The traditional anti-Semitic blood libel in which Jews are accused of murder and using blood for religious purposes has once again found expression in the Arab world, this time in a TV broadcast in Israel's northern neighbor, Lebanon.
In a video clip translated by MEMRI, the Middle East translation institute, Lebanese poet Marwan Chamoun says: "How many of us Lebanese, or even Arabs, know anything about the Talmud? Or about the book, Exposing the Talmud? Or about the book, Pawns on the Chessboard?"
"Or about another book, The Secret World Government ? Or about Blood for the Matzah of Zion, (which deals with) the slaughter of the priest Tomaso de Camangiano, who was a Sicilian with French citizenship, in the days of Muhammad Ali Pasha, in 1840..." he continued.
"The world loves the Jews. The 'ruler' is Christianity - the Christian West. Arabs, Muslims - why don't you take advantage of something like this? A priest was slaughtered in the presence of two rabbis in the heart of Damascus, in the home of a close friend of this priest, Daud Al-Harari, the head of the Jewish community of Damascus."
"After he was slaughtered, his blood was collected, and the two rabbis took it. Why? So they could worship their god, because by drinking human blood, they can get closer to God," the Lebanese poet declares on TV.
"Where are our diplomats and politicians? Why don't we profit from these historical matters, which are presented to us on a simple, eternal, golden platter?"
Blood libels first surfaced in the Middle Ages and used to incite Christian mobs in Europe to massacre thousands of Jews.
In 1840, Syria's Jewish community was falsely accused of being responsible for the dissapearance of a friar and a Greek servant, leading to dozens of Jewish children being held hostage, a Jewish man being tortured by police, and mob attacks on Jews throughout the Middle East.
"As I've said, these books can be found on the streets of Beirut ," Marwan Chamoun said, underlining the high number of anti-Semitic texts currently circulating in the Arab world.
"There are approximately 20 to 30 such books. I must have bought about 2,000 copies since they were published, maybe more. I'd like to say 20,000 copies, but I don't know."
"When somebody gets married, instead of chocolates, I give him one of these books. Whoever reads this for the first time feels a chill of horror and disbelief. He cannot believe it."