Sarah Palin said on Wednesday that the journalists and pundits who blame the rhetoric of the political right for the act of “monstrous criminality” in Tucson, Ariz., Saturday are committing a “blood libel” — a term usually reserved for a centuries-old false claim used to justify anti-Semitism.
The former Alaska governor, in a 8-minute video, mourned the tragic shootings that took the lives of six people and wounded 14 others, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. But she said the rampage was the act of a “single evil man” who gunned down peaceful citizens. She said she moved from puzzlement to “concern” as reaction to the incident in some quarters blamed conservative rhetoric for provoking the violence caused by “this deranged, apparently apolitical criminal.”
Violent acts, such as the shootings in Arizona, “stand on their own. They begin and end with the criminals who commit them,” Palin said. In remarks posted on the website Vimeo, Palin said the media “should not manufacture a blood libel that serves only to incite the very hatred and violence they purport to condemn.”
“Blood libel” is an extraordinarily loaded phrase because it recalls the false accusation by Christians against Jews that was used for centuries as an excuse for anti-Semitic persecution. The libel generally refers to the charge that Jews require
[via PoliticsDaily, Politico and The Telegraph (UK)]