B’nai B’rith International has issued the following statement:
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, responding to criticism of her after the Jan. 8 shooting rampage in Tucson, Ariz., chose her words poorly when she described a “blood libel” to incite hatred against her and others in the wake of the attack.
The term “blood libel” is a heinous accusation against Jews, charging them with horrific, invented crimes such as kidnapping and killing Christian or Muslim children and then using their blood to bake matzot. It often has served as an excuse to perpetrate violence against Jews.
Rep. Gabrielle Giffords remains critically injured after 22-year-old Jared Lee Loughner opened fire at a constituent event Giffords was hosting. Six people were killed and 13 were injured in the attack.
Language matters, and we urge care and sensitivity to the sometimes painful and tragic history of the Jews.