Three days after the shooting of Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, Sarah Palin shot back at critics who blame her for contributing to a vitriolic political climate fraught with gun references. But she only made matters worse by using a Jewish slur to describe the attacks against her.
She slammed “the media and pundits” by accusing them of a “blood libel.” The term is a Jewish slur that goes back to ancient times. It means that Jews mix the blood of gentiles in matzoh.
“Within hours of a tragedy unfolding, journalists and pundits should not manufacture a blood libel that serves only to incite the very hatred and violence they purport to condemn. That is reprehensible,” Palin said in the video statement.
The Jewish community reacted with shock, anger and disbelief.
“Instead of dialing down the rhetoric at this difficult moment, Sarah Palin chose to accuse others trying to sort out the meaning of this tragedy of somehow engaging in a ‘blood libel’ against her and others,” said David Harris, president of the National Jewish Democratic Council.
“This is of course a particularly heinous term for American Jews, given that the repeated fiction of blood libels are directly responsible for the murder of so many Jews across centuries — and given that blood libels are so directly intertwined with deeply ingrained anti-Semitism around the globe, even today,” he said.
Palin came under criticism because of a map posted on her Web site last fall that had gun sights focused on 20 districts, including Giffords’.
She also announced it with a tweet: “Don’t Retreat, Instead – RELOAD!” a phrase she has also used in several speeches.
While condemning the shooting, Palin aggressively defended herself against critics that believe she fomented a climate in the country that may have played a role in the shooting.
There is no evidence as yet, however, that the shooter was motivated by any political rhetoric.
Palin also did not drop the gun references. The founding fathers, she noted, sometines settled differences with “dueling pistols.”
Dueling, however, was outlawed by Congress nearly 200 years ago in 1839.
She also suggested that criticism of her was an attempt to stifle free speech. “Vigorous and spirited public debates during elections are among our most cherished traditions,” Palin argued.
Check out here statement below: