As soon as Sarah Palin posted her "blood libel" Facebook Note and video, the left pounced on it like the rabid dogs they are. Just one of the hounds is the Associated Press, which cherry picked "experts" whom AP knew would criticize Gov. Palin's use of the blood libel term:
"But some experts on the history of blood libel took exception to Palin's use of the term."But a number of others, knowing that the media would resort to this tactic, were ready.
Jonathan Mark, writing at Jewish Week, titled his op-ed "Sarah Palin Is Right -- We're Looking At A Blood Libel":
Yes, articles, such as Michael Daly's in the Daily News, are exactly a blood libel, with headlines charging "Giffords' Blood Is On Sarah Palin's Hands."Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz also defended Sarah Palin’s use of the term “blood libel” from her detractors in a statement published by Big Government:
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.Jewish Americans for Sarah Palin also issued a statement on the matter:
Sarah Palin got it right.At Big Jounalism, Jeff Dunetz weighed in:
Falsely accusing someone of shedding blood is the definition of a blood libel...
Beyond the Jewish community, the term “blood libel” is periodically used by political partisans of all stripes. During the 2000 Florida vote recount, for example, Congressman Peter Deutsch said that some Republican accusations against Democratic nominee Al Gore were “almost a blood libel.”* Newsday editor Les Payne said in 2008 that criticism of African-American journalists’ coverage of the Obama candidacy were a “blood libel.”** Former Deputy Undersecretary of Defense Jed Babbin said that John Kerry’s 1971 testimony about alleged war crimes committed by U.S. soldiers in Vietnam was “a blood libel.”*** Alex Beam of the Boston Globe said that anonymous Globe staffers who accused former colleagues of privately making racial slurs were “making charges that amounted to ‘blood libel.’”****
“Blood libel” does not refer exclusively to accusations against Jews. It does not refer only to medieval episodes that resulted in pogroms. It is a term that has been, and continues to be, legitimately used in contemporary American political discourse by all sides. Governor Palin’s use of the term is accurate, reasonable, and squarely within the bounds of accepted political discourse. It is her opponents’ attempts to falsely connect her to the Tucson massacre which is inaccurate, and unreasonable, and beyond the pale of civilized discourse.
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).Sheya, a self-described observant Jew, posted on his blog:
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.
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.
Based on what we know and were taught about blood libels, this is exactly what this was: a blood libel.Finally Adam Brickley, in a posting at C4P, wrote:
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.
We are talking about whether it is appropriate for Sarah Palin to use the term “blood libel” to describe the fashion in which she was personally blamed, despite irrefutable evidence to the contrary, for a savage and demented mass murder. In my mind, there is no question. This was blood libel of the most savage kind. There is absolutely no difference between what I feel now, as a member of a movement falsely accused of gunning down a Congresswoman, and what I felt when my family’s Judaism was used as supporting evidence in a campaign to falsely accuse us of psychotic threats of violence. I can’t imagine how Gov. Palin herself must feel after having been personally accused, considering that I was moved almost to tears simply as an anonymous member of the broader “tea party”.Update: Jim Geraghty has more on use of the 'blood libel" term here.
“Blood libel” was coined as a term to describe false accusations of ritual murder against the Jewish people – but it’s an action verb, and it’s an act that can be committed in the future against anyone. We cannot and should not deny people the right to call this despicable act what it is. If we do so, we allow the perpetrators to continue using one of the most painful and traumatizing propaganda tactics ever invented.