Fake News and Blood Libel

A few days ago, after the horrific stabbing attack on a Hanukkah party in Monsey, New York, The Daily Beast ran an article by Jay Michaelson on the recent wave of anti-Semitism that discussed, among other things, Jersey City school official Joan Terrell-Paige's bigoted Facebook rant about the kosher supermarket shootings in that city earlier in December. Terrell-Paige, an African-American Democrat, deplored the displacement of black residents by “Jewish brutes,” urged sympathy for the shooters' “message,” and asserted, as an example of Jewish evildoing, that “we learned six rabbis were accused of selling body parts.”

Michaelson notes that this grotesque claim “evokes 800 years of anti-Semitic myths of Jews using gentile body parts for ritual purposes” — specifically, the medieval belief that Jews murder Christian children to use their blood in Passover rituals. However, he also says that it's “a possible reference to a 2009 scandal of rabbis trafficking in organs for transplant,” albeit used in a clearly anti-Semitic context. A note at the bottom says this text was added in an update, presumably after someone alerted the author or the editors to the 2009 story.

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