You are hereThink Progress: Jewish Groups: "We Are Deeply Disturbed" by Palin's Use of Anti-Semitic Term "Blood Libel," She Should Apologize

Think Progress: Jewish Groups: "We Are Deeply Disturbed" by Palin's Use of Anti-Semitic Term "Blood Libel," She Should Apologize


January 12, 2011- On a day when the president and the nation are mourning the victims of the tragic shooting in Tucson, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) is trying to seize the spotlight to mourn her tarnished reputation. Palin apparently views herself among the real victims of the tragic shooting this weekend that killed six and wounded 14. This morning, Palin launched an aggressive Facebook and web-video campaign to counter what she deemed a "blood libel" against her by the media to connect her infamous cross-hairs map and other right-wing incendiary rhetoric to violence.

Of all the terms Palin could have used, from "defamation" to even "implicating me in murder," why did Palin choose "blood libel"? As the conservative National Review's Jonah Goldberg, who says he "agree[s] entirely with…Palin's, larger point," notes, "Historically, the term is almost invariably used to describe anti-Semitic myths about how Jews use blood — usually from children — in their ritual." Indeed, many Jews consider the term extremely offensive, and the Anti-Defamation League and other prominent Jewish organizations have spoken out against its use dozens of occasions in the past.

Former Bush speechwriter David Frum, writing on Politico's Arena, notes "Now is not the time to use words like "blood libel" or to attack those who seek to lessen the use of violent words or deeds."

Indeed, Jewish groups are taking offense to Palin's choice of the term. Noting that accusations of blood libel have been "directly responsible for the murder of so many Jews across centuries," the National Jewish Democratic Council condemned Palin's use of the term:

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