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Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Blood libels

The Jewish people have known blood libels for centuries, but today we have been hit with a combination of an ancient (and literal) blood libel and a more modern version.

The ancient version is based upon a vicious lie that was spread throughout Damascus in 1840 about an Italian monk named Tomaso de Camangiano.
On February 5, 1840, an elderly Itailian monk, Padre Tomaso de Camangiano, Superior of a Capuchin cloister in Damascus, vanished without a trace, together with his servant. Foul play was suspected. There was a rumor that a few days before the monk’s disappearance, he had been involved in a quarrel with a Turkish mule driver. According to rumors, during the dispute, the Turk heard Father Tomaso blaspheme the prophet Muhammed and had sworn, “that dog of a Christian shall die by no other hand but mine!”

Tomaso’s fellow monks deliberately ignored this rumor, and preferred to spread the story that their Superior had been murdered by the Jews for ritual purposes. The French consul in Damascus at that time was a vicious individual by the name of Ratti Menton. He accepted the blood libel charges, and suggested that the investigation be turned over to the Muslim governor of Damascus, an Arab named Sherif Pasha. The French consul was pleased, because now, he could now manipulate Sherif Pasha, and strengthen his position with the Christian and Muslim population. The Arab was pleased, because this was a convenient way to shift the focus of the blame from the Moslem community.

The Barber’s Confession

At Ratti Menton’s instructions, police arrested a Jew at random. That Jew was a barber by the name of Solomon Negrin. The hapless victim was tortured beyond endurance. Finally, he “confessed” that Father Tomaso had been killed in the house of a Jew named David Harari by seven Jews. These men were the most distinguished leaders of the Jewish community. Their names were: David Harari, his son and brother, Moshe Abulafia, Moshe Salonika, Meir Farhi and Joseph Lafiado. They were arrested and subjected to incredible tortures: their teeth were pulled out, they were burned, beaten, immersed in ice water and forced to stand for 36 hour without food, water or sleep. Some of them had their eyes gouged out and were dismembered.
You can imagine (or read about) the rest.

One week ago tonight, a Lebanese 'poet' named Marwan Chamroun claimed on TeliLiban Lebanese television that the libel was true. You can watch a clip of Chamroun (with translation courtesy of MEMRI) here and see a transcript here (Hat Tip: Gershon in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn, New York):
"The world loves the Jews. The 'ruler' is Christianity - the Christian West. Arabs, Muslims - why don't you take advantage of something like this? A priest was slaughtered in the presence of two rabbis in the heart of Damascus, in the home of a close friend of this priest, Daud Al-Harari, the head of the Jewish community of Damascus. After he was slaughtered, his blood was collected, and the two rabbis took it. Why? So they could worship their god, because by drinking human blood, they can get closer to God. Where are our diplomats and politicians? Why don't we profit from these historical matters, which are presented to us on a simple, eternal, golden platter?

"As I've said, these books can be found on the streets of Beirut. There are approximately 20 to 30 such books. I must have bought about 2,000 copies since they were published, maybe more. I'd like to say 20,000 copies, but I don't know. When somebody gets married, instead of chocolates, I give him one of these books. Whoever reads this for the first time feels a chill of horror and disbelief. He cannot believe it."
I'll bet his poetry is pretty morbid too.

The more modern blood libel deals with the Mughrabi Gate leading up to the Temple Mount here in Jerusalem. Back in December, I told you (with pictures) that the ramp leading up to the gate to the Temple Mount is about to collapse and needs to be replaced. And last month I told you about the Israeli plan to replace it - a plan that many archaeologists think damages the area outside the Mount far more than is necessary.

Today, the Antiquities Authority started a salvage dig in preparation for construction to shore up the ramp leading up to the Temple Mount. And as you might expect, the 'Palestinian' terrorist groups have taken advantage of the occasion to call for violence and accuse Israel of trying to cause damage to the mosques on top of the Temple Mount. For example:
"The danger in Jerusalem has increased. It is high time for the intifada of the Islamic people," the fiery leader of the Islamic Movement in Israel Raed Salah told reporters near the holy site on Tuesday.

"The continued Israeli aggression on Al-Aksa Mosque and Jerusalem require all Palestinians to unite and remember that our battle is with the occupation," said Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas.
But it's not just the front line terrorists who are trying to incite the 'Arab street' with the blood libel that Israel is attempting to destroy the mosques on the Temple Mount. There is 'Israeli-Arab' Member of Knesset (yes, they can be members of the Knesset. In fact, it's more likely to happen here than in Egypt) Taleb-el-Sana:
MK Talab El-Sana (United Arab List) warned on Tuesday that the excavations are likely to ignite a third intifada, which will include protests and conflict throughout the Arab and Muslim world.

"The Israeli government is again provoking the Muslim world and the Palestinian people, and is not hesitating to ignite the region on behalf of irresponsible decisions," El-Sana said.
And it includes the 'moderate' King Hussein of Jordan, who probably stands to lose more from 'Palestinian' rioting than anyone else:
Jordan's King Abdullah II condemned an Israel Antiquities Authority excavation that began Tuesday near a site holy to Muslims and Jews, warning of potential "negative" consequences for the peace process.

Abdullah called the Israeli dig "a threat to the foundations of the al-Aksa mosque," according to a statement from the royal palace.

"These measures will lead to a climate that is not conducive to the success of efforts to put the Palestinian-Israeli peace process back on track," the king's statement said.

King Abdullah II mentioned Jordan's 1994 peace treaty with Israel, which recognizes a "special" Jordanian role in the custodianship of shrines in Jerusalem, saying the kingdom will contact unnamed countries on the matter and that it will undertake unspecified measures to "ensure the protection of Islamic shrines in Jerusalem."

He did not elaborate, but appeared to mean that Jordan might ask its longtime ally the United States to intercede.

Abdullah said that he instructed his government to contact Israel to "stop its dig and warn it of the negative repercussions of its actions against al-Aksa."
If signing 'peace treaties' with Arab countries will not put a stop to blood libels like this one, which are clearly intended to incite violence, why bother signing them? The more things change, the more they stay the same.


At 2:03 AM, Blogger Redwood509 said...

here is the latest version of Arab poison de jour:



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