Jews, Church, & Civilization V


blood libel type, as the alleged murder occurred before the Jewish Passover. The Turkish governor supported him in this.

The political situation of the time was complex. Syria was ruled by the Egyptian sultan Muhammad Ali. He was supported by France while Austria and Britain had the aim of restoring Ottoman rule and wished to halt the expansion of French influence in the region.
An investigation was staged, and Solomon Negrin, a Jewish barber, confessed under torture and accused other Jews. Two other Jews died under torture, and one [(Moses Abulafia) not the philosopher Abraham Abulafia] converted to Islam to escape torture. More arrests and atrocities followed, culminating in 63 Jewish children being held hostage and mob attacks on Jewish communities throughout the Middle East.

The Christian funeral procession for Father Thomas (without his body) through the streets of Damascus was widely attended. A tombstone was inscribed “Assassinated by the Jews the 5th of February of the year 1840.” The Arabic translation of the tombstone still stands at the Franciscan church in Damascus.”

Wikipedia Online, (accessed July 1, 2009)


August 11: England

The Foreign Secretary, in a letter to the ambassador in Constantinople wrote: “There exists…among the Jews…a strong notion that the time is approaching when their nation is to return to Palestine…. I instruct…to strongly recommend to the Turkish Government…to encourage the Jews of Europe to return to Palestine.”

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