RABBI SHMULEY BOTEACH

Shmuley Boteach

Wall Street Journal Online

[ . . . ] Despite the strong association of the term with collective Jewish guilt and concomitant slaughter, Sarah Palin has every right to use it. The expression may be used whenever an amorphous mass is collectively accused of being murderers or accessories to murder.

The abominable element of the blood libel is not that it was used to accuse Jews, but that it was used to accuse innocent Jews—their innocence, rather than their Jewishness, being the operative point. Had the Jews been guilty of any of these heinous acts, the charge would not have been a libel.

Judaism rejects the idea

of collective responsibility for murder

Despite the strong associations of the term, Sarah Palin has every right to use it.

[ . . . ]

Murder is humanity’s most severe sin, and it is trivialized when an innocent party is accused of the crime — especially when that party is a collective too numerous to be defended individually. If Jews have learned anything in their long history, it is that a false indictment of murder against any group threatens every group. As Martin Luther King Jr. wrote in his Letter from Birmingham Jail, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Indeed, the belief that the concept of blood libel applies only to Jews is itself a form of reverse discrimination that should be dismissed.

The belief that the concept of blood libel

applies only to Jews

is itself a form of reverse discrimination

Judaism rejects the idea of collective responsibility for murder, as the Hebrew Bible condemns accusations of collective guilt against Jew and non-Jew alike. “The soul who sins is the one who will die. The son will not share the guilt of the father, nor will the father share the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous man will be credited to him, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against him” (Ezekiel 18).

more >

`

ht/JP

Comments (2)

  1. [...] of talk about ‘blood libels‘ this week. Concurrently, 662 years ago this week there was a horrible libel in Basel, [...]

  2. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Sarah Palin News . Sarah Palin News said: (via JewsforSarah) Rabbi Shmuley – Sarah Palin has a right to use ‘blood libel’ http://bit.ly/fZ1yPj @sarahpalinusa [...]