As ridiculous as blood libel is to our modern tolerant sensibilities, accusations of Jewish ritual murder
are not confined to the Middle Ages
. Since that time accusations of blood libel continue to have been spread, frequently by representatives of the Catholic Church
. These ludicrous charges often resulted in arrest, torture
of Jewish community leaders.
An allegation of ritual murder in Kiev, Russia in the early years of the 20th century formed the basis of the novel "The Fixer" by Bernard Malamud, for which he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize.
As late as the waning years of the 20th century, fliers charging Jews with ritual kidnapping and murder of Christian children were circulated on the campus of Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon. These anonymous fliers added the element of racism by specifically accusing Jews of targetting black children.
More recently, in 2000, the charge of blood libel was raised by an official Egyptian newspaper. The story repeats as historical fact a rumour from 1840 which has a Syrian priest disappearing in the Jewish quarter of Damascus, supposedly tortured and killed for his blood.