Palestinians Slam Gingrich for Calling Them 'Invented'

Candidate causes flap with comments on Jewish Channel
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 10, 2011 11:11 AM CST
Palestinians Slam Gingrich for Calling Them 'Invented'
Newt Gingrich leads a forum with South Carolina business leaders in Greenville, South Carolina.   (Getty Images)

Newt Gingrich has outraged many in the Palestinian community with this line from an interview on the Jewish Channel cable network: "Remember, there was no Palestine as a state. It was part of the Ottoman Empire. And I think that we've had an invented Palestinian people, who are in fact Arabs, who are historically part of the Arab community." His comments—he added that Palestinians have "had the chance to go many places"—even caught the attention of Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad in the West Bank, reports CNN.

"The Palestinian people inhabited the land since the dawn of history, and intend to remain in it until the end times," Fayyad said in Ramallah. "People like Gingrich must consult history, as it seems that all what he knows about the region is the history of the Ottoman era." Gingrich also called the peace process "delusional" and said the Palestinian Authority was bent on destroying Israel. The Romney camp responds: "I'm not sure that kind of statement gets us any closer to accomplishing an agenda," says a spokeswoman. "And so that's one of the things that I think makes me a little bit nervous about Speaker Gingrich is that he sometimes makes comments that open to very broad interpretations." The AP has more details on the flap. (More Newt Gingrich stories.)

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