Gingrich’s courage to tell the half-truth; the refusal to make sense

Newt Gingrich gesturing during Saturday's GOP debate at Drake University.
REUTERS/Jeff Haynes
Newt Gingrich gesturing during Saturday’s GOP debate at Drake University.

First, Doctor Professor Newt Gingrich — in an interview with a cable channel called “The Jewish Channel” — said the Palestinians were “an invented people.” They were really just Arabs, he explained, and they “had a chance to go many different places” other than where they live now, except that they didn’t because of some combination of them not wanting to be relocated in order to benefit the creation of Israel and or the people (other Arab nations) not wanting to take them in. (I’ve embeded the video of the original Gingrichian statement at the end of this post.)

It should be noted that although he was being interviewed by The Jewish Channel, in no way was the interviewer soliciting Gingrich’s view on the peoplehood of the Palestinians. The interviewer, Steven I. Weiss, has said that he himself was taken aback with what Gingrich said. The interviewer had asked Gingrich only whether he considered himself a “Zionist.”

I know that term is loaded now in some circles and passé in others. But in this context, the question was really just whether Gingrich supported the fundamental Zionist principle that the Jewish people need a state of their own, a place of refuge from the many atrocities that befell Jews during their many centuries of statelessness. (In the interest of fairness, it must be acknowledged that most of the atrocities and certainly the worst of them were visited upon the Jews by Christian Europeans and not by Arab Muslims.)

Gingrich’s choice to attack the Palestinian “peopleness” was a throwback to a view that is no longer fashionable even on Israeli right, where it used to be commonly asserted as an argument that the Palestinian Arabs were not sufficiently distinctive from Arabs in general as to need a state of their own.

But why would someone make that not-really-a-people argument in 2011? A cynical political analysis is available. The whole Republican field seems to be competing to be the most pro-Israel, which appeals not only to some Jewish voters and contributors but also to the Christian zionists among the evangelicals.

But if we rule out crass political considerations, the only reason I can think of to challenge palestinian peoplehood is to undermine the Palestinian aspiration to a state of their own.

On the other hand, in the aftermath of the interview, Gingrich affirmed many times that he does indeed favor a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and presumably one of the states would be a state for the invented-people, the Palestinians.

On the third hand (and in this matter, Gingrich does seem to need more than the usual allotment of hands), in the debate Saturday night in Iowa, Gingrich also faulted the Obama administration for “tr[ying] to pressure the Israelis into a peace process,” a peace process that would presumably be designed to lead to a negotiated settlement involving a two-state solution, which Gingrich favors.

This is why I said in the headline of this post that Gingrich has not made sense on the issue.

Lies about the Mideast
When pushed at the Saturday debate by moderator George Stephanopoulos on the question of his “invented people” remark, Gingrich said his statement was historically accurate and that he made the statement “as a historian who’s looked at the world stage for a very long time.” He then segued into an attack on Palestinians in general (“These people are terrorists. They teach terrorism in their schools. They have textbooks that say, ‘If there are 13 Jews and nine Jews are killed, how many Jews are left?’ We pay for those textbooks through our aid money. It’s fundamentally — time for somebody to have the guts to stand up and say, ‘Enough lying about the Middle East.’”

Gingrich didn’t specify the lies about the Mideast he has in mind. He is certainly correct that many Arabs continue to say vile things about Israel and talk of wiping Israel off the map is, sadly, a popular applause line in the region.

If by telling this truth, Gingrich means that the Palestinians can never be trusted to live in peace in their own state alongside Israel, then perhaps he needs to reconsider his support for the two-state solution.

But before making his name as a Mideast peacemaker, Gingrich was speaking as a historian, about who is a people and who needs a state of their own. If we were take Gingrich’s statement literally and seriously, it would be the entry point into a weird, awkward and complicated inquiry in the nature of peopleness.

It would get pretty wild, but Gingrich at least implies that, in order to have the right to a country of their own, a proper “people” should probably be culturally, ethnically and linguistically distinct and have inhabited a particularly territory for a very long time, many centuries perhaps, or longer, and I suppose have a long history of recognition by the rest of the world as a “nation-state” within settled and widely accepted borders.

The United States wouldn’t even begin to qualify on several of those scores, although most politicians comfortably refer to the American “People,” notwithstanding our staggering ethnic diversity, the relatively recent arrival (by historical time) of the current dominant group and the portions of U.S. territory that was taken by conquest over neighboring peoples.

Other new ‘nations’
In recent memories, we have seen at least the legal creation of many new “nations” (South Sudan, Eritrea, East Timor, Slovakia, the Republic of Kosovo come to mind, although the independent status of Kosovo is murkier than the others, just to rattle off a few cases to make the point).

Israel, in fact, which is a member state of the United Nations, is fairly recent “invention” as an independent state and has never, during its brief and impressive history, had a settled status within internationally recognized borders. And that, of course, is a big part of the reason we are even discussing the peoplehood of the Palestinians.

Gingrich was, of course, a history and geography professor before he went into politics. His dissertation topic (“Belgian Education Policy in the Congo: 1945–1960”) would have surely led to a thorough knowledge of colonialism and the emergence of new, independent nations.

So we should assume he knows that his statement that there had not been an independent Palestinian state during the centuries of Ottoman Turkish domination of the Mideast would apply equally to the Arabs populations of what are now the nation-states of Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan or Saudi Arabia, all of which were “invented” in 20th century by some combination of the Brits, the French, the League of Nations and the United Nations, mixing and matching all kinds of ethnicities and sub-ethnicities, which is (vastly oversimplified) how Iraq came to be a mixture of Arabs and Kurds and Sunnis and Shiites.

Whoa. I had better stop free-associating about peoplehood and nations before I get in real trouble. If you are motivated, the Gingrich remark about the Palestinians was discussed extensively by all of the Repub candidates on Saturday night and the full debate transcript is here.

The original Gingrich remark on The Jewish Channel is below:

Comments (41)

  1. Submitted by Dennis Tester on 12/13/2011 - 10:55 am.

    “In the interest of fairness, it must be acknowledged that most of the atrocities and certainly the worst of them were visited upon the Jews by Christian Europeans and not by Arab Muslims.”

    Which is why the international center of antisemitism is still the eurpean left, which has spilled over into the American left.

    “Gingrich affirmed many times that he does indeed favor a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and presumably one of the states would be a state for the invented-people, the Palestinians.”

    He’s simply saying that in the interest of peace, he would support the Israeli people’s agreement to a two-state solution with the palestinians. It should be noted that it was George W. Bush who was the first U.S. president to propose a two-state solution, previous presidents being too politically timid to do so.

    “On the third hand … in the debate Saturday night in Iowa, Gingrich also faulted the Obama administration for “tr[ying] to pressure the Israelis into a peace process,” a peace process that would presumably be designed to lead to a negotiated settlement involving a two-state solution, which Gingrich favors.”

    No, he was referring to Obama pulling the rug out from under Bibi Netanyahu by suggesting that Israel accept pre-1967 boundaries as part of the settlement, something that is totally unacceptable to most Israelis and something he announced without first conferring with the Israeli prime minister.

    “Gingrich didn’t specify the lies about the Mideast he has in mind”

    He was obviously referring to the notion that somehow these arabs have a right to the land in dispute, when in fact, they don’t.

    Can’t wait for those Gingrich-Obama televised debates.

  2. Submitted by Ross Willits on 12/13/2011 - 11:19 am.

    @Dennis Tester says, “No, he was referring to Obama pulling the rug out from under Bibi Netanyahu by suggesting that Israel accept pre-1967 boundaries as part of the settlement, something that is totally unacceptable to most Israelis and something he announced without first conferring with the Israeli prime minister.”

    The problem with that statement is that’s a complete fabrication. What Obama said was the states should be based on the pre-1967 borders WITH MUTUALLY-AGREED SWAPS.

    The right, by leaving off that all-important clause ignores the fact that Obama was not changing US policy at all. In fact, that has been the basis of the peace talks for years, including *gasp* during the GWBush administration.

  3. Submitted by Dee Ann Christensen on 12/13/2011 - 12:21 pm.

    What other Republican candidate needs to have an apologist clarify his real intentions on so many issues?

  4. Submitted by Rachel Kahler on 12/13/2011 - 12:22 pm.

    @#1
    I get some level of amusement from your inventions. The European left is the International center of antisemitism and the American left is taking up the flag. *chuckle* Good one. Is it warmer in Bizarro World? Oh. Wait. No, it’s probably colder because carbon emissions actually cause global cooling there.

  5. Submitted by Lora Jones on 12/13/2011 - 12:29 pm.

    Dennis, seeing as you had to restate and offer explanations for most of what Gingrich said, you may want to re-evaluate your high expectations for Gingrich’s performance in a televised debate.

  6. Submitted by Dennis Tester on 12/13/2011 - 12:39 pm.

    Obama destroyed Netanyahu’s negotiating leverage by essentially giving the palestinians an achievement at the bargaining table without having conceded anything in return.

    The palestinians will be able to come to the table with the pre-1967 boundaries as the “American position” when it was only a suggestion in the past.

  7. Submitted by Bill Gleason on 12/13/2011 - 12:48 pm.

    “Which is why the international center of antisemitism is still the eurpean left, which has spilled over into the American left.”

    A sick canard, Mr. Tester. Because someone wants fair treatment for Arabs does NOT mean that they are antisemitic.

    Newt Gingrich claims to be a historian and so feels this qualifies him to make a judgement that Palestinians are just Arabs and thus not entitled to their own state?

    Let’s get a couple of things straight here. First, Gingrich’s claim to be a professional historian is tenuous at best. Yes, he got a PhD in history, but he bombed out and couldn’t even get tenure at a third rate institution. He has no scholarly record as a historian and his books are basically political tracts.

    If anyone is really interested in history, they might want to have a look at “Setting the Desert on Fire.” Available on Amazon, author: James Barr

    The Europeans since the WWI or earlier shamelessly manipulated the Arabs. They set boundaries guaranteed to cause continued strife and warfare. Shameful.

    The international community is overwhelmingly in favor of a Palestinian state and it will inevitably be achieved. The Arabs have a spectacular cultural and intellectual history that is little understood in the West. And Israel has a ticking time bomb in its own Arab population.

    The sooner this matter is resolved the better it will be for both Israel and the Arabs.

  8. Submitted by Jim Roth on 12/13/2011 - 12:51 pm.

    Dennis, there were virtually no efforts at negotiation of any solution to the Israel/Palestine issues during the George W. Bush administration and no advances whatsoever. The last serious attempts at negotiation with US participation were during the Clinton administration. There have been some recent attempts to reopen negotiations but they have gone nowhere to date. As for Gingrich he can talk out of more sides of his mouth than most believe is humanly possible.

  9. Submitted by Dennis Tester on 12/13/2011 - 01:30 pm.

    Lora, Newt’s consistent problem is in assuming too much about his audience’s intellect and that they know what he’s talking about.

  10. Submitted by Alec Timmerman on 12/13/2011 - 02:11 pm.

    So the biggest problem with Newtie is that he needs to “dumb it down” for his audience. I don’t think anyone here will argue with you on that one Dennis. Then again, by your comments, that would require a lot of work.

  11. Submitted by Rachel Kahler on 12/13/2011 - 02:32 pm.

    @#9
    Newt doesn’t even know what Newt’s talking about. Assumptions about the audience’s intellect have nothing to do with it. That being said, his audience is generally right to far right of center.

  12. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 12/13/2011 - 02:37 pm.

    Gingrich “Bombed out”?

    Perhaps aquiring tenure at West Georgia College requires something more of it’s staff than 25,000 “tweets”.

  13. Submitted by Lora Jones on 12/13/2011 - 02:38 pm.

    IF true, Dennis, Newt may want to brush up on Rhetoric 101, and try not to rely on “facts” not in evidence.

  14. Submitted by Michael Ernst on 12/13/2011 - 02:40 pm.

    Dennis – I believe that Newt’s audience right now is Republican primary voters.

  15. Submitted by Paul Brandon on 12/13/2011 - 03:07 pm.

    Actually, the newt’s problem is that his audience does know what he’s (trying) to talk about.

  16. Submitted by Dennis Tester on 12/13/2011 - 03:57 pm.

    I was trying to be kind. I was actually referring to the press and the left, if I’m not being redundant.

  17. Submitted by Bill Gleason on 12/13/2011 - 04:17 pm.

    Never let facts stand in your way, Mr. Swift. I earned tenure long before Twitter even existed. And the total of tweets from you and your close personal friend, Mitchell P. Berg, actually exceeds mine.

    And as usual you have totally ignored my point that Newtie is neither a professional historian nor one qualified to make the judgment that Palestinians are not entitled to a state because they are just Arabs.

    But then again, you have proven countless times on MinnPost that this is your MO: ignore the real question and try to divert from the topic at hand.

    Carry on.

  18. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 12/13/2011 - 04:28 pm.

    By Mr. Gingrich’s terms, the Palestinians are an “invented people.” By those same terms, Israelis are likewise an “invented people.” Both groups are, in some senses far more recent than “Americans,” also an “invented people,” and simultaneously far more ancient.

    Do Palestinians have a historical claim to at least some of the territory now occupied by Israel? Yes.

    Do the Israelis have a historical claim to their territory? Yes.

    As a result, what hath Newt wrought? Nothing much except to stir some mud into the waters.

    “…But if we rule out crass political considerations…” Eric, we’re talking about Newt Gingrich. Crass political considerations flow through his veins. They’re what he breathes. I don’t believe it’s possible to EVER “throw out crass political considerations” when discussing something Mr. Gingrich has said, or exploring the motivations for something he’s done.

    This is the same guy who justified his extra-marital affair on the basis of “an excess of patriotism.” That Gingrich is a presidential candidate at all continues to astonish. That Mr. Tester and Mr. Swift defend him does no credit to either of them. If nothing else, the fact that Gingrich is considered by many to be the front-runner in the current field throws into sharp relief the thoroughness of the intellectual bankruptcy currently “enjoyed” by the Republican base, as well as by the media sources that have helped to make him the front-runner.

    Interesting, by the way, that Mr. Gingrich’s use of big words and ideas is being defended here, while Obama’s use of big words and ideas is routinely criticized by the right as being “elitist.” A certain cognitive dissonance appears to be at work. Somehow, “Gingrich the Populist” doesn’t … um… ring true, by which I mean that the concept of Newt Gingrich as the defender of the “average” American is laughable on its face.

    Gingrich is demonstrably clever and articulate – he’s not at all a dumb guy – but he’s ethically dead and a politician’s politician. No one on the national scene save, perhaps, Karl Rove, is more cynical, and in a presidential field filled with people primarily fixated at the moment on self-promotion, Gingrich is the most narcissistic of them all.

    Newt doesn’t need to make sense if his supporters will defend nonsense, and if telling the half-truth will get him the stage and the spotlight, why, so be it. The stage and the spotlight are what he’s after.

  19. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 12/13/2011 - 05:24 pm.

    “I earned tenure long before Twitter even existed”

    Now *that* is what I call an impressive statement of professional achievement. Definately makes you qualified to judge the academic achievement of fellow academics, even if some do choose to ignore your opinion.

    No need to be modest, BTW…maintaining a 2-1 lead is pretty impressive…enjoy your moment in the Sunlight Prof.

  20. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 12/13/2011 - 05:49 pm.

    “I earned tenure long before Twitter even existed.”

    While admitting that is *quite* the impressive recommendation, Prof., I still must aver to having doubts regarding the credibility of your opinions regarding the scholarly achievements of academic peers.

  21. Submitted by Richard Schulze on 12/13/2011 - 06:22 pm.

    With Romney continuing to hitting the 25% ceiling, maybe we’ll see an excellent floor fight at the Republican National Convention.

  22. Submitted by Lora Jones on 12/13/2011 - 06:25 pm.

    To add to Ray #18’s excellent summary of Newt’s MO and raison d’etre, I suspect he may be one of those people who don’t know what they believe until they hear themselves say it — of course, in Newt’s case that may mean that he doesn’t believe in anything at all, other than the god like perfection of his own voice

  23. Submitted by Wayne Swickley on 12/13/2011 - 06:53 pm.

    “If combat means living in a ditch, females have biological problems staying in a ditch for thirty days because they get infections and they don’t have upper body strength. I mean, some do, but they’re relatively rare. On the other hand, men are basically little piglets, you drop them in the ditch, they roll around in it, doesn’t matter, you know. These things are very real. On the other hand, if combat means being on an Aegis-class cruiser managing the computer controls for twelve ships and their rockets, a female may be again dramatically better than a male who gets very, very frustrated sitting in a chair all the time because males are biologically driven to go out and hunt giraffes.”

    Address, “Renewing American Civilization,” Reinhardt College, (7 January 1995)

    I’m sorry, Eric, what were you saying about making sense?

  24. Submitted by Dennis Tester on 12/13/2011 - 09:10 pm.

    This is the price the democrats pay for electing an empty suit who’s only qualifications for the job they cared about was his level of melanin.

    Now they are at the mercy of the GOP and who they pick to replace Obama in the White House and it looks to be their worst nightmare. Newt Gingrich. Let that be a lesson to you.

  25. Submitted by Richard Schulze on 12/13/2011 - 10:34 pm.

    The odd thing about Mr. Gingrich and his fellow challengers for the Republican nomination is that practically any one of them could be described as ‘helpful to the democrats’ because of things they have said or done.

  26. Submitted by george gonzalez on 12/14/2011 - 07:57 am.

    Jeepers, have the standards for historical knowledge gotten so low, that such a clueless ex-history professor’s fair market value is 1.6 million samoleons? Or was his advice on Fannie Mae financing west-bank settlements worth that much?

  27. Submitted by Neal Krasnoff on 12/14/2011 - 05:09 pm.

    Strange but true: There were actually Arabs in the same place the
    “Palestinians” are prior to the 1960’s. Wonder how that happened.

    Whether Miss Kahler or Mr. Gleason wants to believe it or not, the
    “Peace and Social Justice” left (as well as the left in general) is a major source of anti-Semitism.

    They collaborate and sympathize with murderous Jew haters, and have a obsessive, singular hatred for the Jewish state. Their condemnations of Israel completely disregard the far worse human rights records of the Islamist and Arab states surrounding Israel.

    What is even more striking is the fact that Israel was founded upon Labor Zionism, and is far more progressive than any Arab country. This does not matter to the these leftists. Judaism stands in the way of their Utopia, and they would rather sympathize with genocidal Jew haters, despots and Muslim theocrats than a Jewish country that reflects many of their values.

  28. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 12/14/2011 - 09:30 pm.

    I think Minnpost has a new comment editor that’s a little too touchy.

  29. Submitted by Clare LaFond on 12/14/2011 - 11:45 pm.

    I think the Minnpost comment editor is not touchy enough if he or she lets posts like #27 get through.

  30. Submitted by Paul Brandon on 12/15/2011 - 11:18 am.

    Clare–
    #27 is ill informed and misguided, but that is not reason to censer it.
    I would like to see Mr. Krasnoff name at least three members of the ‘”Peace and Social Justice” left’ who have made anti Semitic statements (and no, criticism of the actions of the present government of Israel is NOT antisemitism).
    He’s as bad as Messrs Swift and Tester in lumping together large groups of people based on the comments of a few.
    Again parenthetically, Arabs are Semites — We’re more closely related genetically to Palestinians than to any other people on the face of this earth.

  31. Submitted by Neal Krasnoff on 12/15/2011 - 12:28 pm.

    Mr. Brandon, here’s your list. Just a sample.

    1. Women Against Military Madness
    2. Anti War Committee
    3. Palestine Solidarity Committee
    4. International Action Center
    5. ANSWER Coalition
    6. Green Party
    7. Middle East Peace Now
    8. DFL Progressive Caucus
    9. Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement

    See the Minnesota Alliance of Peacemakers for a list of organizations that are involved in the issue. These members of these organizations clearly number more than three. Do you want at least three actual names? I have those as well. Do you want me to name them?

    Mr. Brandon issues the worn canard this is about “criticism of Israel”. That statement obscures the truth as it is intellectually dishonest. These organizations either sympathize or collaborate with murderous Jew haters who have a obsessive, singular hatred for the Jewish state. Their hypocrisy of condemning Israel in disregard of the far worse human rights records of the Islamist and Arab states surrounding Israel is a vile double standard.

    From the website of the Anti War Committee:

    “We see Israel as an illegitimate apartheid state…:

    Add the support for vessels trying to open supply lines to the Islamic Resistance Movement in Gaza (Hamas) – a/k/a “Flotilla” and the condemnation of the Jews’ right of self-defense, there you have it.

    When Israel defends itself, Mr. Brandon, take a look at who shows up at the demonstrations and marches. That will give you a clue. It is either Islamists or leftist “progressives”.

  32. Submitted by Neal Krasnoff on 12/15/2011 - 09:28 pm.

    “In the interest of fairness, it must be acknowledged that most of the atrocities and certainly the worst of them were visited upon the Jews by Christian Europeans and not by Arab Muslims.”

    For a different view, you can read the Epistle to Yemen written by Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon, ZT”L. Or ask the 850,000 Jews expelled from Arab lands. Ot the massacres of Jews in the Middle East and the Maghreb. Certainly Andalusia was far more accepting of the Jews at the time of the Christian persecution of the Jews in Europe. The Arabs, however, were not too far behind in their hatred. The massacre of the Jews at Granada in 1066 is one of the more brutal examples.

    You should take a look at al-Misri’s “Reliance of the Traveler”. It’s the Islamist edition of Martin Luther’s “The Jews and their Lies”.

  33. Submitted by Richard Schulze on 12/15/2011 - 10:27 pm.

    The fawning to Israel is getting a little cloying. There are enough voters here in America.

  34. Submitted by Neal Krasnoff on 12/16/2011 - 06:51 am.

    Richard Schulze in translation:

    “This servile display of exaggerated flattery or affection, typically in order to gain favor or advantage to Israel is getting a little disgusting or sickening with an excess of sentiment.”

    Accurate, Mr. Schulze?

    “There are enough voters here in America.”

    Care to explain that one?

  35. Submitted by Paul Brandon on 12/16/2011 - 09:02 am.

    Actually, Neal (and Richard) have a point.
    ‘Fawning to Israel’ is mostly playing to American voters and contributors.
    American Jews may be a small (less than 2%) portion of the population, but we have a high voter turnout and contribution rate.
    Add to that the Evangelicals who are currently supporting Israel as cannon fodder, and the general anti Muslim vote, and you’ve got a valuable electoral target.

  36. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 12/16/2011 - 09:19 am.

    Neal,

    Your problem is that this isn’t 1973. The narrative of a fragile Israel surrounded by hostile forces intent on Israel’s destruction has long since collapsed under the weight of decades of Israeli domination and aggression.

    Clearly the Israeli leadership has for decades pursued a policy of status quo, that accepts ongoing conflict in exchange for expanded settlements and territory. This decision has resulted in two invasions of Lebanon, and over 60 thousand Palestinian casualties over the last 30 years. The casualty rate is roughly 5 to 1 in favor of the Israelis. Meanwhile Israel has demolished nearly 25,000 Palestinian homes, (in direct violation of international law) and established an effective system of apartheid in the occupied territories.

    You can complain about the Palestinian desire to obliterate Israel if you want, but the fact is that there is currently no existential threat of any kind to the state of Israel, nor has there been one since 1973. Israel is by far the most powerful state in the region. Most Arab nations have acknowledged Israel’s right to exist but want a return to the 1967 borders.

    While Israeli leadership pays lip service to a two-state solution, they have clearly blocked the creation of a viable Palestinian state since the first Camp David Accords.

    Israel has been illegally occupying Palestinian territories in violation of UN resolutions. During the course of these occupations the Israeli military has committed a variety of war crimes and violations of the Geneva Conventions. Over 100,000 Palestinian children have died as a result of Israel’s failure to honor it’s custodial obligations as an occupying force.

    Nothing that I’m saying here is even remotely controversial, it’s simply history. Now you can accuse me of terrorism and sympathy towards terrorism if you want, but the fact is I simply want peace in the middle east. The fact is there will be no peace until Israel abandons it’s policy of status quo preservation, and participates in a two state solution. The problem with this idea that anyone who acknowledges Israeli complicity in the ongoing conflict is some kind of terrorist sympathizer is that it obliterates the ability to distinguish friend from enemy. People who want peace for the Israelis and Palestinians are NOT enemies of Israel.

  37. Submitted by Neal Krasnoff on 12/16/2011 - 03:28 pm.

    Paul Udstrand:

    I’m not playing the game.

    Read slowly and carefully: Zionism is the belief that Jews have a right to live as an independent, self-governing people, free from oppression, in Israel, their homeland.

    The United Nations is a bankrupt and corrupt entity that proceeds with its moral inversion unabated. The PLO and Hamas stateless Arabs, according to their Charter and Covenant respectively seek to destroy Israel.

    Israel is Jewish land, it has been Jewish land for thousands of years, all of Jerusalem is a Jewish city, Judea and Samaria is Jewish land, the Jews can build apartments, schools, fire houses, villages, towns, and cities where ever they want to without requiring yours or the world’s permission, and the Jews can destroy any house that is suspected of supplying arms and safe haven to jihadists who are called by their imams to slaughter Jews.

    If you don’t like, that’s just tough.

  38. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 12/16/2011 - 06:11 pm.

    Neal,

    Palestinian homes were not destroyed because they were terrorists, in most cases it was part of illegal collective punishment programs, or simply to clear land for illegal Jewish settlements.

    As for your definition of Zionism, it’s kind of odd actually in that it’s actually a duplication of the UN declaration on human rights, the Palestinians simply claim the same right. Few people dispute the right of Israel to exist, the question is it’s boarders. If you reject the borders granted by the UN in 1948, fine, but your the one picking the fight then, not the UN. I’m not sure even the majority of Israelis would agree with you.

  39. Submitted by Richard Schulze on 12/16/2011 - 08:03 pm.

    About time to get a little clarity into our thinking about the Middle East. Turkey is the country we should be cultivating, not a historic distraction like Israel, which has time and again shown that its vision for the US does nothing for our strategic interests. Turkey, on the other hand, transits well within the Islamic community, is a NATO member, is developing a strong economy along the lines we prescribe (if anybody asks us, and often even if they don’t). It also has a strong diaspora in Europe which can act both as a hostage and a moderating force.

    Israel’s IPAC is one of the most unwarranted intrusions into our processes ever created, and even if the Rapture types and less spiritual outliers respond to it with the dog-like devotion of Pavlov’s pet, its combination of buying off or frightening off our timid politicians subverts the electoral process.

  40. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 12/18/2011 - 08:48 am.

    Correction, Israel declared independence in 1948, the UN voted to admit Israel in 1949.

  41. Submitted by Neal Krasnoff on 12/19/2011 - 09:56 pm.

    Paul Udstrand wrote:

    “Palestinian homes were not destroyed because they were terrorists…collective punishment…illegal settlements…”

    Mr. Ustrand, read the following slowly and carefully, since it is obvious it didn’t understand it the first time:

    Israel is Jewish land, it has been Jewish land for thousands of years, all of Jerusalem is a Jewish city, Judea and Samaria is Jewish land, the Jews can build apartments, schools, fire houses, villages, towns, and cities where ever they want to without requiring yours or the world’s permission, and the Jews can destroy any house that is suspected of supplying arms and safe haven to jihadists who are called by their imams to slaughter Jews.

    Richard Schulze wrote:

    “About time to get a little clarity into our thinking about the Middle East. Turkey is the country we should be cultivating…”

    I’m not too sure if Tayyip “minarets are our bayonets” Erdogan would be agreeable to any “cultivation” by the kuffar.

    “…not a historic distraction like Israel, which has time and again shown that its vision for the US does nothing for our strategic interests.”

    More than 1000 years of Christian and Islamic persecution and the Jews finally returning to their homeland is quite a historical distraction.

    Don’t think Israel is in America’s strategic interest? Maybe the Israelis won’t share any of their technology or any intelligence traffic. Or if someone is acquiring nuclear capabilities and the missiles to deliver them. Or proving that even the most advanced air defense radar can be defeated. You should then relinquish all your possessions that contain, all or in part, inventions or advancements to medicine, technology and science to which Israelis and Jews have contributed. You be the first and lead by example.

    You’ll be too busy “cultivating” Turkey, Syria, and Iran.

    Mr. Schulze then hits one out of the park with this classic:

    “Israel’s IPAC is one of the most unwarranted intrusions into our processes ever created, and even if the Rapture types and less spiritual outliers respond to it with the dog-like devotion of Pavlov’s pet, its combination of buying off or frightening off our timid politicians subverts the electoral process.”

    You’re hiding, Mr. Schulze.

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