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Coronating Lionheart

Back in August, I noted the anniversary of the massacre at Akko, when crusading King Richard the Lionheart killed almost 3,000 Muslim prisoners rather than go to the trouble of continuing to keep them in custody. This wasn’t the Bonny King Richard we hear about in the Robin Hood legends.

It also wasn’t an isolated incident. At the coronation of King Richard, there were no women and no Jews allowed. A group of about 30 leaders of the Jewish community showed up anyway, bringing gifts to show respect to the new monarch. The Lionheart was not softened by this demonstration. He ordered the Jews to be flogged.

Residents of London, taking King Richard’s antisemitic violence as a cue, went on a rampage of violence against Jews throughout the city. Some were burned alive.

That violence took place 821 years ago today, but it still brings a lesson for our times. A religious Crusade against one religion doesn’t differentiate between its enemies. Those who launch attacks against Muslims are likely to enjoy violence against Jews as well. The people over at the Anti-Defamation League ought to remember that, as they support Christian animosity to the Cordoba House in Manhattan.

Sidenote: King Richard was also the inventor of a special hat that Jews were required to wear in order to set them apart from English Christians.

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