With many already trying to stomach Newt Gingrich’s mangling of marriage commitments via infidelity and researching his alleged flip-flopping to outright lying about issues, his remarks to the Jewish Channel may have scuttled his run for the White House. His remarks neither benefited Israel nor Palestine as embodied in the Palestinian authority.
The Jewish Channel on Friday released excerpts of an interview in which the former House Speaker said Palestinians were not a people because – unlike Israelis – they never had a state.
“Remember, there was no Palestine as a state,” Gingrich said. “It was part of the Ottoman Empire.
“I think we have invented the Palestinian people, who are in fact Arabs and who are historically part of the Arab community, and they had a chance to go to many places, and for a variety of political reasons, we have sustained this war against Israel now since the 1940s. It’s tragic.”
Palestinian official Nabil Abu Rdeneh on Saturday described Gingrich’s comments as “unfortunate” and called him “ignorant.” [CBS]
Speaking of channels, the Arab news agency, AlJazeera is widely followed here and not only by Arab Americans. And his treatment of this minority will be followed closely by other people who are seen as minorities in this country as well. It is doubtful that he can overcome this one.
No one “creates”or self-“creates” a people. Think of the many “groups” or “people” in the Arab world distinguished either by religion or by ethnic heritage that he might have designated as such. What about the Kurdish people in northern Iraq that have tried to carve out their own state from historic attachments over centuries. They have been attacked both by Turkey and Iraq’s Sunnis. You need in all cases to acknowledge how people view themselves. It is not only common sense to believe them; it is a diplomatic necessity.
In a global village, Newt Just is not one who will fit in easily. We would lose credibility and leverage as an honest broker in negotiations to help end conflict with him at the helm SamHenry sees this as a defining moment in his candidacy and predicts that this will take him down. If it doesn’t in Republican camps, it will in a national election. The Republican Party cannot afford New Gingrich.
For a brief overview of the history of Palestine, see this site: