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The blood libel is, as I’d sort of assumed everyone knew, the anti-Semitic slur that Jews kill gentile babies and use their blood in matzah. (I realized after a back-and-forth this morning with goyishe friends on Twitter that this assumption was wrong.) But not every use of “blood libel” means the blood libel, any more than every use of the word “crusade” denotes The Crusades. It is quite common to read pro-Israel writers speak of blood libel, because it’s quite common for the wicked Zionist Entity to be falsely accused of various atrocities. Extending the metaphor further, Glenn Reynolds had an excellent Wall Street Journal op-ed this weekend on those accusing Sarah Palin of being responsible for the shooting on Saturday under the title “The Arizona Tragedy and the Politics of Blood Libel.” This was hardly the first time that the phrase “blood libel” has been disconnected from a Jewish context; Jim Geraghty is amassing quite a collection of examples.
Today Sarah Palin released a video echoing Reynolds’s usage, and all hell broke loose, with Palin critics accusing her of, as the American Prospect’s Adam Serwer put it, “equating criticism of her with genocide.”
Okay, let’s take a deep breath. I get it — as Ben Smith articulated in a pair of tweets, there’s something a little dissonant about drawing a parallel between the blood libel, which has historically been a pretext for violence against Jews, and the smears of Palin in the wake of the shooting of a Jewish congresswoman. But at the very worst, Palin’s phrasing should cause discomfort. The desk-pounding outrage is purely a function of the evidently very large number of people who enjoy being outraged at Sarah Palin. Forgive me if I have trouble taking it very seriously.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online