(JTA) — In her first interview since the Arizona shooting, Sarah Palin defended her use of the term ‘blood libel’ and said she understands meaning of the term.
“Blood libel obviously means being falsely accused of having blood on your hands and in this case that’s exactly what was going on,” Palin told Sean Hannity in an interview Monday on Fox. Palin is a Fox guest contributor.
A blood libel refers to accusations that began in the Middle Ages that Jews used the blood of murdered Christian children to make matzah for Passover.
In a video statement released last week, Palin defended herself against criticism in the mainstream media that a map on her website which used images of gun cross hairs to indicate districts targeted in last year’s midterm elections helped lead to the violence. The district of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), who was shot and critically injured in the shooting attack, was one of the marked districts. "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 is reprehensible,” Palin said in the video statement.
Palin, who would not discuss her future political aspirations, but is thought to be a potential 2012 presidential candidate, pointed out to Hannity that the Wall Street Journal had used the term in a headline just days earlier. She said she does not believe her use of the term makes her politically "toxic."
Palin offered her condolences to the victims of the shooting and their families, quoting from the Book of Jeremiah.
The map was removed from her website by the paid graphic designer following the shooting, which Palin said she believed was appropriate. She also said the use of crosshairs on a political map was not an original idea.