As a child of Holocaust survivors who was born in a displaced persons camp in Germany, I take issue with Ronald Florence’s contention that the term “blood libel” may not be legitimately used except in relation to past accusations against Jews that stimulated persecution and bloodshed (“The True Meaning of ‘Blood Libel,’” January 28).
Florence believes that its use by Sarah Palin as a “countercharge to criticism of heated political rhetoric” is wrong. But this ignores the fact that it was not merely criticism she was opposing, but the leveling of responsibility on her for the murderous rampage of Jared Loughner, a disturbed, apparently apolitical loner who is entirely unrelated to her.
When we speak of blood libels against Jews, it means one thing — a malicious, false accusation of evil-doing, designed to whip up hatred and hostility against those so accused. In this key respect, Palin’s use of the term was valid.
Morton A. Klein
Zionist Organization of America
New York, N.Y.