The stain of the Blood Libel

The stain of the Blood Libel

A revolting idea which has been around since the 12th century.

The revolting idea of the ‘blood libel’, or the belief that Jews used the blood of Christian children in religious rituals, has been around since at least 1144 when a 12-year-old English boy was found murdered in Norwich. Nothing about his death linked it to local Jews but around 4 years later a visiting monk claimed that the Jews of the town had tortured and killed the boy, and this became the genesis of the myth of ritual murders, by Jews.

In the centuries since, this hideous lie has been used as justification for the persecution of Jews and became central to modern antisemitism in the 20th century. In the 30s, the Nazis used the idea of the blood libel to demonise Jews, with German newspapers making frequent use of ritual murder imagery in their antisemitic propaganda.

But it would be a mistake to think that the use of the blood libel disappeared with the re-establishment of the State of Israel in 1948. Instead, it simply morphed into an ever-expanding list of bizarre and demonstrably untrue new claims which have been used as justification for hatred of Jews in the decades since. Casting Israel in the historic role of ‘the Jew’, these claims attempt to present Israel as a persecutor with accusations of ‘apartheid’, ‘colonialisation’, and ‘genocide’. (these ridiculous claims are all debunked in my article at

But the lying continues. Just last week we saw new attempts to resurrect the blood libel in grotesque new forms. The first was the extraordinary announcement, by the UN, that they were ‘investigating’ claims that the IDF has engaged in rape and abuse of Palestinian prisoners. This revolting lie, which is nothing more than a tit-for-tat response to the findings of the investigation into the activities of Hamas on October 7 (and after), is simply a new twist on the old libel used, this time, to try and justify the very real crimes of Hamas in a hideous and perverse bastardisation of truth.

The second recent blood libel came in the form of a claim by a group of so-called ‘UN experts’ that “Israel has been intentionally starving the Palestinian people in Gaza since 8 October” and is “targeting civilians seeking humanitarian aid and (restricting) humanitarian convoys”.

This is simply propaganda masquerading as ‘news’ and Israel has not imposed any restrictions on the entry of humanitarian aid into Gaza. On 11 March, alone, 225 trucks carrying humanitarian aid crossed the border and over 1250 packages of aid have been airdropped since the start of the war. Currently 20 bakeries are operational in Gaza, providing over 2 million breads, rolls, and pita breads a day for the local population and the repair of much of the vital infrastructure has been successfully completed.

Despite these facts, the use of the centuries old blood libel is alive and well and its purpose is still the same as it was all those centuries ago – to justify racism and antisemitism and to be used as an excuse to hate Jews.


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