What Is the Meaning of This ‘Blood Libel’?
Posted on Jan 12, 2011
Wouldn’t you know it—the Sarah Palin Catchphrase Generator clicked, whirred and spat out another viscerally tinged and menacing two-word combination to righteously apply to her political opponents. This week’s winner: “blood libel.” But what does it mean? The BBC breaks it down, and, in news that shouldn’t surprise many, the term comes equipped with loaded religious undertones and the capacity to divide and offend. —KA
Within hours of a tragedy unfolding, journalists and pundits should not manufacture a blood libel that serves only to incite the very hatred and violence they purport to condemn,” Mrs Palin said.
The term, while not widely used in America, has particular resonance with Jews, many of whom find it deeply offensive.
The allegations behind blood libel originate in the Middle Ages when Jews were falsely accused of ritualised murder, in particular the murder of children. The allegations were used to justify violence against Jews.