Much has been said and written regarding Governor Palin’s usage of the words Blood Libel. My personal thoughts have already been noted. I have since had some further thoughts on the subject.
Rabbi Shmuley Boteach said it best when he wrote:
Despite the strong association of the term with collective Jewish guilt and concomitant slaughter, Sarah Palin has every right to use it. The expression may be used whenever an amorphous mass is collectively accused of being murderers or accessories to murder.
The abominable element of the blood Libel is not that it was used to accuse Jews, but that it was used to accuse innocent Jews—their innocence, rather than their Jewishness, being the operative point. Had the Jews been guilty of any of these heinous acts, the charge would not have been a libel.
Rabbi Boteach is spot on. ‘Blood Libel’ is an expression used for when someone is innocently accused of participating in a murder or being an accessory of. Jews don’t own the exclusive rights of this term. Jews would gladly get rid of it, anyone who wants it can have it. In fact we’ll even throw in the Holocaust for good measure.
If the media would do so much as just read or listen to what Governor Palin said, they would realize that Governor Palin wasn’t talking about the Blood Libel thrown at her she’s was talking about it in future context:
Vigorous and spirited public debates during elections are among our most cherished traditions. And after the election, we shake hands and get back to work, and often both sides find common ground back in D.C. and elsewhere. If you don’t like a person’s vision for the country, you’re free to debate that vision. If you don’t like their ideas, you’re free to propose better ideas. But, especially within hours of a tragedy unfolding, journalists and pundits should not manufacture a blood libel that serves only to incite the very hatred and violence they purport to condemn. That is reprehensible.
As Jonah Goldberg noted:
She wasn’t even talking about “the blood libel” but warning against the creation of “a blood libel,” which is exactly what Krugman, Olberman & Co. were doing.
The majority of Jews appear to have no issue with Governor Palin using the term, in fact most believe that under the circumstances she used it appropriately. Why? Because we as Jews know what a blood libel actually is and what our forefathers went through. When we see someone else going through the same process we recognize it for what it is.
Ironically it is those in the media and those Jews – who never actually practise Judaism - who always stand ready to criticize Israel and the Jewish people, that are suddenly concerned about hurting the Jewish peoples’ feelings. Let’s see if next time Palestinians blow up a bus or a pizza parlor in Israel or Hamas fires some missiles into Israel and the Israelis retaliate, whether all those suddenly concerned about the Jews will defend Israel or condemn it. That will be the true test of their internal agenda. When it comes to Jews and Israel Governor Palin has past that test.
An extensive round up on articles related to this topic can be found here