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« A Taste of Honey | Main | Sargent Shriver »

January 12, 2011


How did you manage to make this an anti-semitic conversation? Oy Vey.

Sarah Palin needs to stop speaking. She's not good at it.

Occam's Razor tells me Palin's heard the expression, doesn't know the history behind it and thinks it's "libel, cranked up to eleven".

Or would that be Hanlon's Razor ("Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained be stupidity")?

Helena: Because she used a term that has an anti-semetic history.

She's too ignorant to know the phrase, "blood libel." Somebody had to have suggested it to her.
Most people are too quick to believe anything negative that is said about people whom they already dislike. And, opportunists like Sarah Palin, Limbaugh, Beck, etc. take full advantage of that. Why did she remove her map filled with "surveyor's marks" immediately after the shooting ? This evil woman (and those who defend her) are as guilty as the actual shooter, because they incite hatred and violence. One good thing is that her words and actions since the shooting have alienated even more people from her ranks of supporters and have further poisoned her political ambitions.

I'm pretty sure she didn't come up with the term on her own. She's got a host of writers at her elbow and they are as fervently moronic as she is - clearly none of them know their history from the use of the term "blood libel" to the history of the original Tea Party. They know just enough to get themselves into trouble.

No its not her "fault" nor anyone else's but Loughner's. I agree with Sarah - Palin should stop talking.

Duh.. I know the history but why does it have to be seized upon?
It was not the intent and it has a broad metaphorical meaning.
Check out Alan Dershowitz. The world is not all about the Jews all the time.

It's not?

It was an extremely careless use of the phrase. I take back what I said about her being evil. She isn't evil. She's ignorant and careless. Words can hurt, and words can influence (for good or evil), and they can incite violence.


What I most admire about you is your willingness to use your time, energy, compassion, love of words, respect for history, your appreciation of the absurdity of human behavior, your tradgi-comic sense of humor, and the unique set of cultural/ethnic/religious traditions, values, amalgams, and family relationships/history that have formed you (and continue to form you daily) to try to speak/write in that vulnerable, masterfully intelligent, cogent, and, ultimately highly educational and entertaining way (it is my thesis that perhaps your true calling is that of "teacher").

You are, oddly enough, my definition of an "optimist," although, to be honest, I didn't know that until it appeared here on my computer screen. But, it is true, you are an optimist as I conceive of one. You take the time to offer information brilliantly packaged in such a way as to make complicated material accessible to s/he who would be enlightened, in the sense of taking what you have written and going to look up the primary documents for him/herself.

There really is no realm where prejudice, ignorance, and self-serving efforts to maintain the status-quo are not permanently at odds with the efforts of human beings to live with a modicum of liberty and dignity and freedom from scapegoating and oppression.

I am not a Christian and I am not Jewish but I honor my debt to both traditions in the creation of the world in which I have lived for 58 years. It was thoughtful of you to have written this post.

You're a mensch, Danny. And I admire your ability to continue to engage in dialogue when the opportunities for it deterioration are so great.

I should also note, to be even-handed, that I appreciate the debt I owe to Islam but am less knowledgeable about it, due to being American, than, let's say, an educated French citizen might be because of proximity and shared history with the Middle East and North Africa.

I have to admit, I'd never heard of "blood libel" before all this. It certainly doesn't mean what I might have guessed. (Thanks for the explanation.)

But if a normal person used it in a speech and only later learned what it really meant, they'd be apologizing... which I'm fairly certain she won't be doing.

Danny, I'd like to reprint your work on the Blood Libel for my Haggadah. Can you email off the blog.

Michael Dorf
[email protected]

Palin won't apologize because this kind of thing is her stock in trade. She's not out to have a reasonable discussion or even a reasonable disagreement. Her success and appeal stems from keeping her admirers frightened, angry and awestruck. She always kind of reminds me of that other attractive charlatan, Amy Semple MacPherson. She may or may not have known exactly what 'Blood Libel' was before she said those words, but for her purposes all it does is rachet up the controversy, which sells her product. Look, here we are talking (sort of) about her when if she hadn't uttered that phrase millions of pixels would have been spared.

Danny –
That was a terrific overview of why the term “blood libel” should hit a nerve for every Jew in the world. But, that said, so what?
Jews don’t own the term any more than gentiles own the word crucifixion or Moslems own the word Jihad. Common usage (or popular culture, if you prefer) have “universalized” these terms.
I think the LAST THING in the world Sarah Palin wanted to do was make any association with Jewish history; she used a term that SHE THOUGHT described her plight: baseless persecution by institutionalized bigotry.
I dislike her, don’t like listening to her, and won’t vote for her. Isn’t that enough? It seems to me that in this day and age, crucifying her (note the use of the word) over a mis-speak serves no purpose other than to extend her fifteen minutes. Shouldn’t her time be up by now?

Y’know, everybody needs to cool-off a bit. We’re all walking around with rabbit-ears. (The term refers to sports referees/umpires who respond to the fans). A few years ago, a low-level administrator in the Department of Commerce, I think, used the word “niggardly” and was immediately fired. It took a few days for someone to come to their senses and un-do the misguided discipline. The fire-or, (as opposed to the fire-ee), I am sure, acted immediately so as to not appear to be soft on someone using the “N” word. No matter that it was the WRONG “N” word.
Didn’t we just witness a similar instance regarding a black woman who worked for the SBA? A comment not only taken out of context, but a PORTION of a statement taken out of context.
We need to calm down. Just because news travels at the speed of light doesn’t mean we MUST react in-kind.

Sarah Palin need to stop hunting!!!!
Yes!Gun control low!!!!!
The youth of our country indifferent
to politics・・・
traffic accident>suicide bomb attack
God bless you

Danny: Thanks for this.

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