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August 14, 2012

Blood Libel Broadcast Across Arab World: New Arabic Translation Of Talmud Cited

Holocaust denial, the blood libel and other vicious anti-Semitism marked last week’s episode of the weekly show Milad airing on multiple Arab satellite channels.

Salman Al-Ouda

During the program, a weekly discussion with Dr. Salman al-Ouda, a prominent Saudi scholar and the Assistant Secretary General of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, al-Ouda promoted the Arabic language translation of the Babylonian Talmud to support his anti-Semitic diatribe.

In one segment of the episode, al-Ouda said: “The Jews believe that they have the right to kill anyone who doesn’t believe in their religion – it’s stated in the Talmud.” He then told a story about a doctor who was asked by Jews to provide them with human blood to make pies. That story was followed by another description of Jews abducting children in Damascus in order to use their blood during Easter.

Al-Ouda then showed a copy of the newly released Ara­bic trans­la­tion of the Tal­mud pub­lished by the Mid­dle East Stud­ies Cen­ter (MESC), a Jordan-based think tank. “The people who translated this book must be thanked,” he said. “…they gave us a weapon to confront our enemies, to expose the mentality of the Jews, to learn how they think and expose their scandals. The Jews were very upset with this translation and fought against it.”

Salman Al-Ouda shows Ara­bic trans­la­tion of the Tal­mud pub­lished by the Mid­dle East Stud­ies Cen­ter

When asked by the show’s co-host if the Jews’ evil characteristics are acquired or inherent, Al-Ouda responded, “Worldwide, you might find some Jews who live in open societies away from the influence of other Jews or away from the bond with their religion and race. They turn into atheist Jews like Norman [Finkelstein], who is an atheist, or some even become communists, or socialists. They become ordinary people, away from the influence of [their] religion.”

Al-Ouda described Finkelstein, an anti-Israel academic whose career has been marked by a vitriolic hatred of Zionism and Israel, as “Jewish yet courageous.” Al-Ouda also minimized the number of Jews killed during the Holocaust.

Milad airs on Qatar Television, Libya Television, and Saudi channels including 4Shabab, Rotana and Al-Risala, among others. Earlier this month, ADL expressed concern that anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and anti-Israel plot lines have dominated various shows airing during Ramadan on satellite stations with wide viewership across the Middle East.

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May 21, 2012

New Arabic Translation of Talmud Promotes Anti-Semitic Narratives

Update: The Anti-Defamation League publicly criticized the translation and called on the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan to take steps to correct the misleading anti-Semitic narratives in the introduction to the Arabic translation of the Talmud.

A newly released Arabic translation of the Talmud – the first of its kind – contains an introduction that seeks to revive age-old anti-Semitic conspiracies about the Talmud, including the accusation that the ancient text reveals the racist character of the Jewish people. The introduction also attempts to paint Israel as the modern-day embodiment of the alleged racist ideologies found in the Talmud.

The translation, which was published by the Middle East Studies Center (MESC), a Jordan-based think tank, specifically couples anti-Semitic narratives with anti-Israel propaganda: “The discrimination which Arabs in Israel face is an extension of the racist spirit included in many Talmud texts and explanations.”

In an effort to claim that the Talmud is an inherently racist text, the introduction repeatedly seeks to exploit and take out of context certain passages in the Talmud, including deceptively referring to injunctions that seem to “prove” that Jews regard non-Jews as inferior. The introduction, for example, notes,
 
“These texts confirm the racist and hostile perception toward the non-Jews, especially those who threaten the ‘chosen nation’ and stand in the way of its ambitions and hopes. There is no doubt that Israel is the best example of this racist position, both in the level of its daily crimes against the Palestinians and the level of its rejection and contempt for international resolutions and laws. For what applies to other countries in the world does not apply to contemporary Israel, as it is unique…Jews, according to this racist position [of the Talmud], are permitted to do what is not permitted for non-Jews.”
 
Elsewhere in the introduction, the reader is informed that the Talmud claims that non-Jews are inhuman, may be tricked or cheated, that it is permissible to kill them, and so on.
 
The conclusion of the introduction neatly merges the publishers’ anti-Semitic and anti-Israel proclivities:  “The Talmudic heritage has a significant impact on the formulation of Jewish identity based on holy [principles of] racial isolation…It [the Talmud] also established the extreme positions that advocate hatred toward non-Jews, the violation of their rights and looting of their lands and property.” The publisher then refers to the Zionist movement’s alleged “crimes” against the Palestinian people as an example of the Talmud’s validation of racist policies.
 
MESC, established in 1991, is a Jordan-based political think tank that focuses on the Middle East and North Africa. The Center has a special unit on Israeli affairs, which monitors Israel, Zionist organizations and Hebrew-language media. MESC is highly critical of Israel, and organized a conference last year on the Palestinian unilateral declaration efforts to which they invited senior Muslim Brotherhood leaders as well as Hamas officials.
Al-Jazeera has specifically promoted this book as a contribution to the “establishment of Arabic language Jewish studies” as well as claiming that the translation “identifies the features of the Jewish character that blend elements of racial superiority with Mosaic teachings.”

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