Oh, For God’s Sake! Now They Are Mad at Palin For Using the Phrase “Blood Libel!”; UPDATE: This May As Well Be the Open Thread on Obama’s Speech
[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.]
So as you saw in a previous point that Sarah Palin called this smear campaign against her a “blood libel.” And the chattering monkeys of the left started screaming against their cages. How dare she? Doesn’t she know that this is the sole and exclusive province of the Jews?
The term blood libel is generally used to mean the false accusation that Jews murder Christian children to use their blood in religious rituals, in particular the baking of matzos for passover. That false claim was circulated for centuries to incite anti-Semitism and justify violent pogroms against Jews. Ms. Palin’s use of the phrase in her video, which helped make it rapidly go viral, is itself attracting criticism, not least because Ms. Giffords, who remains in critical condition in a Tucson hospital, is Jewish.
Reaction to Ms. Palin’s video was swift.
Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Democrat of Florida, who is a close friend of Ms. Giffords, issued a statement condemning her use of the phrase “blood libel.”
“Palin’s comments either show a complete ignorance of history, or blatant anti-Semitism,” said Jonathan Beeton, Ms. Wasserman Shultz’s spokesman. “Either way, it shows an appalling lack of sensitivity given Representative Giffords’s faith and the events of the past week.”…
Jeremy Ben-Ami, president of a pro-Israel group called J Street, said that “when Governor Palin learns that many Jews are pained by and take offense at the use of the term, we are sure that she will choose to retract her comment, apologize and make a less inflammatory choice of words.”
But the ADL was more measured:
The Anti-Defamation League issued a statement that, in part, came to Ms. Palin’s defense.
“It was inappropriate at the outset to blame Sarah Palin and others for causing this tragedy or for being an accessory to murder,” Abraham Foxman, the group’s national director, said in a statement. “Palin has every right to defend herself against these kinds of attacks.”
But Mr. Foxman added that “we wish that Palin had not invoked the phrase ‘blood-libel.’ ” He called it a phrase “fraught with pain in Jewish history.”
The WaPo’s Jonathan Capehart also accused Palin of being anti-Semitic:
That phrasing, that phrase is incredibly anti-Semitic. And no one is calling Sarah Palin an anti-Semite but for her to use that language a lot of people think she has dug a deep hole even deeper.
Yes, Jonathan, you are calling her an anti-Semite. And I am calling you a deranged idiot.
And Thinkprogress said… ah, Hell, we all know what they said and if you don’t just follow the stupid link and either you are stupid enough to believe anything they say, or you are already on to them by now.
And then of course there are those who took this as a chance to assume that Palin is stupid. Consider Steve Benen: “I don’t imagine Palin actually knows what ‘blood libel’ means.” Given that he has no reason to know one way or the other, this is a statement of pure prejudice. Charles Johnson: “Palin herself probably never heard the term until [her speech writers] put the speech in front of her.” Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC (video): “Perhaps she didn’t know of the context of that phrase,” NBC correspondent and MSNBC anchor Andrea Mitchell said.” She says that because she thinks that this is somehow being fair to Palin because she thinks the phrase is so horrible.
I guess they don’t teach how to use Nexis over at MSNBC, because the only problem with this lefty meme is that, as Jim Geraghty points out, the use of the phrase is actually pretty common, and yes, far outside the context of the anti-Jewish blood libel. Indeed, let’s return to Charles Johnson, who wrote that “It’s utterly beyond the pale for Palin to employ this term to excuse her own rhetoric. But I’m not surprised.”
Sure, it is almost as awful as when one crazed right winger accused the Village Voice of attacking Bush in a way “strikingly similar to the blood libel propaganda directed at Israel by Arab countries.” Who was that crazed right winger? Why it was Charles Johnson himself. Yes, Charles there is something beyond the pale in all of this, but it’s not Palin’s words, but instead your hypocrisy.
But keep complaining, lefties. The more you do, the more people will watch the video and the more this blood libel will fail. Keep this up and Palin might be the next President of the United States. We could do worse. In fact, in 2008 we did.
[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]
UPDATE BY PATTERICO: This is turning into an open thread on Obama’s speech, at the memorial that so many people are cheering at. So leave your comments below. WOOOOOOOOOOO!!!