This week, Jews are celebrating their ancestors’ emancipation from bondage – on a holiday named for the time that the Angel of Death “passed over” the households of Jews to strike their Egyptian taskmasters whose army was then drowned in the sea.
A few weeks ago, Archbishop Desmond Tutu — as the figurehead of the Global March on Jerusalem — planned to liberate the Palestinians and punish their Jewish “oppressors.” The Global March boasted it would gather hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of Arabs, Muslims and Western “human rights activists” to overcome the Israelites in their capital and claim it for the Arabs. In the minds of some marchers, surely, it would be a step toward casting the cruel Jews into the sea.
But the million-man army never showed up. Somehow they lost their way. The Sinai Desert, site of the ancient Jewish disorientation, was to be a route for the Global Marchers. Had they actually crossed it on their way to claim Jerusalem, they literally would have passed over this generation’s slaves. Seeking refuge from war and oppression, Africans from Eritrea and Sudan today pay Arabs to guide them toward the land of Israel. They often wind up serving Egyptian masters as cruel as Pharaoh himself.
As you read this, international aid agencies, Arab news services and Israeli human rights groups are reporting the capture, torture, extortion, rape and murder of these African wanderers. Four Israeli groups – Combat Genocide, Kav LaOved (Workers’ Hot Line), Physicians for Human Rights-Israel and the Jerusalem Center for Genocide Prevention – have interviewed latter-day escapees from bondage in Sinai who have found refuge in Israel. Reading victim testimonies collected by the physicians’ group is heartbreaking:
“I paid 3,000 but I was asked to pay more. I was mistreated and raped by the Bedouins.”
“Three men kidnapped me… All Arabs from Sudan.”
“I was sold to a trafficker… beaten, chained and blindfolded, and the traffickers didn’t allow us to sit, to lie down or to sleep. The traffickers obliged us to smoke hashish. They did this only to the girls.”
Israeli rights groups and others have documented the killing of captives, and the harvesting and sale of their body parts. But the West’s human rights establishment, which swoons over tales of Palestinian suffering, has not taken much notice.
“All of us were beaten. While my group was crossing to Israel, there was shooting at the border, and two girls of the group were caught by the Egyptians. I don’t know what happened to one of them; she disappeared. The other one went back to Eritrea. Three girls of the group are still with the traffickers. I heard that they were sold again. Only two other girls of my group managed to enter Israel.”
The fate of many of them is no longer a mystery: Israeli rights groups and others have documented the killing of captives, and the harvesting and sale of their body parts. But the West’s human rights establishment, which swoons over tales of Palestinian suffering, has not taken much notice. And this Passover, these black slaves were simply ignored by the good archbishop and his liberating army.
The other route to free Jerusalem for the Palestinian Arabs was to be from the north. There, in Syria, in just a few months’ time, 10,000 Arabs have been murdered. Alas, not by Jews. So the Global Marchers passed them over as well.
Indeed, the number of Palestinians who’ve perished in the Israeli/Arab conflicts over the decades totals some 16,000. (Israel has lost some 23,000 in these conflicts.) Let’s grant the Marchers that every one of these Arab deaths can be blamed on Jews. Yet Arabs kill many times more Arabs and black Africans – both Christian and Muslim.
It is believed that some 25,000 Palestinians perished in the “Black September War” with Jordan, some 7,000 in the civil wars in Lebanon, and some 1,000 in battles against Syria. Some ten to twelve million Muslims have been killed in wars between Muslim countries with in wars between Muslim countries and their non-Muslim neighbors. This killing goes on unabated — and unnoticed by a world obsessed with Jewish conduct.
Arabs and Muslims themselves have so much more to fear from Arabs and Muslims. Death at the hands of Jews is the anomaly. Yet Tutu delights in making that the world’s cause. So, Archbishop, is it the killing? Or is it perhaps that the Jews so excite you?
Was it not for his care and love for black people in South Africa that Archbishop Tutu won world acclaim? How explain, then, that the suffering of blacks of Northern Africa — exponentially worse – does not attract his concern?
So great was the concern for the Palestinians, the Global March was to be mirrored in Durban with a symbolic participation for those who couldn’t travel so far. It was organized by the South African Relief Association. Sheikh Waleed al-Saadi, one of the organizers is quoted as saying, “The people of Palestine, our brothers and sisters, are being killed every day; their homes are being demolished; and they are being displaced by settlers from all over the world. Al Quds [Jerusalem] belongs to us [Palestinians], and it’s going to be the capital of Palestine. Soon Jerusalem will be freed from the Zionist occupation. … We are going to march to Jerusalem. … to open Jerusalem as Umar [the second Caliph] did and as Salahuddin al Ayyudi had done.”
We in Boston recall that when Tutu came here to protest Jewish “oppression” of Arabs, two former slaves from Sudan led our counter protest. They shamed Tutu, suggesting the Arabs purchased his silence about Arab slaving of blacks in Sudan, which persists today.
Was it not for his care and love for black people in South Africa that Archbishop Tutu won world acclaim? How explain, then, that the suffering of blacks of Northern Africa — exponentially worse – does not attract his concern? Hatred of Israel? Love of the Arabs? Power? Money? In any case, on this Passover, this “angel” of the human rights world passed right over his black brothers and sisters who are in bondage.
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Charles Jacobs is president of the American Anti-Slavery Group. Dr. Elihu D. Richter is a founder of the Jerusalem Center for Genocide Prevention. This report was based on information and research carried out by Uriel Levy of Combat Genocide; Tamar Pileggi, Alex Barnea and Yael Stein of the Jerusalem Center for Genocide Prevention; and Physicians for Human Rights.
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