Jan 12, 2011

A Jew Defends Palin

Sarah Palin used the term Blood Libel, in defending herself against accusations that she is responsible for the actions of the obviously mentally disturbed shooter in Tucson. Her frenzied distractors have seized upon the opportunity to now pronounce that she has offended Jews, by using a term long associated with anti-semitism. The Huffington Post quotes Jewish groups and rabbis so offended. They omit the fact that these groups and rabbis are so leftist, that they are also critical of Israel. Sarah Palin certainly was libeled by accusations that actions on her part, resulted in the recent horror. Reasonable Jews are not offended by her use of the term. Holocaust is now a widely used term in regard to mass violence. Reasonable people reject the concept of scapegoats, whether it's Jews or Sarah Palin.
The term “blood libel” has taken on a broad metaphorical meaning in public discourse. Although its historical origins were in theologically based false accusations against the Jews and the Jewish People,its current usage is far broader. I myself have used it to describe false accusations against the State of Israel by the Goldstone Report. There is nothing improper and certainly nothing anti-Semitic in Sarah Palin using the term to characterize what she reasonably believes are false accusations that her words or images may have caused a mentally disturbed individual to kill and maim. The fact that two of the victims are Jewish is utterly irrelevant to the propriety of using this widely used term.                 
Alan Dershowitz, famed attorney and Harvard Law Professor


Bernie O'Hare said...

I'm ashamed to say that I had never really known the meaning of the term "blood libel" until today.

Jon Geeting said...

So "critical of Israel" = leftist? Please. No government should be above criticism.

Patrick McHenry said...

MM -

The Left will find fault with Palin, no matter what she says.

They will use any situation, no matter how tragic, to attempt to silence political debate.

What they've tried to do in the wake of the Arizona shooting is nothing short of despicable.

Jon Geeting said...

Oops! Here's ADL, about as nutty right as they come, condemning Palin Come on man. Getting criticized on TV is not even close to the same thing as being accused of stealing the blood of Christian children.

michael molovinsky said...

jon, that's a fair comment in response to words which i didn't choose well. the huffington post quoted a group called j street, which is very critical of israel, and not representative of mainstream jewish views in this country, which are very liberal themselves. although you say that no government should be above criticism, i believe it is mostly liberal pols which coined the phrase "naysayer" for the opposition.

michael molovinsky said...

jon, you should again read the link you provided. although they wish she hadn't used the term, they understand why she did, and that it is becoming common usage.

Anonymous said...

Good post MM. I wonder as an Italian American if I can declare the "m" word off limits.

Anonymous said...

read on folks.


gary ledebur said...

MM: ...nice post. I hope we can keep the national conversation going without name-calling and anger.

Anonymous said...

Me too.

Being called a Nazi over and over and over again for believing in low taxes and limited government as intended by the Founding Fathers of the country is rather exhausting, I must say.

Anonymous said...

Let's put what Mrs. Palin said in context. At a time when we, as Americans, should be coming together after a national tragedy, she remains divisive. She (or whomever wrote her speech) either used those words with no knowledge of its historical context, or knowingly used those two words. Either way, wrong words with truly awful timing.

Apparently taking the high road is not a part of her persona. Or maybe a better way to put it, she should have "manned up" and ignored the criticism. Clearly, she was trying to look "Presidential" with that video. Clearly, she failed.

As a Jew I am offended by her poor choice of words. I suspect that if someone else made this comments and they were offensive to Christians and not Jews, she would be the first one to condemn the action.


Anonymous said...


I suspect, that while attempting to appear intellectual, you are just another Leftist Palin-Hater.

Clearly, you failed.

The Left, nevertheless, thanks you for trying.

michael molovinsky said...

publius, i suspect if some liberal dem used those words, you wouldn't be offended. at any rate, her words didn't offend all jews, mainly just the ones who always found her offensive.

Anonymous said...

ANON 3:41PM,

WOW!!! That is some assumption you make about where I stand politically. And BTW, I am not a partisan "Leftist Palin Hater," but a pragmatist.

And I guess you missed my point: Mrs. Palin is doing exactly what she is being critical of others of doing to her - using the situation to push an agenda. And, in doing so, chose her words very poorly. I would be critical of anyone who did this, not just her.

What is ashame is that she does have a large political platform and could have been a positive force.


Anonymous said...

I think Palin's use of the term was completely appropriate. She was publicly accused without meaningful basis of causing a heinous act of violence and death. That would seem to be the very definition of "blood libel."

For not the first time, the ADL ought to have just kept quiet. It is rather telling that its objection was joined by Ben-Ami, the leader of the crypto-anti-israel lobbying group J-Street.