Palin’s “blood libel” charge fires up her bigot base

Prominent Republican Sarah Palin defended her fiery rhetoric on Wednesday but ignited a fresh controversy by accusing critics of “blood libel” in linking her to a deadly Arizona shooting spree.

A defiant Palin, leaping into a roaring debate on the consequences of overheated political rhetoric, said her critics had been irresponsible in rushing to blame Saturday’s gun rampage on vitriolic campaign speech.

“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,” Palin, a potential 2012 White House contender, said in a video posted to her Facebook page.

Palin’s reference to “blood libel,” a false, centuries-old allegation that Jews were killing children to use their blood in religious rituals, launched a new round of criticism of Palin’s rhetoric.

“We wish that Palin had used another phrase, instead of one so fraught with pain in Jewish history,” said Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League.

The accusation of “blood libel” has been employed for centuries to justify the killing or expulsion of Jews. The phrase had been used by other conservative commentators, including a Wall Street Journal column, since the shooting of Representative Gabrielle Giffords, who is Jewish.

“Perhaps Palin honestly does not know what a blood libel is, or does not know of their horrific history — that is perhaps the most charitable explanation we can arrive at,” said David Harris, president of the National Jewish Democratic Council…

“Palin’s invocation of a ‘blood libel’ charge against her perceived enemies is hardly a step in the right direction,” Harris said.

This blivet has been criticized not only by the Left, but moderate and conservative political voices for her butt-kissing of gun-nuts and redneck posses ever since she ventured into the not-so-civilized world of politics. She not only gives Alaska, the Republican Party and fiscal conservatives a bad name, her upbringing in the bosom of truly nutball fundamentalist religious sects makes just another bigoted remark like this a natural for her.

When do we get to see a self-produced video of her speaking in tongues the revealed word of Yaweh? While clutching a copy of the Protocols of Zion?

Christian/Muslim pogrom in Nigeria winds down

Daylife/AP Photo by Sunday Alamba

On Sunday morning, Sani ibn Salihu went to pray for the dead. Even as he arrived at the central mosque of the Nigerian city of Jos to join a throng mourning 364 people whose bodies he said had already been taken there, the battered corpses kept coming: 11 in the hour he spent praying.

“There were women and children, old men,” among the bodies, Mr. Salihu, a peace activist and journalist, said in a telephone interview from Jos, the central Nigerian city where two days of ferocious violence between Christians and Muslims after a disputed local election has left hundreds of people dead.

A tense calm returned to Jos on Sunday as soldiers wrested control of the streets from armed Christian and Muslim gangs that had roamed the city, slaughtering people with guns and machetes and torching houses, churches, shops and cars, according to residents. The sudden and vociferous explosion of religious violence was the worst Nigeria has seen in at least four years.

Four whole years. Golly gee.

Elections have not been held in Jos for years, in part because of fears that the political parties would split along religious lines, which is in fact what happened. Even before the results were announced, gangs on both sides began rampaging, anticipating defeat. Christian gangs claimed that the governing party, the P.D.P., was being cheated of victory, while Muslim gangs claimed that the opposition A.N.P.P., which is identified largely with Muslims in the north, was being robbed of its win.

In this particular pogrom, mostly Christians killed mostly Muslims. Which puts the lie to all the True Believers who would have you believe there’s one religion or another with a corner on the market for love and peace. But, that’s about all.

All that’s consistent is the brutality and hatred expressed in collective murder.

Israeli police probing ‘pogrom’ attack upon Palestinian village

Israeli police are investigating a rampage by settlers in a Palestinian village in the West Bank on Saturday which PM Ehud Olmert called a “pogrom”. Mr Olmert, who is about to step down, called the attack by about 100 settlers on Asira al-Qabaliya “intolerable”.

It was filmed by human rights groups and came after an intruder stabbed and wounded a child at Yitzhar settlement. But police have not arrested any of the settlers who were filmed. Four people suffered gunshot wounds in the attack…

In the footage, Israeli soldiers are present at the scene but do not take any action to prevent the violence and destruction of Palestinian property.

About 450,000 Jews live in the West Bank and East Jerusalem in settlements considered illegal under international law.

The history of Israel’s expansionism in the Middle East is the constant rationale for imperial American politics. It is as unjust and egregious as any Crusade.