“Enough already with the falsehood”

William A. Jacobson comments on Newt Gingrich calling the Palestinians an invented people:

Mid_gingrichPalestinian national identity as it currently is recognized was a reaction to the creation of Israel and most prominently the 1967 war when Israel captured territory controlled by Egypt and Jordan.  Newt Gingrich is under fire for stating this truth.

It doesn’t really change the equation on the ground, and there is an inexorable march towards Palestinians having a state in some portion of that former Egyptian and Jordanian territory, the questions being boundaries and militarization.

The importance of Gingrich’s comment was that it skewered a false historical narrative which dominates the international debate and is used for the demonization of Israel and its chief supporter, the United States.

Newt was absolutely correct to say enough already with the falsehood.  If it upset the Palestinians, well too bad.  It’s about time a prominent political figure in the United States didn’t just voice support for Israel but did so in a historically accurate manner which addressed the false Palestinian narrative of perpetual victimization.

This is firing up many an Israeli hater and/or Palestinian supporter (too often indistinguishable) yet it would seem that these hater/supporters would need to argue with some of their own:

Gingrich’s statement is backed up by Zuheir Mohsen, a Palestinian leader of the pro-Syria faction of the PLO who March 1977 gave an interview with the Dutch newspaper Trouw:

The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity. In reality today there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people, since Arab national interests demand that we posit the existence of a distinct Palestinian people to oppose Zionism.

For tactical reasons, Jordan, which is a sovereign state with defined borders, cannot raise claims to Haifa and Jaffa, while as a Palestinian, I can undoubtedly demand Haifa, Jaffa, Beer-Sheva and Jerusalem. However, the moment we reclaim our right to all of Palestine, we will not wait even a minute to unite Palestine and Jordan.

Nor is Mohsen the only Arab to say this. Princeton University Prof. Philip Hitti, the distinguished Arab-American historian, testified against partition before the Anglo-American Committee in 1946

There is no such thing as ‘Palestine’ in history, absolutely not.

You can check out an article by Daniel Pipes, who discusses The Year the Arabs Discovered Palestine (short version here)

That year was 1920.

Thus far, I’ve not found a rebuttal to Gingrich that seems plausible or isn’t filled with invectives or ad hominems.  When I do, I’ll update and post them.

I wouldn’t hold my breath.

Can't a virgin ever get a break?
Watch what follows, listen to the words spoken, compare them to anything Obama has said
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  • I love seeing this blog fall head over hell s in love with the monthly GOP front-runner candidate du juor…

    It’ makes it so much enjoyable when, 3 weeks from now, you start making excuses why he/she imploded.

    Mean old MSM – still asking those “gotcha” questions like “Why did you cheat on your wife while she was bedridden with cancer”. Mean old MSM…

    • Rick’s post is about the history of the Palestinians. What Gingrich said about the Palestinians would be true even if Gingrich were not in the political arena.

    • Grace_ia

      Typical lefty trying to change the subject of the thread.
      We’re so happy you stopped by (cough not cough).

    • Have you ever made a substantive comment here, Armstrong?

    • Anonymous

      Steve’s head is obviously still up his ass after his latest worship of The One.  Not even trying to stay on topic……………..

    • jim_m

      This is why I miss the ability to vote comments down.  The one feature from the old blog that never made it back.

    • retired.military

      Vs Not asking Clinton why he cheated on Hillary EVER.
      And not asking Obama any questino of substance at all. Except maybe “So Mr president do you think the republican nominee still beats his wife and kids and how do you deal with the obstinate refusal of the republicans to go along with your awesome plans to save the world. Are they really as mean as they seem to be?”

    • Anonymous

      What a 1/4 wit you are Racepants… Screw off!

  • Anonymous

    “The importance of Gingrich’s comment was that it skewered a false
    historical narrative which dominates the international debate and is
    used for the demonetization of Israel and its chief supporter, the United
    States.”Nailed it.

  • The Palestinians ARE victims – of the Arabs, who intentionally kept them oppressed and in poverty to focus their resentments and insane terrorism on Israel. 

    But by now it is too late to save generations of them from hatred and murder, having been indoctrinated in their death cult.  Children’s television shows and costumed characters salute the suicide bombers who kill Jewish children.

    They have had enough autonomy for any objective assessment to conclude these barbarian are unfit for a state. 

    But once again, Gingrich throws out red meat to conservatives and evangelicals, hoping they will ignore his real record.  So far it seems to be working.

    • jim_m

      The Palestinians ARE victims – of the Arabs, who intentionally kept them oppressed and in poverty to focus their resentments and insane terrorism on Israel.

      So far this is the most accurate statement made that is on topic.  I’ll note that no one else is trying to contradict the main premise here.

      • Anonymous

        Well, they are actually victims of themselves.

    • The Palestinians were welcome in Jordan, until they tried to take over and had to be driven out.  

      “September 1970 is known as the Black September (Arabic: أيلول الأسود‎ aylūl al-aswad) in Arab history and sometimes is referred to as the “era of regrettable events.” It was a month when Hashemite King Hussein of Jordan moved to quash the militancy of Palestinian organizations and restore his monarchy’s rule over the country.[3] The violence resulted in the deaths of thousands of people, the vast majority Palestinian.[1] Armed conflict lasted until July 1971 with the expulsion of the Palestine Liberation Organisation and thousands of Palestinian fighters to Lebanon.”

      I can understand why the Palestinians are as they are – they’ve spent decades alienating those around them who nominally support them – until about all they’re seen as good for is cannon fodder in the ongoing conflict with Israel.   It must suck tremendously from a psychological standpoint to be seen by your fellow Arabs as about as useful as an unguided missile launched over a border… so why not turn your existential worthlessness (aside from being a weapons delivery system) into something you celebrate?  

      All things considered, the Palestinians have the worst of everything.  They’ve got no homeland, no culture, no future aside from single-use explosive carriers (talk about disposables – not even any real way to recycle ’em), and a leadership culture that’s dependent on keeping them deprived and helpless so the money keeps coming from their neighbors.  AND they get care packages (IE Aid, food and water) from the Jews, who they’re pledged to destroy.  

      No wonder they’re nuts. At every turn they make the worst possible choices for their future.

    • Anonymous

      You have a good point about the Arab League’s policy to keep refugees stateless and dependent on the UN and others. 

      That does not justify Israeli setters taking land from Arabs on the West Bank now.

      • Anonymous

        That doesn’t justify Obama taking wealth from one sector and redistributing it to another either? 

        I’m sure if these ‘Arabs’ have a deed and title to the land in question they can take it up with their city council and file a grievance and  wait for litigation in a court of law? 

        Or, do what comes natural.. Sling stones, praise Allah and continue raising mad brainwashed suicide flesh bombs in the vain hope that he really does exist and will grant them wisdom enough to stop destroying themselves.

        • Anonymous

          The Arabs don’t have their own courts on land issues – they are run by the Israelis.

          Don’t you think getting evicted and having your land stolen might motivate you to throw rocks?

          • Anonymous

            Being evicted means you are a tenant. Not the land owner. And they would throw rocks and burn you to death over cartoons, so no, there is no outrage here.

  • Anonymous

    There were ways to express what Gingrich was trying to say without using an insulting, inflammatory term like “invented people.” I’ve heard others talk about the history of the area who had a similar view who were …ummm,… a little more diplomatic.

    Newt is a loose cannon, who shoots his mouth off before he thinks about the consequences of his flamethrowing. This is unfortunate in a major-party presidential candidate. It would be a fucking disaster in a President.

    • jim_m

      Yeah he might snub our allies to the point that they no longer consider themselves our allies.  Oh wait, obama as already done that so there aren’t any allies left to insult.  Never mind.

      And since the palis aren’t our allies I’m really not that upset if we insult them.

      • Anonymous

        Tired trope, Jim.

        • jim_m

          Wait… You’re denying that obama has insulted our allies?  Or are you claiming that the people who danced in the streets and handed out candy in celebration of 3000 people being murdered on 9/11 are our allies?

          • Anonymous

            No, Jim, I’ll take your word for it that the UK is leaving NATO, France won’t cooperate with us in, say, Libya, and Israel returned our latest billion dollar check because they were so darn miffed at Obama about those DVDs, or something.

            That’s what you meant by “they no longer consider themselves our allies,” right?

          • jim_m

            Touche.  The UK is not leaving NATO and France will always be a pain in the ass.  Even so, obama has insulted them and our relationships have soured.

            He has also insulted newer allies like the Poles and the Czechs, who would have been very staunch allies had he not shit all over them.

          • Jay

            And the rest of the world talks about Hillary.  It’s politics, not marriage.

          • Bruce and Obama have a different view of who our allies are, that’s all.  Obama makes nice with Iran and Russia, trying his best to appease them, while throwing old allies under the bus in favor of islamists.

          • Jay

            You do realize that Russia is currently protesting Putin, right?

          • Anonymous

            Many ordinary Russians are protesting the rigged election and Putin, true.

            Maybe you could enlighten me how that fact is relevevant to the question of Obama throwing the Poles and Czechs under the bus to gain favor with the Russian official government.

          • Jay

            It means the political structure in Russia may change.  For better or worse is uncertain. 

        • retired.military

          But true.  So true.

      • Anonymous

        Yes, it could have been said more diplomatically. And of course that whole diplomatic thing has led to such great results so far right?

        Reagen could have said “Mr Gorbachev, please remove this unsightly obstruction.”

        George Bush could have described Iran, Iraq and North Korea as “three countries that aren’t all that nice.”

        Telling it like it is seems to work better.

      • Anonymous

        Neither are the Israelis “allies.”  Do they belong to NATO, like Turkey?  No.  Do they have a treaty of alliance with the USA?  No.

        What exactly have they done for the USA to be called “allies?”  I know we give them $5 billion a year or so. In return? I remember the USS Liberty, Jonathan Pollard, other spies and them selling secrets to the Sovs and the Chinese.

        Bush I, Clinton, Bush II and Obama ask them, pretty please, to stop building settlements on the West Bank and they got the high hard one.

        So help me out on that one, how are the Israelis “allies?”

    • Mr. Henry,

      Is that the best you have?  We need a President who is sufficiently “politically correct.”  Really?

      • Anonymous

        TA, I used to do that “Mister” crap, too. It was annoying when I did it (hell, I did it to BE annoying) and it’s annoying now.

        There’s a difference between not being PC and cavalierly throwing away what has been US policy for the past 3 or 4 administrations. Not being PC doesn’t mean you must be a bombthrower.

        • jim_m

          It’s grossly inaccurate to suggest that obama’s middle east policy is the same as the last 4 administrations.  That would mean obama’s ME policy is the same as Bush 43, Clinton, Bush 41 and Reagan.

          You really are delusional if you think that obama’s middle east policy is remotely congruent to Reagan’s.

          • Anonymous

            I should have said since Bush 41, when the US began moving toward a two-state solution.

          • jim_m

            That’s more reasonable, but I would argue that obama is very anti Israel and has basically abandoned Israel as an ally.  You cannot count on the US to stop the antisemitic tendencies of the UN any longer.  obama has been offensively rude to Netenyahu, far more so than is seemly.  It’s one thing to dislike a country or a leader it’s another to walk out of diplomatic discussions without any word so you can have dinner while they wait on you.

            One need only look at the recent punlic exchanges to see how badly obama has damaged the relationship.  He is incapable of keeping his own personal prejudices out of the way.

          • Anonymous

            When the PM of a client state arrives in the capitol of its patron state he should keep his  smartass remarks about the president of said patron state to himself.

             In this case there WAS a snub administered, a richly deserved one.

             What other source is Israel gonna obtain 3 or 4 billion a year from? Netanyahu can damn well get over it, and be polite himself.

            If the head of ANY state had dissed Bush like Bibi dissed Obama, wingnuts like yourself would demand the breaking off of diplomatic relations.

          • jim_m

            Bibi dissed obama only after obama had insulted him.  It was clearly meant as a return for what obama had done.

          • retired.military

            “When the PM of a client state arrives in the capitol of its patron state he should keep his smartass remarks about the president of said patron state to himself.”

            You mean like Obama said about Netanyahu??

          • herddog505

            So, if we give a lot of money to some country or entity, that country or entity should do our bidding, be polite, and in general STFU?

            Wait… I thought that the days of American arrogance ended on the day that the seas began to recede, i.e. Jan 20, 2009.

            But that’s OK: I can’t wait for a future president to tell the UN, “Where else are you going to get the (approximately) $7B that we give you?  So you can just damned well get over it, and be polite.  B*tches.”

        • retired.military

          “and cavalierly throwing away what has been US policy for the past 3 or 4 administrations”

          Oh you mean like supporting Israel??

          Open mouth insert foot Bruce.

        • Brucie,

          I use “Mister” for respect.  Although I greatly dislike the gentleman, I still refer to our Commander in Chief as “President Obama.”  However, I am willing to make an exception in your case.

    • retired.military

      ” It would be a fucking disaster in a President.      ‘

      Gee maybe Newt is trying to be like Obama who has already achieved that distinction many times over.

      • Anonymous

        RM’s version of I’m-rubber-you’re-glue.

        • retired.military

          I notice you didnt disagree with my assessment of Obama’s performance Bruce.  Speaking of Obama’s performance have you heard the rumors of Michelle and a SS agent?   I mean you hear all about the supposed indiscretions of republicans but where are the news reports of Michelle’s supposed affair?
          And dont say “Michelle isnt running” because you know damn well if Gingrich’s wife was supposedly having an affair it would be all over the front page and on every Sunday talk show.

    • The same false argument always used by appeasers. If we are nice enough to them, they will play nice with us. And the same rhetoric used in the attempt to mitigate Reagan’s approach to the Soviet Union. Good thing he didn’t listen. Funny too, how liberals never seem to worry about insulting Israel.

      • Anonymous

        So everyone in the Middle East should just wonder if the next POTUS is going to switch diplomatic tracks after 15-20 years of pursuing a two-state solution? Those concerned with such a possibility are “appeasers”?

        To quote a clever line I heard somewhere, “Enough already with the falsehood…”

        • jim_m

          The difference is that previous Presidents wanted to reach a settlement that resulted in a two state solution.  obama has advisers who suggest that we should impose a two state solution entirely at the expense of Israel.  There is a real and substantial difference in the approach and one results in peace whereas obama’s ends up in war.

        • If something isn’t working, you try something else.  The Palestinian version of a two-state solution is East Palestinia and West Palestinia, with Israel wiped out of existence.  Who they’d get food, water and electricity from doesn’t quite seem to register as a problem, I don’t know why. Or who would maintain their infrastructure, since their educational curricula seems more involved with blowing shit up than with making usable shit that doesn’t blow people up.  (Which is a really bad design goal for an electrical system or sanitation system. Flip a switch and have stuff go boom is real bad for domestic appliances.)

          I’m sure they don’t see it that way, of course.  But reality being what it is, and those pesky Jews just refusing to lay down and die already so they can have all their land back, I think it might be time to acknowledge an ugly reality.

          The Palestinians have been and are being well and truly fucked by their supporters and their leadership.  When Israel gave back the land it did, and the Palestinians promptly trashed a lot of the infrastructure on it, it should have been a clue that there was something seriously wrong in the heads of the Palestinians.  

          I had hopes when Arafat died that their leadership would go “You know, this whole thing ain’t working.  We need to try to figure out something that does, because (a) we can’t kill them off, (b) they keep helping us with medical aid, food, water, and power, (c) living like this sucks big blue donkey dicks, and (d) they’re NOT systematically exterminating us.  We strike them, they hit back… but they don’t go all-out, as we would if we could.

          “And look at our neighbors – they won’t even let us in.  They’re nowhere near as prosperous as Israel.  Why is that, aside from the obvious ‘those damn Jews are stealing everything that isn’t nailed down everywhere they can’ crap we’ve been feeding our people for decades – which we know isn’t true, but it keeps them off OUR asses?  What are we missing here?”

          Of course, they didn’t.  

          I don’t see a solution there, aside from the Palestinians realizing their enemy isn’t Israel.  Too many people have too much hate and anger invested to back away from the fight, even if it destroys what they want in the end.

          • jim_m

            If something isn’t working, you try something else. 

            That’s a good argument for ditching land for peace.  Hasn’t worked yet and the palis still won’t say that Israel has the right to exist.

          • I don’t think they ever can. They’ve basically carved their goals in stone for the world to see, and there’s little to no chance they’re ever going to admit they’re wrong or that the goal isn’t achievable. 

            I think if the ‘refugee funding’ got cut, they’d figure it out pretty fast though, and work out a livable compromise.  Won’t happen, though – and their leadership knows it.

            So the boil will fester and eventually pop in a bloody, stinking mess, and the death and destruction will be immense – all because of ‘diplomatic’ foolishness that’s drawn out the pain a lot longer than it would have otherwise.

        • retired.military

          “Expand So everyone in the Middle East should just wonder if the next POTUS is going to switch diplomatic tracks after 15-20 years “You mean like Obama has switched tracks with Israel?

          • Anonymous

            Your debating skills are clearly superior to mine, RM. In fact, YOU HAVE BEATEN ME, sir, with your oh so clever, “Oh, you mean like…” trick. I bow to your forensic prowess, RM.

        • “Surely, after lying all these years, we’re not going to start telling the truth now.”

          You bet.

  • Of course any talk of a solution in the Middle East, specifically Israel and Palestine, is as based in reality as alien visitors on the Earth.

    There is the Obama plan to impose a full Palestinian state upon Israel without negotiation, or none – because the Palestinians won’t even live up to the agreements they’ve signed already, and they refuse to acknowledge Israel’s right to exist within secure borders.

    “You cannot negotiate with those who say, ‘What’s mine is mine, and what is yours is negotiable'” – to paraphrase Reagan.  

    The best policy to is kill off as many terrorists as possible and hope eventually the people supporting them begin to get the idea it is not in their own best interest to do so. 

  • Anonymous

    Before we bcome too sanctimous, if I am not mistaken Americans did not call themselves..Americans until after the Revolutionary War or War of Independence, but colonists…from the 13 colonies?

    • Anonymous

      [gong ringing, thanks to Chuck Barris]

  • Anonymous

    Every thread has a thread-jacker and a village idiot! In this thread Stephen and Bruce are pulling a train..

  • Anonymous

    This might help.


    For centuries the future of the place called Palestine  was the subject of a bitter struggle. Even the name was controversial. Where the Arabs transformed the Roman name of Palestine into the Arabian name Filastin, the Jews insisted on the traditional Hebrew name Eretz Israel, “The Land of Israel.” Zealots of both sides continue to refuse to recognize the legitimacy of the name used by the other side……  It is true that in the middle of the nineteenth century there was neither a “Palestinian nation” nor a “Palestinian identity.” But about four hundred thousand Arabs—the great majority of whom were Muslims—lived in Palestine, which was divided by the Ottomans into three districts.Some of these people were the descendants of the pre-Islamic population that had adopted Islam and the Arabic language; others were members of Bedouin tribes, although the penetration of Bedouins was drastically curtailed after the mid-nineteenth century, when the Ottoman authorities became stronger

    • Anonymous

      How many jewish peoples were still living there?

  • herddog505

    Devil’s advocate:

    Most – if not all – peoples on earth are “manufactured” peoples simply because national identities as we understand them today are a fairly recent invention.  Even to the extent that there are very old “nations” (China and Egypt leap to mind), they’ve undergone so many wars, migrations, immigrations, changes of government, shifts in borders, etc., that it’s difficult to speak of a “people” who can be said to have existed more than a few centuries ago. 

    I would say that we Americans are the greatest example of a “manufactured people”: there is no single ethnic, genetic or cultural heritage that we all shall other than the adopted one of being an American, which at its core is merely a political system.

    / devil’s advocate

    Whether the Palestinians are a “manufactured people” is somewhat beside the point: they certainly seem to feel some sort of corporate identity and have identified a “homeland” for themselves that has some basis in historical fact.  Unfortunately for them, the Israelis can make the same claims.*

    In principle, it should be possible for both sides to work something out: “Look, we all have ancestors who are from here or identify this place as their ancestral homeland.  How can we all live here in peace?” Unfortunately, most people are selfish and want the whole pie.  Further, there now exists sufficient emnity between the two sides that they have absolutely no reason to trust each other.  IF the Israelis were foolish enough to agree to (A) a Palestinian state inside their own borders and (B) the right of return, they would in effect be flooding their borders with people who AT THE VERY LEAST have no interest in honoring their culture and political institutions and at worst want them all gone (preferably feet first).  Why should any sane Israeli agree to this?


    (*) To the extent that it matters, I would say that the Israelis – the Jews – have a stronger historical claim, as Roman if not Biblical history demonstrates.

    • That’s a pretty good summation of the situation, HD505.  Especially your point that the whole “invented people” comment is completely beside the point–for more than one reason.  The crux of the matter, as you point out, is the land dispute between two different groups of people.  You make excellent points about nations and national identity, which are definitely relatively recent inventions.  Good points all around.

      • Anonymous

        The point of Newt’s comment is again missed. The people that call themselves Palistinians, do so for the prime purpose of  evicting Israel from their ancient home land. No one would ever entertain a like message from Jordanians, or Lebanese, or Egyptians. No they had to invent a indiginous people to that end.

          Has it worked so far, it sure has. Listen to the people on this board. Now we have the left bank instead of Judea. We have the cry for a separate state on Jewish soil. Arguments are made possible by the lie of a Palistinian people that don’t now, or ever existed. Brilliantly simple idea that has started the world down the path of war.

        • “The point of Newt’s comment is again missed.”

          No, Newt’s point was not missed.  It’s a non-starter.  It was a weak attempt to actually try to make a point.  Newt’s argument is basically beside the point, because all national identities are basically “invented” in that they do not necessarily have some direct 1:1 correlation with some distant past.  National identity, as others have said, is a pretty [new] thing.  Hence the reason why Newt’s “point” is pointless.

        • herddog505

          Were the people who lived in what were the Thirteen Colonies an “invented people” when they started referring to themselves as “Americans”?  What about the people who lived in (among other places) Saxony or Wurttemberg or Bavaria when they started referring to themselves as Germans, or people who lived in Naples or Lombardy or Florence or the Papal States when they started referring to themselves as Italians?

          There is a good argument to be made that there has never been a “Palestinian” people until recently, but, again, THEY certainly seem to think that they are a people with a homeland just as Poles did when “Poland” was parts of Prussia, Russia and the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

          Newt’s point was good that it underscores that the Palestinians have not got some centuries-old claim on that tiny bit of land, but the business about an “invented people” is rather treacherous ground on which to build an argument about who should have sovereignty there.

          • Anonymous

            Invented he said, and invented they were. There is no relation to Phillistines, and Palistinians, none, zero, nada.

  • Jay

    So here’s a question or two:

    Why has a Greek philosopher said that the Palestinians are a people as far back as 5 AD?  How about the Philistines being in the Bible?

  • jim_m

    Yasser Arafat agreed with Newt on the Palestinians: “Palestine is only a small drop in the great Arab ocean. Our nation is the Arab nation extending from the Atlantic Sea to the Red Sea and beyond.”

    Or as Daniel Pipes writes: …Palestine had always been, and at that time remained, a Jewish and Christian concept, utterly for­eign to the Muslims. Eretz Yisrael and Terra Sancta
    have no analogue in Islam. Muslims look to the Hijaz, not Palestine,
    for their most sacred landmarks. Further, there has never been an
    independent state in Palestine ruled by Muslims; such states that were
    brought into existence were ruled either by Jews or Christians.

    Muslim distaste for the very notion of Palestine was confirmed in
    April 1920, when the British authorities carved out a Palestinian
    entity. The Muslims’ response was one of extreme suspicion. They saw the
    delineation of this territory as a victory for the Zionists;

    But the left doesn’t care.  It’s just an excuse to hate Jews.  As if they needed one.

    • Anonymous

      Do you think every American Jew who votes Democrat–not to mention every Israeli Jew who supports a two state solution and wants settlement construction halted and Avigdor Lieberman expunged from government–is stupid?

      • Anonymous

        Stupid? No, but they and people with the same mind set voted for Obama. As to Lieberman, he lives in a country that endures rockets from Gaza, daily. He lives in a country that has constant pressure from Obama and the state department to give them a “country” I have some compassion for him, but very little for your argument.

        • Anonymous

          If Israel wants to remain a welfare-recipient client state then they should shut up when the State Department points out the inevitability of a two state solution and the counter-productivity of settlement construction. Otherwise they should stop cashing checks your government is writing them.

          Lots of Palestinians are xenophobic assholes but that fact does not make it alright for Lieberman and the other Likudnik freaks to be xenophobic assholes too.