Newt Gingrich made waves last week when he referred to the Palestinians as an “invented” people, and while not everyone is jumping to his rescue, at least one think tanker is.
“Remember, there was no Palestine as a state. It was part of the Ottoman Empire. 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,” said Newt Gingrich in an interview with the Jewish Channel.
The remarks drew broad criticism from the left and the right. However, the Hoover Institution’s Daniel Pipes insists Gingrich was right in what he said.
Everyone from the PLO to a Mitt Romney spokesman jumped on Gingrich for this assertion, but he happens to be absolutely correct: No Arabic-speaking Muslims identified themselves as “Palestinian” until 1920, when, in rapid order, this appellation and identity was adopted by the Muslim Arabs living in the British mandate of Palestine.
Gingrich reiterated his position during Saturday’s GOP presidential debate.
“Is what I said factually correct? Yes. Is it historically true? Yes,” Gingrich said. “We are in a situation where every day, rockets are fired into Israel while the United States – the current administration – tries to pressure the Israelis into a peace process.”