Here is a piece of scripture that has played a central role in the systematic persecution of Jews within Europe.
24 When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it.
25 Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children.
In the Middle Ages, it came to be believed that, as a result of speaking these words, all male Jews were cursed by a sort of menstruation-like affliction. The only cure was drinking the blood of a Christian.
A monk called Thomas of Cantimpré put it this way:
“A very learned Jew, who in our day has been converted to the (Christian) faith, informs us that one enjoying the reputation of a prophet among them, toward the close of his life, made the following prediction: ‘Be assured that relief from this secret ailment, to which you are exposed, can only be obtained through Christian blood (“solo sanguine Christiano“).’ This suggestion was followed by the ever-blind and impious Jews, who instituted the custom of annually shedding Christian blood in every province, in order that they might recover from their malady.”
Cantimpré was at pains to point out that he got the information from “a very learned Jew”. The Jew who “kosherised” this theory was probably Nicholas Donin who, having become a Franciscan Friar, devoted the rest of his life to encouraging the persecution and murder of Jews.
Since the Second Vatican Council, and in particular, the Declaration of Nostra Aetate, things haven’t been that bad, theologically speaking.
Now, have a look at this.
The Political Cartoon Gallery, in Bloomsbury, London, is hosting an exhibition of antisemitic cartoons that have been published in the Arab and Western media.
The exhibition, curated by Dr. Simon Cohen and CST, will coincide with the publication of Cartoons and Extremism: Israel and the Jews in Arab and Western Media, by the Belgian academic Dr Joel Kotek.
The exhibition and the book show how historic depictions of Jews as sadistic and bloodthirsty monsters, solely interested in money, power and blood, have been revived in modern anti-Israel propaganda.
Through the internet, this return to ancient stereotypes of Jew hatred is reaching ever-wider audiences. As Jim Murphy MP, former Minister for Europe, noted in a lecture: ‘Europe, which traditionally exported antisemitism, is now a net importer of it.’
The intention of the exhibition and the book is to expose the essential antisemitic core of much anti-Israel media imagery, which echoes historic antisemitism from medieval times to the Nazi period and beyond.
The exhibition will be at The Political Cartoon Gallery, 32 Store Street, London, WC1E 7BS.
Finally, here is Deborah Fink, singing carols “asajew” in a Church, at an event that has been sponsored and defended by the Church of England vicar, in whose building the event took place.
The words of the carols have been changed, to draw a parallel with the plight of the baby Jesus at the time of the first Biblical Christmas, and the contemporary position of Palestinians living in Gaza and the West Bank.
Plus ca change.