Author: Melanie PhillipsUS presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich ...said the Palestinian Arabs were 'an invented people' - and the world promptly started hurling execrations at him, as if such a statement proved beyond doubt that Gingrich was indeed a dangerously extreme individual who, when it came to political positioning, was just off the graph altogether.
So just what did he say? This:
But of course, he is absolutely correct. As Elder of Ziyon pointed out, the Arabs who lived in Palestine were a disconnected bunch of tribes who had nothing in common with each other except that they were Arabs. They never were, are not and never will be a Palestinian people (the claim that they are now just because they say they are is risible and would be dismissed out of hand if applied to any other self-defined grouping). There is not and never has been any 'Palestinian' Arab culture, language, religion or national identity separate from that of the wider Arab nation.
'Palestinianism' was invented solely to destroy Israel. The one and only characteristic of this 'national' identity is the aim of destroying another -- authentic -- national identity.
The Arabs have themselves repeatedly admitted this over the years.Auni Bey Abdul-Hadi, the Syrian Arab leader told the British Peel Commission in 1937:
At the United Nations in 1956, the Saudi representative stated:
"It is common knowledge that Palestine is nothing but Southern Syria."
And after the 1967 war Zuheir Muhsin, then military commander of the PLO and member of the PLO Executive Council, said helpfully:
The agenda of 'Palestinian rights' is, however, now so deeply rooted in western discourse and diplomacy - and even in Israeli leftist discourse - that Gingrich has found himself under attack for talking rubbish. But it is his attackers whose arguments are jaw-droppingly absurd.
For example, a Fatah Revolutionary Council member claimed that Gingrich was 'racist' and 'ignorant' because the Palestinians had descended from the 'Canaanite tribe of the Jebusites'. But as Elder of Ziyon comments in a further hilarious posting, there are one or two, ah, obstacles in the way of this particular claim:
There is no intelligent person today who would compare like with unlike in this shallow way. Americans became a nation solely because they created, lived in and governed America. The Jews were the nation who created, lived in and governed Israel. The Arabs were among waves of colonisers who took their national homeland away from them. The Americans did not base their entire claim to nationhood on the big lie that they were the original inhabitants of the land. The Palestinian Arabs do just that.
Daniel Greenfield, aka Sultan Knish, rips the American analogy apart and goes on:
Exactly. Which is why Gingrich's remark goes to the very heart of the issue; and it is the fact that so many in the intellectual, political and diplomatic world - including in Israel itself - find what he said so outlandish that goes a long way to explain why there is still no peace in the Middle East.
Gosh - a presidential candidate who actually understands what's going on in the Middle East and speaks the truth about it! No wonder they're so desperate now to stop him.
...and from Daniel Pipes' Blog, December 10, 2011:
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.
For details, see a long article of mine from 1989 on the topic or a short one from 2000. (December 10, 2011)
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Hey, stop this dangerous candidate! He's told the truth!
Mail Online, 12 December 2011: