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Dracula, Blood Libel, and the European Union

written by Asher Intrater
November 01, 2001

This week Israel was shocked to see a television satire played across the Arab world, describing Ariel Sharon as storing bottles like wine, filled with the blood of Arab children. Sharon was depicted as one who drank the blood like cola, and then offering a bottle to a Dracula figure.

Some in the Israeli State Department wanted to reproduce the satire and show it at the UN, but then they were unsure as to whether doing so would produce the shock at anti-Semitism that they desired, or whether it would bring more anti-Semitism by spreading the satire. Would it bring repulsion or sympathy?

Can you imagine the kind of world reaction there would be if Israeli television broadcast a similar satire of an Arab leader?

This broadcast hit a sensitive point with Israelis because it contained elements reminiscent of the “Blood Libels.” Throughout the late Middle Ages and extending partly into the modern period, there was a strange folk belief in European pagan Christian cultures that Jewish people would drink blood during the Passover, or use blood to make Matzah. They believed that the Jews would find an innocent Christian child and murder him to get the fresh blood. 

This bizarre “Blood Libel” even resulted in a few cases of Jews being blamed when a child was missing or killed during the early spring. The image of blood-drinking Jews formed part of the mass repulsion of the Jews in Europe that was the underpinning of the Holocaust.

A report also came this week of the European Union deciding to give a multi-million dollar grant to the Palestinian Authority to help with children’s education. On the one hand it would be wonderful to help advance the education of the Palestinian children. However, recent Palestinian education has been filled with anti-Israel propaganda and Islamic indoctrination, including praise of the suicide terrorists. If that is the kind of education that will be taught, the results will be anything but helpful to restoring peace to the region.

It would be sad and strange if the descendants of the pagan Christian Europeans, who believed in the “Blood Libels,” would help to finance and foster the modern version of the demagogic fantasy of Jews drinking children’s blood. Any real peace in the Middle East is going to require a restructuring of Arab education and media, so that their people will be exposed to different viewpoints of religion and history.

Asher serves as president of Tikkun Global family of ministries and congregations, dedicated to the dual restoration of Israel and the Church. He is founder of the Revive Israel five-fold ministry team, and oversees both Ahavat Yeshua and Tiferet Yeshua congregations in Israel.

He and his wife Betty share a passion for personal prayer and devotion, local evangelism and discipleship in Hebrew, and unity of the Body of believers worldwide.

Asher was raised in a conservative Jewish home and holds degrees from Harvard University, Baltimore Hebrew College and Messiah Biblical Institute. He has authored numerous books, tracts and articles.

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