Blood Libel: Sarah Palin's Claim Recalls Anti-Semitic Legacy

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In trying to bat away criticism for violent rhetoric, Sarah Palin accused critics of "blood libel," and with it, referenced a legacy of hate -- a reference used by Adolf Hitler.

Palin released a statement and gave extended remarks about the weekend shooting in Arizona, first sending her condolences to the families of the victims and then fiercely responding to those blaming her campaign map -- which contained a bullseye over Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' congressional district -- for inspiring Jared Lee Loughner's shooting.

Palin shot back at "journalists and pundits" for "manufacturing a blood libel that serves only to incite the very hatred and violence they purport to condemn," remarks that immediately raised eyebrows in the Jewish community.

Blood libel refers to a rumor that has fueled anti-semitism and the persecution of Jews for nearly 900 years. According to, blood libel began as "an unfounded rumor began in eastern England, that Jews had kidnapped a Christian child, tied him to a cross, stabbed his head to simulate Jesus' crown of thorns, killed him, drained his body completely of blood, and mixed the blood into matzos (unleavened bread) at time of Passover."...

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Walter D. Kamphoefner - 1/14/2011

Palin's attempt to position herself as the victim in this affair reminds me a bit of the Yiddish definition of chutzpah: The boy who kills his parents and then begs the judge for mercy because he is an orphan.

Whether they inspired the Arizona lunatic or not, Palin's crosshairs ads and her charge to "reload" have clear connotations of gunplay, and have no place in civilized political discourse--but then I suppose they weren't intended to be.