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Knesset members seek trial of blood libel author

Israeli lawmakers suggested putting on trial an Italian-Israeli author who wrote that European blood libels against the Jews had a legitimate basis. In a Knesset Education Committee meeting Monday, lawmakers demanded that the state prosecute Bar Ilan University professor Ariel Toaff, who argues in his book “Bloody Passovers: The Jews of Europe and Ritual Murders” that medieval accusations that Jews used Christian blood for religious rites may have been based on a rabbinical edict allowing the use of dried blood for medicinal purposes. Committee Chairman Michael Melchior said Toaff has caused “damage to the Jewish people and to the nation of Israel,” The Jerusalem Post reported. Due to the controversy that ensued since its release, Toaff suspended the book’s publication and promised to donate its proceeds to the Anti-Defamation League.

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