Why ‘blood libel’ charge against South Africa case trivializes real antisemitism

Jewish Voice for Peace and other anti-Zionist Jewish activists have led many protests against genocide in Gaza, including this Oct. 23, 2023, sit-in at the U.S. Capitol.

On Jan. 26, the International Court of Justice accepted South Africa’s landmark genocide case against the Zionist entity. The court issued the following ruling:

“The Court indicates the following provisional measures:

(1) By fifteen votes to two,

The State of Israel shall, in accordance with its obligations under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide in relation to Palestinians in Gaza, take all measures within its power to prevent the commission of all acts within the scope of Article II of this Convention, in particular:

  1. killing members of the group;
  2. causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
  3. deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part.”

The ICJ’s ruling, while imperfect, was welcomed by the various resistance groups in Palestine, including the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and the Islamic Resistance Movement – Hamas. 

However, the imperialist world met the ICJ’s decision with vitriol. Zionist officials and their allies have ranted and raved against the South African genocide case since its inception

As published by the CIA mouthpiece Voice of America, White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby claimed that South Africa’s ICJ filing was “meritless, counterproductive and completely without basis in fact whatsoever.”

The thousands of Palestinian children fighting for their lives while buried under rubble may disagree with Kirby’s assessment. 

To think, Kirby’s cruel comments came weeks before the ICJ even decided to accept South Africa’s case and order provisional measures for the Zionists to fulfill within 30 days. 

The wave of Western outrage at the South African filing did not end with U.S. security officials. Zionist media outlets and officials went on a full blitz against the accusations of genocide, including alleging that the South African case was a “blood libel.” 

Needless to say, the reaction of the U.S., the Zionist entity, and the other imperialists when the ICJ actually ruled in favor of South Africa was extreme. 

Falsely invokes historical accusation

In the wake of the ICJ’s ruling, Zionist officials again raised the claim of blood libel. In particular, Zionist president and war criminal Isaac Herzog issued a statement in response to the ruling. Herzog frothed, “Israel has the right of full self-defense” and “everyone with sense can see that Israel is acting in accordance with international law.” 

Herzog didn’t stop there. The blowhard child murderer went as far as to argue that any accusation of genocide against the Zionist entity is blood libel. There’s that phrase again! 

To fully dissect Herzog’s comments as the hateful and toxic venom that they are, it is important to first reckon with the blood libel conspiracies that have been weaponized against the Jewish community for hundreds of years. 

A blood libel is a superstitious accusation that Jewish people perform ritual blood sacrifice of Christians for a variety of reasons. The myth developed in medieval Europe in the 12th century. Originally, it was claimed that Jews sacrificed Christian children to obtain the blood needed to make unleavened bread, or matzah. 

As if the idea that Jews require blood to make matzah is not ridiculous enough on its own, the blood libel mythology further evolved in meaning and connotation. 

One of the most famous depictions of such a blood libel is William Shakespeare’s play, “The Merchant of Venice.” In the play, a Jewish merchant named Shylock demands a “pound of flesh” from a Christian whom Shylock believed wronged him. This version of the blood libel myth became more and more common as antisemitism focused more on ethnic than religious hatred. 

It was this particular and broader formulation of the blood libel myth that rose to mass prominence in Nazi Germany and its fascist allies in the 1930s and 1940s. 

At the core of the contemporary blood libel charge is the idea that Jews are inherently devious and unreasonable. To that end, Jews will demand a blood libel not only to practice their “satanic rituals,” but as recompense for perceived wrongs. 

Simply put, any accusation from the Jewish community about antisemitism is really just a pretext for a pound of flesh, according to this lie.

Antisemitism alive and well – in U.S. 

There is no doubt that blood libel antisemitism is alive and well – not only in the growing U.S. neo-Nazi movement but in depictions of Jewish people in mainstream media

For an institution supposedly run by a global Jewish cabal, Hollywood certainly produces a lot of television and films that depict Jews as unreasonable, vengeful, and bloodthirsty. 

With all that said, for the war criminal Herzog to assert that a thorough South African ICJ case against the Zionist entity is equivalent to hundreds of years of antisemitic mythology is a disgrace. 

Herzog and the broader Zionist movement’s accusations of blood libel against South Africa trivialize the very real phenomena of blood libel antisemitism and all antisemitism. 

The attempt to use the oppression of Jewish people to justify the genocide of the Palestinian people and obfuscate any attempt to stop that genocide is as callous as it is arrogant. 

In fact, the current greatest purveyors of the blood libel myth are the wealthy and powerful of the United States and its Zionist project. 

Is it not the U.S. government, the Zionist government, and all their allies who incessantly assert that to be Jewish is to have a blood feud against all Arab people? Is it not Benjamin Netanyahu who insists that every Jew has a solemn and inherent responsibility to kill Arab people? 

The real antisemitism lies within the U.S. ruling class, and that same ideology permeates even into what is supposed to be a “Jewish state.” 

Zionism is not about Judaism. Zionism is not about combating antisemitism. Zionism is only about the proliferation of the imperialist agenda and expansion of Western ruling class profits. 

Lev Koufax is an anti-Zionist Jewish activist.

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