I’m not a Sarah Palin fan. I didn’t read her books, and while I have watched her kill a few animals on her television show, I am not a regular viewer. I say this because I want to be clear that when I say that I find it beyond the pale that anyone would accuse Governor Palin of kidnapping and murdering Christian babies, and using their blood to make bread, I do so as a challenger of her policies and not a supporter.
I know people are accusing her of this because she said so in a video she released earlier today. The Governor said that her critics “should not manufacture a blood libel that serves only to incite the hatred and violence that they purport to condemn. This is reprehensible.” I agree. Whoever is manufacturing this blood libel must be condemned.
While the false claim that Jews sacrificed Greeks in their Temple in Jerusalem was spread by Apion in the first century CE (a lie that caused the murder of thousands of Jews in Alexandria), the “official” blood libel was the invention of Christians. And while it pains me say so, I suggest it is among Christians and not among Greco-Egyptians like Apion that we must look if we are to find the accusers of Gov. Palin.
In 1144 Christians accused Jews of murdering William of Norwich. About a century later they accused Jews of kidnapping and crucifying eight-year-old Little Saint Hugh of Lincoln, and using his entrails for purposes of divination. In 1475 Christians burned alive fifteen Jews for supposedly murdering two-year-old Simon of Trent. Baby Simon was made a saint by Pope Sixtus V in 1588, but his sainthood was revoked by Pope Paul VI in 1965. A double blow to Simon’s family, I’m sure.
In a sign of interfaith cooperation, Muslims picked up the blood libel in 1910, and as late as 2007 Raed Salah of the Islamic Movement in Israel accused Jews of using the blood of Muslim children in the baking of bread.
This is serious stuff. The blood libel is not to be taken lightly. The fact that Jews are forbidden from eating blood in any form (Leviticus 7: 26-27) is irrelevant to those hate-filled perpetrators of this slander. And though it is true that Sarah Palin is not a Jew, and therefore is permitted to consume blood, it is no less slanderous to claim that the blood she consumes is that of little children.
So let’s be clear: while Governor Palin, like millions of Americans, may enjoy a good slice of wheat or rye, she does not spice her slice with the blood of Christian or Muslim babies. Whoever is saying this about her must stop. Argue against her policies if you must, but do not claim that she eats the blood of the innocent. Unless, of course, they are caribou.