December 10, 2011

Israeli conflict becomes major issue in GOP debate Earlier this week, Newt Gingrich told an Isreali TV station the Palestinians are an “invented” people out to destroy Israel, a statement that prompted significant disagreement between the candidates in this weekend’s GOP debate on whether it is better to exercise “truth” or “prudence” in the Middle East. When asked about the comment, Gingrich was completely unapologetic for his controversial remarks. “Somebody ought to have the courage to tell the truth,” Gingrich insisted. “[The Palestinian power groups Fatah and Hamas] are terrorists. They teach terrorism in their schools. They have textbooks that say, ‘If there are 13 Jews and 9 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.’” He went on to say, “Is what I said factually correct? Yes. Is it historically true? Yes. … The fact is, the Palestinian claim to a right of return is based on a historically false story. Somebody ought to have the courage to go all the way back to the 1921 League of Nations mandate for a Jewish homeland, point out the context in which Israel came into existence, and ‘Palestinian’ did not become a common term until after 1977. This is a propaganda war in which our side refuses to engage. … You’re not going to win in the long run if you’re afraid to stand firm and stand for the truth.”


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