We’ll have more on this later, but here are my initial reactions:
As many of our readers know, I am an observant Jew. I observe the Sabbath and all the Jewish Holidays. I went to Jewish schools and so do my kids. Not only do I live by all the rules, I am part of the Jewish culture and I even look the part.
Ever since I was two years old, I was told stories of Jewish persecution and blood libels. I was told how the Jews were accused for using the blood of Christian children to bake matzoh bread. I was told the stories of how whenever there was a murder in town the Jews were blamed for it. Whatever the scenario, the chain of events were the same. The Jews were accused of a murder, followed by calls for their deaths, followed by riots and then killings of all the Jews. Then, when the Jews spoke up and defended themselves, they were told to sit down and shut up and further killings took place for that reason alone.
After the horrific killings in Tucson this Saturday and the finger-pointing at Governor Palin begun, I was mad and I was angry. Not that I’m not used to seeing irrational criticism thrown at Governor Palin, I’m used to seeing that by now and frankly I have come to expect it. But this time it was different; this time it felt as if all those stories I was told as a kid were coming to life. A heartless murderer shot and killed innocent victims. Governor Palin, who is hated just because she exists, was blamed, and that was followed by a flood of calls for her death on Twitter and Facebook. If this isn’t a blood libel than nothing is.
I have just spoken to many of my Jewish friends. Neither myself nor any other Jew I know is offended by Governor Palin’s comments. On the contrary, based on what we know and were taught about blood libels, this is exactly what this was: a blood libel.
The term blood libel wasn’t invented to define what happened to the Jews; it’s just that what happened to Jews were blood libels, and this term fits perfectly to what happened to Governor Palin.
The left and the media attacking Governor Palin are outraged at her for her using the term. Of course, why wouldn’t they be? The chain of events is following the direction blood libels always follow, and they are just mad that they are being called out.
Make no mistake: had Governor Palin not used the term they would have found something else to complain about. As far as they are concerned Governor Palin can do nothing right. This time they picked the wrong thing to nitpick, and the outcries will be an epic fail.
To all my Jewish counterparts in the media: Being Jewish doesn’t automatically qualify you to speak on behalf of all the Jews unless you actually observe at least part of the Torah’s Mitzvot.
I am a proud observant Jew, and I am always proud to stand with Governor Palin, but today we are also partners in blood.
Initial statement on Gov. Palin’s use of ‘blood libel’ from Jews For Sarah
Gov. Palin got it right, and we Jews, of all people, should know a blood libel when we see one. Falsely accusing someone of shedding blood is a blood libel – whether it’s the medieval Church accusing Jews of baking blood in Passover matzos, or contemporary Muslim extremists accusing Israel of slaughtering Arabs to harvest their organs, or political partisans blaming conservative political figures and talk show hosts for the Tucson massacre.
Via Big Government – Alan Dershowitz Defends Sarah Palin’s Use of Term ‘Blood Libel’
The term “blood libel” has taken on a broad metaphorical meaning in public discourse. Although its historical origins were in theologically based false accusations against the Jews and the Jewish People,its current usage is far broader. I myself have used it to describe false accusations against the State of Israel by the Goldstone Report. There is nothing improper and certainly nothing anti-Semitic in Sarah Palin using the term to characterize what she reasonably believes are false accusations that her words or images may have caused a mentally disturbed individual to kill and maim. The fact that two of the victims are Jewish is utterly irrelevant to the propriety of using this widely used term.
Update: Via Instapundit, Jeff Dunetz at Yid With Lid says:
Every time Israel acts to defend herself, the mainstream media is rich with blood libel invented by Israel’s enemies and accepted as truth by reporters.
When it comes to Governor Palin’s use of the term blood libel, it was totally justified. The progressive media created a lie about Palin causing the death of a child, Christina Taylor Greene. Their charge was blood libel just the same way as the media spreading the al Durah myth, or the way the media spread bogus charges of Israeli massacres during the recent war with Hamas in Gaza (or in the case of Reuters falsified pictures).
Allow me to suggest that the media should not try to push their progressive bias by assuming the role of policing the worldwide use of the term blood libel. They would be much better served trying to ensure that they do not become the conduits for the spread of blood libels, either be it directed toward Israeli soldiers, or conservatives in the United States.