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Sarah Palin Is Right About "Blood Libel"

 
 
Miller
 
Reply Fri 14 Jan, 2011 12:21 pm
HOUSES OF WORSHIP JANUARY 14, 2011
Sarah Palin Is Right About 'Blood Libel'

By RABBI SHMULEY BOTEACH
The term "blood libel"—which Sarah Palin invoked this week to describe the suggestions by journalists and politicians that conservative figures like herself are responsible for last weekend's shooting rampage in Tucson, Ariz.—is fraught with perilous meaning in Jewish history.

The term connotes the earliest accusations that Jews killed Jesus and enthusiastically embraced responsibility for his murder, telling Pontius Pilate, "His blood be upon us and our children" (Matthew 27:25). Thus was born the legend of Jewish bloodlust and of Hebrew ritual use of Christian blood for sacramental purposes. The term was later used more specifically to describe accusations against Jews—primarily in Europe—of sacrificing kidnapped Christian children to use their blood in the baking of Passover matzos.

The Benedictine monk Thomas of Monmouth is generally credited with having popularized the blood libel in his "Life of the Martyr William from Norwich," written in 1173 about a young boy who was found stabbed to death. Thomas quoted a servant woman who said she witnessed Jews lacerating the boy's head with thorns, crucifying him, and piercing his side. While William was canonized, the Jews of Norwich fared less well. On Feb. 6, 1190, they were all found slaughtered in their homes, save those who escaped to the local tower and committed mass suicide.

Despite the strong association of the term with collective Jewish guilt and concomitant slaughter, Sarah Palin has every right to use it. The expression may be used whenever an amorphous mass is collectively accused of being murderers or accessories to murder.

The abominable element of the blood libel is not that it was used to accuse Jews, but that it was used to accuse innocent Jews—their innocence, rather than their Jewishness, being the operative point. Had the Jews been guilty of any of these heinous acts, the charge would not have been a libel.

Jews did not kill Jesus. As the Roman historian Tacitus makes clear, he was murdered by Pontius Pilate, whose reign of terror in ancient Judea was so excessive, even by Roman standards, that (according to the Roman-Jewish chronicler Josephus) Rome recalled him in the year 36 due to his sadistic practices. King Herod Agrippa I, writing to the Emperor Caligula, noted Pilate's "acts of violence, plunderings . . . and continual murder of persons untried and uncondemned, and his never-ending, endless, and unbelievable cruelties, gratuitous and most grievous inhumanity."

Murder is humanity's most severe sin, and it is trivialized when an innocent party is accused of the crime—especially when that party is a collective too numerous to be defended individually. If Jews have learned anything in their long history, it is that a false indictment of murder against any group threatens every group. As Martin Luther King Jr. wrote in his Letter from Birmingham Jail, "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Indeed, the belief that the concept of blood libel applies only to Jews is itself a form of reverse discrimination that should be dismissed.

Judaism rejects the idea of collective responsibility for murder, as the Hebrew Bible condemns accusations of collective guilt against Jew and non-Jew alike. "The soul who sins is the one who will die. The son will not share the guilt of the father, nor will the father share the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous man will be credited to him, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against him" (Ezekiel 18).

How unfortunate that some have chosen to compound a national tragedy by politicizing the murder of six innocent lives and the attempted assassination of a congresswoman.

To be sure, America should embrace civil political discourse for its own sake, and no political faction should engage in demonizing rhetoric. But promoting this high principle by simultaneously violating it and engaging in a blood libel against innocent parties is both irresponsible and immoral.

Rabbi Boteach is the author of "Honoring the Child Spirit: Inspiration and Learning from Our Children" (Vanguard, 2011). He will shortly publish a book on the Jewishness of Jesus and his murder at Roman hands.

Wall Street Journal, print edition
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Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Jan, 2011 12:24 pm
@Miller,
LOL, I was waiting for someone to post this!

You probably ought to have done even the tiniest bit of research into this dude before affirmatively posting his piece.

Quote:
Friday, January 14, 2011

WILL STARSTRUCK RABBI MAKE SARAH HIS NEW MICHAEL JACKSON?

I didn't want to write about Palin again, but Memeorandum's lead story right now is a Wall Street Journal op-ed by Rabbi Shmuley Boteach entitled "Sarah Palin Is Right About 'Blood Libel.'" At the end of the op-ed, Boteach is described as follows:

Rabbi Boteach is the author of "Honoring the Child Spirit: Inspiration and Learning from Our Children" (Vanguard, 2011). He will shortly publish a book on the Jewishness of Jesus and his murder at Roman hands.

Left unmentioned are his best-known books: Kosher Sex (also available on DVD) and Dating Secrets of the Ten Commandments.


Oh, and also left unmentioned is another of Boteach's books: The Michael Jackson Tapes: A Tragic Icon Reveals His Soul in Intimate Conversation, published just after Jackson's death. Boteach, you see hung out with Jacko for years, and dedicating Dating Secrets to him. Boteach and Jackson formed a short-lived charitable organization called Heal the Kids, and gradually they drifted apart, but Boteach never stopped defending him against charges of anti-Semitism.

And it was tough defending Michael Jackson against those charges. Recall his 1995 song "They Don't Care About Us":

In the song "They Don't Care About Us," however, Mr. Jackson sings, "Jew me, sue me, everybody do me/ Kick me, kike me, don't you black or white me."

Later that year, Jackson said this about Jews in an ABC interview:

They suck -- they're like leeches. I'm so tired of it. They start out the most popular person in the world, make a lot of money, big house, cars, and everything, end up with, penniless. It is conspiracy. The Jews do it on purpose.

And in transcripts of interviews released after his death, Jackson seemed to speak admiringly of Hitler:

Hitler was a genius orator. He was [able] to make that many people turn and change and hate. He had to be a showman and he was. Before he would speak, he would pause, drink a bit of water, and then he would clear his throat, and look around. It was what an entertainer would do trying to work out how to play his audience. He would go into this fury of the first words he would say and he would hit them hard.

In fact, that was published in Boteach's own book, and he took to the Huffington Post to insist that Jackson wasn't anti-Semitic:

Not only is there nothing controversial in what Michael is saying, but the point has been made by countless authoritative historians. Hitler was a master showman. He was indeed a brilliant orator who used his considerable charisma to stoke an inferno of hate. It is well known that he practiced his speeches in front of mirrors and had photographers take snapshots of him in different poses that he later studied to determine which were the most effective. He was an evil genius who employed every facet of a darkened soul to bring out the beast in man. And Michael is insightful in pointing out how Hitler studied his audience in order to gain mastery over them the way an entertainer would. It is very surprising that such a straightforward comment has become so controversial.

It wasn't the only time Boteach defended Jackson on this score after his death.

So he's skilled at defending famous people against charges of anti-Semitism. The Palin op-ed is a natural fit for him.

(And when Boteach isn't downplaying famous people's anti-Semitic remarks he's sending out press releases begging the media to interview him about Lindsay Lohan. The guy really likes the limelight.)


http://nomoremister.blogspot.com/2011/01/will-starstruck-rabbi-make-sarah-his.html

Palin was an idiot for using that phrase, and perfectly incorrect. The fact that a fool of a celebrity Rabbi defends her just adds to the hilarity of the whole issue.

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
Ceili
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Jan, 2011 12:30 pm
I'd never heard the term before this whole schmozzle. I don't think Sarah's situation is the same thing at all. She does like to paint herself the victim doesn't she?
0 Replies
 
Miller
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Jan, 2011 12:33 pm
Quote:
Schmuley 101


I didn't write this. I also didn't write "Pop Rabbi"
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Jan, 2011 12:35 pm
@Miller,
Miller wrote:

Quote:
Schmuley 101


I didn't write this. I also didn't write "Pop Rabbi"


You posted it here and agreed with it - which surely means you share in the foolishness.

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
Miller
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Jan, 2011 12:38 pm
I did post what was printed in the Wall Street Journal. I did not write anything that was not printed in the Journal.
Miller
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Jan, 2011 12:39 pm
@Miller,
I see that someone had now deleted the words in question.
0 Replies
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Jan, 2011 12:39 pm
@Miller,
Miller wrote:

I did post what was printed in the Wall Street Journal. I did not write anything that was not printed in the Journal.


Oh, so repeating idiocy gets a free pass now? You didn't think to apply any critical reasoning or do any research into the issue at all, before coming here and claiming that Sarah Palin Is Right About "Blood Libel?"

What a joke

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Jan, 2011 01:16 pm
@Miller,
Those people use the public property of the airwaves and cables to attack our rights... Do you think that adds anything but hate and frustration to the political process??? Do you think they are some how justified in doing so??? Do you think they pay enough for the privilage of doing so??? They are no better than the churches which act like God's own little lambs when it comes to defending this country or our rights; but who collectivly snarl like the devil when they attack rights and deny the right of government to tax in order to support the commonwealth... They are all enemies of the people... They have no right to attack rights... They are using a right the people need in defense of their rights, and to achieve their needs -in order to attack the people and deny their needs... Call it blood libel... Then the people will know what has been practiced against most of us for nearly forever and far too long...
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