Sarah Palin, former Governor of Alaska, former Republican Vice Presidential candidate and current moron-du-jour released a statement today where she denounced efforts to blame her for the recent shooting rampage in Tucson.

In a lengthy statement posted on her Facebook page, Palin called efforts to blame her for the shooting “reprehensible,” adding that “especially 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’s a bit of an unfortunate phrase – see, “Blood Libel” refers to a false accusation that Jews murder children in order to use their blood for ritual purposes – like baking Matzah. Such claims have historically served as the cornerstone of anti-Semitism and Jewish persecution. That Palin would use this phrase in the context of the shooting of Congresswoman Giffords and her aide, both of whom are Jewish, and use it in a way that paints her as the victim, is, at best, grossly insensitive, if not absolutely ignorant.

Palin refers to the blood libel at 3:23 of the video, if you don’t have the patience to watch the whole thing. I promise I’m not taking her comments out of context. But I couldn’t make up stuff that is this stupid.

Calling bad press a “blood libel” is like calling a rough day at work, the “Holocaust.”

As a side note, the white power blogosphere is all atwitter about a Mother Jones interview with a close friend of Loughner’s that suggests that the shooter, Jared Lee Loughner, is Jewish. Not only that but apparently Jared’s Mom is a member of the same 140 member synagogue that Giffords belongs to. The accusation is that the Jewish controlled media has prevented that information from getting out. I guess I didn’t get the memo:

Tierney believes that Loughner was very interested in pushing people’s buttons—and that may have been why he listed Hitler’s Mein Kampf as one of his favorite books on his YouTube page. (Loughner’s mom is Jewish, according to Tierney.)

Oh well.

UPDATE: Turns out that according to the JTA, while it is possible that Loughner had a great-grandfather that was Jewish, it is exceedingly unlikely that Loughner himself was Jewish. None of the Rabbis or employees at the synagogue in question have any idea who the Loughner family was, prior to the shooting.

Follow me

About the author

ck

Founder and Publisher of Jewlicious, David Abitbol lives in Jerusalem with his wife, newborn daughter and toddler son. Blogging as "ck" he's been blocked on twitter by the right and the left, so he's doing something right.

16 Comments

  • Love ya CK, but I feel I gotta ask why Sara Palin doesn’t deserve a caveat about how, even though her phrasing may have been insensitive (it doesn’t offend me), the woman has a right to defend herself (eloquently or ineloquently) from insinuations that she is an accessory to a massacre?

    • How misplaced is this criticism of Palin. Sarah Palin is a strong friend of Israel and the Jewish People…
      what she is saying goes well with the understanding of the meaning of blaming someone innocent for using the blood of another for propaganda
      Definitions:( Wikipedia)
      Libel:libel (for written, broadcast, or otherwise published words)—is the communication of a statement that makes a claim, expressly stated or implied to be factual, that may give an individual, business, product, group, government, or nation a negative image

      Blood Libel:Blood libels are false and sensationalized allegations that a person or group engages in human sacrifice, often accompanied by the claim that the blood of the victims is used in various rituals

      Blaming this bloody tragedy in Tuscan, AZ involving the killing of six innocent people and serious wounding many others incuding the shooting of Gaby Gifford throught the head, on Palin…is terrible injustice to say the least. The people who are doing this in particular Bill Maher and is clan are using this event in their daily rituals to attack Palin and all she stands for. You would think Jewlicious would know better…ck you are able usually to see the light through all the crap …please rethink your posting here…you are bloody wrong

      • Did I blame Sarah Palin for the shooting? Nope. All I did was take umbrage with her misuse of terminology in much the same way I take anyone to task for misusing terms like Nazi, Fascism, Pogrom or Apartheid. Ask those anti-Israel douchenozzles…they’ll tell you about me 😉
        Sadly, Palin’s articulate message about the importance of free speech was lost because of the whole blood libel kerfuffle and now the focus is on her faux pas rather than the tragic deaths and injuries. Anyhow, Shabbat Shalom!

        • Just like Pogrom, the term Blood Libel has a modern usage. Those describing Palin as engaging in a Passion Play, or hell, even claim she was directly claiming there were blood libels made against her are just rehashing the media hysteria. Read the actual speech and comment on *those* words. I don’t see how anyone can disagree with them.

          If your entire argument hinges on the notion that Jews and Blood Libels are a mutual history – how sick is that? It’s also historically inaccurate. Meanwhile, nobody reacted to WSJ’s use of Blood Libel, and nobody screamed every time Pogrom, and Genocide were used in a non Judaic context, or fumed over the Holocaust used in non-WW2 contexts, such as “The Black Holocaust”, etc.

          It seems token and like a double standard. Supporters of Israel should recognize that double standard very well.

  • Your plot thickens. Maybe you should know that Sarah Palin is Jewish (descendant), practicing the Christian religion., and that when Obama was pointing at the Jewish for the “flotilla” she was one of the few who defended the Jews.
    This comes from a woman married to a REAL Jew, right out of a Kibutz.

    Please, Do not look for the fifth leg of the cat, unless u drank the Koolaid. Then, you will only find that you r looking at the TAIL!

    • And therefore her precious concerns trump actual, practicing Jews. How delusional are you?
      Shit I stubbed my toe! This is exactly like that time my ancestors fled Russia to escape Pogroms!

  • Bull. We freely use the term blood libel in speaking about Israel without denoting accusations pertaining to blood related issues.

    The current accent is on the Libel. We find it’s use in similar manner to that of the terms Pogrom, and Holocaust. None of which Jews own or throw fits over when appropriated.

    • http://www.richardsilverstein.com/tikun_olam/2011/01/12/sarah-palins-latest-blood-libel-travesty/

      hey ck, seems that dickie agrees with you…and boy, palin has him pissed….rofl

      funny seeing this from the king of the blood libels

      i wasnt really upset at what palin had to say, as she was just parroting was some other right wing nimrod had said on monday.

      never mind that the congress person who was targeted by the freak, noted the issue with palin “targeting” her….long before the massacre

      never mind that ms (dont crucify me) spent an entire campaign season saying that the prez hung with terrorists and he wanted to set up death panels.

      that she doesnt see why people would immediately connect her and the rest of the right wing’s insane rhetoric to this shooting shows that either she and the rest of the wingnuts are blind, deaf and dumb….or they just dont care.

      and can we cease with the “she is jewish” myth? no jew is that stupid…..oops…take that back…dickie is that stupid

      hey dickie…and i know you read this blog…and dont go sending me more emails….stop using halachic terms to describe what a non jew does….a non jew cannot be over chilul hashem, as they have no commandment to be holy. kedoshim tihiyu only pertains to the jewish people….dont worry, you are patur…so go back to eating your late nite snack of ham sandwich and milk.

    • Ugh, what do you base your claim on? I checked dictionaries, but could not find any “modern” connotation of “blood libel”, and in common reference works, it is used as a technical term for the accusation against religious minorities (mostly Jews) of killing a Christian child to use its blood in some kind of ritual. So we’ve got a pretense story / pretense victim / fake victim and a deliberately fake claim directed at a – by any account innocent – target group. Please explain how this refers to Palin. I’d be interested in reading how you apply “blood libel” as a consequent metaphor of the media attention Palin has drawn recently.

  • Palin can complain that she is being libeled. That is her right. She can even sue in British courts if she wants and can loose.

    But to use this phrase in the context of this episode is utterly insensitive and foolish.

    If Palin has nothing to regret, then why did she remove the cross-hair picture from her site that listed Giffords as a target?

    This lunatic shooter is to blame for the murders. We cannot blame Sarah Palin for murder. However we can call her on her use of violent imagery and slogans, and popular prejudices and code-words to gain power.

    But she is becoming more of a demagogue as the year wears on. She is “a leader who makes use of popular prejudices and false claims and promises in order to gain power.”

    Lastly, any Dem caught using the same tactics should be called on the carpet too.

  • Okay first of all, the woman Palin has always come across to the majority of Americans and Canadians as a complete bumbling fool. If not , she would have won the election as the other guy was no where near as ‘out there’ in his attempts to win the Presidential bid.
    Secondly, why is anyone surprised at what this woman does or says anymore? This garbage isn’t even news worthy except in that it catches up the ‘Nay Sayers’ on what the majority had already known… the woman is a few crackers short of a full box!

  • Singling Palin out for criticism returns us to the comfy good ol’ days of the 2008 campaign, when we could pretend that candidate Obama was the best friend Israel could ever have. Ah. nostalgia. Meanwhile, a host of risible comments from the Obama administration get passed over in silence in this space (such as Obama’s opining, in his Cairo speech, that the Holocaust alone underlies Israel’s claim to the Holy Land).

    At this point, however, it would be difficult indeed to argue that a President Palin would be less supportive of Israel than the present tenant at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

    That said, Palin is addicted to keeping the focus on her. If her use of charged language outrages the usual suspects on the left, that’s fine by her. It doesn’t enhance her presidential cred, however. Certainly, Obama looked far more statesmanlike than Palin did yesterday. Palin did herself no favors with her timing, which compels the comparison.

    Withal, another illustration of why Palin, for all her cult-like support, will never be the nominee of the Republican Pary.

  • DISCLAIMER: Not a George W. Bush Fan. MANY on the left painted Bush as a buffoon and wished him DEAD – REAL DEATH – Not in a campaign advertising using a target as a metaphor, but saying I WISH HE WOULD HAVE CHOKED TO DEATH ON THAT PRETZEL.

  • While I wasn’t personally offended by her use of “blood libel”, I think it makes sense that many in the Jewish community take exception to it, especially in this context.

    Palin had the right, and even arguably a responsibility to defend herself. That said, its hard not to see the hypocrisy of criticizing criticism. Her condemnation of this supposed “blood libel” only reaffirms that words bear tremendous power in our society. She should look in the mirror once in a while.

    –Tsada

  • This was actually a good thread. It’s good to see some actual diverse opinions from Jews here, although it’s sad it mostly has to come from the comments and not in the form of posts.

Leave a Comment