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Newt Gingrich's Statement About Palestinians as "Invented People," Cheap, Disgraceful, Vulgar, Hurtful, and Ridiculous, Replies Fayyad

Fayyad: Newt Gingrich's Statement About Palestinians Cheap and Disgraceful

Saturday December 10, 2011 14:40 by Saed Bannoura - IMEMC & Agencies

Palestinian Prime Minister, Dr. Salaam Fayyad, stated Saturday that the statements of U.S. Republican Presidential Candidate, Newt Gingrich, are cheap and disgraceful. The statements of Fayyad came after Gingrich stated on Friday that the Palestinians “are an invented people”.

Gingrich also stated that U.S. President, Barack Obama, “favors the terrorists in the region”.

The presidential hopeful further stated that should he win the elections, his policies will be close those of Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.

Responding to the statements of Gingrich, Dr. Fayyad stated that “the Palestinian people inhibited the land since the dawn of history, and intend to remain in it until the end times”, and added that "people like Gingrich must consult history as it seems that all what he knows about the region is the history of the Ottoman era".

“This fact by itself is a denial for historic facts”, Fayyad added, “Despite oppression,
occupation, and assaults, the Palestinian people remain steadfast in their historic land, and will achieve their legitimate rights”.

The Palestinian Prime Minister also stated that such statements coming from a U.S. Presidential candidate were not even made by Israel’s most fanatic and extremist leaders.

Several Palestinian officials stated that Gingrich’s statements are an adaptation of a “Nazi ideology” that once riddled humanity, and added that Gingrich “lost all touch with reality and his statements only indicate ignorance and racism”, the Maan News Agency reported.

On his part, Taiseer Khaled, member of the Executive Committee of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) stated the Gingrich’s statements bring to mind statements made by Zionist leaders, and extremist Israeli leaders who deny the existence of the Palestinian people, and their legitimate rights to statehood, independence, and the refugees' right to return to the homeland they were forcibly removed from when Israel was established in Palestine.

Gingrich stands by 'invented' Palestinians jab

Published today (updated) 11/12/2011 12:19


Leading Republican White House contender Newt Gingrich has stood by his remarks that Palestinians are an "invented" people, which have sparked outrage as he seemed to call into question long-held US policy on statehood.

"Is what I said factually correct? Yes. Is it historically true? Yes," Gingrich said during a thorny moment in the latest debate among the Republicans vying to challenge President Barack Obama in the November 2012 election.

Gingrich's comments were the most hawkish to date from any Republican vying to take on President Barack Obama in November 2012's national election, and came as his rivals upped the bidding to gain key support from Jewish voters.

In a sign he could abandon the US position on a two-state solution for Israel and the Palestinians, Gingrich said the Jewish people had the right to a state, but did not confirm if Palestinians should have the same right.

"Remember there was no Palestine as a state. It was part of the Ottoman Empire," Gingrich told The Jewish Channel in an interview released on Friday.

"We've had an invented Palestinian people, who are in fact Arabs, and were historically part of the Arab community," he said.

"They had a chance to go many places. And for a variety of political reasons, we have sustained this war against Israel now since the 1940s, and I think it's tragic," the candidate said.

Republicans aiming for the presidency have declared an unshakable commitment to Israel, while criticizing Obama's policy toward Israel.

But Gingrich's campaign was later forced to backtrack and a statement was issued that said the candidate did in fact favor the same two-state solution espoused by Obama and previous US presidents.

"Gingrich supports a negotiated peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians," spokesman R.C. Hammond said, "which will necessarily include agreement between Israel and the Palestinians over the borders of a Palestinian state."

Outraged Palestinian officials called for the former US House speaker to apologize for his "vulgar, hurtful and ridiculous remarks."

His characterization of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict "constituted a totally unacceptable distortion of historical truth," Ramallah prime minister Salam Fayyad said Saturday, stressing that in Israel "even the most extremist settlers don't dare to speak in such a ridiculous manner."

And American Task Force on Palestine spokesman Hussein Ibish was quick to point out that "there was no Israel and no such thing as an 'Israeli people' before 1948," when the country was established.

But late Saturday in the latest Republican presidential debate, Gingrich kicked the hornet's nest again, saying: "These people are terrorists."

Gingrich's latest remarks, including saying that "the Palestinian claim to a right of return is based on a historically false story," put his rivals -- and Americans in general -- on notice that he has no intention of shying away from controversy as he seeks his party's nomination.

While Jewish voters account for a very small portion of the electorate, they play an important role in pivotal states such as Florida and delegate-rich Pennsylvania that are key to the presidential nominating process.

Earlier in the week, Gingrich told a Republican Jewish forum that if he won the nomination he would ask John Bolton, former president George W. Bush's UN envoy, to be his secretary of state. Bolton is known for his virulent defense of Israel.

At that same forum, Gingrich's main rival for the nomination, Mitt Romney, said he would visit Washington's close ally on his first trip as president, and claimed that Obama had "chastened" Israel.

Republican White House hopeful Michele Bachmann meanwhile joined Gingrich in saying she would move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, to which both Israel and Palestinians lay claim.

In the interview with Jewish TV, Gingrich also charged that the Palestinian Authority shares the militant Islamist Hamas movement's "enormous desire to destroy Israel."

The truth is that the Palestinian Authority formally recognizes Israel's right to exist.

At Saturday's debate, Representative Ron Paul slammed Gingrich's comments as "just stirring up trouble," while Romney called them "a mistake."


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