Do some black lives matter more than others?

BLM demonizes Israel but ignores black slavery in Arab states such as.Somalia and Mauritania. Learn the facts. Op-ed

Ezequiel Doiny ,

Slaves after being freed
Slaves after being freed
INN: Youtubeצילום:

On June 9, 2020 Alan Bergstein wrote in Arutz 7 "Black Lives matter (BLM) has taken over center stage in this unfolding horror story of the killing of George Floyd. It now has to be considered the nation's most prominent and powerful organized black group."

"...Their charter and platform state that Israel is responsible for, 'the genocide taking place against the Palestinian people. Israel is an apartheid state..that sanctions discrimination and practices genocide against the Palestinian people.'"

"So, with all the really brutal nations in the world, BLM glosses over Iran, Arabia, Somalia and China. They equate "demonic" Jewish Israel with the American nation by weaving in the preposterous claim that only when Israel stops persecuting Palestinian Arabs will blacks be liberated. No time line on this demand.

"We Jews, only about 5 million in the entire USA, have done quite enough for blacks who number about 39 million. We started the NAACP, walked with Dr. King, were killed for the cause and have gone overboard in black communities giving scholarships to black kids.

"We ask, where is the reciprocity? When will they finally stand with us to support Israel? To condemn the Jew haters in their midst? Good questions, no answers.....yet."

The makeup of Israel's population - ethnic diversity

Henn Mazzig wrote in the Los Angeles Times: "...There is a growing inclination to frame the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in terms of race. According to this narrative, Israel was established as a refuge for oppressed white European Jews who in turn became oppressors of people of color, the Palestinians. As an Israeli, and the son of an Iraqi Jewish mother and North African Jewish father, it's gut-wrenching to witness this shift..."

"...The majority of Jews in Israel today are of Middle Eastern and North African descent. I am baffled as to why mainstream media and politicians around the world ignore or misrepresent these facts. Israel was established for all Jews from every part of the world - the Middle East, North Africa, Ethiopia, Asia and, yes, Europe. No matter where Jews physically reside, they maintain a connection to the Land of Israel, where our story started and where today we continue to craft it...

"...Those who misrepresent Israel try to position it as a colonialist aggressor rather than a haven for those fleeing oppression. That all but erases the story of my family. In Iraq, my family experienced ongoing persecution. My great-grandfather was falsely accused of being a Zionist spy and executed in Baghdad in 1951...

"...Any erasure of the Mizrahi experience negates the lives of 850,000 Jewish refugees. They would also deny the existence of almost 200,000 descendants of Ethiopian Jews who were airlifted to Israel in the early 1990s in a daring rescue operation...

"...Israel is a place where an indigenous people have reclaimed their land and revived their ancient language, despite being surrounded by hostile neighbors and hounded by radicalized Arab nationalists who cannot tolerate any political entity in the region other than their own. Jews that were expelled from nations across the Middle East, who sacrificed all they had, have been crucial in building and defending the Jewish state since its outset..."

Racism, LGBT persecution in the Palestinian Authority and the Arab World

Palestinian Arabs today use intersectionality to promote BDS. How can they, who advocate for the rights of gays and blacks in America, embrace those who refuse to condemn racism and persecution of homosexuals in Arab Countries?

On August 21, 2019 the Washington Examiner reported "The Palestinian Authority is banning all LGBT members from activities in the West Bank.The ban comes after the group Al-Qaws for Sexual & Gender Diversity in Palestinian Society, which supports Palestinians who identify as a part of the gay community, was planning to hold a gathering for its members at the end of August, but won't be able to anymore. "

Those who use intersectionality to gain support for BDS against Israel and repeatedly accuse Israel of apartheid never to condemn female genitall mutilation, persecution of homosexuals, slavery or racism in Arab Countries.

Racism is deeply rooted in the Arab World. On August 18, 2019 Declan Walsh reported in the New York Times about racism on Arab television "On the Libyan comedy show, the punch line was in the baby carriage. An elevator door slams shut, separating the mother — an actress in blackface — from her babies. ..“Watch my babies!” the mother calls out in mock horror. But when the passengers pull back the carriage cover, a pair of monkeys leap out."

"...In the Arab world, where racism is a deeply rooted yet rarely discussed issue, blackface comedy is facing a surge of criticism on social media, even forcing the occasional apology. But the practice remains widespread and acceptable enough to be a staple on major television networks.

"...The targets of that humor — most often from Sudan, a sprawling Arabic-speaking country in Africa — say there is nothing funny about it. “Blackface is disgusting and offensive,” said Sara Elhassan, a Sudanese writer in the United States. “It’s not just about skin color; it’s about stereotypes.”

Arab Racism against Blacks in Sudan

On February 7, 2011 Mathew Brunswasser reported in PRI (Public Radio International) about Arab racism against blacks in Sudan "...southern Sudanese consider themselves blacks while northerners see themselves as Arabs and treat blacks as second class..." the note goes on to explain how Sudan's former president Omar al Bashir would be considered black in America but in Sudan he is considered an Arab because "his color is not black totally..." (listen to the complete report here)

Arab Racism against Blacks in Somalia: The "Soft Hairs" vs. the Bantus

On February 13, 1994 The Seattle Times reported about racism in Ilhan Omar's Somalia. Ilhan Omar belongs to the Majeerteen Clan who are members of the Arab Darood family:. "Amid the hatred and violence that cut so many ways in Somalia, people of Arab descent with soft hair hold sway over those who wear the hard curls of an African."

The soft hairs, Somalis whose ethnic roots are buried in the sands of the Arabian Peninsula, own the businesses, carry the guns and run the political factions that are vying to replace deposed dictator Mohamed Siad Barre.

Warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid is a soft-hair. Arab-descended Somalis have also robbed their hard-haired countrymen, many of whose ancestors were East Africans, of their farms and forced them into modern-day servitude that borders on slavery. "Somalia has a racism problem. It's one of the dirty little secrets that the civil war has exposed," said Ken Menkhaus, a Somalia scholar and U.N. adviser from Davidson College in North Carolina.

"The distinction is not color, but ancestry. The Somalis of Arab descent call their brethren "tiimo jereer" - hard hairs. Or, more honestly, "addoon" - slave. That is what many were a century ago and what they have become again since civil war ripped away what little protection they had.

"For lack of a more accurate term, aid workers call the East African-descended people Bantus after the group of languages many of their ancestors spoke. New deeds written Under Siad Barre's 22-year regime, the 300,000 or so Somali Bantus lost much of their land to government officials who simply wrote themselves deeds to the richest farms along the Jubba and Shabeelle rivers of southern Somalia. During the famine, those landless Bantus were the first to go hungry.

"When Siad Barre fell, the Somali clan gunmen came, again forcing Bantus from their farms, raping Bantu women and settling into a pattern of routine extortion that could only be called servitude by terror. 'We have to work for the people who stole our land. Our girls have to work as servants in our own houses,' said Aden Yusuf Aden, 28, a resident of Sagaalaad, a predominantly Bantu village on the banks of the crocodile-infested Shabeelle, 19 miles west of Mogadishu..." reported "The Somali Bantu are made up of diverse groups, such as the Mushunguli, Shambara, Gobaweyn, Shidle, Makanne, Shabelle, etc. Some of these groups have lived in Somalia for many centuries as farmers along the rivers, and have adopted the language and culture of the surrounding Somalis. Other groups originated in Tanzania and Mozambique and were brought to Somalia as slaves during the 19th century. After escaping their captors they also settled as farmers along the villages."

"The different Somali Bantu groups are united primarily because of the racial discrimination they face within Somalia. Most Somalis will not intermarry with Somali Bantus, and some will not even eat with them or enter their house. During the civil war in Somalia, Somali Bantus were one of the most vulnerable groups and suffered horribly at the hands of clan militias and criminal gangs."

In 2015 World Bulletin reported "Between the two only permanent rivers in arid Somalia, the Juba and Shabelle, lays one of the most fertile lands in the continent. For years, it has made Somalia the highest producer of bananas in Africa. It is Somalia's food basket and a land that has been fought over by successive warlords during two decades of war.

"This is the home of a minority community known as the Jareerwayne, or Somali Bantu, who number one million out of the country's population of 10 million, according to the UNHCR. Unlike their pastoralist neighbors, Bantus are a farming community. The Bantus, or Jareerwayne as they prefer to call themselves, are also different in physical appearance. They share negroid features of wooly hair and broad noses – unlike ethnic Somalis, who have Caucasoid features like milky hair and straight noses.

"'Our ancestors were brought to Somalia from Tanzania, Mozambique and Malawi as slaves more than 400 years ago, mostly to toil on the fertile land along the Shabelle and Juba,' Hussein Abdi, a 36-year-old Somali Bantu living as a refugee in Nairobi's mainly Somali Eastleigh district, told the Anadolu Agency. But even after the abolition of slavery and Somalia's independence from Italy in 1960, the ethnic minority, which has been vital to the national economy, has felt marginalized, 'I fled Mogadishu ten years ago and sought refuge in Kenya,' said Ahmed. 'I couldn't take the fighting anymore, but above all I couldn't live like I was – a second-class citizen with no rights,' he lamented. 'We are always looked down upon in Somalia.'

"The community has in the past been sidelined in terms of decision making. 'Since our independence, we have never had a jarerwayne become a president, a parliament speaker, a prime minister, an army general or even an ambassador,' said Tiidow Hassan, a Somali Bantu community activist currently living in Sweden. 'They have kept us away from the government and political system,' he told AA by phone. 'The system based on equal share is a mirage.'

"...The Somali civil war led to a large exodus of Somali Bantus who crossed over to Kenya, while others –who could trace their original tribes back to the time before their ancestors were sold in the Zanzibar slave market by Arabs and Swahilis – were resettled in Tanzania. Most of their homes back in Somalia were destroyed by invading clan militias and their farms taken by new migrating Somali clans..."

The Bantu are victims of ethnic cleansing. Although they are a minority in Somalia, according to Human Rights Watch they are a majority in the refugee camps in Kenya.

The Muslim\Arab Slave Traders

Wikipedia says: "Slavery in Somalia existed as a part of the Arab slave trade. To meet the demand for menial labor, Bantus from southeastern Africa captured by Somali slave traders were sold in cumulatively large numbers over the centuries to customers in Somalia and other areas in Northeast Africa..."

Desmond Berg wrote in April 30, 2018 on "...some historians assert that as many as 17 million people were sold into slavery on the coast of the Indian Ocean, the Middle East, and North Africa, and approximately 5 million African slaves were bought by Muslim slave traders and taken from Africa across the Red Sea, Indian Ocean, and Sahara desert between 1500 and 1900 ( “Focus on the slave trade”. BBC). The captive slaves were sold in slave markets throughout the Middle East."

"...Ethnic Bantu slaves bought by Arab slave traders from southeastern Africa were sold in cumulatively large numbers over the centuries to customers on the Arabian Peninsula, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, the Persian Gulf, Somalia, and European colonies in the Far East of Asia (Gwyn Campbell, The Structure of Slavery in Indian Ocean Africa and Asia, 1 edition, (Routledge: 2003)..." Read more at A history of Arab Slave Trade in Africa.

David Gakunzi wrote in the JCPA in September 2018 "...The Arab slave trade was characterized by appalling violence, castration, and rape. The men were systematically castrated to prevent them from reproducing and becoming a stock. This inhumane practice resulted in a high death rate: six out of 10 people who were mutilated died from their wounds in castration centers. The Arab slave trade also targeted African women and girls, who were captured and deported for use as sex slaves."

"According to the work of some historians, the Arab slave trade has affected more than 17 million people. In the Saharan region alone, more than nine million African captives were deported and two million died on the roads. This despicable phenomenon was legitimized by Islam, as Christianity would later condone the transatlantic slave trade. For example, the Tunisian Arab historian Ibn Khaldun (1332-1406) wrote that “the only peoples to accept slavery are the Negroes, because of their lower degree of humanity, their place being closer to the animal stage.”

"The Algerian Arab theologian Ahmed al-Wancharisi (1430/1431-1508) offered legal and religious recommendations: 'I have been asked about slaves from the land of Abyssinia who profess monotheism and accept the rules of the Holy Law: is it legal or not to buy and sell them?… If their conversion to Islam comes after the establishment of a property right [on these slaves], then Islam does not demand liberation, because slavery was caused by unbelief. The state of servitude persists after the disappearance of unbelief because of its existence in the past.

"When they arrived at destinations, the captives were sold in the slave markets of Cairo, Baghdad, Istanbul, Mecca, and other centers. These slaves played various roles in the economy of the Muslim world. They were used as servants, harem keepers, laborers in fields, mines, and hydraulic yards, and as cannon fodder in armies.

"Ill-treatment sometimes led slaves to rebellion. For example, the revolt of the Zanj, which occurred near the city of Basra in Iraq in 869, lasted 15 years. Under the command of Ali Ibn Muhammad, slaves from East Africa and the Great Lakes region rose up, took control of many cities, and founded an embryonic state. They were defeated only in 883.

"The Arab slave trade had a tragic impact on the evolution of African societies. Some areas were completely devastated and depopulated. Welsh explorer Henry Morton Stanley (1841-1904) was a horrified witness of this traffic. He wrote that after the depredations of the Arab traffickers, 'the black blood flows toward the north, the equator smells corpses.'

"The Arab slave trade also promoted the development of racialist and essentialist theories that view blacks as inferior by nature. In many Arab countries this racism still exists; for example, the same words are used to describe Africans, blacks, and slaves..."

Slavery today in Somalia and Mauritania

Nikala Pieroni reported in November 12, 2015 on a site that has since been suspended that slavery still exists in Somalia "....According to many, Somalia is a state that is very vulnerable to modern centers in both Puntland and Somaliland are used to transport people from southern and rural Somalia up into other parts of Africa...The essay by Kathleen Fitzgibbon entitled 'Modern Day Slavery?' also brings up a situation that has been large in Somalia, the use of children in warfare. While she states that this does not just happen in Somalia, she explains that many children in Africa are abducted and forced to fight in civil wars, which Somalia has been a part of for many years. There is a desperation in small militias to produce enough power to fight, and forcing people into militaristic slavery is one way that this has happened..

There is also slavery in Mauritania. On its August 2019 issue Le Monde Diplomatique denounced the racism in the Islamic Republic of Mauritania "Ahmed made mint tea while Abdallah talked in a mix of French and Pulaar, a Fula language spoken in Mauritania: ‘Mauritania’s completely racist. Everyone knows, but no one talks about it. That’s off limits!’ At the top are the Bidhan [lighter-skinned Arab Berbers, ‘white Moors’]. They own everything. Then there’s us, the West Africans.’ Abdallah tapped his forearm with his index finger. ‘And at the bottom there are the Haratin. They’re Moors, too, and speak the same language as the Bidhan, but they’re black like us.’ He tapped his forearm again. ‘They used to be the Bidhan’s slaves and now they’re looked down on even more than us.’

On September 21, 2018 Human Rights Watch denounced that those who denounce racial discrimination in Mauritania are incarcerated "A Mauritanian criminal court has charged an activist with incitement to violence and racial hatred for social media messages decrying racial discrimination in the country, Human Rights Watch said today...

“No one should be put on trial simply for pointing out the plight of their own community,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch.

... In WhatsApp messages that Human Rights Watch has heard and that are seemingly Yali’s, the 43-year-old activist decries the lot of his marginalized Haratine community. Haratines are the dark-skinned, Arabic-speaking descendants of slaves who constitute about one-third of the country’s population. In those clips, the speaker calls on the Haratines community to stand up for their rights and resist “the system,” elites, and President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz."

Biram Dah Abeid was just 8 when he became aware of slavery in his home country of Mauritania. He saw a defenseless youth being beaten by a man—a common experience, his parents explained, for the thousands of Mauritanians still treated as chattels by their "masters." Biram himself was of slave descent; his own grandmother was born into slavery.

Biram promised that day that he would resist. And in 2008, he founded the Initiative for the Resurgence of the Abolitionist Movement (IRA-Mauritania). Alongside other Mauritanian anti­slavery organizations, such as SOS-Esclaves, IRA-Mauritania has sought to break the official silence that enables slavery to persist by using nonviolent tactics: reporting and publicizing cases, assisting victims and holding sit-ins and demonstrations. For this, Biram and his colleagues have been imprisoned on numerous occasions..."

On August 3, 2011 Sy Hamdu reported in Pambazuka News (a website that advocates for freedom and justice in Africa) about a conference in France to discuss the discrimination and enslavement of blacks in Mauritania "The conference held on Saturday 25 June 2011 and organised by Biram Dah Abeid gave rise to a particular interest and enthusiasm on the part of some of the main political actors and their associates within the Mauritanian diaspora in France.

In discussing slavery and state racism, our host Biram, president of the IRA (Initiative de Résurgence du mouvement Abolitionniste de France-Mauritanie), emphasised the ‘the ideological and religious foundations of slavery and racism with the state in Mauritania’....Biram returned to the central facts around slavery in Mauritania, notably the practice of guardianship – women and children are left to the cruelty of men and women, heartless masters with neither faith or reason.

"...'Where is the compassion of this community calling itself Muslim? What human values form their identity? What goes on in the heads of those men and women who exercise such cruelty, barbarism and cynicism? The inhumanity of these practices challenges our very confidence in what’s human when humanity is capable of undertaking such acts. An ideological, military and police machinery is consistently mobilised to this effect. There has never been any form of respite for the men, women and children assigned to the deadly status of slaves.'

"'Mauritanian society is deeply slavery-oriented and as such has produced deeply unjust inequalities. Certain techniques involving humiliation, torture and even being put to death are employed in the aim of keeping slaves dependent on their masters through fear, shame and submission.

"Biram explained this in strong terms; the master recognizes no right to a dignified life or free black existence as human beings. As a result, children and women remain without protection or security, being at the mercy of arbitrary, cruel and unbearable Moorish masters who defy contemporary humanity through the use of barbarous and wicked treatment and the denial of the most basic of rights. ... This system is rooted in an enduring ideological base, one which constitutes an untouchable and immutable dogma and which gives rise to a logic of extermination and annihilation of the moral and ethical character of black people.

"...Mauritania as a racist and slave state must be overcome for the purpose of building a fair, free and egalitarian Mauritanian society. This Mauritania will be one in which citizens have the rights of citizenship, rather than one in which black people are reduced to indignity under Moorish oppression..."

Condemning Israel - naturally

The 57 Member States of the Organization for Islamic Cooperation (including Mauritania) often vote against Israel in the UN. In 2017 ESCWA, a UN agency composed of 18 Islamic States (including Mauritania) , wrote a report accusing Israel of apartheid.

Reuters reported " A U.N. agency published a report on Wednesday accusing Israel of imposing an "apartheid regime" of racial discrimination on the Palestinian people...

Israel's Foreign Ministry spokesman likened the report, which was published by the U.N. Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), to Der Sturmer - a Nazi propaganda publication that was strongly anti-Semitic."

ESCWA accuses Israel of apartheid but not Mauritania. The accusations of apartheid against Israel are false since Israeli Arab Citizens can vote, go to universities, work as doctors, judges and are members of the Knesset. While Israel is falsely accused of apartheid the real apartheid, racism and slavery in Mauritania is ignored.

While there are groups in dozens of university campuses around America calling to sanction Israel with BDS there are no university groups calling to sanction Mauritania, Somalia, Sudan or other Arab Countries that violate human rights.

Black Live Matter members are being manipulated against Jews and Israel with lies to promote BDS and undermine support for Israel the Democratic Party and in Congress. Why is it that BLM demonizes Israel and not China for its occupation of Tibet? Why condemn Israel but not racism and persecution of homosexuals in Arab Countries? Why demonize Israel but turn a blind eye on slavery in Mauritania? Do some black lives matter more than others? So it seems.

Ezequiel Doiny is author of "Obama's assault on Jerusalem's Western Wall"