Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich stands by his support for a Palestinian state, his spokesman said Saturday, despite his comment about an "invented Palestinian people" that has drawn fire from leaders in the West Bank.
Gingrich made the comments in an interview that aired Friday with The Jewish Channel, a U.S. cable channel.
"I believe that the Jewish people have the right to have a state," Gingrich said in the interview. "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."
He added, "And they had a chance to go many places and for a variety of political reasons, we have sustained this war against Israel now since the 1940s. I think it's tragic."...
Fatah Revolutionary Council member Dimitri Diliani said Gingrich's remarks reflect "the ignorant, provocative, and racist nature of Mr. Gingrich," according to WAFA.
"The Palestinian people descended from the Canaanite tribe of the Jebusites that inhabited the ancient site of Jerusalem as early as 3200 B.C.E.," Diliani said. The "Gingrich remarks are ignorant of the basic historical facts of the Middle East."
This is too good.
The only confirmed mention of the historic Jebusites is in the Hebrew Bible. That's the only source that says that the Jebusites lived around Jerusalem. This exact same source says that one of their leaders, Araunah, offered to give the Temple Mount to King David; David insisted that he pay for it, and he did - for the amount of fifty silver shekels.
So if you believe that the Palestinian Arabs are actually Jebusites, you must believe that they sold the Temple Mount to the Jews in a legal transaction.
(Since such a sale to a Jew would get Araunah the death penalty today, perhaps the Palestinians should atone for their sin!)
There is another problem, though.
The Constitution of Palestine refers numerous times to the "Arab Palestinian people" and that "Palestine is part of the large Arab World, and the Palestinian people are part of the Arab Nation." The PLO Charter similarly states "Palestine is the homeland of the Arab Palestinian people; it is an indivisible part of the Arab homeland, and the Palestinian people are an integral part of the Arab nation."
But Jebusites were not Arabs. They were not even Semites! No self-respecting Jebusite (if any had still existed) would identify with the Arab hordes who overran his homeland in the seventh century. He would probably want to behead the infidel invaders.
Is the constitution and charter wrong? When they call themselves Arab, are they all lying?
Perhaps "Palestine" should quit the Arab League and re-assert its nebulous Jebusite ancestry.
If it isn't obvious enough already, note how Diliani chooses the Jebusites, not the Hittites or Amorites or other residents of Canaan, to be their ancestors - choosing the one tribe that is associated with Jerusalem.
A real people knows their own history; an invented people will invent their history - and change it whenever it is convenient for them. And since Jerusalem has only become important to the Arab residents of Palestine in the past hundred years, it is convenient to choose specifically that tribe that lived there to be their invented ancestors today.
In other words, Diliani's absurd assertion is actually proof for Gingrich's claims.