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Editorial Article

Bar Ilan University - History Professor Ariel Toaff goes from Medieval Blood Libels to Collaborating with a Jihadi Web Site

By Lee Kaplan  www.isracampus.org.il

Bar Ilan University is not the first Israeli university that springs to mind when contemplating Israeli academic anti-Semitism. Yet until a few months ago it was home to Ariel Toaff, a now-retired history professor of Middle Ages history. Toaff hit upon his own formula for fame and fortune among the world anti-Semites by proliferating a blood libel against Jews of the most heinous variety. Toaff, the historian, came out with a "history book," in which he claims that during the Middle Ages Jews really did commit the blood libels of using the blood of Christian children in rituals, those their Gentile tormentors accused them of doing. When Toaff encountered outrage in academic circles, particularly at his university, he said, "I will not give up my devotion to the truth and academic freedom even if the world crucifies me." His vicious use of the image of being crucified by Jews was not accidental.

Not only does Toaff define “academic freedom” as the right to say whatever one wants to say as an academic without any real scholarly proof (among other things, Jewish tradition abhors the use of any blood, including animal blood, as being un-kosher).  Toaff's "sources" are confessions by Jews undergoing medieval tortures, taken at face value by Toaff as being proofs of engaging in blood rituals. And then he likens himself to Jesus Christ!

I was curious enough to learn who carries and publishes Ariel Toaff’s personal website: www.arieltoaff.com, which contains articles by and about him.  Right there on his website it says, “This website is dedicated to the works of the world famous, controversial Jewish historian, Professor Ariel Toaff.”  I was at first amused to see my conjectures about how Toaff validates blood libels about Jews were true.

“World famous," huh? Talk about academic humility!  It is true that the revisionist pseudo-historians, the Howard Zinns and Norman Finkelsteins and others who turn history on its head (even if by leaving out details), sell a lot of books and become famous. But Toaff is not even in THEIR league!

Was joining that league Toaff's goal? Maybe. His book on Jewish blood libel sold 1,000 copies the very first day it was released (probably quite a few to Arab buyers). I noted also a photo of him on the website had him holding the only one of his three books that supported the blood libel revisionism, conveniently titled, Passover of Blood.

I next did a domain search to see who was hosting Ariel Toaff’s vanity website. And, lo and behold, I found out it was www.MPADC.com .

What is MPADC.com? Well, the acronym stands for Muslim Programming and Designers Community, an Islamic web hosting company based in Gloucester in the UK, but has its servers in the USA. MPADC, a Muslim company, hosts many jihadi websites, most of which have been shutdown by the authorities in the UK and US.

Note these comments on an MPADC.com Bulletin (or here):

“Thanks. And yes we, MK, are definitely anti-Zionists. We do have pro-Zionist posters---(fascist bastards everyone of them I might add) there who do post their filthy lies up, but we do try and humiliate them and prove their fascist lies and propaganda for what it is. I really do believe in the virtue of freedom of thought and speech. I believe the more they post on the web, the more they expose themselves, and Israel, for the insidious and immoral fascist monsters they, and Israel, really are.”

Most of Toaff’s anti-Israel colleagues rely on proxy servers to hide the identity of who pays for and registers their websites.  The Neturei Karta has always had its websites paid for by the Palestinian Chamber of Commerce, a fact I exposed that they now hide. In a similar manner, one can only wonder about Israeli academics whose web domains are paid for and handled by Arab groups seeking to destroy Israel.

What prompted this article was my wondering why Toaff would sacrifice any integrity as a true scholar and disseminate such claptrap. Admittedly, an Israeli professor who supports Arab irredentist movements seeking to destroy the state and encouraging anti-Semites is less unique today than it once was. In fact, if Iran were to drop a nuke on Israel, scores of Israeli academics not incinerated would take to the streets in joy to celebrate the progress toward peace.

But open endorsement of medieval blood libels is still quite rare. How else can an obscure historian at an Israeli university get ahead of the pack and get out of the daily quotidian of teaching students the same historical information year after year?

Even Toaff’s father, the one-time head rabbi of Rome, condemned his own son’s book as nonsense. Such revelations coming from an Israeli professor, one who resides in Israel at a major Israeli university, was a major coup for the Palestinian cause.

Toaff should be ashamed at his collaboration with a jihadi web site, being used to spread his "research."  Bar-Ilan University should be ashamed to have employed such a person, because academic freedom should not be a cover for deception and lies against the Jewish people to hasten the destruction of their national homeland.

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Articles appearing on IsraCampus.Org.il are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the opinion of IsraCampus.Org.il