Rome - (Rotters): The Jewish academic commumnity is in shock today as one of its most respected members, Professor Ariel Toaff, claims that Christians were subjected to ritual cannibalism by Jews in the Middle Ages during periods of widespread famine and food rationing. His weighty tome 'Eater of Blood: Euroseptic Jews and Ritual Homicide' has caused a furore in Rome where Toaff's father once owned a restaurant chain while also Chief Rabbi of the city.
But the Professor is unrepentant and says that infant Christian males were subjected to crucifiction with their blood being used for "magic and therapeutic practices" such as the manufacture of kosher black pudding.
These sordid historical accounts are based on confessions that the Professor has uncovered in the northern Italy city of Trento near the borders of the former Hungaro-Austrian empire.
His erudite claims have been slammed as hogwash by Rome's Jewish elders who think Toaff must be the target of an elaborate hysterical hoax.
"There is no proof of any Jewish ritual tradition involving human blood", said an attorney representing some of the city's top names.
"Declarations extracted under torture five hundred years ago are about as useful as Guananamo Bay confessions today."
Meanwhile speculation is gathering momentum that Professor Toaff may have been hoaxed by a vengeful British holocaust-denying hysterian who has just been released from a Viennese jail for spreading human gullibility with his Auschwitz-bash theories.
Iran's President Ahmadinejad is 43.