Noted Jewish academic and Harvard Law professor Allan Dershowitz defended Sarah Palin's "blood libel" remark today. Though many Jewish groups have expressed dismay over Palin's use of the term, in a statement to Big Government, Dershowitz said "there is nothing improper and certainly nothing anti-Semitic" about Palin's comments. Originally, the term was most often used (in a European context) to falsely accuse Jews of murdering children and using their blood for religious rituals. Dershowitz argues that the term has since evolved:
The term “blood libel” has taken on a broad metaphorical meaning in public discourse. Although its historical origins were in theologically based false accusations against the Jews and the Jewish People,its current usage is far broader. I myself have used it to describe false accusations against the State of Israel by the Goldstone Report. There is nothing improper and certainly nothing anti-Semitic in Sarah Palin using the term to characterize what she reasonably believes are false accusations that her words or images may have caused a mentally disturbed individual to kill and maim. The fact that two of the victims are Jewish is utterly irrelevant to the propriety of using this widely used term.
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