LOS ANGELES (CBS) — A local rabbi bristled on Wednesday at former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s use of the term “blood libel” — though he declined to speculate on whether she knew the real meaning of the term.
Rabbi Marvin Hier with the Simon Wiesenthal Center tells KNX 1070 the public is largely unaware of the history behind the term “blood libel”.
Palin, in a Facebook posting discussing the attack in Arizona in which six people died and Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., was seriously injured, said “journalists and pundits should not manufacture a blood libel that serves only to incite the very hatred and violence they purport to condemn. That is reprehensible.”
Hier called Palin’s comments “over the top,” since blood libel refers to the idea that Jews use the blood of murdered Christian children for religious rituals, such as the baking of matzos.
“I have know idea if she knew” what she was saying, he said, but “every Jew and many Christians recognize it immediately.”
Hier said he would also criticize someone for calling the Arizona shooting an inflammatory term such as “Auschwitz,” he said. “It’s bad. But it’s not Auschwitz.”
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