|Propaganda woodcut illustration from 1468 depicting|
the supposed ritual murder of Simon Unverdorven by the
Ashkenazi Jews of Trent. The Jews are wearing the traditional stars they were
required to wear to identify them.
Last year, after the attempted assassination fo Gabby Gifford, when the remarks by Sarah Palin were pointed out about putting liberal legislators in “cross hairs”, Palin lashed out and used the term Blood Libel to smear her critics. Did she understand the true meaning or moral equivalency she was making? I don’t think she really thought about those things, as if she really thought about what she used as a reply at all, as if anything she says that has any historical or supposed intellectual context is not the product of her think tank of trained attack monkeys.
Of course, blood libel was such a wrong analogy because of the history of the term. It was used as the basis for centuries of hysterical persecution of the Jewish population of Europe dating back to the lying propaganda of Flaccus, the Roman military ruler of Alexandria at the time of Caligula. For political reasons, he propagated the lie by a Greek/Egyptian writer, Apion that the Jews ritually killed Christian children to use their body parts and blood in their arcane rituals. This of course was not true, it was utter vicious propaganda designed to incite violence against the Jewish population of Alexandria and it worked horribly and kept working up until this very day!
The concept of blood libel was revived again in medieval Europe with the anti Jew hysteria that resulted in a bloddy pogrom against the Jewish communities in the low countries. In 1475, Bernadino de Feitre, a fiery orator priest incited the population of Trent to massacre and expel the Jewish money lenders by creating the myth of the murder of a boy named Simon Unverdorven. Simon was supposedly murdered by the Ashenazi Jews of Trent in a ritual murder to use his blood in the manufacture of Passover matzohs.
There are quite a few variations of the story. Simon was ordained as a child martyr saint by Pope Sixtus VI in 1568. Unfortunately, Simon probably never really existed. But, the myth, the lie, the propaganda created a hysteria which we live with up to today. In spite of the fact that the Vatican II Council demissioned Saint Simon of Trent and officially denied the story. The blood libel against the Jews has been the basis of much of the violent historical persecution against them. Millions of lives have been violently destroyed because of this lie.
This is a classic example of the role of religion in the emotional manipulation in controlling populations by a manipulative ruling class.
Today, in Oklahoma, a bill has been introduced into their legislature which I think much more accurately could be termed as blood libel in the medieval sense. Republican State Senator, Ralph Shortey, wants to pass a law banning “the sale or manufacture of food products which contain aborted human fetuses”
Was there ever an issue with human fetuses ending up in food products? No and there never has been.
But what does this seemingly insane legislation hope to accomplish?
It plants the seed of a folk legend, a seed of irrational hate which will lead to more violence and murders against doctors, nurses and women. It doesn’t have to be true, like Apions lie about ritual religious murder of children for the idiots to believe it.
This time, it really is a case of Blood Libel in the most accurate medieval sense.