Is Newt Right?

Without judgement I offer to you what Newt Gingrich said yesterday regarding “Palestine” and the Israeli-Arab peace process.  The mainstream media is judging him harshly, I’ll let my readers judge for themselves, point by point, whether what Newt said was correct.  These are direct quotes in the order in which they were said during the interview with the Jewish Channel:

1.  I believe if someone goes around saying you don’t have a right to exist, you probably shouldn’t be negotiating a peace treaty with them.

2.  I think if someone says they wanna wipe you out, you should believe them.

3.  Palestinian leadership continues to stonewall the peace process.

4.  …I mean look, you have Abbas at the United Nations saying Israel doesn’t necessarily have a right to exist.

5.  You’ve had 4 PLA ambassadors around the world who have said “Israel does not have a right to exist”.

6.  In India, the PLA ambassador there said “if you think there is a gap between Hamas and Fatah you are kidding yourself”.

7.  Remember, there has never been a Palestine as a state.  It was a part of the Ottoman empire.

8.  We’ve invented a Palestinian people, who are in fact Arabs, and have historically been a part of the Arab community.  And they’ve had a choice to go many places.

9.  Well, I think it’s delusional to call it a peace process. I mean, we have an armed truce with a Palestinian Authority that’s relatively weak. And on its flank is a Hamas authority which may become relatively weak, because it can’t deliver anything. But both of which represent an enormous desire to destroy Israel. And I think unless you start with…and frankly, given their school system and the hatred they teach in their schools, often with money that comes from us through the United Nations….

The entire transcript can be found here.



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3 Responses to Is Newt Right?

  1. Teddy says:

    4/5) Does Israel have the RIGHT to exist? Out of context those comments don’t really mean a whole lot. I am not even sure exactly what Abbas and the ambassadors were saying. If it was that Palestinians were forced out of Palestinian majority lands to make way for Jews by Jewish military forces or were forced to flee for their safety and not granted the right to return, then yes I would agree, Israel does not have a RIGHT to exist. If he was saying that under British imperial control in Palestine, massive jewish immigration took place, and if Palestinian arabs had a say in this they would have forbidden it, much as you would probably forbid a massive wave of mexicans coming into texas, then yes Israel does not have a RIGHT to exist. If he was speaking of Zionism and saying that even though jews believe Israel is their RIGHT, promised to them by god, Zionism is an absurd policy and should not be given any international credibility, then yes, Israel does not have this RIGHT.

    SHOULD Israel exist? Absolutely. And to say otherwise is to live in a fantasy world that would require magic or mass murder to get rid of it. Abbas may say populist things like this and call upon history to say things like “they don’t have the RIGHT”, but he has stated he wants a two-state solution.

    7) Does that matter at all?

    8) This is such a narrow view of the middle east and how different culture is even within countries, let alone between borders. This is a quote from Hassan Nasrallah, who probably has more sympathy for Palestinians than most people in the conflict. (Don’t get me wrong this guy is a villain, but this quote says a lot). This is also the the prevailing view in all of the surrounding countries.

    “The Lebanese refuse to give the Palestinians residing in Lebanon Lebanese citizenship, and we refuse their resettlement in Lebanon. There is Lebanese consensus on this…we thank God that we all agree on one clear and definite result; namely, that we reject the resettlement of the Palestinians in Lebanon.”

    • Teddy says:

      sorry those sunglasses are supposed to be #8 but the emoticon thing took over

    • vofreason says:

      4/5: What most Palestinians believe is that “Israel doesn’t have a right to exist”, meaning “it should be destroyed, eliminated, wiped off the face of the earth”. But we can take the moderate view that some just think there should be no country called Israel and that the people there should just disperse into or away from a newly established “Palestine”. The worst it gets is to be nuked, the best it gets is to be eliminated as a country. This in the face of the acknowledgement of Israel that a “two state solution” is the right path forward. Israel says “Palestine can be created and exist”, Palestinians say “you must be eliminated in one form or another”. And how does Israel negotiate with a group that believes such things? A group that has never negotiated in good faith and launches random rockets into their country and slaughters civilians?

      Abbas’ statements that he wants a two-state solution are his ticket to luxurious dinners at embassies all over the world, but in the end they are meaningless. I used to believe Abbas, and held out hope that he was the man who could get an agreement done. But if you and I were sitting at a bar with him he would say one of two things: 1. “Pretty good act I put on, huh? Even you bought that I was willing to agree to a two-state solution.” Or, 2. “Dude, this is killing me. I really tried to get my people together to find a reasonable solution to this problem. But I can’t control the radicals in Hamas, they will settle for nothing but millions of dead Jews and an elimination of the Israeli state. I’m powerless. I’ve given up.”

      7: Was there ever a Palestinian state? My bet is if you asked the average American he would say yes. Just the other day an otherwise intelligent college student/political science major told me that “Israel had overthrown Palestine and taken the land”. Does this distinction matter? You bet it does. Israel is an internationally recognized independent state. Palestine is not, and it has never existed. There is a big difference between a 60 year old state and a group of people loosely defined by a regional name…”Adirondackers”, “Southernors”, “Cajuns”, “Asians” come to mind. These are not countries.

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