Sarah Palin, Jewish Educator

By Jeffrey Goldberg

My theory that Sarah Palin's otherwise gross use of the term "blood libel" to describe criticism leveled against her has an upside -- the potential to educate people about the actual meaning and history of the "blood libel" and its frightening relevance today -- is being borne out in the in-box. Two such e-mails:

i had no idea 'blood libel' had a jewish origin, i doubt sarah palin does either, she picked up on it because it sounded sexy, and voila, more headlines.

I think it's true that Sarah Palin had no idea of the meaning; I don't actually believe she was Jew-baiting, or consciously trying to denigrate the experience of Jewish communities at the hands of their Christian neighbors.
 
And this:

What do you think the actual chances are that Sarah Palin will actually come out and apologize and learn something about the blood libel and try to raise consciousness about this? I don't think it's very high.

Keep hope alive, I say. This is a great moment for Sarah Palin to demonstrate some sensitivity, and to show that she's capable of absorbing and assimilating new knowledge, and sharing that knowledge with others.  I hope she doesn't miss the chance.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2011/01/sarah-palin-jewish-educator/69438/