HopeTracker| We admit it. The term ‘blood libel’ sounded pretty fierce from Sarah Palin today, but we didn’t know the derivation of the term. The term ‘blood libel’ is all over the evening news. ABC News was one of the first to define it.
The term ‘blood libel’, used by Sarah Palin to describe websites like Anne of Carversville who want to tone down the call-to-action use of gun-related rhetoric used by today’s politicos — and specifically Palin’s use of crosshairs to target people she wants out of office — is a direct reference to a time in history when European Christians blamed Jews for kidnapping and murdering Christian children for their blood.
“In her own thinking, I just don’t understand the logical use of this word,” said Ronnie Hsia, a professor of history at Pennsylvania State University who has written two books about blood libel. “I think it’s inappropriate and I frankly think if she or her staff know about the meaning of this word, I think it’s insulting to the Jewish people.”
Said Jerome Chanes, a research fellow at the Center for Jewish Studies at the City University of New York: “It’s a classic case of, I don’t know what you want to call it, semantic corruption.”
ABC writes that Palin isn’t the first to use the term ‘blood libel’ this week. John Hayward used the term on the conservative website Human Events, and Glenn Harlan Reynolds used the term in a Wall Street Journal opinion piece.