In her response to accusations her violent rhetoric was connected to Jared Loughner's shooting spree, Sarah Palin claimed that media figures had manufactured a "blood libel" against her. How would the Anti-Defamation League, the Jewish civil rights group, take this?
"Blood libel" is an centuries-old term for the smear that Jews secretly gather to kill Christian children and collect their blood. At least that's what it was until today, when Sarah Palin redefined it. Now it refers to an instance when the dumb liberal media is mean to Sarah Palin.
But before this new definition becomes official, ADL president Abe Foxman has to chime in, since the historic definition involves Jews. His statement:
It is unfortunate that the tragedy in Tucson continues to stimulate a political blame game. Rather than step back and reflect on the lessons to be learned from this tragedy, both parties have reverted to political partisanship and finger-pointing at a time when the American people are looking for leadership, not more vitriol. In response to this tragedy we need to rise above partisanship, incivility, heated rhetoric, and the business-as-usual approaches that are corroding our political system and tainting the atmosphere in Washington and across the country.
It was inappropriate at the outset to blame Sarah Palin and others for causing this tragedy or for being an accessory to murder. Palin has every right to defend herself against these kinds of attacks, and we agree with her that the best tradition in America is one of finding common ground despite our differences.
Still, we wish that Palin had not invoked the phrase "blood-libel" in reference to the actions of journalists and pundits in placing blame for the shooting in Tucson on others. While the term "blood-libel" has become part of the English parlance to refer to someone being falsely accused, we wish that Palin had used another phrase, instead of one so fraught with pain in Jewish history.
The Washington Post's Greg Sargent reacts, "That's not quite as strong as it might have been. It stops short of demanding that she retract the phrase or apologize for it, as the left-leaning group J-Street did this morning. But condemnation from the ADL could be enough to throw Palin back on the defensive."
Just so we don't lose track of the narrative, here's the score: Pundits are determining whether top Jew Abe Foxman's condemnation of Sarah Palin's use of "blood libel" to describe the media's attempt to place blame or partial blame on her for Jared Lee Laughner's Tucson shooting spree that left six dead and a dozen wounded, including a congresswoman, is "as strong as it might have been."
[Image via AP]