Up from Slavery - Africans in Palestine
African Slavery in Palestine - Gone With the Wind
As we are told, "Zionism is racism" and "Israel is an Apartheid State." Indeed, the proponents of multicultural pluralism should take careful note. The Zionists have been stamping out many Arab Palestinian customs that no doubt contribute to the rainbow of human culture. For example, one of the customs eliminated by Zionist domination of 'Palestine' was slavery.
The practice of enslaving Africans was made illegal in most of the Western world in the 19th century. In the Middle East, however, under the Muslim Ottoman Empire, it persisted. In the area later to be called Palestine, there was an apartheid society of slave owners. When the colonialist imperialist British, supported by the evil Zionists, entered the land and carved up the former Ottoman Turkish Empire, they discouraged and tried to stop slavery. But the real end to slavery did not, apparently, come, until after the 'Nakba,' the catastrophe of Jewish restoration in 1948, which ended so many delightful customs of the Palestinian Arabs.
In Saudi Arabia, this quaint and picturesque custom, which gave so much romance to the world, was only abolished in 1961, under pressure from the American imperialists. No doubt, the conscience of every humanitarian must be appalled by this blatant interference in the society of another people.
The demise of this elegant society is still mourned by those who decry the British mandate for Palestine and the Zionist settlement in the Land of Israel. The British had outlawed slavery only recently, but Jewish opposition to slavery begins in the biblical story of Passover (Pesach), which celebrates the emancipation of the Jewish slaves in ancient Egypt.
The Africans were called "Abed" - which literally means slave. White and black slaves were separated, and there were degrees of inferiority among African slaves as well. The descendants of these slaves are still Bedouin in the Negev and "Palestinians" in Gaza. They still, as a rule, cannot intermarry with their "white" former masters.
Here is a description of African slavery and African Palestinians in the land of Israel:
In some areas slavery as a way of life appears to have continued into the 1950s. One black (sumr) man who came to Palestine as a migrant worker from Egypt and was caught up in the war of 1948 recalls life for black people attached to the Al Huzail. He had been working in the orchards near Rishon with black people of the Abu Barakat. When war broke out they fled back to their home area of the Al Huzail where Rahat has now been constructed. When the Egyptian man arrived there he found black people growing wheat for Al Huzail. They were given food and, if they requested it for a special purpose, money. Slaves and masters lived separately in black tents. There was no intermarriage and no concubinage. The Egyptian man slept in the Sheikh's shig and worked as a shepherd, but received no wages. The Sheikh arranged his marriage to a white girl from Gaza. However, after 1952 under the Israelis, when the census was taken, slavery as an institution faded away.
Isn't it a pity that the Zionists banished slavery from Palestine, along with trachoma, malaria and typhus? Ah for the good old days! Alas! They are no more!
Those who mourn the loss of this custom, who insist that "Zionism is racism" and "Israel is an apartheid state," can comfort themselves with the thought that polygamy and honor killings have not yet been eliminated by the Zionists. No doubt, when the 'Nakba' of 1948 is reversed, and the Arabs of Palestine get their rights, the noble customs of old will be restored.
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See also:Palestine Partition - November 29, 1947
Memoirs of a Palmach volunteer, 1948
, Was there Ethnic Cleansing in Palestine in 1948?
Israel - Birth of a Nation - The struggle for Israel's independence
1948 Israel War of Independence (First Arab-Israeli war) Timeline (Chronology) MACHAL In Israel's Wars MACHAL in Israel's War of Independence MACHAL - in illegal immigration to Palestine and Israel War of Independence
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