Palestinians are an “invented” people and the
peace process in the Middle East is “delusional.” Newt Gingrich, a frontrunner
for the Republican nomination for president, said
The Obama administration has pursued a foreign
policy of propping up “people who hate us” with an “even-handedness” that’s
“favouring the terrorists,” Gingrich said in an interview with The Jewish Channel,
a cable television network.
"Remember there was no Palestine as a state. It was
part of the Ottoman Empire," Gingrich said in the interview. “We’ve had an
invented Palestinian people, who are in fact Arabs, and were historically part
of the Arab community. And 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.”
Senator Carl Levin, a Michigan Democrat, issued
a statement today saying Gingrich “is wrong to think his attempt to turn the
Palestinians into a non-people with no claim to a state will appeal to his
audience on the Jewish Channel.”
“Gingrich’s cynical efforts to attract
attention to himself with divisive and destructive statements will not help his
presidential ambitions,” Levin, who is Jewish, said. “Gingrich offered no
solutions - just a can of gasoline and a match.”
Gingrich, a former US House speaker from
Georgia, has emerged as the leading challenger to Mitt Romney, former governor
of Massachusetts, with less than a month before the Jan 3 Iowa caucuses start the
party’s nomination contests.
The latest national daily Gallup tracking poll
for the Republican presidential contenders shows Gingrich with 37 percent
support compared with 22 percent for Romney. The poll, released yesterday,
showed the five other Republican contenders with single digit support.
The poll taken Dec. 1-5 is a 5-day rolling
average of support among registered Republicans nationwide and was first
released by Gallup on Dec 6.