for yourself.


1. Did Jews "Dominate" the Slave Trade in Medieval Europe?

Jewish traders dealt in pagan white slaves from Slavic areas, but never played a predominant role and virtually ceased to be involved around A.D. 1000, 500 years before the first enslaved Africans were carried to the New World.

Professor David Brion Davis of Yale University in Slavery and Human Progress (New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 1984), p. 89:

"Medieval Christians greatly exaggerated the supposed Jewish control over trade and finance and also became obsessed with alleged Jewish plots to enslave, convert, or sell non-Jews....Most European Jews lived in poor communities on the margins of Christian society; they continued to suffer most of the legal disabilities associated with slavery."

2. Did Jews "Dominate" the Slave Trade Within Africa?

Between the years 1650 and 1900, ten million or more Black Africans were carried by slavers either north across the Sahara or east over the Red Sea/Indian Ocean route. This trade was under the control not of Jews but of Muslim merchants who also helped supply the Atlantic slave trade.

Professor Orlando Patterson of Harvard University in Roots and Branches: Current Directions in Slave Studies, ed. Michael Catron (New York: Pergamon Press, 1979), p. 287:

"The kind of structure which Islamic imperialists imposed on that part of Africa over the centuries . . . [created] a structural pattern that was highly predatory . . . which, in the long term, distorted, even prevented, regional development. One might even go a step further, and say that the resistance to European penetration might have been much stronger had it not been for the underdevelopment of Africa, due to that earlier slavery."

3. Did Jews "Dominate" the Atlantic Slave Trade?

Jews were barred from the New World colonies of Spain, Portugal, and France. The British and Dutch generally allowed them to settle, but limited their participation in the international slave trade. "New Christians" of Jewish descent were more involved until they were persecuted and driven to the sidelines by the Spanish Inquisition. Overall, the role of slave traders of Jewish faith or family origin was minor.

Professor David Brion Davis of Yale University in Slavery and Human Progress (New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 1984), p. 89:

"Whatever Jewish refugees from Brazil may have contributed to the northwestward expansion of sugar and slaves, it is clear that Jews had no major or continuing impact on the history of New World slavery."

4. Did Jews "Dominate" the Slave Trade from British North America?

A handful of Jewish merchants engaged in the "triangular trade" in rum, slaves, and molasses between the present-day U.S., Africa, and the West Indies. They tended to be more interested in international commerce not involving Africa or slave importation. For example, of 200 voyages commissioned by Aaron Lopez of Newport, fourteen were slaving ventures carrying 1,165 slaves or one percent of those imported into the Rhode Island port during its heyday.

Professor Jacob R. Marcus of Hebrew Union College in The Colonial American Jew (Detroit: Wayne State Univ. Press, 1970), Vol. 2, pp. 702-03:

"The Jews of Newport seem not to have pursued the [slave trading] business consistently . . .[When] we compare the number of vessels employed in the traffic by all merchants with the number sent to the African coast by Jewish traders . . . we can see that the Jewish participation was minimal. It may be safely assumed that over a period of years American Jewish businessmen were accountable for considerably less than two percent of the slave imports into the West Indies"

5. Were Jews Major Slave Traders in the Old South?

Jews were never prominent in the domestic slave trade within the American South from states like Virginia to the fields of the Cotton Kingdom. For example, the Davis brothers -- small-scale operators -- were one of three Jewish-owned firms among seventy in Richmond.

Rabbi Bertram W. Korn, "Jews and Negro Slavery in the Old South, 1789-1865," in The Jewish Experience in America, ed. Abraham J. Karp (Waltham, MA: American Jewish Historical Society, 1969), Vol. 3, pp. 197-98:

"None of the major slavetraders was Jewish, nor did Jews constitute a large proportion in any particular community. . . . Probably all of the Jewish slavetraders in all of the Southern cities and towns combined did not buy and sell as many slaves as did the firm of Franklin and Armfield, the largest Negro traders in the South."

6. Were Jews Prominent Among the Major Slaveholders in the Old South?

Only ten percent of the 150,000 American Jews at the time of the Civil War lived in the South. Southern Jews who owned slaves were overwhelmingly "smallholders" concentrated in cities, not in the plantation districts containing ninety percent of the enslaved population. For example, there were only four Jews -- less than one-tenth of one percent -- among the 11,000 Southerners who in 1830 owned fifty or more slaves.

Rabbi Bertram W. Korn, "Jews and Negro Slavery in the Old South, 1789-1865," in The Jewish Experience in America, ed. Abraham J. Karp (Waltham, MA: American Jewish Historical Society, 1969), Vol. 3, p. 180:

"[There were] Jewish owners of plantations, but altogether they constituted only a tiny proportion of the Southerners whose habits, opinions, and status were to become decisive for the entire section, and eventually for the entire country. . . . [Only one Jew] tried his hand as a plantation overseer even if only for a brief time."

7. Did Jews Shun the Antislavery Movement?

Prominent Jews joined the manumission societies that gradually ended slavery in the North in the generation after the American Revolution. The militant abolitionist movement of the 1830s -- led by "born again" Protestants -- frightened off some Jewish support. But by the 1850s, German Jewish immigrants were flocking to the antislavery Republican Party at the same time as other immigrants became firmly wedded to the anti-abolition Democrats.

Maxwell Whiteman, "Jews in the Antislavery Movement," Introduction to The Kidnapped and the Ransomed: The Narrative of Peter and Vina Still (Philadelphia: The Jewish Publication Society of America, 1970), pp. 28, 42:

"Antislavery strongly appealed to the Jewish concept of the universal freedom of man. Hence, the hundreds of Jews who believed in the God of Israel . . . gave their energies to the antislavery movement . . .[despite] the Christian-martyr complex of many abolitionists, the evangelism of others, and the exclusiveness of still others."

8. Did Jewish Rabbis "Invent Racism"?

Judaism is a universalist religion that embraces people of all colors and never imposed racial or ethnic limitations on conversion to the faith. The Old Testament instructs Jews to "love the stranger," and the biblical story of how Noah, angered by his son, Ham, cursed Ham's son, Canaan, has nothing to do with race. The rabbis who compiled the Talmud, the pre-fifth century commentary on Jewish law, did not link slave status with black skin as part of a "divine curse." This linkage was made centuries later by Islamic and then Christian writers to justify the slave trade in non-white Africans.

Dr. Ephraim Isaac of the Institute of Semitic Studies, "Genesis, Judaism, and the Sons of Ham'," in Slaves and Slavery in Muslim Africa, ed. John R. Willis (London: Frank Cass, 1985), Vol. 1, p.76:

"Notwithstanding the fact that few monolithic Rabbinic teachings exist about any subject, there is always a general trend of thinking that can be extracted . . . . On that basis, it should be stated affirmatively that in Biblical or Rabbinic thought it cannot be said that the curse of Noah directly affected the whole family of Ham, nor can it be said that black people are regarded as the descendants of Canaan who was the accursed son of Ham."

9. Was There a "Jewish Conspiracy" to Spy on African Americans?

During the 1920s, "Back to Africa" advocate Marcus Garvey sought a political alliance with the Ku Klux Klan at the same time as he castigated Jewish civil rights activists as "spies for the rest of the white race." Now, Garvey's charges have been revived specifically regarding the World War I activities of NAACP Board Chairman Joel E. Spingarn. The facts are that, once the U.S. entered the war in April 1917, Spingarn shared W.E.B. DuBois' controversial view that "Closing Ranks" behind the still-segregated military efforts was the best way to advance the civil rights cause. Spingarn toured the country urging black college students to become officer candidates because it was time for "colored heroes who are lieutenants, captains, colonels, and generals." He enlisted and, in 1918, was assigned as a Major to Military Intelligence in Washington. He ultimately failed to convince his military superiors to create a special "Negro Section," in which DuBois would also be commissioned, with the dual purpose of discouraging antiwar activity and promoting patriotic enthusiasm among African Americans. During and after the war, the Army used black intelligence agents to conduct domestic political surveillance, but Spingarn (who was reassigned to a combat regiment in France) had no significant part. His wartime role, however viewed, had nothing to do with Spingarn's negligible Jewish identification and organizational involvement.

Mark Ellis, "Closing Ranks, and Seeking Honors: W.E.B. DuBois in World War I," Journal of American History, Vol. 79 (June, 1992), p. 105:

"[Spingarn] proposed propaganda initiatives aimed specifically at black opinion, and he called for federal action to redress grievances such as lynching and segregation. He claimed this dual approach had military relevance, since it would guarantee black participation in the war. But in linking a war for democracy' fought in France and the extension of democracy at home Spingarn was trying to further the aims of the NAACP as much as the war effort . . . . only two of his projects produced any results. In June 1918 he succeeded in having . . . hearings [held] on a wartime antilynching bill, and in July he persuaded the Committee on Public Information to organize a conference of black editors."

10. How and Why Did Jewish Involvement in the Civil Right Movement Develop?

In 1909, when four Jews were among the sixty multiracial signers of the Call to National Action resulted in creation of the NAACP, the Yiddish newspapers on New York's Lower East Side were already equating lynchings of African Americans in the South with pogroms against Jews in Russia. During the next half century, organizational bonds and political cooperation between African American and American Jewish communities gradually matured. The culmination in 1964 was Mississippi Freedom Summer when over half of the white students who journeyed south to fight for black voting rights are estimated to have been Jewish. Those drawn to the civil rights movement gave diverse reasons, and selfless idealism on behalf of others coexisted with enlightened self-interest in uprooting prejudices that also victimized Jews.

Martin Luther King, Jr., from a 1965 interview, in A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings (1986), p. 370:

"How could there be anti-Semitism among Negroes when our Jewish friends have demonstrated their commitment to the principle of tolerance and brotherhood not only in the form of sizable contributions, but in many other tangible ways, and often at great personal sacrifice. Can we ever express our appreciation to the rabbis who chose to give moral witness with us in St. Augustine during our recent protest against segregation in that unhappy city? Need I remind anyone of the awful beating suffered by Rabbi Arthur Lelyveld of Cleveland when he joined the civil rights workers there in Hattiesburg, Mississippi? And who can ever forget the sacrifice of two Jewish lives, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner, in the swamps of Mississippi? It would be impossible to record the contribution that the Jewish people have made toward the Negro's struggle for freedom--it has been so great."




Austen, Ralph A. "The Trans-Saharan Slave Trade: A Tentative Census," in The Uncommon Market: Essays in the Economic History of the Atlantic Slave Trade, ed. Henry A. Gemery and Jan S. Hogendorn, New York: Academic Press, 1979, pp. 23-76.

Brackman, Harold. Ministry of Lies: The Truth Behind the Nation of Islam's The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews, 2d ed. New York: Four Walls Eight Windows, 1994.

Cagen, Seth and Dray, Philip. We Are Not Afraid: The Story of Goodman, Schwerner and Chaney and the Civil Rights Campaign for Mississippi. New York: Macmillan, 1988.

Davis, David Brion. "The Slave Trade and The Jews," New York Review. Vol. 41 (December 22, 1994), pp. 14-16.

Diner, Hasia R. In the Almost Promised Land: American Jews and Blacks, 1915-1935. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1977.

Drescher, Seymour. "The Role of the Jews in the Transatlantic Slave Trade," Immigrants and Minorities, Vol. 12 (July, 1993), pp. 113-25.

Ellis, Mark. "Joel Spingarn's 'Constructive Programme' and the Wartime Antilynching Bill of 1918," Journal of Policy History, Vol. 4 (Spring, 1992), pp. 134-61

Friedman, Murray. What Went Wrong? The Creation and Collapse of the Black-Jewish Alliance. New York: Free Press, 1995.

Garrow, David J. Bearing the Cross: Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. New York: Vintage Books, 1988.

Israel, Jonathan I. European Jewry in the Age of Mercantilism. 1550-1750. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1985.

Lewis, Bernard: Race and Color in Islam. New York: Harper and Row, 1971.

Patterson, Orlando. Slavery and Social Death: A Comparative Study. Cambridge: Harvard Univ. Press, 1982.

Platt, Virginia P. "'And Don't Forget the Guinea Trade': The Slave Trade of Aaron Lopez of Newport," William and Mary Quarterly, Vol. 32 (October, 1975), pp. 610-18.

Ross, B. Joyce. Joel E. Spingarn and the Rise of the NAACP. New York: Atheneum, 1972.

Salzman, Jack with Black, Adina, and Sorin, Gretchen S., eds. Bridges and Boundaries: African Americans and American Jews. New York: George Braziller, 1992.

Sokolow, Jayme A. "Revolution and Reform: The Antebellum Jewish Abolitionists," Journal of Ethnic Studies, Vol. 9 (1981), pp. 27-42

Wiznitzer, Arnold. Jews in Colonial Brazil. New York: Columbia Univ. Press, 1960.

*Prepared under the auspices of the Simon Wiesenthal Center by Dr. Harold Brackman of the Center and Professor Mary R. Lefkowitz of Wellesley College.

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