Bar-Ilan University Condemns Publication of Book on Blood Libels
University expects Prof. Ariel Toaff to take immediate measures to repair the damage caused by the publication of his book
Following a preliminary investigation into the circumstances surrounding the publication of Prof. Ariel Toaff's book in Italy, Bar-Ilan University is expressing great anger and extreme displeasure at Prof. Ariel Toaff, for his lack of sensitivity in publishing his book about blood libels in Italy. His choice of a private publishing firm in Italy, the book's provocative title and the interpretations given by the media to its contents, have offended the sensitivities of Jews around the world and harmed the delicate fabric of relations between Jews and Christians.
Bar-Ilan University strongly condemns and repudiates what is seemingly implied by Toaff's book and by reports in the media concerning its contents, as if there is a basis for the blood libels that led to the murder of millions of innocent Jews.
Bar-Ilan University's executive leadership and academic faculty have consistently condemned any attempt to justify the terrible blood libels against the Jews. Prof. Toaff should have demonstrated greater sensitivity and caution in his handling of the book and its publication, in a manner that would have prevented the distorted and offensive reports and
At Bar-Ilan University it is expected that now, after the extent of the damage caused to the Jewish public has become apparent, Prof. Toaff will take personal responsibility for his blunder and act to repair the damage which he caused.
In addition, the University expects all those involved in the matter to work to set the record straight and to remove the needless cloud that has formed in the wake of the distorted accounts.
For further information, contact:
Shmuel Elgrably, Bar-Ilan University Spokesman
Statement By PROF. ARIEL TOAFF
In light of the false and distorted interpretation given to my recently published book, I have requested the Italian publishing house "El Molino" to immediately stop further distribution of the book, in order that I may re-edit those passages which comprised the basis of the distortions and falsehoods that have been published in the media. I was astounded by the
sheer force of these misrepresentations, which turned what is a research book into a vehicle used to harm Judaism and the Jewish people and, G-d forbid, as a justification for blood libel.
I feel deeply responsible for the recent events which have transpired, and in order to express my profound regret regarding the misrepresentations that were attributed to me and which hurt the Jewish people, I have decided to donate all the funds forthcoming from the sale of this publication to further the activities of the Anti-Defamation League. I will never allow any Jew-hater to use me or my research as an instrument for fanning the flames, once again, of the hatred that led to the murder of millions of Jews. I extend my sincerest apologies to all those who were offended by the articles and twisted facts that were attributed to me and to my book.
In order to prevent the continuation of these horrible distortions, I have decided to ask my publisher to stop the book's distribution, so that I can insert the requisite clarifications as speedily as possible. I am taking these steps in order to prevent the further misuse of my book as anti-Semitic propaganda.
Prof. Ariel Toaff
IMRA - Independent Media Review and Analysis
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