Progressives are going crazy over the meaning of "blood libel." See Media Matters, "Palin, Conservatives Invoke 'Blood Libel' Accusation to Attack Their Critics Over AZ Shooting."
Ben Smith notes the background:
The phrase "blood libel" was introduced into the debate this week by Instapundit's Glenn Reynolds, and raised some eyebrows because it typically refers historically to the alleged murder of Christian babies by Jews, and has been used more recently by Israeli's supporters to refer to accusations against the country. It's a powerful metaphor, and one that carries the sense of an oppressed minority.Glenn has been responding, and he links to AoSHQ, who destroys progressive criticism:
I think many liberal commentators realize that the slime job isn't working. So they have decided to simply deflect and object to something else about Palin. Now they're claiming that there is an "uproar" that she used the term "blood libel".And see Alan Dershowitz:
First, there's no uproar. Yes, the objection appears in a NYTimes blog and all over Daily Kos. But that's it. Because even their own definition of "blood libel" includes the manner in which Palin used the term.
Here's the NYTimes; I have emphasized the key word:By using the term “blood libel” to describe the criticism about political rhetoric after the shootings, Ms. Palin was inventing a new definition for an emotionally laden phrase. Blood libel is typically used to describe the false accusation that Jews murder Christian children to use their blood in religious rituals, in particular the baking of matzos for passover. The term has been used for centuries as the pretext for anti-Semitism and violent pogroms against Jews.
Typically. Typically, but not exclusively, blood libels have been accusations against Jews. But blood libels have also been made historically against Christians -- including Catholics and the Knights Templar -- witches and pagans, and, more modernly, Satanists.
Liberals need something to mumble about, so goshdarnitow sometime between yesterday and today the term came to apply only to the Jews. They'd like you to believe this is "another" example of Palin's ignorance, even though, as I said, by their own definition her use of the term is appropriate. As with their response to the Arizona shooting, facts-be-damned they've got a story and they're sticking to it.
The term “blood libel” has taken on a broad metaphorical meaning in public discourse. Although its historical origins were in theologically based false accusations against the Jews and the Jewish People,its current usage is far broader. I myself have used it to describe false accusations against the State of Israel by the Goldstone Report. 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.Also, Yid With Lid (Jeff Dunetz), at Big Journalism, "What’s Wrong With Sarah Palin Using the Term Blood Libel?", and Pamela Geller, "A Conspiracy Against the Mind, Against Life, Against Man and the Virtue of Sarah" (also at Big Government).
More at Memeorandum.