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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Remembering the Nakba and what was lost

The Nakba of 1948, the flight of the Arabs of Palestine and the triumph of Zionism, destroyed many quaint customs.

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:

Although Africans have been in Palestine for centuries, most people know little about this migration. For centuries, under the Ottoman Empire and before, slaves were brought from Africa. Some older people today remember stories told by their parents or grandparents of how they came to be in Palestine. Therefore it is possible to discover something of the later history of slavery. Several people mentioned that they had heard that there was a big slave market in Egypt and one 'white' Bedouin told me that his grandfather had been a slave trader who travelled regularly to Egypt. Most people with any idea of where their ancestors came from mention Sudan or Ethiopia. Sometimes they know the name of the town. Indeed, it is probable that many Africans came from these countries as they are near to Palestine. However, one woman I spoke to pointed out that 'we just say Sudan because we do not know and because the name means 'place of black people. It could just as easily have been Congo!' According to history books, slave traders and owners used to make a distinction between Ethiopians (Habash) and other Africans such as the Zanj from the East African Coast. In their racist way of thinking, they considered the Ethiopians to be superior to the other Africans.

Continued: African Slavery in Palestine - Gone With the Wind


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