June 03, 2016

Jews and the Slave Trade: JC Letter

There was a letter in the Jewish Chronicle today which unfortunately doesn't publish its letters on line.  Here it is:

The part played by some prominent Jews with regard to the history of slavery is perhaps less savoury than Doreen Berger suggests (Letters, May 27).  The 1807 Act abolished the slave trade within the British Empire, but slave ownership remained legal.  The 1833 Act abolished slavery itself, awarding generous compensation to the slave owners, including a proportionate number of Jews.

Nathan Mayer Rothschild struck a "profitable" deal to fund the compensation.

According to Eli Faber, recently identified by Geoffrey Alderman as "a distinguished expert in American-Jewish history", Jews had once been prominent in Brazil's sugar industry, where, as creditors, they "dominated the slave trade". Faber also cites Salo Baron's advice to face up to "historically unpleasant truths".

Some Jews subscribed to abolition societies, others profited from slavery, in one form or another.

Roy Wolfe,
Reading, Berkshire
I'm assuming that the headline was supplied not by the letter's author but by the JC itself.

Unfortunately I don't have access to the letter that Roy Wolfe is responding to but I have read of Jewish involvement in the slave trade many times.

This whole issue of course has blown up around some stuff that Momentum's Jackie Walker is supposed to have said about Jewish involvement in the slave trade and subsequent attempts to have her expelled from the Labour Party and to rubbish what she said.

Well it's starting to look like what she said wasn't so rubbish after all and just as happened with Ken Livingstone's suspension over Hitler's well documented support for Zionism in the 1930s, people are examining the historical record which in the case of the slave trade doesn't quite tally with Zionist claims of eternal, perennial and universal Jewish suffering.  Which of course isn't to say that all Jews were involved in the slave trade or that the slave trade consisted only or mostly of Jews. But there were aspects of the slave trade in terms of destination which were dominated or indeed monopolised by Jews and financed by the them.

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