This Day in Jewish History World Jewry Responds to French-instigated Blood Libel in Damascus

A delegation of Jews got the pasha to release Jews who were arrested and tortured for allegedly murdering a Franciscan Capuchin monk under orders of the French consul, but the charges were never dropped.

On February 5, 1840, Father Tommaso, the Franciscan Capuchin monk who headed a monastery in Damascus, Syria, disappeared, along with his servant. This event led to what became known as the Damascus Affair, in which a group of Jews in the city found themselves falsely accused of murdering the priest. The affair aroused great public passions within the Muslim world, and became one of the first cases in which Jewish...