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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

February 03, 2003

Blood libel, 2003

According to the current antiwar apologists, it is the Jews and Israel that are behind the impending war on Iraq. This libel is perpetrated in blatant ways as well as through “wink, wink - nudge, nudge” (to borrow a term from Monty Python). An example of the latter is given in the Asia Times edition of February 1, 2003, which carried an article entitled, Of intimidation and Israel. A key phrase is the following:
Some critics argue that Iraq policy is driven primarily by these individuals [Perle, Wolfowitz], who, like Likud, believe that Saddam's obsession with obtaining WMD marks the greatest threat to Israel's regional military dominance and security.

Indeed, the strongest advocates for attacking Iraq both inside and outside the administration - Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, Perle and other defense policy board members, respectively - have been the neo-conservatives.
The article doesn’t actually say that Jews and Israel are behind the drums of war, it just lists Likud, Israel’s “military dominance”, Perle and Wolfowitz. Wink, wink - nudge, nudge.

The “antiwar campaigners”, on the other hand, are much more blatant. Here are two examples. A photo of a “peace demonstrator” posted at http://www.carolmoore.net/photos/03-30-01a.jpg shows a person carrying a large sign saying, “Israeli lobby owns US Congress”.

A more detailed and specific statement comes from another “peace site”, Antiwar. A writer states:
As if to confirm what some opponents of this war have been saying – but not too loudly – about this being a war for Israel, the Bush administration is now "weighing an Israeli proposal for a joint operation in Iraq's western desert to disarm Iraqi missiles before they could be launched against Israel."

That this war has always been about Israel is a matter of simple geography. For all the President's palavering about the "threat to Americans" posed by Iraq, those "weapons of mass destruction" Saddam supposedly has couldn't even reach Europe, let alone the U.S. But Tel Aviv is well within range. Indeed, the prospect of Iraqi missiles raining down on Israel has been one of the chief deterrents against a move by Israel's far-right Likud government to ethnically cleanse Palestine of Arabs – a plan that is increasingly popular among Israelis – and/or move the IDF back into Lebanon. The U.S. occupation of Iraq will eliminate that deterrent – and set up Israel to deal with Hizbollah and Syria in the regional conflagration to follow.
So, it is the Jews and Israel who are the warmongers, bent on precipitating mass killings of thousands and thousands... That reminds me... Haven’t we heard this type of accusation before? Flash back to World War II.

Hitler’s speeches were replete with similar accusations, as the following three short excerpts from Hitler’s speeches illustrate.
Today I will once more be a prophet: If the international Jewish financiers in and outside Europe should succeed in plunging the nations once more into a world war, then the result will not be the Bolshevization of the earth, and thus the victory of Jewry, but the annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe!
From a January 30, 1939 speech, as posted by US-Israel.org.

England and France alone wanted war - not so much the people as a thin stratum of political and financial leadership behind which, wielding its last power, stood international Jewry and its world conspiracies of democracy and Freemasonry.
From a speech delivered on March 16, 1941 at the Zeughaus, Berlin, as posted by http://www.hitler.org/speeches/03-16-41.html.

The man behind this fanatical and diabolical plan to bring about war at whatever cost was Mr. Churchill. His associates were the men who now form the British Government...

Behind these men there stood the great international Jewish financial interests that control the banks and the Stock Exchange as well as the armament industry.
From a speech delivered on May 4, 1941 in the Reichstag, Berlin, as posted by http://www.hitler.org/speeches/05-04-41.html.
Hitler’s calumny exists as reality in the minds of many, Zhirinovsky being a prominent example. Quoting AP, the Minnesota Daily reported on April 9, 1998:
Russian politician spews anti-Semitic rhetoric again
MOSCOW (AP) -- In his most direct anti-Semitic statements yet, ultranationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky blamed Jews on Wednesday for starting World War II and provoking the Holocaust.

"The essence of the conflict around the Jewish people is that when their number grows too much in some country, war breaks out there," said Zhirinovsky, who leads the third-largest faction in the Russian parliament's lower house.

"That happened in Germany ... where there were too many Jews," he declared.
In line with this historical interpretation is the 9-11 myth, according to which the crime was the work of Israel’s intelligence, Mossad. Again, this myth exist as reality in the minds of all too many. On March 2, 2002, George Jonas posted an article entitled A Cultural Inability To Face The Truth , in which he documents as follows:
A recent Gallup Poll conducted for USA Today brings us good news and bad news. To start with the bad news, it seems that 61% of the inhabitants of such Islamic countries as Indonesia, Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Turkey believe that Arabs weren't responsible for the attacks of Sept. 11.

One popular theory in the Muslim world has Israel's intelligence service, the Mossad, hijacking the airliners and crashing them into the Pentagon and the World Trade Center. The story that 4,000 Jews stayed away from Manhattan's twin towers on the morning of 9/11 has been circulating in the region for months.
So there we have it: the Jews are responsible for the bloodshed of the impending Iraq war, just as they are responsible for World War II, for 9-11 and, presumably, for everything in between. To my mind, these accusations are but a magnified, updated version of the “classic” blood libel against the Jews. Indeed, blood libels are nothing new to Jewish history, nor has North America been free of such libels.

The Norwhich (England) blood libel of 1144 is considered to be the first, as described by the AISH website:
The first such accusation [using the blood of a Christian child for a Jewish religious ritual] -- better known as a "blood libel" -- was leveled in 1144 in Norwich, England. There, Jews were charged with kidnapping a Christian baby and draining the baby of blood. The charge became so popular it would sweep, in various forms, through Europe and then spread to other parts of the world.
North America’s contribution is represented by the 1928 blood libel of Massina (New York state), as recorded at the site of the AJHS (American Jewish Historical Society):
On erev Yom Kippur, 1928, the New York State police brought in Rabbi Berel Brennglass of Massena's Orthodox congregation Adath Israel for questioning. Four-year-old Barbara Griffiths of Massena had disappeared and Albert Comnas, an immigrant from Salonika, Greece, charged that, as the highest of Jewish holy days was at hand, the Jews of Massena might have kidnapped little Barbara and ritually murdered her for her blood. The police interrogated Rabbi Brennglass for more than an hour about Jewish practices in respect to human sacrifice and the use of blood in food. Fortunately, during the interrogation, Barbara emerged from the woods where, having become lost, she had spent the night in the tall grass.

Her reappearance did not fully calm some townspeople. They suggested that the Jews had released her only on discovery of their plot. Choosing to believe this was true, mayor W. Gilbert Hawes organized a boycott of Massena's Jewish-owned businesses.
The world of Islam has given Jewish history one of the most notorious of blood libels, the Damascus blood libel of 1840. This horrifying experience is described at the site of AICE (American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise) as follows:
That spring [1840], in the ancient capital of Syria, an Italian friar and his Muslim servant mysteriously disappeared. The Capuchin order of monks charged that Jews had kidnaped and murdered the two men to use their blood in Passover matzoh. Under torture, two “witnesses” named several prominent Damascus Jews as the killers. The accused were arrested, tortured and sentenced to death. Local officials then seized 63 Jewish children to compel others to reveal where the blood was hidden.
In the Arab world, this “classic” blood libel is propagated to this very day. On March 10, 2002, a Saudi paper published a “Purim blood libel”, which is documented by ADL as follows:
In an article published by the Saudi government daily Al-Riyadh, columnist Dr. Umayma Ahmad Al-Jalahma of King Faysal University in Al-Dammam, wrote on "The Jewish Holiday of Purim." Following are excerpts of the article.
Special Ingredient For Jewish Holidays is Human Blood From Non-Jewish Youth

"I chose to [speak] about the Jewish holiday of Purim, because it is connected to the month of March. This holiday has some dangerous customs that will, no doubt, horrify you, and I apologize if any reader is harmed because of this."

"During this holiday, the Jew must prepare very special pastries, the filling of which is not only costly and rare - it cannot be found at all on the local and international markets."

"Unfortunately, this filling cannot be left out, or substituted with any alternative serving the same purpose. For this holiday, the Jewish people must obtain human blood so that their clerics can prepare the holiday pastries. In other words, the practice cannot be carried out as required if human blood is not spilled!!"
There is, unfortunately, one major difference between the “classic” blood libel and the contemporary one concerning Iraq. No person in his right mind, and definitely no Jew, would ever accept that Jews use the blood of a non-Jewish person for a religious ritual; but many sane and erudite people, Jews and non-Jews alike, are willing to accept that the war on Iraq “has always been about Israel”. When will they ever learn?

Contributed by Joseph Alexander Norland. This piece is cross-posted on IsraPundit and Dawson Speaks.