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Sunday, February 11, 2007
Bar-Ilan University Statement on Professor Ariel Toaff's research regarding blood libels

Bar-Ilan University Statement on Professor Ariel Toaff's research regarding
blood libels
(Communicated by the Bar-Ilan University Spokesman)
Following is a statement by Bar-Ilan University Spokesman Shmuel Algarbali:

"Professor Ariel Toaff is among Israel's and the world's senior researchers
in medieval Jewish communities and the Italian Jewish community. Bar-Ilan
University ( www.biu.ac.il/index_eng.shtml ) - like other universities -
champions freedom of academic and scientific expression as the basis for its
research activity.

However, Bar-Ilan University expresses its strongest reservations over
reports in the media regarding Prof. Toaff's latest research regarding blood
libels against European Jews in the Middle Ages. Bar-Ilan University - its
officers and researchers - have condemned, and condemn, any attempt to
justify the awful blood libels against Jews.

According to the principles of academic research and in order to prevent the
dissemination of false accusations, the Bar-Ilan University management
believes that it would be proper to wait until the research itself and
explanations from Prof. Toaff are received before taking up the issue. As
of yet, there has been no contact with Prof. Toaff, who is traveling abroad.
Immediately upon his return to the country in the coming days, Bar-Ilan
University President Prof. Moshe Kaveh will summon Prof. Toaff and ask from
him explanations regarding his research. Until then, we believe that we
should refrain from relying on baseless reports that have been denied by
Prof. Toaff himself and which, apparently, lack any connection to the
research itself. Bar-Ilan University calls on all elements dealing with the
matter to wait for precise information, which Prof. Toaff will provide to
the University administration in the coming days."

For further details, please contact Bar-Ilan University Spokesman Shmuel
Algarbali at 03-5318121, 050-7401016, 03-6106666 #1781 or
spokesman.office@mail.biu.ac.il.

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