Voices from Russia

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Gingrich Didn’t Recognise Palestinians as a Nation

Jerusalem… it’s NOT just the capital of a Jewish state… as this image proves…

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US presidential candidate Newt Gingrich, in an interview with US TV outlet The Jewish Channel called Palestinians a “fictional nation”…

“Remember, Palestine as a state never existed, it was part of the Ottoman Empire. Thus, we have a fictional nation. In fact, the Arabs, historically, are part of the larger Arab community. They had a chance to go wherever they would, but for a variety of political motives, some still support their war against Israel”, Gingrich said.

Of course, the reaction of Palestinian leaders was unambiguous. Saeb Erakat, who headed the Palestinian Autonomy’s delegation in negotiations with the United States and Israel, said, “This is the most racist remark that I’ve ever heard”. Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad echoed those sentiments, saying, “The Palestinian people have lived on this land since the beginning of history, and intends to live in it until the end. Despite harassment, assault, and occupation, we are determined to stay here and exercise our legitimate rights. It would be good if people like Gingrich studied history”. Dimitri Diliani, a member of the Revolutionary Council of Fatah, said that Palestinians consider themselves the direct descendants of the Jebusites, a biblical tribe that lived in Jerusalem before the Jews came there. The Books of the Kings in the Old Testament documents the struggle of these two peoples.

Gingrich’s speech… by the way, he’s a trained historian… didn’t meet with approval in the USA. US Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) said, “Gingrich’s mistaken if he thinks that denying the Palestinians the right to exist as a nation and have their own state pleases the audience of The Jewish Channel”. Even Gingrich’s fellow Republicans didn’t protect him, as Mitt Romney said, “I agree with almost everything that the Speaker said, but as for saying that the Palestinians are a fictional nation… I myself, if I were president, before making such a statement, I’d call Bibi (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu) and ask him if he thought it wise, and whether it would help in this situation”. Another Republican contender for the Oval Office, Ron Paul, who’s known for his libertarian views and very radical foreign-policy position, chose to speak cautiously, saying, “Yes, the Palestinians under the Ottomans weren’t a state… but neither were the Jews”.

Gingrich’s press secretary tried to downplay the situation. He said that, in general, his boss continues to support Washington’s Middle East policy, which aims for the peaceful coexistence of Israel and a future Palestinian state. He referred to “decades of complicated history”, which one must understand in order to reach a new agreement.

12 December 2011

Voice of Russia World Service

http://rus.ruvr.ru/2011/12/12/62089156.html

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