Jews Oppressed in 19th Century Morocco -- Part 2
"The Captivity Is Felt Here as Much during the Day as at Night," 1864
. . . we hurry with some delay to indicate to you in writing the state ofNote the extreme inequality in law of the Jew in traditional Muslim-Arab society in North Africa before the French conquest, that is, before the start of colonization. The Jew here was without protection by the state and its organs of law and order, such as they were. This social order was not caused by Israel or Zionism.
the town of Sheshwan and its inhabitants.
Sheshwan is a small village
surrounded by Arab clans. The inhabitants [belonging to the
clans] are devoted to perpetual struggles the consequences of which are
made to rebound against us, their anger stirred up by their reciprocal
failures. And above all, the government of this region is so to speak nominal
and powerless. Here, the Captivity [of Israel in Exile] is
felt as much during the day as at night. As far as we are concerned, we are
almost accustomed to no longer having hope except in God Almighty.
So that you can have an idea of what we can suffer, we are going to tell
you of our monotonous life imprinted with several episodes.
When we leave the Jewish quarter, we must take off our shoes for the whole
passage through the Arab quarter, and this while looking forward to receiving
several stones on our bodies. No one tries to defend us.
Before the judges, it is said: "He is a Jew." The robberies here are very
out in the open. "An Arab goes to buy something from a Jew. In order to pay him,
he says to him: But I paid you, O Jew, son of a dog! The unfortunate man must
[quoted in Littman, "Quelques aspects de la condition de
dhimmi: Juifs d'Afrique du Nord avant la colonisation," Yod, v 2, fasc.
1, Octobre 1976; p 17]
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Coming: More on Jews in Morocco, Jews in Jerusalem, Hebron, peace follies, British diplomacy & psychological warfare, etc.