The Rhodes blood libel was an 1840 event of blood libel against Jews, in which the Greek Orthodox community accused Jews on the island of Rhodes (then part of the Ottoman Empire) of the ritual murder of a Christian boy who disappeared in February of that year.
Rhodes is the largest of the Dodecanese islands of Greece and is also the island group's historical capital. Administratively the island forms a separate municipality within the Rhodes regional unit, which is part of the South Aegean administrative region. The principal town of the island and seat of the municipality is Rhodes. The city of Rhodes had 50,636 inhabitants in 2011. It is located northeast of Crete, southeast of Athens and just off the Anatolian coast of Turkey. Rhodes' nickname is The island of the Knights, named after the Knights of Saint John of Jerusalem, who once conquered the land.
The Ottoman Empire, historically known in Western Europe as the Turkish Empire or simply Turkey, was a state that controlled much of Southeast Europe, Western Asia and North Africa between the 14th and early 20th centuries. It was founded at the end of the 13th century in northwestern Anatolia in the town of Söğüt by the Oghuz Turkish tribal leader Osman I. After 1354, the Ottomans crossed into Europe, and with the conquest of the Balkans, the Ottoman beylik was transformed into a transcontinental empire. The Ottomans ended the Byzantine Empire with the 1453 conquest of Constantinople by Mehmed the Conqueror.
Christians are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. The words Christ and Christian derive from the Koine Greek title Christós (Χριστός), a translation of the Biblical Hebrew term mashiach (מָשִׁיחַ).
Initially the libel garnered support from the consuls of several European countries, including the United Kingdom, France, the Austrian Empire, Sweden, and Greece, although later several supported the Jewish community. The Ottoman governor of Rhodes broke with the long tradition of the Ottoman governments (which had previously denied the factual basis of the blood libel accusations) and supported the ritual murder charge. The government arrested several Jewish subjects, some of whom were tortured and confessed. It blockaded the entire Jewish quarter for twelve days.
A consul is an official representative of the government of one state in the territory of another, normally acting to assist and protect the citizens of the consul's own country, and to facilitate trade and friendship between the people of the two countries.
Europe is a continent located entirely in the Northern Hemisphere and mostly in the Eastern Hemisphere. It is bordered by the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west, Asia to the east, and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. It comprises the westernmost part of Eurasia.
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was a sovereign state established by the Acts of Union 1800, which merged the kingdoms of Great Britain and Ireland.
The Jewish community of Rhodes appealed for help from the Jewish community in Constantinople, who forwarded the appeal to European governments. In the United Kingdom and Austria, Jewish communities gained support from their governments. They sent official dispatches to the ambassadors in Constantinople unequivocally condemning the blood libel. A consensus developed that the charge was false. The governor of Rhodes sent the case to the central government, which initiated a formal inquiry into the affair. In July 1840, that investigation established the innocence of the Jewish community. Finally, in November of the same year, the Ottoman sultan issued a decree ( firman ) denouncing the blood libel as false.
Constantinople was the capital city of the Eastern Roman Empire (330–395), of the Byzantine Empire, and also of the brief Crusader state known as the Latin Empire (1204–1261). It was the capital of the Ottoman Empire (1453–1923). In 1923 the capital was removed and the name changed to Istanbul. The city was located in what is now the European side and the core of modern Istanbul.
An ambassador is an official envoy, especially a high-ranking diplomat who represents a state and is usually accredited to another sovereign state or to an international organization as the resident representative of their own government or sovereign or appointed for a special and often temporary diplomatic assignment. The word is also often used more liberally for persons who are known, without national appointment, to represent certain professions, activities and fields of endeavor such as sales.
Sultan is a position with several historical meanings. Originally, it was an Arabic abstract noun meaning "strength", "authority", "rulership", derived from the verbal noun سلطة sulṭah, meaning "authority" or "power". Later, it came to be used as the title of certain rulers who claimed almost full sovereignty in practical terms, albeit without claiming the overall caliphate, or to refer to a powerful governor of a province within the caliphate. The adjective form of the word is "sultanic", and the dynasty and lands ruled by a sultan are referred to as a sultanate.
The existence of a Jewish community in Rhodes was first documented toward the end of the Hellenistic period. In a Roman decree dated to 142 BC, Rhodes is listed among the areas notified of the renewal of the pact of friendship between the Roman senate and the Jewish nation. The Jews of Rhodes are mentioned in documents at the time of the Arab conquest of the island in the 7th century. In the 12th century, Benjamin of Tudela found some 400 Jews in the city of Rhodes.
The Roman Empire was the post-Roman Republic period of the ancient Roman civilization. Ruled by emperors, it had large territorial holdings around the Mediterranean Sea in Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, and the Caucasus. From the constitutional reforms of Augustus to the military anarchy of the third century, the Empire was a principate ruled from Italy, homeland of the Romans and metropole of the empire, with the city of Rome as capital. The Roman Empire was then ruled by multiple emperors and divided in a Western Roman Empire, based in Milan and later Ravenna, and an Eastern Roman Empire, based in Nicomedia and later Constantinople. Rome remained the nominal capital of both parts until 476 AD, when Odoacer deposed Romulus Augustus after capturing Ravenna and the Senate of Rome sent the imperial regalia to Constantinople. The fall of the Western Roman Empire to barbarian kings, along with the hellenization of the Eastern Roman Empire into the Byzantine Empire, is conventionally used to mark the end of Ancient Rome and the beginning of the Middle Ages.
Benjamin of Tudela was a medieval Jewish traveler who visited Europe, Asia, and Africa in the 12th century. His vivid descriptions of western Asia preceded those of Marco Polo by a hundred years. With his broad education and vast knowledge of languages, Benjamin of Tudela is a major figure in medieval geography and Jewish history.
In 1481 and 1482, earthquakes destroyed the Jewish quarter, so that only 22 families remained in the city. After an epidemic of plague in 1498–1500, the Knights Hospitaller, who ruled the island at that time, expelled those of the remaining Jews who would not be baptized. In the next two decades, the Hospitallers brought to the island between 2,000 and 3,000 captured Jews who were kept as slaves to work on fortifications.
The 1481 Rhodes earthquake occurred at 3:00 in the morning on 3 May. It triggered a small tsunami, which caused local flooding. There were an estimated 30,000 casualties. It was the largest of a series of earthquakes that affected Rhodes, starting on 15 March 1481, continuing until January 1482.
Bubonic plague is one of three types of plague caused by bacterium Yersinia pestis. One to seven days after exposure to the bacteria, flu-like symptoms develop. These symptoms include fever, headaches, and vomiting. Swollen and painful lymph nodes occur in the area closest to where the bacteria entered the skin. Occasionally, the swollen lymph nodes may break open.
The Order of Knights of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem, also known as the Order of Saint John, Order of Hospitallers, Knights Hospitaller, Knights Hospitalier or Hospitallers, was a medieval and early modern Catholic military order. It was headquartered in the Kingdom of Jerusalem, on the island of Rhodes, in Malta and Saint Petersburg.
In 1522, these Jews and their descendants helped the Ottomans seize Rhodes. Under the Ottoman rule, Rhodes became an important Sephardi center, home to many famous rabbis. By the 19th century, the wealthier Jews were merchants in cloth, silk, sulfur, and resins. The rest were small shopkeepers and artisans, street vendors, and fishermen. The community was governed by a council of seven officials. Sources give the number of Jews during the 19th century between 2,000 and 4,000.
In Judaism, a rabbi is a teacher of Torah. The basic form of the rabbi developed in the Pharisaic and Talmudic era, when learned teachers assembled to codify Judaism's written and oral laws. The first sage for whom the Mishnah uses the title of rabbi was Yohanan ben Zakkai, active in the early-to-mid first century CE. In more recent centuries, the duties of a rabbi became increasingly influenced by the duties of the Protestant Christian minister, hence the title "pulpit rabbis", and in 19th-century Germany and the United States rabbinic activities including sermons, pastoral counseling, and representing the community to the outside, all increased in importance.
The blood libel against Jews originated in England in 1144 with the case of William of Norwich.The accusation that Jews used the blood of Christian children to prepare matzos for the Passover became a staple of Christian antisemitism of the Middle Ages, with the total number of recorded ritual murder accusations reaching 150. With the strengthening of standards of evidence in legal cases, the number of charges began to decline, and few blood libel cases reached European courts after 1772. Nevertheless, some instances of ritual murder accusation arose as late as the 19th century.
In the Middle East, the blood libel was deeply ingrained in the consciousness of some local Christian communities by the early 20th century while the blood libel likely came there in the early 19th century .Accusations of blood libel were entirely unknown in the Byzantine Empire unlike in Western Europe where they were more common. After the Ottomans conquered the Byzantine lands, Greek communities were usually the source of ritual murder charges against Jews, often at times of social and economic tensions. The first appearance of the blood libel under Ottoman rule took place in the reign of Mehmet II. Subsequently, accusations of ritual murder were only sporadic and Ottoman authorities usually condemned them. In the 16th century, Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent issued a firman, formally denouncing blood libel charges against the Jews.
With the increase of Christian influence in the Ottoman Empire, the standing of the Jews declined. The sultan's Hatt-i Sharif of Gulhane, proclaimed in 1839, ushered in an era of liberal reforms known as Tanzimat. This period further enhanced the status of the Christians and eroded the power of authorities to protect the Jews.Before 1840, cases of blood libel occurred in Aleppo in 1810 and in Antioch in 1826.
In 1840, contemporaneous with the affair in Rhodes, a more famous case of blood libel, known as the Damascus affair, was developing in Damascus, while the city was under the short-lived control of Muhammad Ali of Egypt. On February 5, Capuchin friar Thomas and his servant Ibrahim Amara went missing, and the Jews of Damascus were accused of murdering them to collect their blood for Passover matzos.The local Christian community, the governor, and the French consul, who received full support from Paris, actively pursued the ritual murder charge. The accused Jews were tortured, and some of them confessed to having killed Father Thomas and his servant. Their testimonies were used by the accusers as the irrefutable proof of guilt. The case drew international attention, arousing active protests from the European Jewish diaspora.
On February 17, 1840, a boy from a Greek Orthodox family in Rhodes went for a walk and did not return. The next day his mother reported the disappearance to the Ottoman authorities. The island's governor, Yusuf Pasha, ordered a search, but several days' efforts proved fruitless. The European consuls pressed the governor to solve the case: the boy's family was Christian, though without foreign protection. The Greek Christian population of Rhodes, meanwhile, had no doubts that the boy had been murdered by the Jews for ritual purposes. An eyewitness reported: "It was firmly believed that the child in question was doomed to be sacrificed by the Jews. The whole island was agitated from one end to the other." The assurance of the local Christians having been impressed upon the Ottoman authorities, they began searching the Jewish quarter, again in vain.
Several days later, two Greek women reported having seen the boy walking towards the city of Rhodes accompanied by four Jews. The women claimed that one of the Jews was Eliakim Stamboli, who was arrested, questioned, and subjected to five hundred blows of the bastinado . On February 23, he was interrogated again and tortured in the presence of many dignitaries, including the governor, the qadi (Muslim judge), the Greek archbishop, and European consuls. Jews of Rhodes reported that Stamboli was "loaded with chains, many stripes were inflicted upon him and red-hot wires were run through his nose, burning bones were applied to his head and a very heavy stone was laid upon his breast, insomuch as he was reduced to the point of death." Under torture, Stamboli confessed to the ritual murder charge and incriminated other Jews, opening the door to further arrests. Some half dozen Jews were accused of the crime and tortured, and the chief rabbi was intensely questioned as to whether Jews practice ritual murder.
At the instigation of the Greek clergy and the European consuls, the governor Yusuf Pasha blockaded the Jewish quarter on the eve of Purim and arrested Jacob Israel the chief rabbi.The inhabitants could obtain neither food nor fresh water. The Jews thwarted a subversive attempt to smuggle a dead body into the Jewish quarter. The Muslim authorities, on the whole, were not keen to pursue the ritual murder accusation against the Jews. The Muslim official in charge of the blockade was found smuggling bread to the imprisoned residents; at the insistence of the British consul, he was bastinadoed and dismissed from service. The qadi openly sympathized with the Jews. At the end of February, he initiated further hearings on the case, after which evidence was declared insufficient to convict the prisoners. The governor, on the other hand, refused to lift the blockade of the Jewish quarter, though he seemed to waver somewhat. In early March he sent to Constantinople asking for instructions. Only after the blockade had lasted for twelve days was the governor forced to lift it by a high treasury official who visited the island on a tour of inspection. At that point, the Jews thought that the affair was over and "returned thanks to the Almighty for their deliverance".
The relief, however, was dashed in early March by news of the Damascus affair. Reports that the Jews of Damascus had confessed to having murdered Father Thomas reinforced the belief of the Christian community in the ritual murder charge.The British consul reported that "the Greeks cried loud that justice had not been rendered to them and that the rabbi and chiefs ought to have been imprisoned… In order to keep the populace quiet… it was decided that these should be arrested." Eight Jews were arrested, including the chief rabbi and David Mizrahi, who were tortured by being suspended swinging from hooks in the ceiling in the presence of the European consuls. Mizrahi lost consciousness after six hours, while the rabbi was kept there for two days until he suffered a hemorrhage. Nevertheless, neither confessed and they were released after a few days. The other six Jews remained in prison in early April.
The European vice-consuls in Rhodes were united in believing the ritual murder charge. They played the key role in the interrogation, with J. G. Wilkinson, the British consul, and E. Masse from Sweden being involved.During the interrogation of the chief rabbi, Wilkinson asked, referring to the qadi's decision to dismiss the case: "What signifies the Mollah's judgment to us after what happened in Damascus and it is proved that, according to the Talmud, Christian blood must be used in making your Passover bread?" The consuls were also present during much of the torture. When the chief rabbi, an Austrian subject, was tortured, he appealed to Austrian vice-consul Anton Giuliani, who replied: "What rabbi? What do you complain about? So you are not dead yet."
Some Jewish inhabitants of Rhodes accused the consuls of a conspiracy to exploit the case in order to eliminate Elias Kalimati, a local Jew, who represented the business interests of Joel Davis, a Jewish businessman from London. Davis was rapidly increasing his share in the profitable sponge exports from the island, and he was a major business rival of the European consuls. Elias Kalimati, however, was not among the persons held in the affair, calling that allegation into question. Other Jewish sources claimed that "[t]he consuls stated openly… their purpose of exterminating the Jews of Rhodes or to compel them to change their religion."
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In the first days of the blockade, someone managed to smuggle a letter out of the Jewish quarter to the Jewish leadership in Constantinople. It was not until March 27 that the leaders of the Jewish community in the Ottoman capital forwarded it to the Rothschild family, together with a similar call for help from the Jews of Damascus. To these documents, the Jewish leaders attached their own statement in which they cast doubt on their ability to influence the sultan.
The intervention of the Rothschilds bore the quickest fruit in Austria. The head of the Rothschild family bank in Vienna, Salomon Mayer von Rothschild, played the key role in raising financing for the Austrian Empire, and he had a very close relationship with the Austrian chancellor von Metternich. On April 10, Metternich dispatched instruction regarding both the Damascus and Rhodes affairs to Bartholomäus von Stürmer, ambassador in Constantinople, and Anton von Laurin, consul in Alexandria. In his dispatch, Metternich wrote: "The accusation that Christians are deliberately murdered for some blood-thirsty Passover festival is by its nature absurd…" Regarding the Rhodes case, the chancellor instructed von Stürmer "to tip the wink to the Turkish regime, so that they instruct pasha of Rhodes accordingly and that you let [our] vice-consul in Rhodes know that in such cases he should work in the spirit of sensible mediation."Von Stürmer, responded, "[T]here have been no persecutions against the Jewish population, at least not by the authorities."
In the UK, it took the Jewish community longer to react to the calls for help from Rhodes and Damascus. The Board of Deputies of the British Jews convened on April 21 to discuss the blood libels. They resolved to request the British, Austrian, and French governments to intercede with the Ottoman government and stop the persecutions. The resolution condemning the ritual murder charges was published as a paid advertisement in 35 British journals; it appeared twice in the most important newspapers. On April 30, a delegation elected by the Board met with the foreign secretary Lord Palmerston, who called the blood libel a "calumny" and promised that "the influence of the British government should be exerted to put a stop to [the] atrocities." In his dispatch of May 5, the foreign secretary told Lord Ponsonby, the British ambassador in Constantinople, to communicate the material on the Rhodes affair to the Ottoman government "officially and in writing" and to "request… an immediate and strict inquiry to be made… especially into the allegation that these atrocities were committed at the instigation of the Christians and the European consuls."
A consensus formed within the European diplomatic community in Constantinople that the persecution of the accused Jews had to be stopped. This opinion was held not only by Lord Ponsonby, but also by von Stürmer, whose correspondence revealed that he was not at all convinced of the innocence of the Jews; by the French ambassador Edouard Pontois, whose government stood by the French consuls who supported blood libels in Rhodes and Damascus; and by the Prussian ambassador Hans von Königsmark. Consequently, the way was open for Lord Ponsonby, by far the most powerful diplomat in Constantinople, to intervene unopposed on behalf the Jews of Rhodes.
In response to Yusuf Pasha's request, the Ottoman government sent its instructions to Rhodes, where they arrived at the end of April. The government would set up an official investigatory commission before which representatives of the Jewish and Greek communities were ordered to present their evidence. In mid-May, the government sent orders to release the six remaining Jewish prisoners. On May 21, they were ceremoniously called before the court ( shura ) and freed under the guarantees of the elders of the Jewish community.
The Christians responded to these actions of the central government with a fresh wave of fury against the Jews so that in late May violence was in the air. The Jews described many cases in which they were assaulted or beaten by the Greeks, and the sons of the British and the Greek consuls were among those who beat up a number of Jews. When the Jews complained to the governor, he ordered the complainants subjected to four to five hundred blows of the bastinado. The qadi disassociated himself from the actions of the governor, who declared that he had acted upon the demands of the consuls. On top of that, the governor ordered five other Jews arrested.
The Greek and Jewish delegations from Rhodes, each numbering five, arrived at Constantinople on May 10.In the capital they were joined by the qadi, the French consul, and the Austrian vice-consul. On May 26, the investigatory tribunal held its first open session chaired by Rifaat Bey. The qadi argued that "the entire affair is the product of hatred; [and] was instigated by the English and Austrian consuls alone." The consuls insisted on the guilt of the Jews, and they presented a concurring written testimony from their colleagues who stayed on Rhodes.
The case dragged on for two more months, as the British ambassador insisted on bringing to light the facts implicating the Rhodes governor of torture. Finally, on July 21 the verdict was announced. In its first part, the case between "the Greek population of Rhodes, the plaintiff, and the Jewish population, defendant", the result was acquittal. In its second part, Yusuf Pasha was dismissed from his post as governor of Rhodes because "he had permitted procedures to be employed against the Jews which are not authorized in any way by the law and which are expressly forbidden by the Hatt-i Sharif of 3 November". The British ambassador praised the investigation as one during which "[t]he affair of Rhodes was examined with fairness" and called the verdict "a signal proof of the justice and humanity with which the Sublime Porte acts."
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In July 1840, a delegation headed by Adolphe Crémieux and Sir Moses Montefiore left for Egypt to save the Jews of Damascus. Crémieux and Montefiore requested Muhammad Ali to transfer the investigation to Alexandria or have the case considered by European judges. However, their request was denied. The delegation, concerned primarily with the release of the imprisoned Jews of Damascus, decided to accept their liberation without any judicial declaration of their innocence or formal denunciation of the blood libel. The liberation order was issued on August 28, 1840, and, as a compromise, it stated explicitly that it was an act of justice rather than a pardon granted by the ruler.
After completing his mission to Muhammad Ali, Montefiore was returning to Europe by way of Constantinople. On October 15, 1840, in the Ottoman capital he had a meeting with Lord Ponsonby, to whom Montefiore suggested that following the precedent set by Suleiman the Magnificent, the sultan should issue a decree (firman) formally denouncing the blood libel and effectively sealing the cases both in Rhodes and in Damascus. The British ambassador was enthusiastic about the idea, and within one week he arranged for Montefiore a meeting with Reshid Pasha. Montefiore prepared a draft text of the firman and had its French translation read to Reshid Pasha, who responded encouragingly.
Montefiore's audience with the sultan took place at the palace late in the evening on October 28. Montefiore described in his diary that as he and his party were driving to the palace, "[t]he streets were crowded; many of the Jews had illuminated their houses." During the audience, Montefiore read aloud a formal address in which he thanked the sultan for his stand in the Rhodes case. In turn, the sultan assured his guests that their request would be granted. The firman was delivered to Montefiore on November 7, and a copy was subsequently provided to the Hakham Bashi. Citing the judgment in the Rhodes case, the decree stated that a careful examination of Jewish beliefs and "religious books" had demonstrated that "the charges brought against them… are pure calumny. The Jewish nation shall possess the same privileges as are granted to the numerous other nations who submit to our authority. The Jewish nation shall be protected and defended."
Antisemitism in the Arab world increased greatly in the 20th century, for several reasons: the breakdown of the Ottoman Empire and traditional Islamic society; European influence, brought about by Western imperialism and Arab Christians; Nazi propaganda; resentment over Jewish nationalism ; and the rise of Arab nationalism.
Blood libel or ritual murder libel is an antisemitic canard accusing Jews of murdering Christian children in order to use their blood as part of religious rituals. Historically, these claims—alongside those of well poisoning and host desecration—have been a major theme of the persecution of Jews in Europe.
The Romaniote Jews or Romaniotes are an ethnic Jewish community native to the Eastern Mediterranean. They are generally one of the oldest Jewish communities in existence and specifically the oldest Jewish community in Europe. Their distinct language was Judaeo-Greek, a Greek dialect that contained Hebrew along with some Aramaic and Turkish words but now speak modern Greek or the languages of their new home countries. They derived their name from the old name for the people of the Byzantine Empire, Romaioi. Large communities were located in Thebes, Ioannina, Chalcis, Corfu, Arta, Preveza, Volos, Patras, Corinth, and on the islands of Zakynthos, Lesbos, Chios, Samos, Rhodes, and Cyprus, among others. The Romaniotes are historically distinct and still remain distinct from the Sephardim, who settled in Ottoman Greece after the 1492 expulsion of the Jews from Spain.
Simon of Trent ; also known as Simeon; was a boy from the city of Trent whose disappearance and murder was blamed on the leaders of the city's Jewish community, based on his dead body allegedly being found in the cellar of a Jewish family's house, and the confessions of Jews obtained under judicial torture.
The Damascus affair of 1840 refers to the arrest of thirteen notable members of the Jewish community of Damascus who were accused of murdering a Christian monk for ritual purposes. The anti-semitic blood libel resulted in the accused being imprisoned and tortured by the Ottoman authorities and the populace attacking and pillaging a local synagogue. The affair drew widespread international attention which resulted in negotiations conducted in Alexandria from August 4 till August 28. The aftermath secured the unconditional release and recognition of innocence for the nine prisoners remaining alive and the issuing of a firman (edict) intended to halt the spread of blood libel accusations in the Ottoman Empire.
Religious antisemitism is aversion to or discrimination against Jews as a whole based on religious beliefs, false claims against Judaism and religious antisemitic canards. It is sometimes called theological antisemitism.
Menahem Mendel Beilis was a Russian Jew accused of ritual murder in Kiev in the Russian Empire in a notorious 1913 trial, known as the "Beilis trial" or "Beilis affair". Although Beilis was acquitted after a lengthy process by an all-Slavic jury, the legal process sparked international criticism of antisemitism in the Russian Empire.
Hakham Bashi is the Turkish name for the Chief Rabbi of the nation's Jewish community. In the time of the Ottoman Empire it was also used for the chief rabbi of a particular region of the empire, such as Syria or Iraq, though the Hakham Bashi of Constantinople was considered overall head of the Jews of the Empire.
Judah ben Solomon Chai Alkalai was a Sephardic Jewish rabbi, and one of the influential precursors of modern Zionism along with the Prussian Rabbi Zvi Hirsch Kalischer. Although he was a Sephardic Jew, he played an important role in a process widely attributed to the Ashkenazi Jews. Alkalai became noted through his advocacy in favor of the restoration of the Jews to the Land of Israel. By reason of some of his projects, he may justly be regarded as one of the precursors of the modern Zionists such as Theodor Herzl.
Syrian Jews derive their origin from two groups: those who inhabited Syria from early times and the Sephardim who fled to Syria after the expulsion of the Jews from Spain. There were large communities in Aleppo, Damascus, and Qamishli for centuries. In the early 20th century, a large percentage of Syrian Jews immigrated to Israel, the U.S., and Latin America. The largest Syrian-Jewish community is located in Israel and is estimated at 80,000.
The 1910 Shiraz blood libel was a pogrom of the Jewish quarter in Shiraz, Iran, on October 30, 1910, organized by the apostate Qavam family and sparked by accusations that the Jews had ritually killed a Muslim girl. In the course of the pogrom, 12 Jews were killed and about 50 were injured, and 6,000 Jews of Shiraz were robbed of all their possessions. The event was documented by the representative of the Alliance Israélite Universelle in Shiraz.
Anti-Semitism in the history of the Jews in the Middle Ages became increasingly prevalent in the Late Middle Ages. Early instances of pogroms against Jews are recorded in the context of the First Crusade. Expulsion of Jews from cities and instances of blood libel become increasingly common in the 13th to 15th centuries. This trend peaked only after the end of the medieval period, and subsided only with Jewish emancipation in the late 18th to 19th century.
Ariel Toaff is a professor of Medieval and Renaissance History at Bar Ilan University in Israel, whose work has focused on Jews and their history in Italy.
There were numerous massacres during the Greek War of Independence perpetrated by both the Ottoman forces and the Greek revolutionaries. The war was characterized by a lack of respect for civilian life and prisoners of war on both sides of the conflict. Massacres of Greeks took place especially in Ionia, Crete, Constantinople, Macedonia and the Aegean islands, while Turkish, Albanian, Greeks, and Jewish populations identified with the Ottomans inhabiting the Peloponnese suffered massacres particularly where Greek forces were dominant. Settled Greek communities in the Aegean, Crete, Central and Southern Greece were wiped out, and settled Turkish, Albanian, Greeks, and smaller Jewish communities in the Peloponnese were destroyed.
Passovers of Blood: The Jews of Europe and Ritual Murders is a 2007 book by Israeli historian Ariel Toaff. The book analyses a notorious medieval trial regarding accusations of the ritual murder of a child by Jews for the purposes of Passover. The book sparked intense controversy including calls for him to resign from or be fired from his professorship, the questioning of his research, historical method(s), and motives as they relate to his writing of the book, threats to his life, and demands that he be prosecuted.
The Massena blood libel was an instance of blood libel against Jews in which the Jews of Massena, New York, were falsely accused of the kidnapping and ritual murder of a Christian girl in September 1928.
Saint Harold was a child martyr who was reported to have been slain by Jews in Gloucester, England, in 1168. The claims arose in the aftermath of the circulation of the first blood libel myth following the unsolved murder of William of Norwich. A cult of Harold was briefly promoted in Gloucester, but soon died out.
'Sol Hachuel, Tangier1817–1834, Fez) was a Jewish heroine who was publicly decapitated when she was 17 years old. She was executed for alleged apostasy from Islam—apparently without ever having converted to Islam. She is considered a tzadeket (saint) by some Jews and is also revered by some Muslims. Jews call her Sol HaTzaddikah, while Arabs call her Lalla Suleika.
Antisemitism in Turkey refers to acts of hostility against Jews in the Republic of Turkey, as well as the promotion of antisemitic views and beliefs in that country.
Second Purim, also called Purim Katan, is a celebratory day uniquely observed by a Jewish community or individual family to commemorate the anniversary of its deliverance from destruction, catastrophe, or an antisemitic ruler or threat. Similar to the observance of the Jewish holiday of Purim, Second Purims were typically commemorated with the reading of a megillah (scroll) describing the events that led to the salvation, specially-composed prayers, a festive meal, and the giving of charity. In some cases, a fast day was held the day before. Second Purims were established by hundreds of communities in the Jewish diaspora and in the Land of Israel under foreign rule. Most Second Purims are no longer observed.