Above all, there is outright slavery. Even though Mauritania officially abolished slavery for a third time in 2007, the legislation has never been enforced. Mauritania is an unpredictable country, one of the few, along with Yasser Arafat and the PLO, to support Saddam Hussein in the Gulf War in 1991. Today, some 500,000 are still enslaved there, including the Haratin, the hereditary slave caste who speak Arabic, the language of their masters. Similarly, slavery still exists in Yemen, in the provinces of Hudaydah and Hajja in the North, even though it was officially abolished in 1962.
In contrast, more than 120,000 of the Ethiopian Beta Israel community now live in Israel with full civil and political rights. Some are in mobile home camps, but the majority are in towns and cities, and are helped by generous government loans or low interest mortgages. Undoubtedly problems exist in the attempt of Ethiopians, from a less-developed society, to become integrated into Israeli society. They arrive with a low level of education and have language problems. But they are beginning to participate in Israeli political and social life, to enter higher educational institutions, and to take positions in public bodies, including the diplomatic corps. Even the most prejudiced critics of Israel will hesitate to call this story an illustration of racism.
Is the New York Times listening? Or does it just prefer to falsify easily attainable facts?
Originally published by Gatestone Institute http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org
About the Author: Michael Curtis is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Rutgers University, and author of the forthcoming book, Should Israel Exist? A sovereign nation under assault by the international community.
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