Hugh Calderwood: Palin's use of 'blood libel' not offensive

Published: Tuesday, January 18, 2011 at 2:12 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 18, 2011 at 2:12 p.m.

Geoffrey Giles (Voice, Jan 16,2011) must have missed President Obama’s call to tone down the vitriol in his demonization of Sarah Palin, “Palin’s “blood libel” is an abomination”. He missed her analogy of the false accusation made against the Jews and the false accusation that she was a contributor to the mass murder in Tucson.

He may not be aware of the following people who have used the term “blood libel” recently:

Andrew Sullivan: “This is the gay equivalent of the medieval (and Islamist) blood-libel against Jews”

Jed Babbin: Commenting on John Kerry’s testimony to a Senate committee that “he said that the average American soldier who fought in Vietnam was a war criminal. Kerry’s statement was false, a blood libel that hangs in the air to this day”

John Derbyshire: “A Blood Libel on Our Civilization.” “Just before Obama spoke, Newsday editor Les Payne had called “blood libel” the argument that African-American journalists could not objectively cover Obama’s candidacy”

Frank Rich, New York Times columnist: “Bush administration allies exploited the former Congressman’s predatory history to spread the grotesque canard that homosexuality is a direct path to pedophilia. It’s the kind of blood libel that in another era was spread about Jews”.

Florida Democrat Peter Deutsch: “...the worst statements I have ever heard probably in my life about anything. I mean, almost a blood libel by the Republicans towards Al Gore”

Finally, even Alan Dershowitz defends Palin’s use of “blood libel”:

“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”.

Hugh Calderwood,


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