The Jewish Role in the Slave Trade
By Jeff Davis
August 27th, 2006
The “official” history of slavery seems to deviate little from “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” or the latest propaganda film from Steven Spielberg. People are left to assume that White Christians were involved in the most evil part of slavery, the shipping of slaves. The truth is that Christian nations were repelled at the cruelty associated with the importation of slaves and that was the first part of slavery outlawed by Christian nations. The one people who controlled and profited the most from shipping Blacks as if they were cattle, packing as many as possible onto slave ships were the Jews.
Now, of all people, a Jewish feminist historian named Natalie Zemon Davis has written a book on a subject which has up until now been strictly off limits to historians and scholars–Jews and their role in the slave trade and in slave ownership. Davis uses as her starting point the life and times of one Jewish physician who also made big bucks (or in his case, big guilders) in the slave trade during the 18th century, David Isaac Cohen Nassy, a resident and merchant prince of the Dutch colony in Surinam in South America, where tens of thousands of black African slaves lived and toiled in the sugar cane fields and the steaming, fever and snake-infested jungles under conditions that made a plantation in Virginia or domestic service in Massachusetts look like paradise.
According to an article in The Jewish Forward, the largest and most prestigious Jewish newspaper in America, “…Nassy was not an anomaly. Of the hundreds of Portuguese and Dutch settlers who traveled to the small plot of land just north of Brazil, almost a third were Jewish. And almost all had slaves. Surinam provided a choice example to exhibit this intermixing — if not for the abundant paper trail that Nassy left behind, then for the sheer exoticism of the place…Sephardic Jews from Portugal had lived on the land and were some of the colony’s first owners of slave-run sugar plantations. By the early 18th century, when Nassy lived…Jews were also granted autonomy and maintained their own legal system and militia, whose largest task involved capturing runaway slaves called maroons.” In other words, the Dutch colonial authorities contracted the lucrative racket of “slave-catching” to the Jews.
The connection between Jews and slavery was known even prior to the Civil War, and it is interesting to note that the Jews, as always, were on the side that could make them the quickest buck. One of the major advocates of slavery in the South was “Major” Mordecai Manuel Noah (1785-1851.) He was considered the most distinguished Jewish layman in his time. He was such a prolific proponent of slavery, that the first negro periodical, The Freedom Journal, was launched in response to Noah’s activities, including “To emancipate the slaves would be to jeopardize the safety of the whole country.” The Freedom Journal called Noah the black man’s “bitterest enemy” and William Lloyd Garrison, the leading White abolitionist, called him the “lineal descendant of the monsters who nailed Jesus to the cross.” (From the banned book: The Secret History of Blacks and Jews)
The annual Report of the American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society for the year 1853 stated: The American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society Report of 1853 “The Jews of the United States have never taken any steps whatever with regard to the slavery question. As citizens, they deem it their policy to have every one choose which ever side he may deem best to promote his own interests and the welfare of his country. They have no organization of an ecclesiastical body to represent their general views; no General Assembly, or its equivalent. The American Jews have two newspapers, but they do not interfere in any discussion which is not material to their religion. It cannot be said that the Jews have formed any denominational opinion on the subject of American slavery….The objects of so much mean prejudice and unrighteous oppression as the Jews have been for ages, surely they, it would seem, more than any other denomination, ought to be the enemies of caste, and friends of universal freedom.”
Jewish attorney and historian Seymour B. Liebman has written: “They came with ships carrying African blacks to be sold as slaves. The traffic in slaves was a royal monopoly, and the Jews were often appointed as agents for the Crown in their sale….[They] were the largest ship chandlers in the entire Caribbean region, where the shipping business was mainly a Jewish enterprise….The ships were not only owned by Jews, but were manned by Jewish crews and sailed under the command of Jewish captains.” [New World Jewry 1493-1825: Requiem for the Forgotten (KTAV, New York, 1982), pp. 170, 183.]
Essentially, the infamous “Middle Passage” was largely a Jewish racket. The Jews owned the ships and Liebman notwithstanding, it was assorted Gentiles sailed in them and took all the risks from storms, African tribesmen, slave revolts on board, and the terrible fevers of the disease-ridden West African tropics. The Jews handled the sale once the negroes had arrived in the Americas, usually the West Indies or Cuba or Surinam or Brazil. (The actual importation of blacks right off the boat from Africa into the thirteen British colonies was comparatively rare; most American slaves came from Cuba or the West Indies and had already been slaves for several generations when they arrived here. Importation of foreign slaves into the United States was outlawed by Congress in 1808.)
The truth is out there about the origins of American slavery. The big question is “How long will the Jewish role in slavery be hidden?”
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