Home / Culture and Society / Contender Gingrich Stands Behind his Bold Remarks

Contender Gingrich Stands Behind his Bold Remarks

Please Share...Print this pageTweet about this on TwitterShare on Facebook0Share on Google+0Pin on Pinterest0Share on Tumblr0Share on StumbleUpon0Share on Reddit0Email this to someone

The current contest among Republican hopefuls for the highest office in the United States has been characterized by unconstrained and sometimes spontaneous remarks by the candidates, as they vie with one another and with the pressure of the campaign. Among the leaders in the hard fought contest, Newt Gingrich,secure with a wide range of Washington experience, may have just made one such revealing outburst. On the other hand, his speaking may have been planned and thought out, an indication of his feelings on a crucial issue. Newt’s statement last week denying the legitimacy of Palestine among nations comes at a time when the world is a hotbed of religious and culture antipathy.

If indeed the ongoing ill will between Christians, Jews, and the West becomes global, possibly nuclear, the state of Israel may become the stage for warfare. Much of the world, in North Africa and in the East is moving inexorably toward Muslim domination. Egypt is falling to the Muslim Brotherhood. Iran is gaining support in its quest for nuclear weapons. The Muslims are joining forces in what may become traditional warfare and far-reaching terrorism. While America and the West try in vain to implement solutions to the war over the holy shrines, and holy regions in Israel/Palestine, the area continues to be the center of Muslim anti-Western attention.

On Friday, December 9, the leading contender for the Republican run at the presidency, Newt Gingrich, former Republican speaker of the House of Representatives, speaking on the Jewish Cable Channel, made this statement: “Remember there was no Palestine as a state. It was part of the Ottoman Empire. I think we have an invented Palestinian people who are in fact Arabs…” Gingrich continued, making the claim that the Palestinian Authority shares with the terrorist network, Hamas, “an enormous desire to destroy Israel.”
 Many viewed the candidate’s remarks as inflammatory; an attempt to win the Jewish and the Ecumenical Christian vote. Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad (photo), described the comments as ridiculous and racist, and called for an apology.

Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu at this writing had not made a statement regarding the remarks. Netanyahu is in support of a peace agreement involving the creation of an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel.

The former Israeli ambassador to Washington, Zalman Shoval, said the former speaker’s comments were factually true, but politically irrelevant. “Whether the Palestinians existed before or not is neither here nor there” he stated. “Palestinian Arabs for the last 50 or 60 years have defined themselves as a separate national unity. Their aspiration to a national unity and self-governance is the fact we should be dealing with.” Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat used the phrase “an incitement to terror” in demonizing the politician’s remarks; “These statements of Gingrich’s will be the ammunitions and weapons of the Bin Ladens and the extremists for a long, long time.”

In what many would maintain was the most emotionally packed and spontaneous segment of the Iowa debate of the Republican contenders on Saturday night, Mitt Romney was outspoken on the issue of the remarks. He called the Gingrich declaration a mistake. He said the comment would “create further obstacles in future negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.” Romney said that Gingrich was “Bomb throwing.” Romney, speaking through his staff, has called Mr. Gingrich a “loose cannon.”

Republican candidate Mitt Romney mentioned having met with Prime Minister Netanyahu, as did several on the stage Saturday evening, . Romney was alive with fervor when he said, “If Bibi Netanyahu wants to say what you (Gingrich) said, let him say that. But our allies, the people of Israel, should be able to take their own positions,” “I’m not a bomb thrower. Rhetorically or literally.”

Newt Gingrich defended his position. “Is what I said factually correct? Yes. Is it factually true? Yes,” “[It’s] time for somebody to have the guts to stand up and say, ‘Enough lying about the Middle East.’”

Newt Gingrich has been a professor of history, and is a knowledgeable historian. Ron Paul is also
well versed in history. Ron Paul, still well in the running for the Republican nomination was true to his stated Libertarian beliefs, saying that under the Ottoman Empire neither the Israelis nor the Palestinians had an official state. He accused Gingrich of “stirring up trouble”, and took the position that nations outside of America should resolve their dilemmas for themselves. America, he reiterated, should not continue to be the “policeman of the world.” Paul has consistently been a critic of Israeli actions against Palestinians, and a critic of American unqualified support of Israel.

Powered by

About John Lake

John Lake had a long and successful career in legitimate and musical theater. He moved up into work behind the camera at top motion pictures. He has done a smattering of radio, and television John joined the Blogcritics field of writers owing to a passion for the liberal press, himself speaking out about the political front, and liberal issues. Now the retired Mr. Lake has entered the field of motion picture, television, and video game (now a daily gamer!) critique. His writing is always innovative and immensely readable!
  • Glenn Contrarian

    Yes, Newt and Ron Paul are quite knowledgeable about history…but I strongly question their understanding of history. Why? Anyone who would deny the success of FDR’s New Deal – as both Newt and Paul do – is either sorely lacking in American history or is too infected by the Ayn Rand syndrome.

    But my next observation is for you, John:

    Much of the world, in North Africa and in the East is moving inexorably toward Muslim domination. Egypt is falling to the Muslim Brotherhood. Iran is gaining support in its quest for nuclear weapons. The Muslims are joining forces in what may become traditional warfare and far-reaching terrorism. While America and the West try in vain to implement solutions to the war over the holy shrines, and holy regions in Israel/Palestine, the area continues to be the center of Muslim anti-Western attention.

    It seems to me that you’re lumping Shi’a Iran in with the rest of the Muslim world (which is mostly Sunni). Shi’a Islam and Sunni Islam share significantly more antipathy than Catholicism and protestantism. In fact (as I recently pointed out to OAR), the second-in-command of al-Qaeda once said “Keep up the fight against the Zionists and the Great Satan America, but never forget that the real enemy are the apostate Shi’a.” That’s not an exact quote, but the meaning is the same. Ask OAR – he just bought the book that has the quote.

    Iran desperately wants nukes NOT to attack Israel and America…but because of nuclear-armed Sunni Pakistan which does not have the most stable government. America and Israel are the EXCUSE, but Pakistan is the reason. Can you really blame them? I can’t say that I do.

    John, if you’ll look around, you’ll see that if one really wants to weaken a religion, then allow the people to PROSPER. Almost without exception, the richest nations are the weakest in religion, and the poorest nations are the most target-rich environments for religious zealots. Just look at where the Catholic church is weakest, and where it’s the strongest.

    And so it goes with Islam – the richer the nation, generally speaking, the more peaceful they are. Saudi Arabia is an exception to the rule because it’s effectively a religious tyranny which just so happens to be filthy rich thanks to the oil…and without the oil riches, Arab Spring would likely have found its way into Riyadh this year.

    You cannot serve both God and mammon, the saying goes. And the richer the nation, generally speaking, the weaker the religions therein.

    So…no. I’m not too worried about Islam. Watch the terrorists closely and minimize their funding and opportunities, of course, but all Newt Gingrich is doing by spouting anti-Islamic rhetoric is edifying the Islamic extremists, and strengthening them by giving them the opportunity to say to the gullible Great Unwashed, “See, America’s coming to get us! We must fight the Great Satan!” Bush was bin Laden’s greatest tool. I hope Newt doesn’t become the same for other Islamic extremists.

  • It seems to me that it is the moderate Islamist parties, not the extremists, who are winning elections in Turkey, Morocco and other parts of the Muslim world. These parties in general seek to apply Islamic principles to government, but not to impose Sharia law. There’s a significant difference.

    In this, they’re roughly analogous to the Christian Democratic parties in places like Germany, Italy and Sweden. Christian Democrats have governed those countries for long periods without trying to make the Bible the law of the land or force everyone to convert.

  • John Lake

    All very good gentlemen, but it is the Muslim Brotherhood, with strong ties to Hamas, that is taking over Egypt. And Sects notwithstanding, Iran has warned it will wipe Israel off the map. As I pointed out in my earlier article here, “Who Are the Taliban”, most extremists in the Muslim world find our liberties offensive, and feel justified in destroying us.
    Saudi Arabia is an ally, and one of the richest nations in the world. But Osama bin Laden was a Saudi millionaire.
    As has been the case, American politicians gain votes by celebrating our great strength and ability to whip anyone, anywhere. That’s fine for politics, but doesn’t play well with our enemies.
    When profiteers like Bush rush in to overwhelm the weakest nations in the world, killing a hundred thousand, it isn’t hard to understand that under pressure from outside, the sects traditionally join forces and fight to destroy common enemies.

  • John, you’re moving the goalposts. If we were only talking about Egypt, you should have said so.

    And in any case, thinking the worst of the Muslim Brotherhood just because it has a relationship with Hamas is like calling the United States a religious dictatorship because it has strong ties to Saudi Arabia.

  • Palestine exists, as does the Palestinian people – no boundaries exist, but the facts are certain Arabs and Muslims still want to see Israel wiped off the face of the map, just as much when Israel was created as a state in the late 1940’s.

  • John Lake

    Just yesterday the media coined a new phrase: “Jewish terrorists.”
    On American television we now have shows that demonstrate how in fact the Muslims are just like the rest of us. Basically nice people. This psychological merchandising is and has been effective. It is a solution that might play well in Israel/Palestine. If something isn’t done, much of the world will be a powder-keg.

  • “On American television we now have shows that demonstrate how in fact the Muslims are just like the rest of us. Basically nice people.”

    And you think that’s wrong? Should every group be judged by the worst among them? Let me know because since you are from Chicago, I may need adjust my opinion of you

  • John Lake

    In fact I think that’s a very good thing and the sort of thing that gives us hope as a free democracy.
    Several generations of programming that showed us blacks and whites, all minorities working and playing together have produced wonderful results.

  • There is a lot of food for thought in your article, John. Because something was so in a historical sense, doen’t mean it should be so in the future. Whoever gets it wrong is liable to get his ass burnt by a nuke!

  • John Lake

    Some interesting philosophy in your comment Peter. History must be accurate and objective; compiled from a wide range of sources. If history is inaccurate, or written to advance this idea or that, how can the students and future leaders learn and develop? Those who form our standards and principles today have studied the past.
    Some conservatives in the United States (from where I write) are so enwrapped in ‘conservatism’ that they revere the past to an unwholesome extent. As people age, they find that when they use their God-given intelligence, they increase it; in some ways, like exercising a muscle. What we failed to see in our younger years becomes clear and obvious as we grow older.
    So it should be in culture. We study the past but we learn from new ideas, new prospective that arises over the years.
    And if I may be brief, “selective conservatism” or referring to past principles to advance one’s own purposes is obviously counterproductive.
    To rant about one being the “most conservative” while ignoring the constitution to allow dominance of corporate interests over the interest of any in society is wrong. When legislators become the covert tools of some interest group, it isn’t conservatism. It isn’t Americanism. It isn’t in the true best interests of anyone.