Opinion Brief

Defending 'blood libel': Palin takes on her critics... again

In a Fox News interview last night, the Alaska conservative stood by her use of the controversial phrase. Will her detractors back down?

The video: Sarah Palin was back on television last night (view clip below) responding to criticism of the video statement she released last week on the Arizona shootings. At the time, commentators slammed Palin for employing the phrase "blood libel," a term coined centuries ago in reference to anti-Semitic rumors that Jews killed Christian children to use their blood in rituals. Speaking with Fox News' Sean Hannity last night, Palin insisted that the term "obviously means being falsely accused of having blood on your hands" and charged her Jewish critics with deliberately misconstruing her meaning. Palin added that liberals should not try to use the Arizona shootings to stifle debate. "They can't make us sit down and shut up," she said.The reaction: Palin "came out swinging" in her Hannity interview, says Rick Moran at American Thinker, and "didn't hurt herself with her strong defense of her actions and words." It remains to be seen, however, if "independents and Republicans" will agree. Palin obviously didn't mean to "tap into an old anti-Semitic trope" with her "blood libel" remark, says Alex Altman at Time. But wouldn't it have been more dignified to "simply say that no malice was intended" and apologize for any offense? Instead, Palin chose to ignore the "post-Tucson unity push" in favor of calculated division. "It's the only play she has." Watch her response:

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