TEL AVIV – The Palestinian Authority has revived a medieval blood libel by disseminating the claim that a fictitious Rabbinic Council in Israel has ruled that Jews must poison Palestinian water in order to kill them.
The PA’s Foreign Ministry originally released a fabricated statement saying that Israeli NGO Breaking the Silence had claimed a “Rabbi Shlomo Mlamd” issued a ruling for Jews to poison Palestinians.
The Foreign Ministry even went as far as to predict the death of thousands of Palestinian from thirst or drinking poisoned water, and slammed the international community for ignoring the crime.
“What is the international community waiting for to interfere; the death of thousands of Palestinians of thirst? To meet such incidents with silence and ignore the war Israel is waging against Palestinians is a cause of shame for the international community,” it said in a statement.
The libel was then expanded on Tuesday’s broadcast on PA TV news with the claim that the entire Council of Settlement Rabbis – a nonexistent entity – made the ruling, so as to cause Palestinians “to emigrate, or in order to kill them.”
On Friday, the Palestinian Authority accused Israel of cutting off water to the West Bank during the month of Ramadan, the Independent and Al Jazeera reported. The accusation was debunked by UK Media Watch, whose investigation found that Israel had in fact increased the West Bank’s water supply.
Hamas, meanwhile, tweeted a photo of ultra-Orthodox MK Yisrael Eichler (UTJ) with the text: “V dangerous! #Israel Rabbi call 2 poison the water in the #WestBank 2displace Palestinians from their land #BDS.”
The same photo of Eichler, whose image seems to have been selected at random, was featured in an article in the Palestine Chronicle, another website exposing the “rabbinic ruling” to poison Palestinians.
Turkish state-run news agency Anadolu also picked up on the story, writing, “Rabbi Shlomo Mlma, chairman of the Council of Rabbis in the West Bank settlements” said Jews are encouraged to poison Palestinians’ water supplies. The news agency declined to provide its sources upon request.
The misspelled “Mlamd” and “Mlma” may refer to “Melamed,” a rabbinical family in the West Bank. However, no “Rabbi Shlomo” exists, and the two leading Rabbi Melameds, Eliezer and Zalman, vehemently denied the libel, telling Arutz Sheva that calling for Jews to perform such a horrific act runs counter to Jewish law.
The report also pointed to the misnomer “West Bank” in the name of the organization – Jewish residents in the West Bank actively reject that term, and instead refer to the area exclusively by its biblical names, Judea and Samaria.