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The false charge that Jews use Gentile blood in connection with holiday rituals, particularly on Passover. This falsehood has been hurled at Jews in various places since the 12th century. Though popes, Christian scholars, and judges have denounced the suggestion of such an act, about 200 cases of this accusation exist on record. Often, Jews were tortured to make them “confess their guilt.” As late as the 19th century, 39 such cases occurred in Europe and in the Near East. One of the most notorious cases of blood libel was the Beilis case in 1911. In 1928, this accusation turned up in the U.S., when a Christian child disappeared in Massena, N.Y. Some officials asked the rabbi whether ritual slaying was part of the Yom Kippur observance. This case so shocked the nation that the organization later to be known as the National Conference of Christians and Jews issued a statement declaring, “There is no custom

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