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January 6, 2015 5:10 pm

Sarah Palin Explains Her Dog’s Jewish Name

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

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Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin said on the Today show that she named her dog Jill Hadassah after her college roommate. Photo: Facebook.

Former US vice presidential candidate  and Alaska governor Sarah Palin explained why she gave her dog the Jewish name Jill Hadassah during her Tuesday appearance on the Today show.

“I had a roommate in college named Jill, loved her, always wanted a Jill, and then Hadassah, that’s a Jewish name for Esther,” said Palin, now a Fox News contributor. “I love in the Bible the Book of Esther. I didn’t have a sixth kid, but had a dog, and finally I got to use those names.”

Palin appeared on the Today show to defend a Facebook photo she posted on Jan. 1, which stirred controversy on social media. The image features her 6-year-old son Trig, who has Down syndrome, standing on Jill Hadassah so he can reach the sink. The animal rights group PETA was outraged by the image and called Palin a “bizarrely callous woman.”

The former governor shot back on the Today show, saying the animal’s rights group applied “a hypocritical double standard” by criticizing her. She added that they can kiss her “okole,” a word used by locals in Hawaii to denote a person’s rear end.

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