Blood Libel

When Sarah Palin used the dramatic term “blood libel” did she know what it means? She said “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.” Of course SP and the other Tea Party activists deny that the use of “crosshairs” and other targeting metaphors used in their advertising was in any way inciteful or related to the Tucson massacre. See David O. Williams’ summary here. Or Gabrielle Giffords at The Daily Beast, where you can see some of the campaign images.

Here’s how Rush Limbaugh presents himself in Tucson. At The Atlantic.

I wasn’t familiar with the expression, so I turned to Wikipedia: “The libels typically allege that Jews require human blood for the baking of matzos for Passover. The accusations often assert that the blood of Christian children is especially coveted, and, historically, blood libel claims have been made to account for otherwise unexplained deaths of children.” And, “Historically, these claims have—alongside those of well poisoning and host desecration—been a major theme in European persecution of Jews.”

And then (reported by Jillian Rayfield on TPM) the Washington Post editorial upped the anti-Semitic thrust of such comments by suggesting that criticism of Sarah Palin’s comments amounted to a journalistic “pogrom” against conservative politics “the latest round of an ongoing pogrom against conservative thinkers.” Shifts the focus to journalists and “gun grabbers” both – it’s worth a read, if only to see the nature of contemporary conservative thought.

And for an analysis of the look of Sarah Palin’s speech, see Michael Shaw at BagNotes. And if you’ve missed them, while you’re there you can find the links to both Palin’s and Obama’s speeches – a salutary comparison.


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