Sarah Palin’s Latest ‘Blood Libel’ Travesty
How does Sarah Palin demean Jewish suffering? Let me count the ways. Today, she comes forth with the absolutely disgusting, outrageous claim that those who accuse her of creating an environment of hate that fed Gabrielle Gifford’s shooting commit a “blood libel” against her:
“Acts of monstrous criminality stand on their own,” Ms. Palin said in a seven-and-a-half minute video posted to her Facebook page. “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 that they purport to condemn. That is reprehensible.”
I swear, my jaw dropped when I heard that. Her statement is so noxious, so self-serving, so self-pitying, I simply don’t know where to begin.
First, let’s explain that the term “blood libel” derives from the anti-Semitic charge by Chrisitian Jew-haters that Jews stole Christian children and used their blood (hence that term) to make matza for Passover. Many Jews were persecuted, even arrested and imprisoned under such claims, most notoriously Mendel Beilis in 1913. This was one of the first times that Jews worldwide fought back against the charge and campaigned vigorously to defend the victim. In short, Jews died over the charges of blood libel. That’s why we take the phrase seriously and refuse to allow a cheap politician like Palin to demean it.
That being said, the subtext of what Palin is charging is that her detractors have fomented hatred and violence against HER (and not the other way around). When you think about it, this is an absolutely heinous and brilliant manuever to turn the tables on her attackers. Instead of being the perpetrators, she becomes the victim. How can you attack someone who claims she’s become the victim or persecution?
Not to mention that Palin has also introduced an element of religious devotion and imagery into the debate as another subtext of this monstrosity is that she’s calling on her followers to rally around her to defend her from this attack. As a devout radical evangelical, the imagery of Jewish persecution invoked by blood libel would resonate deeply with her given similarly imagery regarding Jesus’s suffering and those of later Christian martyrs.
We must not allow Sarah Palin to appropriate the blood libel or any other Jewish symbolism or suffering to which she is not entitled. This is simply an outrage. She cannot do this. She must pay a price for smearing the memory of Mendel Bailis and all those who suffered for their religious beliefs. Again, if anyone is guilty of political blood libel here it is Palin and her followers. They are the ones who use violent political rhetoric. They are the ones who express their rage all too easily on their enemies. They are the perpetrators, not the victims.
I am outraged. This is a hillul ha-Shem (“desecration of the Divine Name”).
Abe Foxman issued a tepid slap on the wrist in which he said he “wished” she hadn’t used the term. C’mon Abe. Do you only wield the big guns against liberals and Democrats like Ted Turner when they misuse Jewish suffering?
62 thoughts on “Sarah Palin’s Latest ‘Blood Libel’ Travesty – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم”
Comments are published at the sole discretion of the owner.
Sarah Palin? Who? Ohhh, Sarah Failin… yes, now I see.
“We know violence is not the answer. When we say we take our arms, we’re talking about our vote.”
What a moron.
I’m so glad Sarah Palin wasn’t the English Lit. prof. who taught me about the uses & meaning of metaphor.
err “take UP our arms” typo…
Yes, evolution has failed us with this one… figuratively speaking, of course 😉
RE: “Sarah Palin’s Latest ‘Blood Libel’ Travesty” – R.S.
SOUND THE BUGLE! LET THE TRUMPETS BLARE!
Exclusive: Alan Dershowitz Defends Sarah Palin’s Use of Term ‘Blood Libel’ ~ by Publius @ Andrew Breitbart’s “Big Government” [lol!!! – JLD], 01/12/11
SOURCE – http://biggovernment.com/publius/2011/01/12/exclusive-alan-dershowitz-defends-sarah-palins-use-of-term-blood-libel/
What a self-serving asshole. Of course he’s going to defend Palin’s abuse of the phrase because he himself abuses it to smear Richard Goldstone. Yuck.
I thought that part about Alan Dershowitz defending Sarah Palin was some sort of parody.
I wish it were a parody. But you should never underestimate Dersh’s ability to to parody himself.
I can’t believe that so many like this woman. that hurts me the most. in east texas a man mentioned to his son & friends if you were going to rob someone it should be ? and he lives in Madisonville, Tx with all his money in the back pocket. I had bought from the man he spoke about. he did pull all that money to give change with a pistol on his side. he was a judge or had been and it was shop on the court house square. one of the son’s friend took the advice & went to rob the man. They both shot each other to death. he wouldn’t give up the money. the man that suggested the robbery went to prison. he didn’t know It would be taken seriously. this was about 15 years ago. I thought about that when Palin put the cross hairs and named names. I thought that when someone was shot that she would be liable.
This whole story more and more resembles Rabin’s assassination. It was preceded by “overheated political discourse”, which involved such terms as Nazi, Traitor etc. The level of hate in the society hit the high watermark.
And then, after the murder, that same right-wingers who were inciting it, lamented about the “blood libel”.
That’s very interesting. I seem to recall something like that at the time happening.
Indeed. Wasn’t nearly as blatant as this though.
I’d only heard about this rally, but never actually seen it. Unbelievable. Thanks for offering this. Everyone should watch it. I only wish it was translated into English.
We have a saying in german, methode “Haltet den Dieb!”, which means a thief showing in one direcion, shouting “hold the thief!” while running away in the other direction…
Palins behaviour reminds me of that, but her timing just a few hours ahead of Obamas speech, and my assumption, that she hadn’t written her text by her own(?), let me ask myself who and why ist behind her provocative behaviour?
Oh dear. What a lot of horse shit. Wasting time on Sarah Palin’s use of metaphor is nonsense. In her ignorance, she knows not what she says. But when Alan D. And Abe F. come to her defense, that is the last straw. They DO know better. But the thing is a tempest in a teapot, and should not be allowed to grow into a storm by calling attention to it. I am more offended by everyone having rushed to judgement about the crazy assassin in Arizona. All the Jewish mavens immediately screamed anti-Semitism, when it was anything but. It is time stop promulgating anti-Semitism as the cause for everything.
BTW: I’m not certain of my sources, but I am given to understand that Palin is herself a descendant of Jews.
Whoever gave you to understand this is full of horse manure. I wish you’d have some sources when you make statements like this. When you have any credible ones, let us know.
I said I was not certain of my sources, but apparently there is some argument about it:
Is it credible? Qui sait?
Would you consider this – wether she’s jewish or not – to be important for what she’s doing or representing in todays politics of the United States and if so, why?
I certainly don’t consider it important. That’s why, in my original comment above, I called it a lot of horse shit.
It certainly is extremely important. And people like me will remind my readers of it all through the next election cycle.
NO it’s not… though it was floated on line a while back…
Not credible. But I’ll ask my Rachel Tabachnick, who’s my resident expert on all things Christian fundamentalist. BTW, these loons actually see themselves as “new Jews” & see themselves as a poor persecuted minority. So it wouldn’t surprise me if she or her supporters would want to find Jewish blood in her somewhere. But I don’t believe it for a second.
Even if true, so what? It has nothing to do with anything.
I couldn’t believe what I was reading you crying over a term equated with anti-semitism being used? The guy who calls Israelis Nazis – who covorts with Norm Finkelstein the king of using Nazi and anti-semitic slurs against anyone who disagrees with him – and someone who bans anyone on his comments section (who doesn’t agree with the blog of course) that uses or even hints at the term anti-semite…
But ah…………… then one realizes the post is put up to demean someone on the right of American politics – a fool that she is – but nonetheless exposing the endlessly cavernous hypocrisy of the blog writer…
I wondered when you wrote this if you even blushed or thought twice for a second at how glaringly you were exposing your giant sized hypocrisy? Or you weren’t worried because you have the ACCEPT comment button and then the DELETE button always handy….
I little quick on the trigger aren’t we? Which Israelis (plural) have I called Nazis? And btw, you seem to have missed the fact that Udi Aloni in the Ynet article I linked to today noted that he used to refuse to use comparisons to Nazism, but that invocations of a Palestinian Auscwitz fr. frumeh rabbis has made him think twice about it. Are you as hot under the collar about Udi as me?
what utter nonsense. Norman Finkelstein doesn’t “cavort” with anyone. And certainly not with me. I write about Norman Finkelstein, so that makes me cavort w him?
There are commenters commenting here every day who disagree w. me & are not banned. If you follow the comment rules you’re not banned. And I also ban some commenters on the left. But that doesn’t bother you, does it?
I didn’t ask Sarah Palin to make an idiot of herself by invoking an anti-Semitic trope. She did that to herself. I’d have preferred she kept her mouth shut & gave me nothing to write about. But alas she didn’t. Maybe you can write her & suggest the next time she wants to make a fool out of herself she should shut up instead. Then I won’t have to write anything about her at all, which would make me happy.
I wondered when you wrote your comment whether you even blushed at your inanity. But I guess not. An intellectual buffoon has no sense of being one.
Hey, watch that, there are children viewing at home…
I didnt’ comment on Sarah Palin and her incessant need to provoke, get attention and make more $$ or the fact she idiotically put that phrase in a prepared speech…
What I commented on is the gigantic sized cavernous hole which hold your supply of endless egotistical hypocrisy…. for you to complain about anyone using a term reserved for jewish suffering is the height of arrogant hypocrisy…..
The lie that you float that your somehow unbiased or don’t use the “”rules”” here like the soviet police to threaten, browbeat and protect yourself and your ego is beyond comical….
I am just amazed at how brazen your ego has gotten that you couldn’t even realize how ridiculous this post makes you look but someone who lives inside his own protected blog after a while believes anything he writes is ordained…..
Hey, great! You must be a kind of online-comedian, aren’t you?
Yeah, he’s funny all right.
I only allowed yr previous comment because I thought it would be instructive to allow people to see into the cavernous hole where a mind should be. But apparently you’re lacking one. So I’ll put you out of yr misery & allow you to bellow & whine elsehwere online.
Didn’t any ever tell you when writing less is more? You don’t need to say the same thing twice unless you want people to know that your writing skills are lacking.
I’ve never claimed that I’m “unbiased.” I’m “biased” in favor of justice & human rights for both parties. There, I’ve said it, are you happy. I’m biased in favor of peace between Israel & her Arab neighbors. Go tell that to your friends. ONly quote me correctly.
BTW, I note that you accused me of calling Israelis Nazis but then couldn’t even respond to my request that you document yr claim. Why is that?
“…she idiotically put that phrase in a prepared speech…”
You don’t really think Sarah wrote a word of that speech herself, do you? But she is just as culpable by delivering the words someone else wrote for her.
I would actually be somewhat relieved to know that she wrote the speech for herself. As things stand now, there is at least another person as insane & pitiful as she is.
Oh, I think she either picked up the “blood libel” phrase fr. a Jewish supporter or else an evangelical type on her staff is steeped in such Jewish theology/history references. I hear fr. my resident evangelical expert that Palin’s evangelical sect actually thinks of itself as “new Jews” suffering the same way that Jews have suffered except in their case for their Christian faith. So this fits w. her theology.
After reading all the articles about what happened after Ms Pailin’s remarks, I want to thank you for being the only person to include my grandfathers story as an example of a blood libel,PLUS you included a picture!!
grandson of Mendel Beilis
Welcome to my blog and thanks so much for your comment. I remember reading about yr grandfather’s case in Bernard Malamud’s book a long time ago. A riveting story. I was wondering in the Wikipedia photo of the Beilis family whether he’s the person in the center sitting in a chair. WOuld you know?
LOL yes sir , sure I would know all the people in this photo
they’re my family!!
Mendel is in the center wearing a partial beard, the boy on the far right was my father David , and the little girl in the front is my aunt Rachel who will turn 102 next month
btw the Fixer is sore subject in my family,soon after my grandfather came to America he wrote his autobiography , some forty years later Malamud lifted whole passages from the original book and called it his own, here is my ana;ysis of the two books
You have made a double error trying to link to your analysis – first you have included a local address in your computer, and second you posted it as plain text, without the appropriate HTML tags. You should upload the file somewhere, Google docs is a free option. When you want to include a link you have to use the following format: text_for_your_link
where “your_link” is the address and “text_for_your_link” is the readable, clickable text for the link. For example, “My analysis”.
Hope this helps.
Ah, apparently WordPress doesn’t support all HTML tags 🙂
I tried to include the tags in plain text but it ignored my “plaintext” tag.
This is what it should look like.
I’m so sorry to hear about what Malamud did to your grandfather’s work. IT wouldn’t be the first time that a great writer took such liberties I’m sorry to say. But nowadays it’s much easier to catch them when they plaigiarize. Malamud wouldn’t have gotten away w. it today.
You might this interesting, these are the words , translate from Hebrew written on his gravestone..
Here lies interred
Pay attention to this grave
Here lies a holy person, a chosen man
The people of the city of Kiev made him a victim
And upon all Israel spread the travail
Falsely accused him and his community of taking the blood of a
Christian child as demanded by him and his faith for the festival of
They bound him in chains and lowered him into a pit
Many years he did not see the light of day
On behalf of all Israel he was harshly tortured
Pay tribute to this pure and guiltless soul
Who dwells in the shadow of the Lord in the heights of heaven
Until those who slumber shall awaken to life
Mernachem Mendl son of Tuviah Beilis
Died on 24 Tammuz, 5694
May his memory be for an eternal blessing
May his soul be bound in the bond of life eternal
Dershowitz doesn’t agree with you:
Why am I not surprised?
Of course he doesn’t because he abuses the phrase as well to smear Goldstone. Palin & Dersh are peas in a pod.
Richard, sorry to be so late to the comments, but thank you for this….
My arms are tired from literally shoveling snow…
I read an essay from the Washington Post about Palin’s inner circle and this little presentation which had an interesting perspective.
What I am looking forward to is her finding some moment to make a “Pro-Israel” speech or even a visit there so she can share her wealth of Alaskan wisdom with ? ? some folks….
Or I could picture her finding some Orthodox anti-abortion group to take a photo with her ( and as many of her children or siblings she can round up ).
I am a friend of the grandson of Mendel Beilis. There has been ugly video circulating on YouTube slandering Mendel Beilis. Try though we might, we have been unable to get it taken down. After Sarah Palin’s use of the term ‘blood libel’, a new poster called “JudenFree” uploaded the same ugly video on January 11, 2011. These neo-Nazi, white supremists were encouraged to do this by the language Palin used. We are contacting mainstream media outlets to tell the story of Mendel Beilis and what his grandson has had to edure contiuing to see his grandfather slandered and his family name besmirched into the 21st century.
The Evil Jew Mendel Beilis Who Drained the Blood of a Young Boy Dead **(Uploaded January 11, 2011)**
So sorry to hear this & that the Beilis family continues to be slandered 100 yrs after Mendel Beilis’ trial. At least people can visit the video to give it a thumbs down & report it for offensive content.
As far as these neo-Nazis are concerned: Y’mach shmam v’zichronam (“may their names and memories be blotted out”).
We reported an older version of the same video by a different poster who’s account contains other disturbing videos.
Purim torture, cruel Mendel Beilis, Kiev
I understand that we have freedom of speech, but when does it cross the line into ‘crying fire in a crowded theater’ territory? Brings all the crazies out of the woodwork.
I reported the video. Hope this helps.
Actually, for the moment, I want to see it stay up. I am blogging and e-mailing mainstream media, and I want them to see this crap, and start talking about the REAL VICTIM of blood libel. But thanks for your support! Virtual hug!
I no longer feel that any of this White Supremist, neo-Nazi garbage should stay up on youTube. None of the media outlets I contacted have answered, and the rhetoric is heating up in a disturbing way on various mainstream media blogs, in the comments section of mainstream newspapers -to say nothing of the more out there sites that cater to he haters. I keep seeing people talking about “Jews” making trouble for Palin. I am now flagging every video relating to the blood libel, and all the whole accounts of these people who post nothing but scary ne-Nazi filth. The public needs to be educated about the store of Mendel Beilis and the blood libel, without Jay or any member of his family trying to call out Palin directly. We have seen what the kind of hate speech she flings around can do. The nusts come out of the woodwork, and people are harrassed, their property is damaged, or they are beaten and killed.
Well, I am going to stop recommending the Malamud novel to people.
Ironic, though, my family is full of writers, and several have taken elements of history and fictionalized them, and there have been mixed reactions.
No matter, I am very grateful for some of the comments here — Thank you, jay and Su-Go ….
My own theory is that Palin’s use of the term “blood libel” is a Freudian slip of sorts. Many of us have long suspected that Palin is indeed a vampire who secretly feeds on the blood of others, and she is now terrified that her cover will be blown. Too late, Sarah – the cat’s out of the bag!
Jay, What’s on your grandfather’s grave is powerful! Where is he buried?
my grandfather is buried in Queens NY
My apologies to Mr Silverstein , I’m not trying to hijack his thread, just thought a few folks here might be interested to know that the phrase ” blood libel” affected actual people and the descendants are still around
I certainly don’t mean to answer for Mr. Silverstein, but if anyone has a right to comment on this thread, you do. You are a direct descendant of Mendel Beilis!
Please don’t apologize. I’m delighted you’re here & participating & educating us about yr grandfather and his legacy.
Arizona Shooting Victim Criticizes Palin, Beck and Fox News
One of the victims of the Arizona shooting today criticized the violent rhetoric employed by Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, and Fox News.
Eric Fuller, a 63-year-old Navy veteran who was shot in the knee and received fragments in the back last Saturday, said the rhetoric of Sarah Palin and others can impact “demented” people like suspect Jared Loughner.
Fuller, who said he has been interviewed by several national news outlets, added he would not appear on Fox News if they sought him, predicting it “might develop into a screaming session.” He added: “I don’t like what they’re selling.”……
…..Fuller went on to harshly criticize Palin:
“Sarah Palin doesn’t bother to learn the spelling of repudiate and tosses out ‘blood libel’ like it was a jar of peanut butter, but does she know anything? Probably about as much as (former Giffords opponent) Jesse Kelly.”……
What a breath of fresh air!
I rescinded my recommendation of the Malamud book (on a friend’s blog in a comment) and tried to post a link to this thread with encouragement for everyone to read the comments.
One of the beauties of blogging is the commentary (sometimes!) ~
I would really like to read Mendel’s book.
Jay, thanks for posting, and warm regards to your family (young and old and in-between) !
Again thanks for your interest, obviously my grandfather’s book is long out of print ( some copies are available on Amazon ) however I’m planning on re-issuing it over the summer which will include our analysis of the two books plus a chapter on my thoughts on me being the grandson of Mendel Beilis
(not sure if this works) any five year old is better at the computer than me
Jay, I will be interested to see the re-issue.
I think the Pulitzer committee should rescind its awarding of that honor to the Malamud book.
Whether they have ever done that before, is immaterial (irrelevant?), and my authority in this matter is microscopic, but I think a well-organized campaign might succeed.
Jay, the link to the Cardozo Review worked for me !