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March 1, 2018 2:03 pm

Leading Palestinian News Agency Ma’an Marks Purim Holiday With ‘Blood Libel’ Accusation

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Palestinian Islamist Mustafa al Lidawi’s antisemitic ‘blood libel’ on the website of the Palestinian news agency Ma’an. Image: Screenshot.

A veteran Palestinian proponent of the antisemitic “blood libel” marked the Jewish festival of Purim on Thursday with an article that accused Jews of preparing the special pastries for the festival with the blood of non-Jews.

In an article for the independent Palestinian news agency Ma’an — a multi-language network that has received generous funding from the United States and the European Union since its launch in 2002, according to the Israeli research group NGO Monitor — Dr. Mustafa al-Lidawi, a former senior Hamas official, claimed that the Palestinians “hate and fear” Jewish festivals like Purim.

This was “the same holiday that the peoples of Europe hated and detested [and because of it] wished that the Jews would leave their countries so they could be saved from their wickedness,” al-Lidawi wrote, in a piece translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).

He continued: “This is because the Jews who lived in Europe would always bake a large pastry on the occasion of the holiday, and everyone would eat it. However, this pastry was mixed with the blood of a victim they chose from among those who were not Jews. Most of the time the victim was a little boy, whom they would place in a perforated barrel full of spikes.”

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Al-Lidawi was the author of a similar piece written on the occasion of Passover in 2013, in which he wrote, “Palestinians hate the Jewish festival of Passover…The Jews have not forgotten their blood-soaked past and their perverted rituals. In the past they would seek out a Christian child in order to drain his blood for their matzas, which they would feed to their children.”

A long-serving Palestinian Islamist, Al-Lidawi represented the Hamas terrorist organization in Beirut for much of the 1990s. During that period, he is alleged to have traveled to Iran on several occasions for meetings with representatives of other terrorist groups, including Hezbollah and Al Qaeda.

Originating in early medieval Europe, the notorious antisemitic libel that Jews use human blood for ritual purposes was introduced into the Middle East by a handful of Christian clerics during the nineteenth century, and remains widely-believed across the region.

A 2015 global survey by the Anti-Defamation League revealed that 87 percent of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip agreed with the statement, “People hate Jews because of the way Jews behave.”

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