Republican Candidate Claims Palestinians were "Invented"
Republican presidential contender Newt Gingrich said in a cable TV interview that Palestinians are an "invented" people with no apparent right to their own state, a rejection of a decade of bipartisan US foreign policy.
In the interview, which was taped on Wednesday in Washington and will be broadcast tomorrow on The Jewish Channel, Gingrich spoke about his mistrust of Palestinian leaders, his admiration for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his view that the Obama administration is "favouring the terrorists" with its foreign policy.
"Remember, there was no Palestine as a state. It was part of the Ottoman Empire," Gingrich said. "We have invented the Palestinian people, who are in fact Arabs and are historically part of the Arab people, and they had the chance to go many places."
"For a variety of political reasons," Gingrich continued, "we have sustained this war against Israel now since the 1940s, and I think it's tragic."
"Besides being factually and historically wrong, this statement is unwise," said Gaith Al Omari, executive director of the American Task Force on Palestine and a former adviser to Palestinian National Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
By Amy Gardner and Philip Rucker