Thursday, January 13, 2011

Sarah Palin's Use of Term "Blood Libel" Draws Jewish Criticism

The Washington Post reports on the controversy that has been stirred up by Sarah Palin in her release of a video criticizing those who are blaming the Tucson shooting tragedy on political rhetoric such as hers. Her statement included the following:
Journalists and pundits should not manufacture a blood libel that serves only to incite the very hatred and violence they purport to condemn.
Jewish groups, such as the National Jewish Democratic Council, took umbrage at her use of the term "blood libel", pointing out that the term has traditionally described the anti-Semitic canard that Jews use the blood of Christian children for rituals such as baking of Passover matzoh. Critics found use of the term particularly insensitive because wounded Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords is Jewish. However some, like Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz, defended Palin saying that the term blood libel has taken on a broader meaning of any kind of untrue charges.