The practice of baking matzah for Passover with human blood, claims Professor of Hebrew at King Saud University Fouad M. Abdel Waheb, used to be common among Jews but today only ultra-Orthodox people do so, the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) reported on Sunday.
The interview was aired on June 13 in the program "Blue Line." When asked, the academic confessed that "by Allah I don’t know where they get the blood from." He also said that today “regular people don’t do this,” only haredi Jews. He added that eating human blood is unhealthy.
The idea Jewish people use human blood for ritualistic reasons was first recorded in 1149 when the body of a child called William was found in a wood near Norwich, England.
Based on a testimony of Theobald of Cambridge, a Jewish convert to Christianity who claimed Jews use human blood taken from Christian children for ritualistic reasons, the idea entered the antisemitic lore and led to further accusations, and violence, against Jewish communities around the world.
Thousands of Jews have been killed, abused and deported as a result of similar false claims. This continued despite Jewish arguments they do not, and never have, used human blood in their religion. In fact, Jews are forbidden from consuming even animal blood, taking extra precautions to salt meat in order to rid it of any remnant blood.
Pope Innocent IV in 1247 fought the rumors that Jews ate the heart of a child, stating it is nothing but a lie used to torture Jews and steal their property. Despite this official stand of the Catholic Church, blood libel accusations continued in France, Italy, Spain, Russia and Poland. Blood libels against Jews were argued even in many cases when no body was found or the slain child was Jewish.