by Daniel Pipes
December 10, 2011
Cross-posted from National Review Online
The former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives and current Republican presidential candidate said yesterday that “there was no Palestine as a state. It was part of the Ottoman Empire. We have invented the Palestinian people, who are in fact Arabs and are historically part of the Arab people, and they had the chance to go many places.”
Everyone from the PLO to a Mitt Romney spokesman jumped on Gingrich for this assertion, but he happens to be absolutely correct: no Arabic-speaking Muslims identified themselves as “Palestinian” until 1920, when, in rapid order this appellation and identity was adopted by the Muslim Arabs living in the British mandate of Palestine.
Uploaded by SDAMatt2a on Dec 14, 2011
Michael Coren and Daniel Pipes discuss Newt Gingrich’s assertion that the Palestinians are an invented people.
Uploaded by SDAMatt2a on Dec 13, 2011
White House hopeful Newt Gingrich weathered a pummeling by rivals who attacked the Republican frontrunner’s conservative credentials, marital infidelities and a provocative remark about Palestinians.
But the former House speaker coolly defended his most controversial views in a feisty debate Saturday night, including a recent remark calling Palestinians an “invented people,” while conceding that voters will have to decide whether he is fit to be president.
Polls this week show Gingrich with a significant lead over Romney, who had been seen as having the party’s best chance of beating Obama in 2012 despite his inability to win over the party’s conservative base.
When slammed by his rivals for saying in an interview with the Jewish Television network (embedded at the bottom of this story) that the Palestinians were an “invented people,” Gingrich refused to back down.
“The Palestinian claim to a right of return is based on a historically false story,” he insisted, adding: “These people are terrorists. They teach terrorism in their schools.”
“I think sometimes it is helpful to have a president of the United States with the courage to tell the truth,” Gingrich said. “Just as it was when [Ronald] Reagan went around his entire national security apparatus to call the Soviet Union an evil empire.”
Gingrich currently has the support of 27% to 33% of likely Republican voters both nationally and in Iowa, while Romney’s support ranges from 16% to 23%.
Gingrich has also narrowed Romney’s robust edge in New Hampshire, which votes on January 10, and is ahead of him in South Carolina and Florida, which vote on January 21 and January 31, respectively.
– National Post