Friday, 15 February 2013

Blood libels and the BBC

Following the shooting of Gabrielle Giffords, some two years ago, the BBC published an article entitled What does 'blood libel' mean. It's quite a long piece and mainly concerned with rubbishing Sarah Palin, but it does include some interesting parts. There's this piece on the history of the 'blood libel' and why it's fallacious:
'The allegations behind blood libel originate in the Middle Ages when Jews were falsely accused of ritualised murder, in particular the murder of children. The allegations were used to justify violence against Jews.

Amy Spitalnick, press secretary for the progressive pro-Israel group J Street, says the term invokes some of the worst accusations that have been made against Jews.

"Essentially it implies that Jews murder Christian and non-Jewish children to use their blood in Jewish rituals and holidays," Ms Spitalnick told the BBC.

"At one point it was tied in with Passover. Using the term would imply the using of non-Jewish blood for the baking of Matzah."

Blood libel myths run counter to Jewish theology which prohibits murder.

The Torah also forbids the consumption of animal blood - Kosher meat is drained of blood. Many Jewish scholars interpret the relevant Torah passage to also proscribe human blood.

A representative for the Center for Jewish History in New York referred the BBC to the definition of blood libel in the Encyclopaedia Judaica.

That reference work says that in addition to the accusations of murder, blood libel may connote "another form of the belief that Jews had been and still were responsible for the passion and crucifixion of Jesus Christ" and "popular beliefs about the murder-lust of the Jews and their bloodthirstiness, based on the conception that Jews hate Christianity and mankind in general".'

And this piece on the English history of the 'blood libel'
'One of the earliest European versions of the blood libel story occurred in 12th Century England.

A dangerous, unfounded rumour that Jews had kidnapped a 12-year-old Christian boy, William of Norwich, and stabbed his head to simulate Jesus's crown of thorns was used to justify persecution of Jews.

While the Norwich account does not contain the element of the draining of blood and its ritual use, some experts suggest it is a story of the same type and generally seen as the entry point into England for such accusations.

Decades later, Pope Innocent IV launched an investigation into the claims, which eventually declared them false.

The blood myths persisted however, and were at times used to incite pogroms, or anti-Jewish riots.
In 1840, the disappearance of French Franciscan priest Father Thomas and his servant in Damascus, Syria, was blamed on the city's Jews.

Authorities helped perpetuate allegations that the priest was used in a ritual sacrifice. At least 13 Jews were incarcerated and probably tortured over the disappearance; four died.

The incident sparked an international backlash for both sides. American Jews staged protests, while some scholars claim it bolstered anti-Semitic attitudes in Europe and the Middle East.

During the 1930s, Nazi propaganda periodically explored accusations of Jewish ritual murder.'
Oddly after the reference to the Nazis there are no further references to the 'blood libel' in this BBC article. I say odd because as I am sure the BBC would have discovered, had they been interested in the true causes of Muslim hatred of Jews,  that the 'blood libel' lives on in many parts of the Muslim Middle East.

Here's some examples that the BBC will continue to ignore as they push the narrative of an evil, illegal Israel oppressing good, kind Muslims.

The BBC protecting Islam from criticism and if a few Jews feel insulted or are killed by 'agrieved' Islamist 'militants' then that's just too bad.

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