Blood Libel: The Two-Faced Outrage Of The Civility Police
01/14/2011 - 12:17
Jonathan Mark

James Taranto, of The Wall Street Journal's "Best of the Web" column, unearthed these usages of "Blood libel" from the some of the very same people who are shocked, shocked, that Sarah Palin used the term herself.

Palin's quote: "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."

All of what follows is from James Taranto:
The outrage of the Palin-haters over the use of the term... is phony. Many of the outraged haters have themselves used the term "blood libel" in             similar     metaphorical senses, including the New York Times. Here are a couple of examples:

From a Dec. 5, 1989, Times book review: "During the yellow fever plague a form of blood libel is imposed on the blacks in Philadelphia; they are said to be both responsible for and immune to sickness because of the color of their skin."

On Sept. 14, 1990, the late Abe Rosenthal penned a column in response to Pat Buchanan's assertion, after the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, that "there are only two groups that are beating the drums for war in the Middle East - the Israeli Defense Ministry and its amen corner in the United States." Rosenthal countered: "We are not dealing here with country-club anti-Semitism but with the blood libel that often grows out of it: Jews are not like us but are others, with alien loyalties for which they will sacrifice the lives of Americans."

Andrew Sullivan, whose Palin obsession is extreme even by the standards of Palin-haters, wrote yesterday: "We know this much right now: Palin does not possess the self-awareness, responsibility or composure to respond to crises like this with grace. This message--even at a time of national crisis--was a base-rousing rallying cry, perpetuating her own victimhood and alleged bloodthirstiness of her opponents. One would have thought that Palin, like any responsible person in her shoes right now, could have mustered some sort of regret about the unfortunate coincidence of what she had done in the campaign and what happened afterwards. Wouldn't you?"

Here is the same Andrew Sullivan, showing his typical level of self-awareness, responsibility and composure, in a post of Oct. 12, 2010: "[New York Republican nominee for governor Carl] Paladino speaks of "perverts who target our children and seek to destroy their lives." This is the gay equivalent of the medieval (and Islamist) blood-libel against Jews."

Our favorite example comes from Josh Marshall of TalkingPointsMemo.com, who wrote yesterday, albeit with more smirk than dudgeon:
"The claim that Sarah Palin was the victim of a "blood libel" had been making the rounds in the right-wing media for a few days before Palin decided to make the accusation herself.

"On Nov. 21, 2000, Marshall quoted then-Rep. Peter Deutsch, a Florida Democrat, as complaining on CNN's "Crossfire" of "almost a blood libel by the Republicans towards Al Gore, saying that he was trying to stop men and women in uniform that are serving this country from voting. Marshall's response:

". . . almost a blood libel." That's pretty strong stuff. Strong, but not too strong. Because it's true....

"You don't just toss around charges that the possible next president of the United States is conspiring to take the vote away from American soldiers overseas. Given the volatility of the moment and the divisions already existing in American society it really is almost like a blood libel. Almost.

"Deutsch's analogy is far more of a stretch than Palin's. No one was accusing Gore of killing children, or anyone else. OK, Deutsch said 'almost,' but does anyone think Marshall or the other Palin-haters would have been satisfied had she used the same qualification?

And here's Ann Coulter on the attempt by the Civility Police to ban all metaphors in the wake of the Arizona shootings.

 

Comments

There is no doubt that the left conducted a blood libel against Palin within hours of the shooting. And if it hadn't been Palin, they would have blamed Rush or Sean or Bill. It's what the left does. BTW, liberal Jewish women hate Palin because Palin is HOT.
Florence, I'm curious. There is something about Sarah Palin that drives liberal jewish women completely berserk. Foaming at the mouth. Why? And why only her.
In 1949 we stood in Peekskill New York [Birthplace of Mel Gibson] to defend a great American Paul Robeson to allow him to sing and speak his mind, and we succeeded. Today in spite of the Sarah Palins, Glen Becks and the attempt by Republicans to block any progressive legislation, an African American Barack Obama is still our President and was elected as President of the United States by a landslide vote. Those few short years in my own lifetime have brought about major changes which had been caused by an eight year rule by a President and his party who led us to the brink of the greatest depression since the great depression. And yet the American people once again voted heavily to bring those who caused the most trouble for our country right back into power. It is very understandable knowing the tremendous propaganda machinery that is in place, backed by the power of the pharmaceutacal industry and the multi-national corporations and the Rupert Murdocks who can mold the thinking of a misinformed America. What does our future hold for us... the way of Nazi Germany or the creation of a new Progressive America, of the People, for the People, by the people. We must fight back with words the way President Barack Obama did in his beautiful speech in Tuscon. To calm the irrational mind, that has been stirred up in the last administration which brought War instead of Peace. Let us hope and strive to contribute in our own way and attempt at rational, peaceful thinking and to go forward stronger than ever to win back the gains won and not lose to devisiveness and hatred.
Palin doesn;t pull punches ..true...when it comes to what she thinks of Obama and his collectivist vision for this country. But she;s NEVER used terms like "hand to hand combat", "punish your enemies", they bring a knife, we bring a gun"..no those are Obama;s terms.....in describing how he will fight our political battles. The toxicity of her rhetoric comes from speaking clearly and honestly about the failed policies of this administration...and the only ones that find that toxic are the liberals and the media that support them. To the rest of us not looking for liberal nirvana..her words have a cathartic effect.
As a Jew, I could not care less about Palin's use of the term blood libel. What I do care about is that, for 2 painful years, with all the world's serious problems, she's contributed nothing to our country but divisiveness, ignorance and hate. Your defense of this latest of many examples of her toxic rhetoric is essentially "Other people do it too!", so it's okay, two wrongs make a right. This, coming from a fellow Jew in a Jewish publication, is shameful. The Jews that go out of their way to defend Palin, and neocons (e.g. Bill Kristol) aren't stupid, so serious people have to question their motives. whether they're power, money, Israel or something else, can't you people find someone less hateful to accomplish your agendas?

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