Palestinian News Agency Marks Purim Holiday With ‘Blood Libel’ Accusation

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(Palestinian Islamist Mustafa al Lidawi’s antisemitic ‘blood libel’ on the website of the Palestinian news agency Ma’an. Image screenshot)

Algemeiner: A veteran Palestinian proponent of the antisemitic “blood libel” marked the Jewish festival of Purim on Thursday with an article that accused Jews of preparing the special pastries for the festival with the blood of non-Jews.

This was “the same holiday that the peoples of Europe hated and detested [and because of it] wished that the Jews would leave their countries so they could be saved from their wickedness,” al-Lidawi wrote, in a piece translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).

He continued: “This is because the Jews who lived in Europe would always bake a large pastry on the occasion of the holiday, and everyone would eat it.

However, this pastry was mixed with the blood of a victim they chose from among those who were not Jews. Most of the time the victim was a little boy, whom they would place in a perforated barrel full of spikes.” more …

Opinion: Medieval wives’ tale? Not to 87% of Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza Strip today.

In March 1144, a dead body was found in the forest outside the town of Norwich. No one paid much attention to it at first. England was then in the middle of a civil war between Stephen and Matilda, the grandchildren of William the Conqueror. In East Anglia, where Norwich is located, the war was particularly violent. Soldiers hung men and women by their thumbs for extortion. Others met a different fate: “Knotted ropes were put round their heads and twisted till they penetrated to the brains,” according to one contemporary. “They said openly that Christ and his saints were asleep.” The large library in Norwich was burned; a kidnapping ring terrorized the surrounding area. It wasn’t unusual for dead bodies to turn up without much explanation. So when a peasant came across a corpse in the forest underbrush one day, he simply avoided it and continued on with his chores.

The body was that of a young man named William of Norwich, and the debate over his death eventually became the basis for one of the most heinous and lasting accusations against the Jews: that they conspired to kill children and use their blood for religious rites. The explanation for William’s death that emerged, though slow to take hold in medieval England, became a mainstay of anti-Semitic thought and a justification for atrocious crimes against Jews in the Middle Ages and beyond. A little over 100 years after William’s death, more than 90 Jews in Lincoln, a cathedral city in the English Midlands, were arrested when the body of a young boy was found in a well; 18 died hanging. Centuries later, town magistrates in the northern Italian town of Trent alleged that Jews had killed a 2-year-old named Simon and used his blood to make matzo. Trent’s Jewish community was tortured to force their confessions. Some were burned at the stake; two converted to Christianity and were then beheaded. In Spain, Jews and conversos were condemned by the Inquisition for allegedly forcing a child to relive the trials of Christ’s Passion.

This accusation—often called the blood libel—didn’t die with the Middle Ages; it has been made many times since. Jews were charged in mid-19th-century Damascus with the death of a Christian monk, supposedly to use his blood in their rites. A 1913 indictment in Kiev alleged that the Jewish superintendent of a local brick factory had killed a 13-year-old at the start of Passover. Depictions of these supposed rites—some featuring Jews crowding around a corpse in their hunger and greed, others showing the lifeless bodies of innocent youths—appear in illustrations and stained glass. The accusations still happen today. In 2014, a Hamas spokesman told a Lebanese television channel: “We all remember how the Jews used to slaughter Christians, in order to mix their blood in their holy matzos. This is not a figment of imagination or something taken from a film. It is a fact, acknowledged by their own books and by historical evidence.” He did not present any such evidence when asked. (source)

According to the NGO Monitor, the Palestinian news agency Ma’an is a non-profit media group founded in 2002 for the purpose of strengthening professional independent media in Palestine (I assume that means the West Bank) to consolidate freedom of expression and media pluralism as keys to promoting democracy and human rights (except for Israel).

One would think that groups like Ma’an would be shunned by right thinking nations. According to its 2014 financial statement, Ma’an received funding from DenmarkSwedenUnited States, Catholic Relief Services, Save the Children, and others.

Blood libel is barbaric anti-Semitic slander that usually pops up each Passover, which, begins on March 30, 2018.