Quotes and Facts
When assessing the relationship between Blacks and Jews, one need not resort to vicious name-calling or opprobrious epithets. One need only to present the facts.
World Jewry apologizes to no one when they cite historical
precedent as a guide for their future relationships with any people.
The historical record is clearer than the muddled pronouncements of a
reactionary and controlled media. None of the critics of The
Secret Relationship have been able to re-write the history
showing a history of "friendship" between Blacks and Jews. They are
forced to succumb to the tragic reality that nearly every one of
their colonial fathers hated Black people and participated in the
robbing of their humanity. Those who have felt that there was some
"special" relationship which carried with it a "special" right to
criticize and control Black leadership can no longer make such a
The following is a guide for informed analysis. (See also "Open Letter to Cornel West" by the African United Front for a litany of issues raised by Blacks about Jewish behavior. See also Professor Tony Martin's Broadsides.)
Marc Lee Raphael
Jacob Rader Marcus
Seymour B. Liebman
Herbert I. Bloom
Organizations & Media
The American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society Report of 1853
The Jewish Record
Anti-Defamation League Charter
B'nai B'rith Magazine
Isaac Mayer Wise, founder of Reform Judaism
Bertram W. Korn, the foremost scholar of nineteenth century Jewish history
About Civil Rights
"What our friends in the North do not fully appreciate is the fact
that there is no difference between most of the Jews and their
Christian neighbors in their attitudes toward the Negro. This is not
a by-product of antisemitism, but an honest conviction. For these
Jews desegregation presents not merely a school problem, but also a
problem of the mixing of races."
Marc Lee Raphael
"Jews also took an active part in the Dutch colonial slave trade; indeed, the bylaws of the Recife and Mauricia congregations (1648) included an imposta (Jewish tax) of five soldos for each Negro slave a Brazilian Jew purchased from the West Indies Company. Slave auctions were postponed if they fell on a Jewish holiday. In Curacao in the seventeenth century, as well as in the British colonies of Barbados and Jamaica in the eighteenth century, Jewish merchants played a major role in the slave trade. In fact, in all the American colonies, whether French (Martinique), British, or Dutch, Jewish merchants frequently dominated.
"This was no less true on the North American mainland, where during the eighteenth century Jews participated in the 'triangular trade' that brought slaves from Africa to the West Indies and there exchanged them for molasses, which in turn was taken to New England and converted into rum for sale in Africa. Isaac Da Costa of Charleston in the 1750's, David Franks of Philadelphia in the 1760's, and Aaron Lopez of Newport in the late 1760's and early 1770's dominated Jewish slave trading on the American continent."
Jews and Judaism in the United States a Documentary History (New York: Behrman House, Inc., Pub, 1983), p. 14. Raphael is the editor of American Jewish History, the journal of the American Jewish Historical Society at Brandeis University in Massachusetts.
"In Charleston, Richmond and Savannah the large majority (over three-fourths) of the Jewish households contained one or more slaves; in Baltimore, only one out of three households were slaveholding; in New York, one out of eighteen....Among the slaveholding households the median number of slaves owned ranged from five in Savannah to one in New York."
"The Jewish Population in 1820," in Abraham J. Karp, ed., The Jewish Experience in America: Selected Studies from the Publications of the American Jewish Historical Society (Waltham, Massachusetts, 1969, 3 volumes), volume 2, pp. 2, 17, 19.
"The Jews of the Joden Savanne [Surinam] were also
foremost in the suppression of the successive negro revolts, from
1690 to 1722: these as a matter of fact were largely directed against
them, as being the greatest slave-holders of the region."
History of the Marranos (Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society of America, 1932), p. 292.
"All through the eighteenth century, into the early nineteenth,
Jews in the North were to own black servants; in the South, the few
plantations owned by Jews were tilled with slave labor. In 1820, over
75 percent of all Jewish families in Charleston, Richmond, and
Savannah owned slaves, employed as domestic servants; almost 40
percent of all Jewish householders in the United States owned one
slave or more. There were no protests against slavery as such by Jews
in the South, where they were always outnumbered at least 100 to
1....But very few Jews anywhere in the United States protested
against chattel slavery on moral grounds."
United States Jewry, 1776-1985 (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1989), p. 586.
Jacob Rader Marcus
Marcus describes the mockery of the Indian by Hyam Myer's "Wild
West Show" in his book, The Colonial American Jew:
"[Myer sought] formal permission to exhibit some Mohawks in Europe. Myers sailed with the Indians before the proper certificate was forthcoming from the Indian Commissioner, and had already begun to parade them in Holland and in the taverns of London when the Lords of Trade urged Lieutenant-Governor Cadwallader Colden in New York to have Johnson put an end to the undertaking. From all indications Myers made no money on his grand European tour, for he ended up owing the Indians money - or refusing to pay them. Then, as now, there was "no business like show business!"
"...though not total savages, [they] are very primitive
and ignorant....[They do] nothing besides loafing and
begging....They catch trout in the river, and then sell them to buy
ammunition, shoot rabbits, birds, eat various roots and wild plants,
also snakes, frogs, dogs, cats, and rats, and say, 'Me work no.' In
conversation with several of them I found that they have no
particular home and are heathens."
"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."
"It would seem to be realistic to conclude that any Jew who could
afford to own slaves and had need for their services would do
so....Jews participated in every aspect and process of the
exploitation of the defenseless blacks."
"Jews and Negro Slavery in the Old South, 1789-1865," in Abraham J. Karp, The Jewish Experience in America: Selected Studies from the Publications of the American Jewish Historical Society (Waltham, Massachusetts, 1969), pp. 184, 189. [Dr. Korn is a rabbi, historian; A.B., Cincinnati, 1939; Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institue of Religion, Cincinnati, Ordination M.H.L. 1949; Sr. rabbi, Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel, Elkins Park, Pennsylvania, 1949-; Chaplain, USNR, 1944-; Visiting professor, American Jewish History, Union College-Jewish Institue of Religion, New York, 1962-; Honorary Overseer Gratz College of Pennsylvania; visiting professor, American Jewish History, Dropsie University of Pennsylvania; 1970-; Recipient Merit Award, American Association for State & Local History, 1969.]
"The female slave was a sex tool beneath the level of moral
considerations. She was an economic good, useful, in addition to her
menial labor, for breeding more slaves. To attain that purpose, the
master mated her promiscuously according to his breeding plans. The
master himself and his sons and other members of his household took
turns with her for the increase of the family wealth, as well as for
satisfaction of their extra-marital sex desires. Guests and neighbors
too were invited to that luxury."
"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. [Liebman is an attorney; LL.B., St. Lawrence University, 1929; M.A. (Latin American history), Mexico City College, 1963; Florida chapter American Jewish Historical Society, 1956-58; Friends of Hebrew University, 1958-59; American Historical Society Contributor to scholarly journals on Jewish history.
"The Christian inhabitants [of Brazil] were envious
because the Jews owned some of the best plantations in the river
valley of Pernambuco and were among the leading slave-holders and
slave traders in the colony."1
"Slave trade [sic] was one of the most important Jewish activities here [in Surinam] as elsewhere in the colonies."2
1. "A Study of Brazilian Jewish History 1623-1654, Based Chiefly Upon the Findings of the Late Samuel Oppenheim," Publications of the American Jewish Historical Society, vol. 33 (1934), p. 63.
2. The Economic Activities of the Jews of Amsterdam in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries (Port Washington, New York/London: Kennikat Press, 1937), p. 159.
[Bloom is a rabbi; B.A., Columbia University, 1923, Ph.D., 1937; M.H.L., Jewish Institute of Religion, 1928, D.D., 1955; rabbi, Temple Albert, Albuquerque, New Mexico, 1928-31. President Kingston Ministerial Association, 1945-46, and 1959-60; B'nai B'rith; Zionist Organization of America; vice-president, National Prison Chaplain Board, since 1962; Social Action Committee of Central Conference of American Rabbis, since 1947; Author: The Jews of Dutch Brazil, 1936; The Economic Activities of the Jews of Amsterdam, 1937.]
"The West India Company, which monopolized imports of slaves from
Africa, sold slaves at public auctions against cash payment. It
happened that cash was mostly in the hands of Jews. The buyers who
appeared at the auctions were almost always Jews, and because of this
lack of competitors they could buy slaves at low prices. On the other
hand, there also was no competition in the selling of the slaves to
the plantation owners and other buyers, and most of them purchased on
credit payable at the next harvest in sugar. Profits up to 300
percent of the purchase value were often realized with high interest
rates....If it happened that the date of such an auction fell on a
Jewish holiday the auction had to be postponed. This occurred on
Friday, October 21, 1644."
Jews in Colonial Brazil (1960), pp. 72-3; [Note: Wiznitzer, Arnold Aharon, educator; Born in Austria, December 20, 1899; Ph.D., University of Vienna, 1920; Doctor of Hebrew Literature, Jewish Theological Seminary of America; Emeritus research professor, University of Judaism, Los Angeles; Contributer to historical journals in the United States and Brazil including the Jounal of Jewish Social Studies and the Publications of the American Jewish Historical Society. Former president, Brazilian-Jewish Institute of Historical Research.]
"[I]t remains a fact which cannot be gainsaid that in his
own native home, and generally throughout the world, the unfortunate
negro is indeed the meanest of slaves. Much had been said respecting
the inferiority of his intellectual powers, and that no man of his
race has ever inscribed his name on the Parthenon of human
excellence, either mental or moral."
Jews in the South
"The Jew is the heir of the slave-baron in Dougherty
[Georgia]; and as we ride westward, by wide stretching
cornfields and stubby orchards of peach and pear, we see on all sides
within the circle of dark forest a Land of Canaan. Here and there are
tales of projects for moneygetting, born in the swift days of
Reconstruction 'improvement' companies, wine companies, mills and
factories; nearly all failed, and the Jew fell heir."
The Souls of Black Folk (1903) note: When DuBois tried to republish the book in 1953, he succumbed to pressure to replace the word "Jew" with "foreigner."
The Encyclopedia of the Jewish Religion refers to Moses
Maimonides as "the symbol of the pure and orthodox faith." His
Guide to the Perplexed is considered the greatest work of
Jewish religious philosophy, but his view of Blacks was
"[T]he Negroes found in the remote South, and those who resemble them from among them that are with us in these climes. The status of those is like that of irrational animals. To my mind they do not have the rank of men, but have among the beings a rank lower than the rank of man but higher than the rank of apes. For they have the external shape and lineaments of a man and a faculty of discernment that is superior to that of the apes."
"We know not how to speak in the same breath of the Negro and the
Israelite. The very names have startlingly opposite sounds ­p; one
representing all that is debased and inferior in the hopeless
barbarity and heathenism of six thousand years the other, the days
when Jehovah conferred on our fathers the glorious equality which led
the Eternal to converse with them, and allow them to enjoy the
communion of angels. Thus the abandoned fanatics insult the choice of
God himself, in endeavoring to reverse the inferiority which he
stamped on the African, to make him the compeer, even in bondage, of
His chosen people.
"There is no parallel between such races. Humanity from pole to pole would scout such a comparison. The Hebrew was originally free and the charter of his liberty was inspired by his Creator. The Negro was never free and his bondage in Africa was simply duplicated in a milder form when he was imported here....The judicious in all the earth agree that to proclaim the African equal to the surrounding races, would be a farce which would lead the civilized conservatism of the world to denounce the outrage."
Major Mordecai Manuel
Noah (1785-1851) was considered the most distinguished
Jewish layman in his time. He was such a prolific proponent of
slavery, that the first Black American periodical, The Freedom's
Journal, was launched in response to Noah's racist propaganda. He
actually defended slavery by calling it liberty:
"There is liberty under the name of slavery. A field negro has his cottage, his wife, and children, his easy task, his little patch of corn and potatos, his garden and fruit, which are his revenue and property. The house servant has handsome clothing, his luxurious meals, his admitted privacy, a kind master, and an indulgent and frequently fond mistress."
He argued that "the bonds of society must be kept as they now are" and that "To emancipate the slaves would be to jeopardize the safety of the whole country." The Freedom's 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."
Jews and Hollywood
"For a number of years a tendency has manifested itself in
American life toward the caricaturing and defaming of Jews on the
stage, in moving pictures. The effect of this on the unthinking
public has been to create an untrue and injurious impression of an
entire people and to expose the Jew to undeserved contempt, and
ridicule. The caricatures center around some idiosyncrasy of the few
which, by the thoughtless public, is often taken as a pivotal
characteristic of the entire people..."
Author of An Empire of Their Own: How the Jews invented
"What is amazing is the extent to which they succeeded in promulgating this fiction throughout the world. By making a "shadow" America, one which idealized every old glorifying bromide about the country, the Hollywood Jews created a powerful cluster of images and ideas-so powerful that, in a sense, they colonized the American imagination. . . . Ultimately, American values came to be defined largely by the movies the Jews made."
Author of Hollywood's Image of the Jew
"Today, most people associate the blackface tradition with minstrel shows, and more particularly with Al Jolson. In actuality, many Jewish performers gained early and continued success using it. Sophie Tucker was billed as the 'World Renowned Coon Shouter' or more euphamistically as the 'Manipulator of Coon Melodies.' Eddie Cantor played Salome in drag and blackface, while George Burns often toured with an even more comically stylized blackface than Jolson's. Later George Jessel often joined Eddie Cantor on stage in various blackface routines...Indeed, it is too easy to ignore the derogatory aspects of such activities, the unconscious racism accepted and nourished by such cruel parodies, by citing historical contexts. The undisguised elements of ridicule in such blackface portrayals by Jews mimicking the outlandish stereotypes of blacks now looks suspiciously like one group's desperate need to assert its own superiority by mimicking another. Such a motivation while perhaps unconscious is nonetheless hard to ignore."
B'nai B'rith Magazine, May, 1925
Rastus: Whuffo' yo' 'jeculate yoself to me in dat onery manner?
Cicero: Whoffo'? Nigguh, who do yo' calkerate yo' is?
Rastus: Yo' nigguh! mah family am quality folks an' ahm a pusson of rank.
Cicero: Huh! ah'll have yo' triflin', Rastus, to know that ah'm ranker than you is.
"Jokes" like these appeared regularly in the B'nai B'rith Magazine
even as the ADL fought this kind of defamation of Jews.
"...it is true that the white man (and by this I mean Christian civilization in general) has proved himself to be the most depraved devil imaginable in his attitudes towards the Negro race....The source and cause of this need for reaction can be attributed to white contempt and neglect. The historical contempt that the white race held for the Negroes has created a group of rootless degraded people. The current neglect of the problem can only irritate this deplorable state of affairs. The Black Muslims should constitute a warning to our society, a warning that must be heeded if we are to preserve the society. The road to freedom must be uphill, even if it is arduous and frustrating. A people must have dignity and identity. If they can't do it peacefully, they will do it defensively."
"There is a time to love and a time to hate; whoever does not hate
when he should does not deserve to love when he should, does not
deserve to love when he is able. Perhaps, had we learned to hate more
during the years of ordeal, fate itself would have taken fright. The
Germans did their best to teach us, but we were poor pupils in the
discipline of hate....Every Jew, somewhere in his being, should set
apart a zone of hate - healthy, virile hate - for what the German
personifies and for what persists in the German. To do otherwise
would be a betrayal of the dead."
Legends of Our Time (1968), pp.177-78:
"After the first World War, Jewish Gangsters became major figures in the American underworld and played prominent roles in the creation and extension of organized crime in the United States. During Prohibition fifty percent of the leading bootleggers were Jews, and Jewish criminals financed and directed much of the nations narcotics traffic. Jews also dominated illicit activities in a number of America's largest cities, including Boston, Cleveland, Detroit, Minneapolis, New York, and Philadelphia."