Jew-Hatred as History
Posted: December 31, 2001
The Nation of Islam's account of the slave trade, The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews: Volume One, presents a multi-layered attack against the Jewish people; it assaults the integrity of the Jewish religion, the meaning of Jewish history, and the foundations of Jewish scholarship upon which the book's own fraudulent charges are based. The anonymous authors of The Secret Relationship argue essentially that the history of slavery in the New World - which they claim accounted for the death of 100 million Africans - was initiated by Jewish ship owners and merchants, who as a group remained the main beneficiaries of the slave economy and who "carved for themselves a monumental culpability in slavery."
The authors advance this bizarre thesis by unscrupulously distorting the findings of legitimate Jewish authors writing on the history of Jews in the New World. In the process, they rationalize and demean the centuries of suffering that brought Jews to the Americas. For example, the book's introduction opens with the observation that "no single group of people have faced blanket expulsion in so many places around the world as have the Jews." Rather than attribute this fact to the enduring legacy of anti-Semitism, however, the authors provide a list of "reasons" for these expulsions: the Jews were monopolizers, usurers, they engaged in "sharp practices" and sold "cheap" goods, they filed for frequent bankruptcies. Each of these charges, of course, stems from the timeless stereotype that Jews are inherently untrustworthy and obsessed with money, a stereotype the Nation of Islam apparently accepts as reasonable.
Aligning With White Supremacists
|The Secret Relationship [mixes] both disreputable accounts of Jewish history and the Nation of Islam's own bigoted innuendo to arrive at conclusions in direct contradiction to the established historical record of the slave trade.|
This analysis will take The Secret Relationship for what it is: a mendacious work of anti-Semitic propaganda. Confronting the book on these terms, this response will examine the way in which the authors of The Secret Relationship have defined and manipulated the terms Jew and Judaism. By doing so, it will become clear that the authors have deliberately and explicitly drawn on the rhetoric of white supremacists, whose hatred of Jews is matched only by their contempt for Blacks. This report will then address the way legitimate scholarship has been appropriated in The Secret Relationship and mixed with both disreputable accounts of Jewish history and the Nation of Islam's own bigoted innuendo to arrive at conclusions in direct contradiction to the established historical record of the slave trade. Most significantly, this examination will look at the statistics which the authors hold up as "proof" of Jewish culpability in the slave trade, and will demonstrate the disparity between The Secret Relationship's rhetoric and the actual level of Jewish involvement with slavery.
The reader of this report should bear in mind that anti-Semitism is not a new element in the Nation of Islam's program, and that indeed, the Nation of Islam is not the only separatist movement within the African-American community to espouse this prejudice. This observation is not a casual one: as Minister Louis Farrakhan himself has stated, the purpose of The Secret Relationship was to "rearrange a relationship" [between Jews and African-Americans] that "has been detrimental to us." As such, acknowledging the value of this relationship for both African-Americans and Jews must contribute to the moral essence of any response.