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Palin on Blood Libel Uproar: Nobody Is Going to Shut Me Up

An uproar over Sarah Palin’s charge that she is a victim of a media blood libel has not outdone her. "No one will shut me up," she insists.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 1/18/2011, 8:41 PM / Last Update: 1/18/2011, 9:58 PM

A thunderous uproar over Sarah Palin’s charge that she is a victim of a media blood libel has not outdone her. "They [the critics] are not going to shut me up. No one will shut me up,” she insisted, following accusations that her use of the term was out of order.

The shining star of the Tea Party continues to remain the person that U.S. voters seem to either hate or love following the attempted assassination of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords two weeks ago.

She was immediately accused of inciting the shooting because her political action committee, during her 2008 election campaign, posted a map with crosshairs and a  ”target list” of political districts, including Gifford’s.

After the shooting attack, in which six people were murdered, she responded that the Democratic party also had used the crosshairs image for years.

Following a massive media attack on Palin, she broke her silence earlier this week and said she was the victim of a blood libel, a comment that unleashed a new barrage of criticism. This time several Jewish groups were among her critics. Some Jewish leaders reminded her that the expression "blood libel" refers to slander in the Middle Ages that encouraged pogroms against Jews. However, other Jewish leaders defended her use of the term and it is known that Israeli leaders frequently have adopted the term when referring to media campaigns, particularly about accusations against nationalists.

Critics accused Palin – who has seemed in the past to be poorly-versed in world affairs – of being ignorant of the origin of the term.

Speaking in an interview with Sean Hannity on Fox News Monday, she came out swinging. The “blood libel” term “means being falsely accused of having blood on your hands and in this case that's exactly what was going on," she said.  

“And yes, the historical knowledge that people have of the term ‘blood libel' – it goes back to the Jews who were falsely accused back in medieval European times of using the blood of children. And you know, the criticism of even the timing of this statement is being used as another diversion,” she continued.

As for criticism by Jewish leaders, she commented, “I think the critics, again, were using anything that they could gather out of that statement. And ...you know, you can -- you can spin up anything out of anybody's statements that are released and use them against the person who is making the statement. But, no, I appreciated those who understood what it is that I meant, that a group of people being falsely accused of having blood on their hands, that is what blood libel means. And just two days before I released my statement, an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal had that term in its title and that term has been used for eons.”

Palin also said that although Democrats have used “bull’s-eye maps” for targeting political districts and that Bill Clinton’s political pros had a “war room,” critics pick on her because “I am not hesitant at all to spread [my message] across this country...

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who like Palin is a potential GOP candidate for the 2012 election, chided Palin Monday for her shoot-from-hip style. "I think that she's got to slow down and be more careful and think through what she's saying and how's she's saying it,” he advised. 

Palin insisted she will not change her style: "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. So, I will continue to speak out. They're not going to shut me up. They're not going to shut you up or Rush or Mark Levin or Tea Party patriots or those who, as I say, respectfully and patriotically petition their government for change. They can't make us sit down and shut up. And if they ever were to succeed in doing that, then our republic will be destroyed.”