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The Return Of Blood Libels


Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis

You may recall that not too long ago, after returning from a tour of Europe where I spoke in a different country every day, I wrote in this column that Europe 2009 is reminiscent of pre-Holocaust Europe. Anti-Semitism is once again raising its sinister, ugly head, not only in Europe, but throughout the world, and we, the Jewish people, are sleeping, even as we did in the early 30s.

The news this week once again confirmed this state of affairs. The popular Swedish tabloid, “Aftonbladet” carried a lead story accusing Israeli soldiers of a ghoulish crime – killing Palestinians to harvest their organs. To give authenticity to their libelous story, the article was buttressed by photographs of dead Palestinians with scars suggesting that organs had been removed.

The article stated that the underlying reason for this harvesting is that there is a shortage of organ donors in Israel as well as in the U.S. It also implied that the recent arrest of a Jew in America for illicit trafficking in organs is connected to “murderous acts” of the I.D.F.

When you read such an article you shake your head in disbelief. “Can this be happening in the 21st century? Have we returned to the blood libels of the Middle Ages when Jews were accused of killing Christian children?”

You wonder how “civilized” Sweden – a country that prides itself on its enlightened, liberal outlook and intolerance of prejudice could have fallen so low.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called upon the Swedish Government to condemn this vicious, primitive canard, and even as he did so, he hastily added, “We are not looking for an apology, just a condemnation.”

The Swedish Government’s response was a deafening silence – and with transparent hypocrisy they tried to justify their position by hiding behind the facade of “free speech.”

Piously, they protested that they could not violate their own Constitution, which guarantees freedom of speech. Amazingly, Sweden denied this same freedom some years ago when a Danish newspaper printed a cartoon of Mohammed. At that time, Sweden was quick to make conciliatory gestures toward the irate Muslims, as did most the nations in the world.

But when it comes to Israel and the Jews, the same rules do not apply. Jews are easy prey and can be vilified without fear of consequences. Just imagine what would have happened if Muslims had been accused of this ghoulish crime.

That reporter would have been murdered or forced into hiding, the building in which “Aftonbladet” was housed would have been set afire, riots would have erupted on the streets of Stockholm, and the entire world would have been quick to apologize.

We have seen this happen time and again. Thousands of years of anti-Semitism, pogroms and Holocaust have become so ingrained in the psyches of nations that even the most heinous libelous accusations against Jews go uncontested as truth.

Still, you might protest that in the 21st century such bias won’t fly. But alas, even with the passage of time, scientific and educational advances, this canard of anti- Semitism remains unchanged. To be sure, the packaging may be different, but anti-Semitism is alive and well.

Today, Europe has become “Eurabia” and the Muslim influence can be felt throughout the world. The anti-Semites of today find legitimacy by championing the cause of the “poor, oppressed Palestinians,” and everyone falls into the trap – even some of our own Jewish brethren. So Benjamin Netanyahu’s request to the Swedish Government is lost in the wind.

Why should Israel take such a wishy-washy position? It would probably have been wiser to remain silent than to take such a weak stance. But if Israel did decide to speak, then why not demand an apology? Why shouldn’t Israel raise her voice with strength and confront the nations with their vile accusations? Of course, they won’t listen…. but they’re not listening to this call for condemnation either.

So, if we raise our voices, let us do so with the strength that befits Am Yisroel and tell it like it is. These scurrilous accusations are no different from the blood libels that started in the Middle Ages and paved the way to the most horrific crime ever to be visited on mankind – the Holocaust.

Nor is this outrage limited to Sweden. This week Scotland released the terrorist, Abdel Baset Ali al Megrahi, responsible for the bombing and murder of 270 people in 1988 on Pan Am flight 103, and more – this cold-blooded killer was given a hero’s welcome in Libya. How could this have happened?

Once again, we see the long arm of Yishmael reaching out throughout the world. Khadafi, in a television address, predicted that Megraby would soon have his freedom, for he was negotiating oil pacts with the British. Khadafi publicly thanked Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Queen Elizabeth, and Prince Andrew for their assistance in the release of Megrahi. Of course, the British Government denies that such a deal was made; yet one cannot help but wonder.

And then there is Iran and her nuclear proliferation program. But Israel need not worry. Ahmadinejad just appointed Ahmad Vahidi as his new defense minister. In case you are not aware of his impressive credentials, Vahidi is the terrorist who masterminded the slaughter at the Jewish Center in Buenos Aires. Surely, he can be trusted to be the gatekeeper and not push that button!

In the guise of anti-Israelism and anti-Zionism, Muslim radicals provide our 21st century’s enlightened nations with the excuse to indulge their Jew baiting and hatred.

So what, you might ask, is the solution? How do we overcome this venom?

Every student of Jewish history knows it. There is a law that dominates our existence…. when the Jewish people return to G-d; when the Jewish people unify with their Torah, there is no power on earth that can prevail against them!

We need only turn to Him and He will shield and protect us. This is the season when our Father is waiting – when all the Heavenly chambers are wide open, begging us to come home and embrace His holy Torah. Let us respond. Our lives are on the line.

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