Palin Supporters: Libel to Believe Anything

As you know, dear readers, the Clarion Content always welcomes guest columnists with open arms. Whether we agree or disagree, we want to hear what you have to say, and we will defend your right to say it all the way to the guillotine. We gratefully accept your submissions and we are happy to publish your content. Today, we have a piece from one of those closest to the heart of the editor. This article is from a North Jersey thinker who wants to weigh-in on Sarah Palin’s controversial use of the term, “Blood Libel,” in response to those connecting her with the tragic mass murders and attempted assassination in Tuscon, Arizona last week.

True or False:
“Jews use the blood of Christian children to make their Passover matzos?”

What scares me about this question is not the few crazies who will answer “True,” but the fact that the question exists at all.

Why was it necessary, around 1984 in the Hebrew school of the Lake Hiawatha Jewish Center, to teach me and my fellow young Jews about an outright lie? “This is called the ‘Blood Libel,'” they said. I think they were trying to teach us something along the lines of, “There are hateful people out there who will say crazy anti-Semitic things with no basis in reality, so you’d better be vigilant. Now, let’s all watch Exodus.”

There was a broader lesson, of course, one that you don’t need to have read 1984 to know about: Repeat a lie often enough, people will start to believe it. No matter how ludicrous the lie. But there is more to it than that. The greatest danger of such a lie isn’t the few who believe it. It is that the lie, if repeated often enough, becomes part of the discussion, even among totally reasonable people who don’t believe it at all.

“The healthcare bill creates ‘death panels‘ of bureaucrats that will decide if you live or die.” This is an example of a very popular lie from 2010. A complete fabrication that was repeated often enough to become part of the discussion. Even though it was a false accusation of murder, no one called it a “Blood Libel.” To do so would have trivialized the plight of the Jewish people over centuries. It would have meant hijacking the mantle of persecution from the true victims.

Saturday, in Arizona, six murders and fourteen attempted murders took place. Leading up to the 2010 elections, the congressional district where these murders took place was marked by a cross-hairs like a rifle sight on Sarah Palin’s Facebook page. I have not read any articles or editorials attempting to make a connection, but apparently Sarah Palin did.

On Wednesday, she had this to say, “Journalists and pundits should not manufacture a Blood Libel that serves only to incite the very hatred and violence that they purport to condemn. That is reprehensible.”

In other words, the true victim here is Palin. She is being persecuted by those pointing out that her political rhetoric and imagery are strikingly similar to the actions of a madman. She is the one who bravely stands behind (well… sits in front of) the flag, and the Liberal Media are the ones inciting hatred and violence.

I’m sad to say, I bet this one will get repeated often enough to become part of the discussion.

Aaron Mandel

Aaron Mandel is a writer and an accomplished public speaker. He is the publisher of the Clarion Content. For more than a decade, the Clarion Content has covered Durham’s arts, politics, music, and cultural milieu. From breaking news stories to the hottest local acts, the Clarion Content is on the scene. The Clarion Content published more than twenty distinguished guest columnists and garnered nearly a million views. Mandel is a volunteer for the Durham Mighty Pen Literacy Project and serves as the President of the Board of Sustain-A-Bull Durham, a local small business collective with more than 200 members. He writes regularly on the Clarion Content and has been quietly writing fiction since the 4th grade. Mandel has been published in the Raleigh News and Observer. He has also produced numerous art shows, including, “Durham under Development”. He was a featured speaker at “The State of Publishing” conference. He has presented to Durham Chamber of Commerce, “Chamber U” on the “New Media”. He has also served as the play-by-play announcer for the D.B.L., a Durham youth basketball league. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Religious Studies from Indiana University in Bloomington. An avid policy debater at Indiana and a Nation Debate Tournament qualifier, Mandel was also a member of the New Jersey State Champion two-person Policy Debate Team. He has lived in North Carolina, New Jersey, California, Texas, Illinois, Colorado, Indiana, and Baja California, Mexico.

Be first to comment