Pamela Geller drags out the anti-Semitic canard that so plagued Sara Palin six months ago. The scary thing is that Sarah Palin trotted this out in the wake of right-wing terrorism that took place here in the good ole’ USA. Dog whistles anyone?
In an appearance yesterday on Janet Mefferd’s radio show, Geller said that she is under attack because she is one of “the most effective voices, freedom-loving voices,” and said that she is victim of a “blood libel,” a term which refers to the accusation that Jews steal the blood of Christian children for their religious rituals.
Geller: We must provide some semblance of a counterweight to this über-left, Islamic media machine. I mean look, what the media is doing now, the murder has become beside the point interestingly enough and they are going after the most effective voices, freedom-loving voices. I mean everything that I work towards is the opposite of what this man did; I mean I consistently stood for human rights, for the rule of law, for the dignity of the human person, for free speech, freedom of conscience and the equality of rights of all. There is absolutely no incitement to violence in my work or my colleagues like Robert Spencer, Ibin Warraq, in any of our work, we call for yes, discourse, intellectual discourse and dialogue, and attempting to get our ideas out there. But never do we—this is what we rail against. It’s a blood libel of the worst kind.
Do words have consequences or not? For Palin, it seems, acts of criminality stand alone; yet in the very next sentence she goes on to assert the opposite: that the “journalists and pundits” who want our political rhetoric toned down, and who’ve criticized her image of Rep. Giffords and others caught in the “crosshairs,” are themselves manufacturing a “blood libel” that may well “incite…violence.” So language can manufacture a “blood libel” and incite violence yet she can be so sure that it played no role in motivating a gunman?
Tuesday’s speech isn’t really surprising, but it did make it plain to me: Palin can’t be president. She’s a divider, not a uniter, and she can’t even pretend to be anything else. Americans won’t forget that while Giffords and other shooting victims were still hospitalized, Palin was tending to her own psychic wounds. So very petty, so hugely unpresidential.
Palin is in an odd spot to be urging respectful debate that handles political and policy differences in a “positive manner.” She has shown little regard for facts in policy debates and demonstrated she’s willing to accuse her foes of being anti-American. She is the queen of disrespectful rhetoric. Now she compares her critics to violent and genocidal anti-Semites. She could have assailed them in a somber and serious manner, but she chose not to. After all, that’s not how Palin got to where she is: a political celebrity who at a time of mourning turns a national tragedy into a Facebook post that at its core is about her.
Stockpile the canned goods and break out the code words, kiddies, the mama grizzlies are under attack!
One particular line in Sarah Palin’s statement on the Arizona shootings has created an uproar:
“But, especially within hours of a tragedy unfolding, 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.”
The term “blood libel” usually refers to the false accusation that Jews use the blood of Christian children in some of their religious rituals.
While it’s not entirely clear what Palin intended, it’s possible she was trying to usedog whistle politics to speak to her religious base who often feel they’re an oppressed minority.