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Antisemitic canard

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Antisemitic canard

An antisemitic canard is an unfounded rumor or a false allegation which is defamatory towards Judaism as a religion, or defamatory towards Jews as an ethnic or religious group. Antisemitic canards often form part of broader theories of Jewish conspiracies. According to defense attorney Kenneth Stern, "Historically, Jews have not fared well around conspiracy theories. Such ideas fuel anti-Semitism. The myths that Jews killed Christ, or poisoned wells, or killed Christian children to bake matzo, or 'made up' the Holocaust, or plot to control the world, do not succeed each other; rather, the list of anti-Semitic canards gets longer."

Contents

Accusations of guilt for the death of Jesus of Nazareth

The blame for the death of Jesus has often been cast toward the Jews. The Gospel accounts of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John all contain the betrayal of Jesus by his disciple, Judas Iscariot, into the hands of the ruling religious Jews (see Sanhedrin Trial of Jesus). According to the New Testament accounts, the Jewish authorities in Judea charged Jesus with blasphemy and sought his execution. However, the Jewish authorities in this case seem to have lacked the authority to have Jesus put to death, according to John 18:31. They brought Jesus to Pontius Pilate, the Roman Governor of Iudaea Province, who consented to Jesus' execution.

Pilate is portrayed in the Gospel accounts as a reluctant accomplice to Jesus' death. All four Gospels indicate that there may have been hesitation on the part of both Jewish and Roman authorities to act immediately or needlessly in the face of potential popular opposition (Matt 26:4–5; Mk 15:12–15; Lk 22:1–2). The four Gospel accounts also all portray the Roman Governor Pilate as partly responsible for Jesus' execution, and never claim he is without guilt (though his attempt at self-exoneration is mentioned).

According to the Epistle to the Romans, Jesus' death was necessary to save humanity; the author of Hebrews calls out all backsliding Christians for "crucifying the Son of God all over again". Paul the Apostle, in 1 Thessalonians, noted that the same Jews who had Jesus crucified continued in their persecution of the church. This passage was frequently used to assign guilt for Christ's death specifically to Jewish people everywhere and throughout all generations. As a part of Second Vatican Council, the Roman Catholic Church under Pope Paul VI issued the document Nostra aetate, repudiating the idea of collective Jewish guilt for the Crucifixion.

Accusations of host desecration

During the Middle Ages in Europe, it was claimed that Jews stole consecrated Hosts, or communion wafers, and desecrated them to reenact the crucifixion of Jesus by stabbing or burning the host or otherwise misusing it. The accusations were often supported only by the testimony of the accuser.

The first recorded accusation of host desecration by Jews was made in 1243 at Berlitz, near Berlin, and in consequence of it all the Jews of Berlitz were burned on the spot, subsequently called Judenberg. Jeremy Cohen states that the first host desecration accusation occurred in 1290 in Paris and continues:

"The story exerted its influence even in the absence of Jews... Edward I of England expelled the Jews from his kingdom in 1290, and they would not reappear in Britain until the late 1650s. Yet the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries saw the proliferation of the Host-desecration story in England: in collections of miracle stories, many of them dedicated to the miracles of the Virgin Mary; in the art of illuminated manuscripts used for Christian prayer and meditation; and on stage, as in popular Croxton Play of the Sacrament, which itself evoked memories of an alleged ritual murder committed by Jews in East Anglia in 1191."

In the following centuries, similar accusations circulated throughout Europe, usually accompanied by massacres. The accusation of host desecration gradually ceased after the Reformation when first Martin Luther in 1523 and then Sigismund August of Poland in 1558 were among those who repudiated the accusation. However, sporadic instances of host desecration libel occurred even in the 18th and 19th century. In 1761 in Nancy, several Jews from Alsace were executed on a charge of host desecration. The last recorded accusation was brought up in Bislad, Romania, in 1836.

Accusations of ritual murder and blood libel

"The blood libel accusation, another famous anti-Semitic canard, is also a twelfth-century creation." The first recorded ritual murder accusation against Jews was that of William of Norwich, reported by a monk Thomas of Monmouth.

The descriptions of torture and human sacrifice in the antisemitic blood libels run contrary to many of the teachings of Judaism. The Ten Commandments forbid murder. The use of blood (human or otherwise) in cooking is prohibited by Kashrut and blood and other discharges from the human body are considered ritually unclean. (Lev 15) The Tanakh (Old Testament) and Jewish teaching portray human sacrifice as one of the evils that separated the pagans of Canaan from the Hebrews. (Deut 12:31, 2 Kings 16:3) Jews were prohibited from engaging in these rituals and were punished for doing so (Ex 34:15, Lev 20:2, Deut 18:12, Jer 7:31). Ritual cleanliness for priests prohibited even being in the same room as a human corpse (Lev 21:11).

When "Church and secular leaders sharply denounced these defamations ... people refused to abandon this myth ... Popes, kings and emperors declared that Jews, if for no other reason than their strict dietary laws banning even the smallest drop of blood in meat or poultry, were incapable of the crime. The Christian populace was not impressed. In 1385, Geoffrey Chaucer published his Canterbury Tales which included an account of Jews murdering a deeply pious and innocent Christian boy. This blood libel become a part of English literary tradition."

Among those who refuted blood libel against Jews were Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II in 1236: "... we pronounce the Jews of the aforementioned place [Fulda] and the rest of the Jews in Germany completely absolved of this imputed crime," Pope Gregory IX in Papal Bull dated 7 October 1272: "We decree... that Christians need not be obeyed against Jews in a case or situation of this type, and we order that Jews seized upon such a silly pretext be freed from imprisonment, and that they shall not be arrested henceforth on such a miserable pretext, unless – which we do not believe – they be caught in the commission of the crime," Pope Clement VI on 26 September 1348: "Jews are not responsible for the Plague."

Blood libel stories have appeared on many occasions in the state-sponsored media of a number of Arab and Muslim nations, their television shows and websites, and books alleging instances of the Jewish blood libel are not uncommon.

Some Arab writers have condemned blood libel. The Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahram published a series of articles by Osam Al-Baz, a senior advisor to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. He explained the origins of the anti-Jewish blood libel and said that Arabs and Muslims have never been anti-Semitic as a group and urged people not to succumb to "myths" such as the blood libel.

Accusations of anti-Christian bias

Throughout the years, some antisemitism within the Christian community has focused on the claim that Jews either dislike Christianity or are trying to destroy it. On the Jews and their Lies, written by Martin Luther, is an example of this claim. The claim has continued into the present day, with radio host James Edwards claiming that Jews "hate Christianity" and "the WASP establishment" and that they "are using pornography as a subversive tool against us".

The Anti-Defamation League has written this on the subject: "This is not to say that Jews have historically borne no animus (hostility) towards Jesus and the Apostles, or towards Christianity as a whole. In the two-thousand year relationship between Judaism and Christianity, many of them marred by anti-Jewish polemic and Christian persecution of Jews, some rabbis have fulminated against the church, and in some places Jews developed a folk literature that demeaned Christianity. But contemporary anti-Semitic polemicists are not interested in learning or reporting about the historical development of Jewish-Christian relations. Their goal is to incite hatred against Judaism and Jews by portraying them as bigoted and hateful."

Demonization, accusations of impurity

Jeremy Cohen writes:

Yet the very impulse that propelled the Christian imagination from the Jew as a deliberate killer of Christ to the Jew as perpetrator of the most heinous crimes against humanity also led to the portrayal of the Jew as inhuman, satanic, animal-like, and monstrous. ... Popular traditions of the later Middle Ages, for example, characterize Jews as having a distinctive foul odor. ... By all accounts, the bestiality of the Jew climaxed in the image of the Judensau...

Judensau (German for "Jew-sow"), was a derogatory and dehumanizing image of Jews that appeared around the 13th century. Its popularity lasted for over 600 years and was revived by the Nazis. The Jews, typically portrayed in obscene contact with unclean animals such as pigs or owls or representing a devil, appeared on cathedral or church ceilings, pillars, utensils, etchings, etc.

Often, the images combined several antisemitic motifs and included derisive prose or poetry. Cohen continues:

"Dozens of Judensaus... intersect with the portrayal of the Jew as a Christ killer. Various illustrations of the murder of Simon of Trent blended images of Judensau, the devil, the murder of little Simon himself, and the Crucifixion. In the seventeenth-century engraving from Frankfurt ... a well-dressed, very contemporary-looking Jew has mounted the sow backward and holds her tail, while a second Jew sucks at her milk and a third eats her feces. The horned devil, himself wearing a Jewish badge, looks on and the butchered Simon, splayed as if on a cross, appears on a panel above."

More recently, "[t]he main recurrent motif in Arab cartoons concerning Israel is "the devilish Jew" and "[t]he core anti-Semitic motif of the Jew as the paradigm of absolute evil has a set of submotifs. These, in turn, recur over the centuries but are differently cloaked according to the predominant narrative of the period."

Accusations of well poisoning

During the Black Death (often identified as bubonic plague epidemic) throughout the late Middle Ages, crowded cities were especially hard hit by the disease, with death tolls as high as 50% of the population. In their distress, emotionally distraught survivors searched for something, or someone, to blame. The Jews proved to be a convenient scapegoat.

There were no mass attacks against "Jewish poisoners" after the period of the Black Death, but the accusation became part and parcel of antisemitic dogma and language. It appeared again in early 1953 in the form of the "doctors' plot" in Stalin's last days, when hundreds of Jewish physicians in the Soviet Union were arrested and some of them killed on the charge of having caused the death of prominent Communist leaders... Similar charges were made in the 1980s and 1990s in radical Arab nationalist and Muslim fundamentalist propaganda that accused the Jews of spreading AIDS and other infectious diseases.

Accusations of plotting to control the world

The publication of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion in 1903 is widely considered to mark the beginning of contemporary conspiracy theory literature.

Included in this canard are not only writings that seek to accuse Jews of trying to control the world, but also graphic imagery depicting Jews, or their supporters, as trying to control the world. Examples of this imagery include Nazi cartoons that depict Jews as octopuses, encircling the globe. A more recent example is the 2001 re-printing of Henry Ford's antisemitic text, The International Jew in Egypt, with the same octopus imagery on the front cover.

Among the most notable early refutations of the Protocols as a forgery were a series of articles printed in The Times of London in 1921. This series revealed that much of the material in the Protocols was plagiarized from an earlier political satire that did not have an antisemitic theme. Since 1903, when the Protocols first appeared in print, its earliest publishers have offered vague and often contradictory testimony detailing how they obtained their copies of the rumored original manuscript.

The text was popularized by supporters of the Tsarist regime, and it was disseminated further after the revolution of 1905 in Russia, becoming known worldwide after the 1917 October Revolution. It was widely circulated in the West in 1920 and thereafter. The Great Depression and the rise of Nazism were important developments in the history of the Protocols, and the hoax continued to be published and circulated despite its debunking. Despite the fact that numerous independent investigations have repeatedly proven the Protocols to be a plagiarism and a literary forgery, the hoax is still frequently quoted and reprinted by antisemites, and is sometimes used as evidence of an alleged Jewish cabal, by antisemitic groups in the United States and in the Middle East.

Accusations of causing wars, revolutions, and calamities

As many European localities and entire countries expelled their Jewish populations after robbing them, and others denied them entrance, the legend of the Wandering Jew, a condemned harbinger of calamity, gained popularity.

German politician Heinrich von Treitschke in the 19th century coined a phrase "Die Juden sind unser Unglück!" ("The Jews are our misfortune!") adopted as a motto by Der Stürmer several decades later.

The term "Judeo-Bolshevism" was adopted and used in Nazi Germany to refer to Jews and communists together, implying that the communist movement served Jewish interests.

The Franklin Prophecy was unknown before its appearance in 1934 in the pages of William Dudley Pelley's pro-Nazi weekly magazine Liberation. According to the 2004 US Congress report, Anti-Semitism in Europe: Hearing Before the Subcommittee on European Affairs of the Committee on Foreign Relations:

"The Franklin "Prophecy" is a classic anti-Semitic canard that falsely claims that American statesman Benjamin Franklin made anti-Jewish statements during the Constitutional Convention of 1787. It has found widening acceptance in Muslim and Arab media, where it has been used to criticize Israel and Jews..."

Some recent conspiracy theories hold that Jews or Israel played a key role in carrying out the September 11, 2001 attacks. According to the paper published by the Anti-Defamation League, "anti-Semitic conspiracy theories have not been accepted in mainstream circles in the U.S.", but "this is not the case in the Arab and Muslim world." A claim that 4,000 Jewish employees skipped work at the WTC on 11 September has been widely reported and widely debunked. The number of Jews who died in the attacks – typically estimated at around 400 – tracks closely with the proportion of Jews living in the New York area. Five Israelis died in the attack.

On 16 October 2003, the Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammed drew a standing ovation at the 57-member Organisation of the Islamic Conference for his speech, in which he said: "...today the Jews rule this world by proxy. They get others to fight and die for them... They invented socialism, communism, human rights and democracy so that persecuting them would appear to be wrong, so that they can enjoy equal rights with others. With these they have gained control of the most powerful countries and they, this tiny community, have become a world power." He further urged Muslims to emulate Jews in this regard in order to achieve similar results.

Actor Mel Gibson caused controversy in 2006 after being arrested for drunken driving; during the arrest, he claimed that "Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world".

Accusations of causing antisemitism

In January 2005, a group of Russian State Duma deputies demanded that Judaism and Jewish organizations be banned from Russia. "Their seven-page letter... accused Jews of carrying out ritual killings, controlling Russian and international capital, inciting ethnic strife in Russia, and staging hate crimes against themselves. "The majority of antisemitic actions in the whole world are constantly carried out by Jews themselves with a goal of provocation", the letter claimed." After sharp protests by Russian Jewish leaders, human rights activists, and the Foreign Ministry, Duma members retracted their appeal.

Accusations of usury and profiteering

In the Middle Ages, Jews were ostracized from most professions by the Christian Church and the guilds and were pushed into marginal occupations considered socially inferior, such as tax and rent collecting and moneylending. At the same time, Church law and rulings prohibited Christians from charging interest. For instance, the Third Council of the Lateran of 1179 threatened excommunication for any Christian lending money at interest. People who wanted or needed to borrow money thus often turned to Jews. This was said to show Jews were insolent, greedy usurers. Natural tensions between creditors and debtors were added to social, political, religious, and economic strains.

... financial oppression of Jews tended to occur in areas where they were most disliked, and if Jews reacted by concentrating on moneylending to gentiles, the unpopularity – and so, of course, the pressure – would increase. Thus, the Jews became an element in a vicious circle. The Christians, on the basis of the Biblical rulings, condemned interest-taking absolutely, and from 1179 those who practised it were excommunicated. But the Christians also imposed the harshest financial burdens on the Jews. The Jews reacted by engaging in the one business where Christian laws actually discriminated in their favour, and so became identified with the hated trade of moneylending.

Peasants who were forced to pay their taxes to Jews could personify them as the people taking their earnings while remaining loyal to the lords on whose behalf the Jews worked. Gentile debtors may have been quick to lay charges of usury against Jewish moneylenders charging even nominal interest or fees. Thus, historically attacks on usury have often been linked to antisemitism.

In England, the departing Crusaders were joined by crowds of debtors in the massacres of Jews at London and York in 1189–1190. In 1275, Edward I of England passed the Statute of Jewry which made usury illegal and linked it to blasphemy, in order to seize the assets of the violators. Scores of English Jews were arrested, 300 hanged and their property went to the Crown. In 1290, all Jews were expelled from England, allowed to take only what they could carry, the rest of their property became the Crown's. The usury was cited as the official reason for the Edict of Expulsion. According to Walter Laqueur,

"The issue at stake was not really whether the Jews had entered it out of greed (as antisemites claimed) or because most other professions were barred to them... In countries where other professions were open to them, such as Al-Andalus and the Ottoman Empire, one finds more Jewish blacksmiths than Jewish money lenders. The high tide of Jewish usury was before the fifteenth century; as cities grew in power and affluence, the Jews were squeezed out from money lending with the development of banking."

"Kosher Tax"

The "Kosher tax" (or "Jewish tax") canard claims that food producers are forced to pay an exorbitant amount to obtain the right to display a symbol on their products that indicates it is kosher, and that this cost is secretly passed on to consumers through higher prices which constitute a "kosher tax." It is mainly spread by antisemitic white supremacist and other extremist organizations.

Refuters of this canard state that if it were not profitable to obtain such certification, then food producers would not engage in the certification process, and that the increased sales resulting from kosher certification actually lower the overall cost per item. Obtaining certification that an item is kosher is a voluntary business decision made by companies desiring additional sales from consumers (both Jewish and non-Jewish) who look for kosher certification when shopping, and is actually specifically sought by marketing organizations within food production companies.

Dual loyalty

A canard found in The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, but dating to before that document, is that Jews are more loyal to world Jewry than to their own country. Since the establishment of the state of Israel, this canard has taken the form of accusations that Jewish citizens of countries such as the United States are more loyal to Israel than to their country of residence.

Accusations of a "pogrom" against the Indians

In the book The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews, the authors are anonymous, although they are most likely from “the Historical Research Department” of the Nation of Islam, which was a group of graduate students gathered in the Boston area. In page 113, the Jews are accused in a "pogrom" against the Indians, by supplying them with smallpox-infected blankets.

Accusations of cowardice and lack of patriotism

As Jewish Emancipation progressed, new antisemitic accusations appeared. Often Jews were accused of insufficient patriotism. In the late 19th century France, a political scandal known as the Dreyfus affair involved the wrongful conviction for treason of a young Jewish French officer. The political and judicial scandal ended with his full rehabilitation.

During World War I, the German Military High Command administered Judenzählung (German for "Jewish Census"). It was designed to confirm allegations of the lack of patriotism among German Jews, but the results of the census disproved the accusations and were not made public.

Another variation of this notion is an accusation that Jews are cowards who evade military service. With the rise of racist theories in the 19th century, "[a]nother old anti-Semitic canard served to underline the putative 'femininity' of the Jewish race. Like women, Jews lacked an 'essence'". In Genocide and Gross Human Rights Violations, Kurt Jonassohn and Karin S. Björnson wrote:

"Historically, Jews were not allowed to bear arms in the most of the countries of the diaspora. Therefore, when they were attacked, they were not able to defend themselves. In some situations, their protector would defend them. If not, they only had a choice between hiding and fleeing. This is the origin of the anti-Semitic canard that Jews are cowards."

In Stalin's Soviet Union, the statewide campaign against "rootless cosmopolitans" – a euphemism for Jews – was set out on 28 January 1949 with an article in the newspaper Pravda:

"unbridled, evil-minded cosmopolitans, profiteers with no roots and no conscience... Grown on rotten yeast of bourgeois cosmopolitanism, decadence and formalism...non-indigenous nationals without a motherland, who poison with stench...our proletarian culture."

Accusations of racism

A number of books and websites run by neo-Nazis, White supremacy advocates, Christian Identity adherents, and radical Islamist groups offer what they claim are authoritative quotes from rabbinic literature, all attempting to prove that Judaism is racist, and that Jews hate non-Jews and perceive non-Jews as non-human.

According to Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik: "Even as the Jew is moved by his private Sinaitic Covenant with God to embody and preserve the teachings of the Torah, he is committed to the belief that all mankind, of whatever color or creed, is "in His image" and is possessed of an inherent human dignity and worthiness. Man's singularity is derived from the breath "He [God] breathed into his nostrils at the moment of creation" (Genesis 2:7). Thus, we do share in the universal historical experience, and God's providential concern does embrace all of humanity."

According to a 1984 hearing record before the Subcommittee on Human Rights and International Organizations in the US Congress concerning the Soviet Jewry,

"This vicious anti-Semitic canard, frequently repeated by other Soviet writers and officials, is based upon the malicious notion that the "Chosen People" of the Torah and Talmud preaches "superiority over other peoples", as well as exclusivity. This was, of course, the principal theme of the notorious Tsarist Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

The word "Goy" literally means "nation" but has come to be the standard term for anyone who is not Jewish. There are claims by some groups that "Goy" translates to "Animal". These claims are designed to make people believe Jews see them as inferior.

Holocaust denial

Holocaust denial consists of claims that the genocide of Jews during World War II—usually referred to as the Holocaust—did not occur at all, or that it did not happen in the manner or to the extent historically recognized. Key elements of these claims are the rejection of any of the following: that the German Nazi government had a policy of deliberately targeting Jews for extermination as a people; that more than five million Jews were systematically killed by the Nazis and their allies; and that genocide was carried out at extermination camps using tools of mass murder, such as gas chambers.

Most Holocaust denial claims imply, or openly state, that the Holocaust is a hoax arising out of a deliberate Jewish conspiracy to advance the interest of Jews at the expense of other peoples. For this reason, Holocaust denial is generally considered to be an antisemitic conspiracy theory. The methodologies of Holocaust deniers are criticized as based on a predetermined conclusion that ignores extensive historical evidence to the contrary.

Accusations of controlling the media

One well-known antisemitic cliché is that "the Jews control the media". Historically, it has been traced to discredited early 20th-century publications such as the Protocols of the Elders of Zion (1903) and to Henry Ford's Dearborn Independent.

J. J. Goldberg, Editorial Director of the newspaper The Forward, in 1997 published a study of this myth regarding the United States, concluding that, although Jews do hold many prominent positions in the U.S. media industry, they "do not make a high priority of Jewish concerns" and that Jewish Americans generally perceive the media as anti-Israel. Variants on this theme have focused on Hollywood, the press, and the music industry.

Accusations of controlling the world financial system

The Anti Defamation League documented various antisemitic canards concerning Jews and banking, including the myth that world banking is dominated by the Rothschild family, that Jews control Wall Street, and that Jews control the United States Federal Reserve. The ADL notes that the canard can be traced back to the prevalence of Jews in the money-lending profession in Europe during the Middle Ages, due to a prohibition against Christians in that profession. The Protocols of the Elders of Zion repeated this canard.

In an article written by Jewish activist Tim Wise about such accusations of Jewish financial control, he wrote:

Of course, in keeping with the logic of anti-Jewish bigots, perhaps one should ask the following: If media or financial wrongdoing is Jewish inspired, since Jews are prominent in media and finance, should the depredations of white Christian-dominated industries (like the tobacco or automobile industries) be viewed as examples of white Christian malfeasance? After all, 400,000 people per year die because of smoking-related illnesses, and tobacco companies withheld information on the cancerous properties of their products. Likewise, should executives at Ford and Firestone be thought of as specifically white Christian criminals, due to recent disclosures that defective tires were installed on SUV’s, resulting in the deaths of over 150 people worldwide? Is their race, religion or ethnic culture relevant to their misdeeds? If not, why is it suddenly relevant when the executives in question are Jewish?"

Accusations of playing a major role in the slave trade

Anti-Jewish propagandists have tried to exaggerate the role of Jews in Atlantic slave trade. In the 1490s, the Jews were expelled from Spain and Portugal, at the same time that trade with the New World was opening up, leading to their participation in Atlantic trading in general, and the Atlantic slave trade in particular. Jewish participation in the slave trade was significant in Brazil, Curaçao, Suriname, and Rhode Island, but otherwise was modest or minimal, and Jews had virtually no role in the slave-trading of Britain or France. The Nation of Islam published The Secret Relation between Blacks and Jews in 1991, which asserted that Jews played a major role in the Atlantic slave trade. The book was widely criticized as anti-Semitic and led to additional scholarly research on the subject, including books such as Jews and the American Slave Trade by Saul S. Friedman, which concluded that Jewish involvement in the slave trade was "minimal" and comparable to other groups of slave-traders such as the English, and that the accusations were an Antisemitic canard. In 1995 the American Historical Association (AHA) issued a statement condemning "any statement alleging that Jews played a disproportionate role in the Atlantic slave trade".

Palestinians

In August 2009, an article in the Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet alleged that Israeli troops harvested organs from Palestinians that died in their custody. Henrik Bredberg wrote in the rival newspaper Sydsvenskan: "Donald Boström publicised a variant of an anti-Semitic classic, the Jew who abducts children and steals their blood." In a video on their website, the Time Magazine quoted the 2009 Swedish Aftonbladet’s unbacked variant of the classic anti-Semitic blood libel accusation as fact and retracted the allegations that Israeli soldiers had harvested and sold Palestinian organs in 2009 within hours on August 24, 2014 after a denouncing report from Honest Reporting came out.

In December 2009, Israel's Channel 2 published an interview with Yehuda Hiss, the former chief pathologist at L. Greenberg Institute of Forensic Medicine, where he said that workers at the forensic institute had informally and without permission taken skin, corneas, heart valves and bones from deceased Israelis, Palestinians and foreign workers during the 1990s. Hiss was dismissed as head of Abu Kabir in 2004 after discovery of the use of organs. Israeli officials acknowledged that incidents like that had taken place, but stated that the vast majority of cases involved Israeli citizens, that no such incidents had occurred for a long time, and that Hiss had been removed from his position.

Haiti

In the immediate aftermath of the 2010 Haiti earthquake, Israel sent 120 staff, doctors and troops of the Israel Defense Forces to Port-au-Prince. The IDF set up a field hospital that performed 316 surgeries and delivered 16 babies.

On 18 January, an American activist, known only as T. West, posted a video on YouTube in which he called for Haitians to be wary of "personalities who are out for money" and of the Israeli Defense Forces in particular. To explain his allegations, West stated that "the IDF [had] participated in the past in stealing organ transplants of Palestinians and others", thus echoing the Aftonbladet Israel controversy. West, who claimed to speak for a black-empowerment group called AfriSynergy Productions, stopped short of more explicit accusations against the IDF's behaviour in Haiti but noted that there was "little monitoring" in the quake's aftermath, insinuating that organ theft was at the very least a strong possibility. The Iranian state television Press TV reported on the allegations and in a speech on 22 January, Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami said "There have been news reports that the Zionist regime, in the case of the catastrophe of Haiti, and under the pretext of providing relief to the people of Haiti, is stealing the organs of these wretched people.", again citing no evidence. On 27 January, a Syrian TV reporter described T. West's video as "document[ing] this heinous crime and [...] show[ing] Israelis engaged in stealing organs from the earthquake victims" (despite the fact that the video quite evidently does no such thing). The original accusations were also relayed by a number of organizations often criticized for their antisemitism or anti-Israel positions, such as the websites of Al-Manar and former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke.

On 1 February 2010 the Gaza-based Palestine Telegraph, of which Baroness Jenny Tonge was a patron at that time, published the claim that the Israel Defense Forces in Haiti were secretly harvesting organs and selling them on the black market, based on the above-mentioned YouTube video by T. West, re-using video material from Hezbollah's Al-Manar television broadcast with no cited evidence. In the United Kingdom politician Jenny Tonge was sacked from her role as health spokeswoman of the House of Lords as a result of an interview in which she suggested that an independent inquiry should be established.

Israeli media and Jewish groups immediately fought back against the claims. In an interview with Ynetnews, West re-iterated his accusation about past incidents of organ theft by the IDF and cited Operation Bid Rig as further evidence of Jewish involvement in organ trafficking. The Anti-Defamation League responded, labeling West's allegations as antisemitic and as a "Big Lie", while an author for the Jewish Ledger referred to the rumors as a "blood libel".

Contradictory accusations

Antisemitism has been called "the longest hatred." A number of researchers noted contradictions and irrationality across antisemitic myths. Leon Pinsker noted as early as 1882:

Friend and foe alike have tried to explain or to justify this hatred of the Jews by bringing all sorts of charges against them. They are said to have crucified Jesus, to have drunk the blood of Christians, to have poisoned wells, to have taken usury, to have exploited the peasant, and so on. These and a thousand and one other charges against an entire people have been proved groundless. They showed their own weakness in that they had to be trumped up wholesale in order to quiet the evil conscience of the Jew-baiters, to justify the condemnation of an entire nation, to demonstrate the necessity of burning the Jew, or rather the Jewish ghost, at the stake. He who tries to prove too much proves nothing at all. Though the Jews may justly be charged with many shortcomings, those shortcomings are, at all events, not such great vices, not such capital crimes, as to justify the condemnation of the entire people.

Jocelyn Hellig writes in her 2003 book The Holocaust and Antisemitism: A Short History:

Michael Curtis has pointed out that no other group of people in the world has been charged simultaneously with the following, among others:

  • alienation from society and cosmopolitanism;
  • being isolationists and intermingling with other people;
  • being capitalist exploiters and agents of international finance, and also revolutionary marxists;
  • having a materialistic mentality and being people of the Book;
  • acting as militant aggressors, and being cowardly pacifists;
  • adhering to a superstitious religion and being agents of secularism;
  • upholding a rigid law while also being morally decadent;
  • being a chosen people, and having an inferior human nature;
  • being both arrogant and timid;
  • emphasizing individualism and yet upholding communal adherence.
  • being guilty of the crucifixion of Christ, and blamed for the invention of Christianity.
  • References

    Antisemitic canard Wikipedia


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