Ronald Florence


The True Meaning of ‘Blood Libel’

By Ronald Florence

Amid the fierce and often partisan debate sparked by Sarah Palin’s use of the words “blood libel,” one thing is clear: The phrase has become increasingly detached from its historical context. For centuries, the phrase “the blood libel” — with the definite article — has been used to signify a unique false accusation against a specific group: the spurious and heinous charge that Jews kill Christian children to use their blood to make matzo for Passover. But now, as Alan Dershowitz, never one to shy away from a dispute, noted in defending Palin’s remark, the term “has taken on a broad metaphorical meaning in public discourse.”Read More



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