Blood Libel, Sarah Palin and the Tucson Massacre

The Anti-Defamation League, yesterday was asked by a relative of its founder “to condemn Sarah Palin’s remarks this morning against the media, in conjunction with the Arizona Shootings.”  The Anti-Defamation League was founded in 1913 “to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all.”  It has spoken out against the lynching of Blacks, the rape of all women, against gay and lesbian bashing and murders, and against attacks on Semitic people.  Now it speaks out against the thoughtless and cruel comments of one-time/part-time Alaska ex-Governor Sarah Palin (for Alaskans viewpoint on their one-time governor, see: e-like-homein.html).

Sarah Palin; she resigned the governorship of Alaska to accept a job with Fox News

On the morning of January 12, 2011, Palin released a video attempting to defend her previous actions, including the release last year of an inflammatory map with crosshairs (normally used in gun and weapon assaults) targeting twenty House Democrats who voted for healthcare reform–a reform that Ms. Palin claims is not only unconstitutional but immoral, arguing that the rich will have to pick up health care for the “lazy and shiftless”. That map has been called out worldwide by a wide range of media, ranging from newspapers, talk shows on radio and coverage on television as well as journals, magazines and other print formats as a possible incitement to Saturday’s massacre that left six dead and over a dozen more gravely injured, including Congresswoman Gabby Giffords.

Palin, like many on the Right, has been unwilling or unable to see the connection between her hate speech and the resulting violence.  Palin, like Iowa’s Bob Vander Plaats is uniquely anti-Semitic and uses heated rhetoric to condemn those people who do not agree with her or lionize her actions and stands. Both Palin and Vander Plaats are evangelical Christians and the churches they attend call for the “conversion” of those who disagree, reject the concept that Jews are “children of God”, and libel Jews, Democrats, women who obtain abortions, and gays and lesbians as unworthy of consideration or inclusion in the mythical “great tent” of the GOP (which Vander Plaats and Palin has equipped is the acronym for God’s Own Party).

Bob Vander Plaats of Iowa opposes human and civil rights for all people

Adding to Palin’s refusal to take responsibility were her words on the twelfth of January 2011 about “blood libel.”  In the video she had made and posted on the internet, Palin says without equivocation or consideration, “journalists and pundits should not manufacture a blood libel [emphasis added] that serves only to incite the very hatred and violence they purport to condemn. That is reprehensible.” (See:

While Ms. Palin’s lack of education or knowledge of the meaning of words (as demonstrated in her arguments against the Mosque at “Ground Zero” in New York City where she called on New York Muslims to “refudiate” [sic: should be “repudiate”], we read in  Wikipedia:

St. William of Norwich

“Blood libel (also blood accusation refers to a false accusation or claim that religious minorities, almost always Jews, murder children to use their blood in certain aspects of their religious rituals and holidays.  The first claim of this fiction occuring appeared in 1144 CE, and after his head was pierced with a knife to simulate a “Crown of Thorns” and his side pierced in imitation of the crucified Jesus, he became known as St. William of Norwich (See:, these claims have–alongside those of well poisoning and host desecration–been a major theme in European persecution of Jews.

“The libels typically allege that Jews require human blood for the baking of matzos for Passover. The accusations often assert that the blood of Christian children is especially coveted, and historically blood libel claims have often been made to account for otherwise unexplained deaths of children. In some cases, the alleged victim of human sacrifice has become venerated as a martyr, a holy figure around whom a martyr cult might arise. A few of these have been even canonized as saints.” Among these alleged saints are

Christopher of Toledo (Holy Child of La Guardia); A plaque on the wall of the Hermitage of the Holy Child in La Guardia, Spain, depicts a local legend based on an anti-Semitic blood libel.

Christopher of Toledo, also known as Christopher of La Guardia or “the Holy Child of La Guardia,” who Pope Pius VII canonized in 1805;  the Russian Orthodox Church canonized a six-year-old boy named Gavriil Belostoksky from the village Zverki in 1820, with other “martyrs” raised to the altars throughout Christendom; Chaucer of England mentions  Little Saint Hugh of Lincoln who was another fiction who became a saint; and, the list is endless with young males being the focal point as they were seen as representatives of the Child Jesus, and thus raised the greatest anger and anti-Semitic feelings among the illiterate faithful in the Christian communities from Russia to England and throughout Europe (cf. Siegmund Salfeld, Das Martyrologium des Nürnberger Memorbuches (1898), pp. 15, 128-130).  Interesting the stories show the emergence of language but without basic grammar or rules of composition; with this came exaggerations, distortions, and lies that transmogrified history and led not only to the diminuation of knowledge of justice, but caused some of the greatest and most deadly wars recorded. It is because of the lackidaisicality of speakers, translators, and teachers that entire Jewish villages were set on fire, hundreds of thousands of innocent lives were lost, and education became but a flicker of light, as those who were considered professors were too preoccupied by the minutiae of religious pedagogy than the full embrace of academic sciences and learning.  When a few brave monks questioned this methodology, their abbots retorted that language had to be mastered “little by little”, and contrary to Cicero, Homer, and other philologists, interpretation became verbo et verbatim et litteratim (a scourge still inflicted on language learners in schools throughout Latin America as few students understand context or content; see Arthur Frederick Ide, IB Programme Destroying Third World Nations, forthcoming: Sepore Press).  I posit that it would be better verba ita sunt intelligenda ut res magis valeat quam pereat (words are to be understood such that the subject matter may be more effective than wasted): An interpretation which gives effect is preferred to one which makes void, but this is nearly impossible to explain to Language Departments in most Latin America educational centers.

Blood libel art commonly found in medieval European tracts

Text of the above reads (using modern German script):

Das Bild stammt aus Hartmann Schedels Weltchronik von 1493

Symon das sellig kindlein zu Trient ist am xxi. tag des Mertzen nach der gepurt Cristi M.cccc.lxxv iar (1475) in der heiligen marterwochen in der statt Trient von den iuden getödt und ein martrer Cristi worden. dann als die iuden in derselben statt wonende ir ostern nach irem sytten begeen wolten und doch kein cristenlichs plut zu geprauch irs ungeseurten prots hetten do brachten sie diß kindlein verstolens in Samuelis eins iuden haus. in solcher gestalt. an dem dritten tag vor ostern umb versperzeit saße diß kindlein vor seins vater thür in abwesen seiner eltern do nehnet sich Thobias ein iüdischer verreter zu disem kindlein das noch nit dreymal zehen monat alt was. dem redet er mit schmaychlenden worten zu und trug es pald in das haus Samuelis. Als nu die nacht herfiele do freuten sich Samuel Thobias Vitalis Moyses Israhel und Mayer vor der synagog uber vergiessung cristenlichs pluts. Nu entplößeten sie das kindlein und legten ime ein faciletlein umb sein helßlein das man es nit schreyen hören möcht und spanneten ime sein ermlein auß. schnytten ime erstlich sein mänlich glidlein ab und auß seinem rechten wenglein ein stücklein und stachen es allenthalben mit scharpffen spitzigen stacheln heftlein oder nadeln. einer die hend der ander die füßlein haltende. und als sie nu das plut grausamlich gesamelt hetten do huben sie an lobsang zesingen und zu dem kindlein mit hönischen bedroewortten zesprechen: Nim hin du gehangner Jhesu also haben dir ettwen unßer eltern gethan. also sollen alle cristen in hymel auff erden und meer geschend werden. dieweil verschied das unschuldig mertrerlein. die iuden eyleten zum nachtmal und assen von dem plut des ungeseuert zu schmahe Cristo unßerm hayland und wurffen den toten leichnam in ein fließends wasser naheut bey irem haus unnd hielten ir ostern mit freuden. Die bekümerten eltern suchten ir verlorns kindlein. das funden sie uber drey tag ind dem fluß. Als solchs an Johanßen von Salis den edeln burger von Bririen kaiserlicher rechten doctor und deßmals obersten pfleger gelanget do hieß er nach den iuden greiffen und sie mit marter anziehen. also das sie nach ordnung ansagten wie sie dise mißtat beganngen hetten. und darauff warden sie mit gepürlicher straff außgetilgt. Als der leichnam auff befelhe Johanßen hinderbachs bischoffs daselbst bestattet wardt do fieng er alßpald an in wunderzaichen zescheinen und auß allen cristenlichen gegenten zu dises heilliges kindes grab ein zulauff zewerden. davon dan dise statt nicht kleine aussung unnd zunemung empfunden hat. und die burger daselbst haben disem leichnam ein schöne kirchen auffgerichtet.

Dergleichen ubeltat haben auch die iuden inden uber fünff iar darnach in dem stettlein Mota in Foriaul gelegen mit ertödtung eines andern kinds begangen. darumb warden der teter drey gefangen gein Venedig gefüert und nach grausamer payn verprent.

Blood libel painting in St Paul's Church, Sandomierz, Poland

Not only has the Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox, and especially the Russian Orthodox murdered hundreds of thousands of innocent Jews under this inhistorical and absurd claim, but so have Protestants from Switzerland and Germany to Old England.  The myth of Blood Libel was allowed to continue until 1990 in Austria, when Bishop Reinhold Stecher had the images removed but did not ban the myth nor its retelling (see:  The illustration on the right, located at the cult-church of Anderl von Rinn until

Blood libel of Andreas Oxner; The text of the motto reads: "Sie schneiden dem Marterer, die Gurgl ab und nemen alles Blut von Ihm", literally "they cut throat of the martyr and take all blood from him" or in other words, "They cut the martyr's throat and drain all his blood."

the 1990s, portrays the sacrificial slaughter of a boy named Andreas Oxner (or Anderl or Andrew) in 1462, at Rinn.  He was reportedly bought by Jewish merchants and cruelly murdered by them in a forest near the city, his blood being carefully collected in vessels.  While his parish mourned his death, the story was only popularized in the 17th century. In 1619 a Dr. Hippolyt Guarinoni (1571-1654) heard a story about little boy who was buried in Rinn and had been murdered by Jews, and claimed that he dreamed that the year of death of this boy was 1462. The modern celebration of the the cult of Anderl began in 1621 and by the late 17th century the cult of Anderl was established throughout the Tyrol, together with other boys who had supposedly been killed by Jews. In 1642 Guarinoni himself wrote a book Triumph Cron Marter Vnd Grabschrift des Heilig Unschuldigen Kindts [Triumph, Crown, Martyrdom and Epitaph of the Holy Innocent Child]. It ultimately became one of the myths fashioned by the Grimm Brothers in their collection of fairy tales: stories set down in an attempt to explain the mysterious disappearances and death of people, especially children.

Until the most recent times, the blood libel was condemned as false by Muslims. The Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent as well as the 19th century reformist Sultan Mahmoud II denounced the blood libel as a Christian fable (See: especially for a detailed list of the “saints” who were “sacrificed” by Jews).
The meaning is clear.  Sarah Palin sees herself as a spokeswoman for her god. Those who cross her are the antichrists that are seeking the downfall of Palin’s presidential ambitions and will drain her blood figuratively to stop her ascent to the ranks of the exalted, similar to William of Norwich. This, psychologically, is best described as a martyr’s complex that encompasses desires the feeling of being a martyr for his/her own sake, seeking out suffering or persecution because it feeds a psychological need having been singled out for persecution due to exceptional ability or integrity.  (See: Davis, Sheldon E. (September 1945). “What Are Modern Martyrs Worth?”. Peabody Journal of Education 23 (2): 67–68, and  While Freud wrote about individuals with martyr complexes, one of his circle named Theodor Reik wrote a book published in 1941 under the title Masochism in Modern Man (a 1962 paperback edition was called Masochism in Sex and Society), in which Reik notes:

“The masochist of the social kind expects the community in which he lives to acknowledge his merits and value, as well as the superiority of his character and achievements. Never mind if he is disdained, humiliated, and abused now; his adversaries are soon going to bow to him, to humble themselves before him. This anticipated phantasied satisfaction is only of short duration. It can only last for a short period, and soon the psychic reaction sets in. The guilt-feeling, the social anxiety, caused by this aggressiveness, is increased, claiming renewed punishments and humiliations, failures and misfortunes. Thus masochistic suffering is renewed and results again in anticipated satisfaction and pleasurable representation of those instinctual aims in phantasy. That is the genesis of the eternal circle of social anxiety and asocial, even antisocial instinctual urges.” (pp. 323-24 of the paperback ed.) For a commentary on Freud who referred to the martyr’s complex as an oedipus complex, see:



Filed under Adolf Hitler, Church history, Evangelical Christianity, GOP, Iowa, Nazis, Robert Vander Plaats, Roman Catholicism, Sarah Palin, Tea Baggers, Third Reich

2 responses to “Blood Libel, Sarah Palin and the Tucson Massacre

  1. Let’s look at this sentence: “Palin, like many on the Right, has been unwilling or unable to see the connection between her hate speech and the resulting violence.” And it’s true that the usual counter arguments on the right focus on a lack of some clear cause-and-effect relationship between a particular statement and a particular act of a particular crazed gunman. Which of course misses the point if the real issue is a climate of violence existing within a political culture of violent metaphor. But, alas, those who pick nits on the right have a way of sounding utterly insensitive and completely tone deaf. It’s sort of like the matter of Michael Vick and his dogfighting. Before his case came up it was a common thing for people to use the expression, “I don’t have a dog in that fight.” But if you use that expression now people will glower at you and wonder where you’ve been or if you’re totally lacking in human decency. Well, that’s also the situation with using gunsight crosshairs in political imagery. You simply won’t be able to get away with that anymore. And that includes you too, Sarah.

  2. Joe Besse

    In a way, the more the Moose Maiden rambles the dumber she sounds. The real problem is, she ain’t really all that stupid.

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