Saturday, January 15, 2011

Does a senseless act of mass murder qualify as a "terrorist attack"? What political ends did that lunatic in Tucson seek to advance?

"Blood libel" refers only to a specific anti-Semitic slander? So what do we call it when Iraqi soldiers are unjustly accused of yanking Kuwaiti babies from their incubators and tossing them onto the cold, hard floor to writhe in pain and die? How about evil German scientists turning human flesh into soap and lampshades in concentration camps? Why, for that matter, isn't it a blood libel to accuse a ditz like Sarah Palin of understanding the term "blood libel"?

I like to think words have meaning. "Terrorism" and "blood libel," apparently, have no meaning. In happy contrast, the words making up my subject line fairly ooze meaning.

And Simon Greer of the Jewish Funds for Justice declared:

"We are deeply disturbed by Fox News commentator Sarah Palin's decision to characterize as a 'blood libel' the criticism directed at her following the terrorist attack in Tucson. The term 'blood libel' is not a synonym for 'false accusation.' It refers to a specific falsehood perpetuated by Christians about Jews for centuries, a falsehood that motivated a good deal of anti-Jewish violence and discrimination. Unless someone has been accusing Ms. Palin of killing Christian babies and making matzoh from their blood [emphasis added], her use of the term is totally out-of-line. [...]



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