Gingrich’s “Invented People” Statement
I’m afraid I’m a bit of a cynic when it comes to politics these days.
Like some of you, I have pretty much decided that the whole US political system has been corrupted to the point where it is beyond repair. Even if a sincere and patriotic statesman (that is, someone who’s guided by true convictions as contrasted with today’s politicians, who are generally guided by political expediency) came along, I don’t see how he or she could survive in the current political milieu. The system would (please forgive the forthcoming crude expression) grind him up and spit him out. The whole process has become a “game,” in almost every sense of that word. In this game of politics, you have to employ compromise and deception in order to win. These things are not only tolerated, but they are expected and encouraged. It’s just how the system works.
My wife is from the great State of Illinois. She grew up in Metamora, in Woodford County, in the middle of the state. As a little girl, she could ride her bike a few blocks to the town square where Abraham Lincoln once debated Senator Stephen Douglas (the old pavilion is still there, across from the historic courthouse). Sadly, however, the Lincoln legacy of honor and justice has long since gone by the wayside. Corruption has become a way of life in Illinois politics. Over the past hundred years or so, dozens of state and local officials have been convicted of corruption and/or racketeering. In fact, former Illinois governor George Ryan is in prison now and with the recent conviction of former governor Rod Blagojevich on corruption charges, it could be the first time in recent memory that two former governors of a state have been in prison at the same time!
So I think I have good reason to be cynical about politics.
Nonetheless, once in a while someone in the political arena says something that is truly courageous, provocative, and cuts through the politically correct baloney that’s routinely served up by the establishment.
This was the case recently when Newt Gingrich, who is campaigning for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, referred to the Palestinians as an “invented people.” If you haven’t yet seen the story, click here.
At first, there was a firestorm of protest from pro-Palestinian factions and the mainstream media played it up in a big way. Then, within a matter of a few days, all of the ruckus just went away. I wonder if it was because the Palestinian sympathizers came to realize that all of the attention could work to their detriment. After all, if people started digging for the facts, and looking into the issue for themselves, they would discover that Mr. Gingrich was right!
Some people think that today’s Palestinians are the same people who inhabited Palestina in Roman times—but that’s a myth. The name “Palestine” actually derives from the Philistines, one of the indigenous Canaanite tribes who originally settled in the area (Ex. 15:14, Isa. 14:29-31, Joel 3:4, Psalm 60:8, 87:4, and 108:9). Others were the Hittites, the Girgashites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites (Deut. 7:1). The Jebusites were the original inhabitants of Jerusalem.
Yasser Arafat, the patron saint of the modern Palestinian movement, was not a Canaanite. He was an Arab who was born in Egypt. His father was an Egyptian grocery merchant. His mother’s family supposedly had roots in Jerusalem, but even that has been disputed. In any case, she was definitely not a Jebusite.
The people we know today as “Palestinians” are predominantly an Arab sub-culture of outcasts. Even the other Arab nations don’t want them. Egypt has fortified its border with the Gaza Strip because they don’t want the Palestinians entering Egypt. To the east, Jordan has secured its border with the West Bank for the same reason. Syria in the north has notoriously persecuted the Palestinians, even wiping out an entire Palestinian village (at Hama) in 1982 and slaughtering hundreds of its inhabitants in one of the 20th century’s most tragic examples of attempted genocide (click here for The Syrian Human Rights Committee’s report on the Hama massacre).
Corporately, the so-called “Palestinians” are a lawless, unpredictable, and ungovernable people. They not only kill Israelis indiscriminately, but they also kill each other. (Several Palestinian factions are at war with each other.) They don’t honor agreements (which is why it’s so hard to negotiate with them) and they suffer from an insatiable, genocidal hatred for the Jewish people. They teach their children that Jewish people are sub-human and that murdering someone who’s Jewish guarantees great rewards in the afterlife.
I say “corporately,” though, because there are individual exceptions. Not all Palestinians are bad people. Some, in fact, are precious believers in Yeshua who suffer greatly for their faith. Our messianic believers in Israel have relationships with a good number of these folks. These courageous Palestinian believers barely survive in the midst of horrible living conditions and they have to be constantly on guard because if the Islamists accuse them of being “sympathizers” with Israel, they can be killed (this has actually happened, by the way). We pray for them and help them when we can (we can’t say any more than that due to security concerns).
Mr. Gingrich, a former college professor with a Ph.D. from Tulane, is known for making seemingly outrageous statements in an effort to stimulate new thinking on difficult and controversial issues; however, in this instance, it’s really not so outrageous. When someone says a Palestinian is a person whose claim on Israel is older than that of the Jewish people, it’s an invented and concocted definition for the term “Palestinian.”
Thanks for the reality check, Professor!