Archive for Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Palin explains ’blood libel’ comment

January 18, 2011


— Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, defending herself against criticism following the Tucson, Ariz., shootings, said Monday that she used the term “blood libel” to describe comments made by those who falsely tried to link conservatives to the assassination attempt against Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

Speaking out for the first time since she used the term in a video, Palin said on Fox’s Sean Hannity show that the term referred to those “falsely accused of having blood on their hands.”

Some Jewish groups strongly protested her use of the term, which historically was used to accuse Jews of using blood of Christians in religious rituals.

“I think the critics again were using anything that they could gather out of that statement,“ she said. ”You can spin up anything out of anybody’s statements that are released and use them against the person who is making the statement.”

Palin, a potential Republican presidential candidate in 2012, said the criticism won’t stop her from speaking out and accusing Democrats of taking the country in the wrong direction.

“They can’t make us sit down and shut up,” she said.

Palin said her political action committee’s use of crosshairs to identify targeted congressional districts for Republican pickups was not original and has been used by Democrats. As she spoke, a Democratic map was shown on the screen with circular targets of districts Democrats wanted to win.

The former governor said the crosshairs graphic was taken down by the PAC’s hired graphic artist after the criticism began. “I don’t think that was inappropriate,” she said.

The shooting on Jan. 8 killed six and wounded 13, including Giffords. Her district was among those in the Palin site’s crosshairs.

Palin insisted that she has “repeated over and over my condemnation of violence.” She said she was frustrated that conservatives who responded to false accusations —blaming them for the shootings — have become part of the story.

Asked why she was singled out for criticism, Palin, speaking from her hometown of Wasilla, said, “I know that a lot of those on the left hate my message and they will do all they can to stop me because they don’t like the message.“

Palin added, “I receive a lot of death threats. My children do.”


just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 3 months ago

”You can spin up anything out of anybody’s statements that are released and use them against the person who is making the statement.”

And the more idiotic the statements, the easier it is. And Palin makes lots of idiotic statements.

pizzapete 7 years, 3 months ago

Damn, you beat me to it, I had that same quote copied and ready to go.

mbulicz 7 years, 3 months ago

If I had any more faith in Sarah's intelligence, I would call her malevolent. However, she's just a puppet. Pull the string and she'll regurgitate all the talking points. She isn't capable of defining nuance, let alone understanding those in her message.

The Arizona shooter is not in any way her fault, but that does not detract from the fact that the Tea Party rhetoric and imagery is rife with allusions to armed revolution. Crosshairs, "ballots or bullets", and this Glenn Beck telling us, "You're going to have to shoot them in the head."


Holding you accountable for your statements, Sarah, is not the same as blaming you for Loughner's lunacy. It sure as hell isn't even on the same planet as being in the Holocaust.

Can we stop getting hung up on this most recent distraction and get back to the original conversation, toning down the rhetoric?

jafs 7 years, 3 months ago

Nobody wants to stop anybody from discussing ideas and policies.

Some of us would like to tone down the rhetoric that mainly serves to upset people and stir up more of a feeling of conflict than there needs to be.

Here's a question for those that participate in that sort of dialogue - what do you think it accomplishes? Is it an accurate portrayal of how you feel - that those who disagree on politics are in some sort of a war? That you need to defeat your "enemies"? Do you think this sort of thinking is good for the country?

I'd like to see substantive discussion and debate - I think it's healthy and necessary. But instead of that, I see a lot of misunderstanding and mischaracterization (deliberate?), followed by increasing levels of personal enmity.

A better approach, in my view, would be to actually understand what somebody is saying correctly, and then discuss the substance of the idea. Then at least the disagreements will be based in reality, and there's some possibility that the debate will be productive.

TopJayhawk 7 years, 3 months ago

I agree jafs. Do you suppose the liberals are willing to tone down the rhetoric too? I doubt it. Just look at these boards.

voevoda 7 years, 3 months ago

Sarah Palin should have offered an apology, not a feeble "explanation." "Blood libel" isn't a synonym for "false accusation." It refers to a specific practice of accusing Jews of an outrageous crime: kidnapping and murdering Christian children in order to use their blood in Jewish rituals. The real Blood Libel resulted in the terrorization, murder, and deportation of hundreds of thousands of Jews over a period of centuries. It became so imbedded in Christian European culture that it made ordinary Christians' participation in the Holocaust palatable to them. When in reality it is a Jewish woman who lies wounded--and a Christian child lies dead--Palin's misappropriation of the term "Blood Libel" to present herself as the "real victim" is particularly unseemly. Sarah Palin's use of the term "Blood Libel," then, was the equivalent of her saying that Democrats were "creating a Holocaust of Republicans." It is the equivalent of saying that the right was "being crucified"--if the real victim in the shooting had been a nun. It is the same as saying that Palin was "dying for the sins of the world"--if the real victim in the shooting had been a Christian pastor. By this time, somebody must have told Palin all this. But apparently she lists only to advisors (including an extreme right-wing rabbi) who despise Obama as much as she does.
Someone needs to tell Sarah Palin: "You are not the victim here. Tone down the rhetoric."

jonas_opines 7 years, 3 months ago

Why? Is this some sort of Ivory Tower Elitist thing? Or do we just need a spokesperson for the jews, like a Jessie Jackson?

pace 7 years, 3 months ago

Threatening a person and her children is horrible and wrong. I hope nothing ever happens to her or them. I don't think she should shut up but I don't think many of her remarks valuable. I don't think she is lying as much as she has many narrow unthoughtful view points. That is my opinion of her, mostly from the "celebrity" views I have been shown. I don't know her personally and it is possible that at some point my opinion of her will rise. I also think much of the "rancor" against her is class and regional prejudice. She is not a sophisticated person. I have no issue with someone who hunts, fishes or spits off the side of a boat. Nor do I mind if someone plays polo and has multiple degrees. Those facts don't indicate character to me, which is something I value. When I first saw her in Alaska I thought , a beautiful woman with a real big mouth, a poor listener. She seemed focused but too delighted with attention. She doesn't seem to hold herself to accept any responsibility for her part in how people perceive her. She is fast to blame others and a bit mean. I don't think it was fair that people literally thought there was a connection between her and the deranged AZ killer ( I don't have to say possibly deranged, do I?). I thought that was an ugly part of a wider community reaction to the particular political climate she was such a force in. The Tuscon tragedy triggered many to look at her and some people on the right as they seemed to be calling for violence. Do I think she was one of the victims of the Tuscon tragedy. No, she wasn't grazed, shot or killed. Was her reputation ruined?No. She faced some false accusations and I believe that was pretty well addressed.
What I think happened was the climate of tolerance for hate rhetoric has changed. She got told off, not shot, her reputation wasn't ruined, some were unfair to her, some unfairly defended her as a complete lamb. I am not worried about her. She is not one of the true victims of the Tuscon tragedy. I don't consider her a victim in life. I think it is an excellent time for people to work together to fix some problems. Jobs and foreclosures,

livinginlawrence 7 years, 3 months ago

The reason people are made nervous by Palin's presence in the political realm is that we're all fearful that such an individual, who repeatedly demonstrates ineptitude in all things related to being a public figure (much less a presidential candidate), is still able to garner the support of so many conservatives.

Frederic Gutknecht IV 7 years, 3 months ago

So wouldn't that make these people with ODS as "psychotic" as those with PDS, or does this failure to see the disconnect between what you deplore and what you purport continue to render you impertinent?

Tom...seriously...must you run on and on like my sentences?~)

Fossick 7 years, 3 months ago

The reason people, and especially feminists*, react to Palin with such intensity is because she threatens their sexual identity, which is part and parcel of their politics.

There are plenty of stupid conservatives out there. There are even conservatives who are stupider and more popular than Palin. But there is not one with that sly wink, that perfectly-shaped red skirt, or any of those other attributes that drive gray mice crazy with jealously when they see them in other women.

  • putting the 'rage' in 'suffrage' since 1920.

jonas_opines 7 years, 3 months ago

Who's out there that's both stupider and more popular?

mom_of_three 7 years, 3 months ago

I just have a psychosis to stupid ones....

BigAl 7 years, 3 months ago

Good morning Tom.
Palin is propped up and supported by the corrupt right wing media. Hannity, Limbaugh and O'Reilly love her and allow her to say whatever she wants without question. She couldn't handle an interview with Katie Couric and somehow, that became Couric's fault? She dodges any legitimate press like the plague.

On the other hand, I don't see how anyone could blame her for the tragedy in Tucson. In fact, I don't see how any politician is responsible for that.

bd 7 years, 3 months ago

God, how I love to hate these loser liberals!

Tea anyone???

uncleandyt 7 years, 3 months ago

There's a Huge chance that Bible Spice did not write the speech that used the term "blood libel". There is also a chance that she was reading off of a teleprompter. Who remembers when it was somehow unAmerican to read something from a teleprompter ? I think it got rolling around January of '09. I can no longer listen to her job-killing announcements. North, to the Future !!

sleepy33 7 years, 3 months ago

Just what I was going to say; there's no way she's bright enough to actually have known what the term blood libel meant and initiated the use of the phrase herself. Absolutely no way would I ever believe that. She is dumb enough, however, to unquestioningly read whatever the speechwriters put in front of her.

beatrice 7 years, 3 months ago

You can see the reflection of the teleprompter off of her glasses. There is no question she was reading from a teleprompter.

kansanbygrace 7 years, 3 months ago

The shooting in Tucson was not about Sarah Palin. She, on the other hand, took the opportunity to grab a huge amount of publicity.

For someone lacking the essential personal fortitude to even complete one term, which she swore to fulfill, the little cutie sure thinks highly of herself.

No one should be surprised at the more radical of campaigners use of fighting talk. The last election cycle had more than a normal amount of "kill 'em" talk, and I believe we'd be better off without it, but it sells soap, so the commercial media push it, and maniacs take it seriously.

There is undoubtedly a relation between constantly violent rhetoric, and the desensitization to violence. The socio-cultural environment effects behaviors.

camper 7 years, 3 months ago

It is hard to imagine that a highly ranked politician would have allowed (if not approved) crosshairs on her webpage. This is amateur and juvenile. One would seem to expect more higher virtues than this.

To make matters worse, there were complaints about this after campaign offices were vandalized. Yet the crosshairs remained. Politicians warned about consequences. Yet the crosshairs remained. So Palin was still behind the curve and still did not realize the poor taste in this.

And assuming that these crosshairs were not connected to the tradgedy (as I do), it is relevant in view of the tradgedy, and should be discussed. Calling her out on this is more than appropriate and it should be done! Good society sanctions poor behavior by criticizing it when it comes to light if it be political or non-political events. This is what makes our societ better.

irvan moore 7 years, 3 months ago

it's interesting that we waste our time on this, those who like her will defend her, those who don't will find fault with her. who cares?

Paul R Getto 7 years, 3 months ago

Keep talking, Sarah. Like Pilonidal Cyst, you are always good for a laugh. Keep your day job; you gonna need it.

Zachary Stoltenberg 7 years, 3 months ago

Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz, who often comments on Israeli affairs, came to Palin's defense, saying that the term has "taken on a broad metaphorical meaning in public discourse." Dershowitz said he has used the term himself to des...cribe false accusations against the State of Israel by the Goldstone Report. He added, "There is nothing improper and certainly nothing anti-Semitic in Sarah Palin using the term to characterize what she reasonably believes are false accusations that her words or images may have caused a mentally disturbed individual to kill and maim."

I'm not a Palin fan, but as long as the left continues these vapid attacks and personal vendettas, they grant her validation. Just like Fred Phelps, we need to ignore her so she will go away.

camper 7 years, 3 months ago

I have nothing personal. I'm criticizing. A personal attack is a much farther reach than disapproving an action. The action in this case was the placement of crosshairs on a webpage.

beatrice 7 years, 3 months ago

I have no doubt that Sarah Palin is telling the truth when she claims to not have known the historical context or greater meaning of the phrase "blood libel." I have no idea if she came up with the line or if it was written for her. Either way, as it was said on SNL, "I'd be insulted -- if I thought she knew what she was talking about."

It is a shame to think some conservatives, like Palin, feel they are the only ones being singled out for using heated rhetoric. It comes from both sides. Political figures need to stop pointing fingers and/or playing the victim and just demonstrate the ability to discuss matters without the ugliness.

mom_of_three 7 years, 3 months ago

Jon Stewart had some great comments about palin's interview with Hannity. He stated she made some good points about not being one to blame for the shooting. AND then she lost him, because as she was criticizing the left for their tactics, she was using the same ones she was criticizing them of, calling the shooter "perhaps even left leaning".

Any criticism of her she turns into a persecution.

She likes to quote Ronald Reagan and makes comparisons to him, but I don't think SHE would even like him if he were alive now, because his son believes his policies would make him too liberal to be a Republican.

I can't stand her. And it makes me mad that more people can't see through her charade.

Olympics 7 years, 3 months ago

A wonderful 3 min rant....

"I know you think she has nothing to offer the national dialogue and that her speeches are just coded talking points mixed in with words picked at random from a thesaurus."

He went on calling out Palin tongue-in-cheekedly for several minutes:

"I know you think she's at best a self-promoting ignoramus and at worst a shameless media troll who'll abuse any platform to deliver dog whistle encouragement to a far-right base that may include possible insurrectionists."

tomatogrower 7 years, 3 months ago

Besides not agreeing with many of her stands on issues, I have a problem with Sarah Palin's lack of desire to find common ground and work together with others. It seems like she has the attitude of "my way or the highway".
And I guess I have a problem with people who seem to crave celebrity. I guess it's because I could care less if I'm famous. I think wanting to do a good job is more important. I don't agree with many things that John McCain supports, but I have respect for the man, because he is committed to his job. When Sarah Palin quit as governor of Alaska, I lost all respect for her. She had no reason to quit, except it was getting in the way of her media, and probably, money dreams. Being famous seems to become more important than doing your best anymore. It's also why many of these nutcases, who are failures shoot up people. Sarah had successfully won a high state position, but it wasn't good enough for her, and probably didn't pay enough, so instead of completing her commitment she jumped ship. Not something I can respect.

Olympics 7 years, 3 months ago

Stay Classy Glenn.

Glenn Beck Shoot Them In The Head Video Clip Found

jonas_opines 7 years, 3 months ago

Perhaps toe lack of understanding on this particular topic stems from your belief that you have a correct understanding in regards to many other topics.

Paul R Getto 7 years, 3 months ago

"Pilonidal Cyst"!! that's a good one Getto. You "bitter clingers" say the funniest things. ===, Thanks, Barry. Glad I could amuse you. That's what I call Rush because anal cyst (that which kept him out of Viet Nam) is sometimes blocked.

Cait McKnelly 7 years, 3 months ago

This woman just doesn't know when to shut up and keep quiet does she? Maybe she should take a hint from her fellow Republican. "It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt." (Abraham Lincoln)

Cait McKnelly 7 years, 3 months ago

She's moving to AZ? Someone needs to tell her to keep Tripp away from political rallies.

beatrice 7 years, 3 months ago

If Michelle Malkin says anything, why does that represent anyone other than Michelle Malkin? How could one person speak for "the Left?" When Rush Limbaugh speaks, are you claiming he speaks for you? You are a conservative and Rush Limbaugh is a conservative, so you must be in concert with one another and you must agree on everything, correct?

Instead of caring how others approach discourse, perhaps you should just worry about YOUR role in civil discourse. There is no doubt that there are hypocrits out there, but does that mean you must be one in turn? I mean, you are talking about civil discourse in the same post you call others "far left liberal whackjobs" -- that isn't exactly civil. Call Michelle Malkin one if you like based on the individual's comments. They weren't made by anyone else, and certianly not by a group.

As you claim to be a born again individual, I would hope you would be familiar with the whole turning of the other cheek concept. Two wrongs don't make a right.

beatrice 7 years, 3 months ago

I never said you don't have freedom of speech. Only thing I am saying is that others don't speak for me nor does one person's view represent "the left." Also, I note that some people simply are not capable of backing up their arguments without trying to insult those with whom they disagree. That is a shame.

beatrice 7 years, 3 months ago

Correct. I do not know who Michelle Malkin is, nor will I click on every link people provide. I don't know what sites you frequent and have no desire to put my computer at risk of picking up a virus. Perhaps you missed the point I was making, so please allow me to explain. I am not arguing for or against whatever it is Malkin says. I am arguing against the idea that one person can say anything to represent "the left" or "the right." I am even more certain that one person can't speak for the "side" that represents opposing views.

The major issue remains that both sides take part in heated and ugly rhetoric. To deny this would indeed be hypocritical. I never have denied that people who lean left in their politics have been immune from taking part in the heated rhetoric.

To continue to take part in it myself, however, would be non-productive. That is the point I am making, along with the recognition that some people are simply incapable of supporting their arguments without attempting to insult those who hold an opposing view. Although I am not a Christian, in this matter I can appreciate the whole "turn the other cheek" philosophy.

beatrice 7 years, 3 months ago

MYOB? Sorry to disappoint, but this is a public forum. I will respond to phrases like "far left liberal whackjobs" when ever I see fit. The funniest thing about our exchange here is that I agreed with you in principle. Yes, "the left" have taken part in the ugly rhetoric. I agree. "The right" is certainly not alone in this, and both sides continue to do so. Both are equally to blame. That is the point. We won't get anywhere if we don't agree to stop such talk and move forward in a positive manner. For those of us not actually in politics, we would be better off not to take part in that rhetoric ourselves. We are not a better nation or better people by continuing to call one another names.

Mike Ford 7 years, 3 months ago

maybe Mrs. Palin should work with Jewish people to improve her image the way Haley "what a lovely accent" Barbour did by talking up a Civil Rights Museum in Jackson, MS, following his unfortunate comments about the Citizen's Council in Yazoo City, MS, that harrassed and ran off civil rights supporters in that town 45 years ago. Neither one is Presidential material and are part of what H.L Mencken referred to as the "Boobwourgie" or the dumb leading the dumber.

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