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Mar 18, 2021
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Egyptian YouTuber Tamer Hawas Recounts 19th Century Damascus Blood Libel: Jews Murdered A Priest And His Muslim Servant, Used Blood For Passover Matzos

#8758 | 02:29
Source: Online Platforms - "Tamer Hawas on YouTube"

Egyptian YouTuber Tamer Hawas posted a video on February 18, 2021, in which he recounted the story of the 1840 blood libel in Damascus. Hawas recounted the accusations against the local rabbis who were claimed to have murdered a priest, in order to use his blood to prepare Passover matzos. Hawas said that Sultan Abdülhamid II succumbed to international pressure and absolved the Jews from this affair. He said that this is the reason that anyone who talks about this is "considered libelous" and "This is how it got to be that no one can say anything about those Jews." For more about blood libel accusations, see MEMRI TV clips Nos. 7162, 6611, 5284, 3387, 2454, 2443, and 1893.

Tamer Hawas: "There is a peculiar and terrifying story in the collective memory of Damascus. This is the story of the matzos that the Jews bake for Passover. Unfortunately, in modern times, the blame has shifted from the Jews to the person who recounts this story.


"The [Jews] used to live in areas where followers of other religions were living. In those areas, children and teens would disappear in mysterious circumstances. It was rumored that those people were kidnapped so that the Jews could bake their Passover matzos.


"Let us talk about what happened in Damascus in 1840.


"When Father Thomas disappeared for a long time, [his Muslim servant] Ibrahim Amara went looking for him. He was worried about him. He went to the Jewish Quarter to inquire about him, but he himself also disappeared.


"Solomon [the barber] said that he entered the building [of the synagogue] and saw the rabbis gathering on the floor. Thomas was on his knees with his hands and feet tied. There was an empty basin in front of him. Ibrahim Amara was bound the same way as Father Thomas. When Solomon saw this, the rabbis asked him to slaughter Father Thomas. Solomon refused and kept refusing even when they offered him money, gold, and silver.

"Eventually, the Chief Rabbi said that this was a sacrifice for God, and that Solomon would go to heaven if he slaughtered Father Thomas. Solomon was persuaded and decided to carry out the crime. One of them brought a knife and placed Father Thomas's neck on the basin, and they began slaughtering him, allowing the blood to flow into the basin. After half an hour, the basin was filled with his blood. As for the body, they cut it into small pieces, collected them in bags, and threw them into the sewers. They had promised the Muslim servant that they would marry him off if he kept silent, but later it turned out that they slaughtered him too.


"The blood is used to make the Passover bread, which they call matzos. This story has come to be known as the 'Damascus Affair.' All the rabbis were arrested, but two of them died during the interrogation.


"The court sentenced them to death. Britain did not like this verdict and wrote Muhammad Ali Pasha that he must cancel it immediately. At first, Muhammad Ali Pasha would not comply. Then the French foreign minister, who was Jewish, was forced to travel and meet with Sultan Abdhulamid II, who was the highest religious authority. He got the Sultan to decree that the Jews must not be blamed for this blood forever. Whoever talks about this is considered libelous and deserves to be sent to jail. This is how it got to be that no one can say anything about those Jews."

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