As soon as I saw Sarah Palin utter this phrase, I thought two things:

1. I am sure she has not written this speech. This phrase has been thought up for her.

2. I am also sure that neither she, nor her speechwriter, has the first idea what this phrase really means. I strongly suspect they were looking for a startling way to complain about the fact that the blood which has been spilled in the shocking gun attack in Tucson should not be used to libel politicians. If this is what they really meant, then she was certainly entitled to say so, although we will all have our own opinions about whether she is justified in this.

But that is not what she said. She said, ‘blood libel’. According to the Independent, ‘blood libel’ has its origins in medieval anti-Semitism, when the Jews were falsely accused of killing ‘Christian’ children and mixing their blood with bread to eat.

An inexcusable calumny, and one with very long historical roots in all sorts of cultures around the world – but still inexcusable.

In his turn, Obama produced one of his best speeches (that guy is an orator!) when he asked for words to be used to heal, and not to wound.


I know which one would get my vote.



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