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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Do These People Have Any Idea What Words Mean?

"Blood Libel?" The Palinistas are throwing out the term "Blood Libel?" Because that term means something. Something very specific.

According to

Blood Libel - The blood libel is a false accusation that Jews sacrifice Christian children either to use the blood for various "medicinal" purposes or to prepare Passover Matzoth (unleavened bread) or for vengeance and mock crucifixions. It is one of the central fables of Anti-Semitism of the older (middle ages) type.

So who dug up this term? Because clearly Palin didn't come up with this on her own. So who did her writer crib it from?

It looks like soulless lie machine Andrew Breitbart  may have been the originator, using it in a "tweet" on Tuesday:
And to the gutless GOP establishment who watches in silence the blood libel against @SarahPalinUSA. We will remember. #TeaParty

about 17 hours ago via web

Retweeted by 100+ people

Reply Retweet .AndrewBreitbartFooter© 2011 TwitterAbout UsContactBlogStatusResourcesAPIBusinessHelpJobsTermsPrivacy


That seems about right. Breitbart is exactly the kind of dishonest bottom-feeder that would purposely use this sort of terminology to imply that the right-wing machine is some sort of oppressed minority.

The term has also popped up on the truly awful "Human Events" website:

committing child murder in order to consume human blood. But to Palin and her supporters, any criticism of her or them may actually feel like being unfairly accused of a heinous crime.
The Giffords Blood Libel Will Fail

The Left rides a horse that is dying beneath them.

by John Hayward

And for some reason, Palin's use of the term has been given the OK by Alan Derschowitz, who was, at one time, a respected legal scholar but has evolved over time into ten pounds of douche in a five pound bag.
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.

Oh, well if Douchewitz has used it in a somewhat more relatable context to defend the State of Israel, then of course a lightweight political celebrity should feel free to invoke the memories of countless pogroms and persecutions to paint herself as blameless.

 Of course, there is a difference. Originally the blood libel was a horrific lie designed to justify the persecution, expelling and killing of an ethnic minority. What has been said about Sarah Palin is essentially true, that her rhetoric plays a part in creating a climate of hatred which could potentially influence someone to act violently. It may be somewhat unfair to connect her to this particular tragedy, but what her critics are saying is basically true. No one is accusing her of committing any acts of violence herself. 
Saying that Palin ought to tone down the violent imagery hardly seems equivalent to accusing someone of  child murder. But I think maybe to someone like Palin, any criticism feels like an unfair and outrageous accusation. Because she's always the victim.


libhom said...

The "blood libel" comment in Sarah Palin's threatening Facebook video reflects her rabid anti Semitism.

Abu Scooter said...

It could've been worse, I suppose. Sarah Palin could've fit the term "bloody shirt" into her screed this morning.

Make no mistake: she knew damned well what she was saying this morning -- and she knew it better than Andrew Breitbart, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, or most of her other allies. Unlike them, she's connected to Pentacostal churches whose extremism rivals Westboro Baptist.

Using the term "blood libel" was no mistake, nor was it the utterance of a stupid person. It was a dog whistle, meant for her Dominionist friends.

Ahab said...

It amazes me that even in the wake of a horrific tragedy, some right wing commentators STILL won't show a little taste and civility.