A Made-Up People

The Saturday Night Debate was a little more interesting than the previous debates have been. It was mostly between Gingrich and Romney. But while Romney easily punched out Bachmann, Cain and Perry, Gingrich got in some roundhouses of his own. Those of us who remember Gingrich’s vitriol from the 90’s (I grew up next to his district and have met him) were not surprised. He can be vicious, which is why he wore out his welcome at the top of the GOP so quickly.

But apart from the fireworks, Romney’s cringe-inducing $10,000 bet and Newt’s line about why Romney is in the private sector, the clip below has the most substantive thing of the night. It’s an exchange over Newt calling the Palestinians a “made-up people”.

I side with Romney (and Ron Paul). This is Newt, once again, bomb-throwing to try to demonstrate his supposed intellectual prowess.

First, as Romney noted, there are things you don’t say even if they’re true. As it is with life, so it is with diplomacy. You don’t tell your wife her dress makes her look fat, you don’t tell your boss his toupee looks stupid and you don’t tell a poor and embittered people they’re a “made-up people”. Even if it were true — and I’ll get to that — it’s just going to make a bad situation worse.

Newt cites the precedent of Reagan calling the Soviet Union an “evil empire”. But that was far smarter than what Gingrich said. The Soviet Union was powerful nuclear power, not a stateless mass of refugees. And while the hard-core Soviet didn’t care what Reagan said, the less hard-core did. In D’Souza’s biography of Reagan, he recounts Gorbachev meeting with Reagan and expressing concern not that Reagan had called them an evil empire, but concern that they might be one. It stung Gorbachev, especially because he knew it was true. Reagan’s words were a smack to a fellow superpower, not a smack-down of a people already enraged.

Does Newt think the Palestinians are going to have such a moment when they realize they are a “made up people”? Of course not. And that brings me to my second point: Newt is factually wrong.

First of all, people get to designate themselves. If the Palestinians think they are a real people, then … they are. There were no Americans until 1776 (and some would argue until 1865). There were no East Timorese until 2002. We’ve seen a massive bloody war resulting for the Russians insisting there were no such people as Chechens. Iraq and Turkey have problem with people calling themselves Kurds. All peoples are made up. A “people” is just a group if individuals who have decided to call themselves something.

This applies doubly so to the Middle East. As P.J. O’Rourke said, the nations of the Middle East are not nations as we know them but more like tribal squabbles with borders. All of the countries in Arabia are made up, carved out of the Ottomon Empire with borders drawn by French and British officials and nations created to give various royal people something to rule.

And Palestine — or something like it — was supposed to be part of this. The mandate that created Israel also created an Arab state. It wasn’t called Palestine but that’s effectively what it was. That the nation was not allowed to exist by Jordan is irrelevant. They didn’t want Israel to exist either but Israel had support.

What does Gingrich want the Palestinians to call themselves? Israelis? They’ll turn Israel into a majority-Muslim state in a generation. Jordanians? Egyptians? They don’t want them. They have to call themselves Palestinians because they can’t call themselves anything else. Nobody will let them.

(The points Gingrich makes about bombing and rocketing are a different debate. Getting the Palestinians to abandon terrorism and recognize Israel’s right to exist — sorry, I have to pause a moment to get over the likelihood of that — is a different matter. There are many nations that do not recognize Israel’s right to exist and support terrorism. We oppose those nations, but we don’t pretend they don’t exist.)

The more I see of Gingrich, the less I like the idea of him being the nominee. He’s bombastic. He says things that inflame the base but poison politics. His “private sector experience” was mostly lobbying for health care and banking interests. He’s formerly supported cap and trade and a healthcare mandate. He’s basically Mitt Romney without the looks or demeanor.

It’s telling that the more I watch these debates, the more reasonable Ron Paul seems. The more I watch, the more I like John Hunstman. I want to throw out for discussion what I said on Twitter during the debate. Look at the slate right now — Paul, Gingrich, Perry, Romney, Bachmann, Santorum. Let’s thrown in Hunstman and Johnson too. Is there anyone up there who excited you for any reason other than “he’s not Barack Obama”?

Comments are closed.

  1. Kimpost

    Why would anyone feel the need for calling the Palestinians a made up people? What would be the purpose? I mean, it’s not like there’s a serious movement suggesting that there should not be a two state solution.

    Idiocy is what it is. Newt just said it to appear tough. Unelectable tool, IMO. Obama must be hoping for Newt.

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  2. AlexInCT

    Why would anyone feel the need for calling the Palestinians a made up people? What would be the purpose?

    Because they are?

    Half the problem is that we treat these savages as if they are a people instead of a bunch of squaters that got duped by the other Arabs into giving them the usual “blame the Jews” excuses. The other half is that they are genocidal manics.

    By now I figure the world would have realized that treating these people with kid gloves has only made things worse. Then again, the anti-Semites, especially in Europe, love this because they can now pretend they are not motivated by anti-Semitism but feelings for the Palistinians.

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  3. Kimpost

    It’s got nothing to do with treating terrorists with kid gloves. We can have that debate any day.

    My point in the light of this discussion was that virtually everyone (including Bibi and Newt) seeks a two state solution. That’s just a fact, as I’m sure you know. So with that in mind, what’s the point with suggesting that Palestinians are an invented people? Makes no sense to me.

    I agree with Hal. Gingrich is just throwing bombs. Sounds tough though, to the right crowd.

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  4. Xetrov

    Look at the slate right now — Paul, Gingrich, Perry, Romney, Bachmann, Santorum. Let’s thrown in Hunstman and Johnson too. Is there anyone up there who excited you for any reason other than “he’s not Barack Obama”?

    Nope.

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  5. CM

    So with that in mind, what’s the point with suggesting that Palestinians are an invented people? Makes no sense to me.

    Explained here.

    Summary:

    Gingrich and his fellow Republicans have sensed a potential softening in the Jewish vote. In 2008, only African-Americans were more solidly behind Barack Obama, who, according to exit polls, won seventy-eight per cent of the Jewish vote. But the Republicans are hoping to woo at least the more conservative sector of Jewish Americans—those who feel that Obama has been too hard on Benjamin Netanyahu. And, because Gingrich has a little learning and a darkly sophisticated memory for intellectual battle, he catered to his cause by employing the word “invented.” In this context, the word summons a 1984 bestseller that was once totemic on the Jewish right (and still is, for some): “From Time Immemorial: The Origins of the Arab-Jewish Conflict Over Palestine,” by Joan Peters.

    My favourite part of this recent push from the Rep candidates to woo the Jewish vote:

    Michele Bachmann trumped him when she reminded her listeners that she once worked on a kibbutz. (Who had the heart to mention that the kibbutzim were radical experiments in collectivism?)

    But ultimately nobody can possibly compete with Gingrich’s:

    “People like me are what stand between us and Auschwitz.”

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  6. West Virginia Rebel

    There’s no doubt that Gingrich is a smart guy, but this was a case of him engaging his mouth before his brain. Well, not really-he knew exactly what he wanted to say and whom it would appeal to. As Rush Limbaugh said on Family Guy, you don’t just come out and say it like that; you win by winning the argument.

    That’s fine for a certain segment of the base. But this is a national campaign, and stuff that might work when you’re Speaker of the House won’t always fly in a general election.

    Newt does much better when he sticks to specific policy issues. But IMO he doesn’t have the temperment to be President. For all their faults, Romney and Huntsman (who did pretty good in the C-Span debate IMO) do seem to have it.

    In this regard I think this means that Romney will eventually be the nominee, like it or not.

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  7. hist_ed

    it’s not like there’s a serious movement suggesting that there should not be a two state solution.

    Hamas, Hezbullah, Iran, and Syria are against a two state solution. They want a one state solution, Palestine, with the Jews driven into the sea.

    There were no East Timorese until 2002

    East Timor declared itself independent of Portugal in 1975. It was then invaded and conquered by Indonesia. There were certainly Timorese societies on the island before Portugal took it over in the 17th (I think) century.

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  8. Kimpost

    Hamas, Hezbullah, Iran, and Syria are against a two state solution. They want a one state solution, Palestine, with the Jews driven into the sea.

    Hamas and Hezbollah are diverse organisations (cluster-fucks really). It’s common knowledge though, that the political leadership of those organisations agrees to a two-state solution in spite of public rhetorics or even charter texts. But I get your point. I wish their violence would rot away entirely.

    To balance your list I put up all major political parties of Israel, Fatah, Hamas*, Hezbollah*, EU, US, Russia and China. Overall a two-state solutions is not in dispute. The terms of one are.

    * diversity, cluster-fucks

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  9. AlexInCT

    http://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2011/05/05/Hamas-supports-two-state-solution/UPI-63241304578800/

    They say one thing in English for the complicit Jew haters in Europe to then use as a reason to pretend they are arguing in good faith, then tell their own people, through not just words but action, that the end goal is to kill all the Jews. These fuckers telling us they want a two state solution is like the guy hoping to bang the chick telling her he will respect her in the morning. She is more the fool for believing his lies. Just like the tools now pretending these genocidal freaks are really hoping for anything but the destruction of Israel and to kill the Jews.

    Hamas and Hezbollah are diverse organisations (cluster-fucks really). It’s common knowledge though, that the political leadership of those organisations agrees to a two-state solution in spite of public rhetorics or even charter texts.

    Really? Then pray tell why Old Yasser, now holding a management position in hell along with Saddam and the guy they both admired Adolph, who got the best deal ever handed to him by Clinton of all people, just turned that down? It could not ever get better than what he was offered, unless of course you understand that accepting what he got offered would have meant his end.

    I seriously question the motives of anyone that still says they believe that any of these death worshippers, be it their political arm or otherwise, wants a solution that doesn’t involve genocide. This is based on the fact that they have been offered deal after deal, and have always come up with excuses to reneg on or turn down any offer. The only deal they would ever take would be one that guarantees the viability of Israel as a nation becomes impossible, and that’s because despite the fools that pretend these people mean it when they pretend they want a two state solution, the end goal has always been the destruction of Israel.

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  10. hist_ed

    It’s common knowledge though, that the political leadership of those organisations agrees to a two-state solution in spite of public rhetorics or even charter texts”

    Yeah that’s why they have turned down every offer of a two state solution ever given them. The bullshit “public rhetoric” is the crap they say to sooth Western consciences while training the next generation of suicide bombers.

    CM: Has Hamas amended its charter to recognize Israel’s right to exist? Even the article you linked gives the game away. A two state solution with a “right of return” means the end of Israel as a Jewish state. How about changing the curriculum in Palestinian schools to stop teaching that Jews are the descendents of apes and pigs that sacrifice Arab babies to use the blood in rituals?

    The Palestinians could have had their own state decades ago (Arafat walked away from the best deal they will ever get in the late 1990s). All they have to do is stop killing Jews for a little while. They obvious value killing Jews more than their own well being. Until that changes, there will be no peace.

    Last year the Palestinians were out dancing in the street in Gaza to celebrate a great victory against the Jews. They handed out candy and flowers to Palestinian children. The victory they were celebrating? Some shithead had broken into a Jewish home and killed most of a family. Included in this great victory was the decapitation of a 4 month old baby. Wooo-hooo go Palestine!!

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  11. Kimpost

    The Palestinians could have had their own state decades ago (Arafat walked away from the best deal they will ever get in the late 1990s). All they have to do is stop killing Jews for a little while. They obvious value killing Jews more than their own well being. Until that changes, there will be no peace.

    The Israel – Palestine conflict/peace process is a huge debate. Perhaps one for another day? Here I really think that all we need to agree upon is that a two-state solution is the only viable option. It’s what all major players are working for, including Hamas and Hezbollah, even if both organisations indeed are divided.

    In any case that certainly is what the US has been working for during the last few administrations. So assuming that Gingrich is cool with that as well, then what was he on about? It was bad IMO. You don’t agree?

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  12. CM

    Yeah that’s why they have turned down every offer of a two state solution ever given them.

    Sides on turn down ‘solutions’ if they’re not actually solutions (in their eyes). If an unpalatable ‘solution’ was presented to Israel and they turned it down I bet you’d consider that differently.

    The bullshit “public rhetoric” is the crap they say to sooth Western consciences while training the next generation of suicide bombers.

    Who are ‘they’ exactly?

    CM: Has Hamas amended its charter to recognize Israel’s right to exist?

    Yes, they’re prepared to nullify their 20+ year old charter apparently. Obviously it make things a lot easier if they just did it anyway, as a sign of good faith, but presumably they’d want to include it as one of their concessions.

    Even the article you linked gives the game away. A two state solution with a “right of return” means the end of Israel as a Jewish state.

    That’s absolutely a large stumbling block (and very complex in itself). I can appreciate the position of both sides.

    How about changing the curriculum in Palestinian schools to stop teaching that Jews are the descendents of apes and pigs that sacrifice Arab babies to use the blood in rituals?

    I’m struggling to find any reputable sources for that. Can you assist?

    Last year the Palestinians were out dancing in the street in Gaza to celebrate a great victory against the Jews. They handed out candy and flowers to Palestinian children. The victory they were celebrating? Some shithead had broken into a Jewish home and killed most of a family. Included in this great victory was the decapitation of a 4 month old baby. Wooo-hooo go Palestine!!

    Ah ok so your problem is actually with Palestinians as a people/culture (or made-up-people according to Gingrich), not just Hamas etc.
    Oh well, I’m sure the more people call them ‘made-up-people’, the more they’ll come to realise the errors of their ways.

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  13. Kimpost
    How about changing the curriculum in Palestinian schools to stop teaching that Jews are the descendents of apes and pigs that sacrifice Arab babies to use the blood in rituals?

    I’m struggling to find any reputable sources for that. Can you assist?

    You can’t find it because it doesn’t exist. I guess it’s a matter of absurd exaggerations of actual problems with Palestinian text books. Israeli text books have problems too (but to a lesser degree, as far as I can tell). The parties are in the middle of a conflict, so I would be surprised if either sides text books were Swiss-neutral.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Textbooks_in_the_Palestinian_territories

    http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/israelis-textbooks-fare-little-better-than-palestinians-1.143020

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  14. Section8

    It’s telling that the more I watch these debates, the more reasonable Ron Paul seems. The more I watch, the more I like John Hunstman. I want to throw out for discussion what I said on Twitter during the debate. Look at the slate right now — Paul, Gingrich, Perry, Romney, Bachmann, Santorum. Let’s thrown in Hunstman and Johnson too. Is there anyone up there who excited you for any reason other than “he’s not Barack Obama”?

    What hasn’t been reasonable about Paul? I’m not saying what didn’t you agree with, as it’s not really possible to find someone you’ll be 100% in agreement with, but what has been so outrageous that it didn’t seem reasonable? My question for you Hal, who would you like in this mix that you would support, continue to support all the way through? I mean all the way through, and not waver from two weeks later? And if Reagan were running today would you take him over Obama, or would you convince yourself he wasn’t fit to be President?

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  15. AlexInCT

    The Israel – Palestine conflict/peace process is a huge debate. Perhaps one for another day? Here I really think that all we need to agree upon is that a two-state solution is the only viable option.

    I totally disagree. The two state solution is nonsense, and guaranteed to end in genocide one way or another. That the west keeps pretending this is a viable answer to this problem after the mountains of evidence that the Palestinians remain committed to genocide serves only to prolong the inevitable. I neither trust nor for a second believe the Palestinians and that’s based on their actual actions. Israel is basically forced by the Jew haters of the world to play this idiotic game, when they well know that the Palestinians would never accept or be allowed to accept this proposed solution by the terrorist states pulling their strings, and things get worse.

    When one side constantly gives while the other constantly, with the help of a complicit anti-Semitic media and political establishment no less, demands more, while pretending to be negotiating in good faith, but standing fast on demanding a solution that basically guarantees the state of Israel’s doom, you can count me out. This solution is no solution at all. It is at best a cop out by spineless fucks trying to not deal with the problem, and more likely, as I suspect, a willing attempt to destroy Israel.

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  16. AlexInCT

    What hasn’t been reasonable about Paul?

    His foreign policy. That isolationism shit went dead with the invention of the steam ship. Now we live in the age of the airplane, and it is doubly so. I love everything else he stands for, but simply can not accept this sure to be suicidal foreign policy of his in the age of nuclear weapons.

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  17. AlexInCT

    You can’t find it because it doesn’t exist. I guess it’s a matter of absurd exaggerations of actual problems with Palestinian text books. Israeli text books have problems too (but to a lesser degree, as far as I can tell).

    Yeah, that’s why their kids shows teach death to the Jew. It’s all exaggerated.

    I would love to see the Israeli equivalent you speak off. Maybe that’s the exagerration, well outright lie, you are talking about?

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  18. Kimpost

    I totally disagree. The two state solution is nonsense, and guaranteed to end in genocide one way or another.

    Ok, so you disagree. That puts you out on the fringe, but whatever.

    Yeah, that’s why their kids shows teach death to the Jew. It’s all exaggerated.

    I would love to see the Israeli equivalent you speak off. Maybe that’s the exagerration, well outright lie, you are talking about?

    I linked to a Wiki page dealing with actual problems with Palestinian text books (not discussing Hamas Mickey Mouse Club here). From there you’ll find what’s wrong with them, and what’s wrong with Israeli books. Hint: Apes and pigs aren’t mentioned.

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  19. CM

    Gosh, I just can’t believe that Alex has such an extremist position on this issue (Palestinians are committed to genocide) and swallows any and all propaganda to support it.
    Oh hang on, I can. It would be a surprise if the opposite occured.

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  20. Section8

    His foreign policy. That isolationism shit went dead with the invention of the steam ship. Now we live in the age of the airplane, and it is doubly so. I love everything else he stands for, but simply can not accept this sure to be suicidal foreign policy of his in the age of nuclear weapons.

    What does the age of nukes have to do with it? It’s pretty safe to say all out war wouldn’t be declared on us wouldn’t it? At best everyone disappears, so large scale war against us is unlikely. So why the need to run around playing world cop to “protect” people who would prefer to tell us to fuck off. Why spend ourselves to death on it at the risk of our own security? Here we have the the closest thing to a libertarian the GOP has ever had, and I hear well he is starting to sound reasonable. Huh?

    Anyhow, we’ll see if Hal answers my initial question. I’m not hassling the guy, I just want a straight up answer out of curiosity.

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  21. AlexInCT

    Ok, so you disagree. That puts you out on the fringe, but whatever.

    If that puts me on the fringe with the anti-Semites, then so be it. Considering your stand on AGW I understand how you think popularity contests should decide right & wrong, but that doesn’t change the reality that popular or not, this solution remains impossible as long as one side refuses to accept the sovereignty and right to exist of the other. And before you go there, only ONE side still is doing that, and I have a bridge that crosses the Atlantic to sell cheap to anyone that says they believe that these death cultists can be talked off that ledge.

    I linked to a Wiki page dealing with actual problems with Palestinian text books (not discussing Hamas Mickey Mouse Club here). From there you’ll find what’s wrong with them, and what’s wrong with Israeli books. Hint: Apes and pigs aren’t mentioned.

    So you dismiss the fact that the death cultists harbor insane hatred and advocate genocide against the jews, because some horribly biased and laughable link that also tries to draw an equivalence between genocidal maniacs and people that are fighting them, says that a specific example of what the genocidal maniacs constantly say is not printed anywhere? No wonder you also think that it does not matter that the genocidal death cultists are not honest, when they speak to the usual useful idiot foreigners, because when they do speak to them they say what you want to hear, while we have countless obvious examples of them telling their own people what they really believe and promote is genocide. In-fucking-sane.

    BTW, what about maps showing Israel in any Palestinian books?

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  22. AlexInCT

    What does the age of nukes have to do with it? It’s pretty safe to say all out war wouldn’t be declared on us wouldn’t it?

    So unless it is all out war, it is not war? Limited conflicts, many through proxies, do not happen? What do you think the Islamic radicals that say they are at war with us believe?

    At best everyone disappears, so large scale war against us is unlikely.

    Not sure what this means. Do you mean that if there is all out war, we nuke the world? Great consolation there. Me, I am far more inclined to want to make sure nobody gets to the point where they believe war with us, conventional or otherwise, is a good idea, and to do that you need a foreign policy that doesn’t make you a sitting duck.

    So why the need to run around playing world cop to “protect” people who would prefer to tell us to fuck off.

    No we do not, but we do need to protect our interests. I am a believer that if we are going to expend our resources playing world cop, we charge the people we are protecting. Doing it for free is idiotic. But not doing anything is beyond stupid.

    Why spend ourselves to death on it at the risk of our own security?

    That’s not Ron Paul’s foreign policy however. He is arguing for both isolationism and a token military, as if us withdrawing from the world & disarming would suddenly not only make us safer, but improve our economic situation, because we could just close our borders off and make due. In the global age we live in this is a death pact.

    Here we have the the closest thing to a libertarian the GOP has ever had, and I hear well he is starting to sound reasonable. Huh?

    As I already said: I love practically everything Ron Paul stands for except his foreign policy, which I think is insane, and a deterrent to me wanting him in power. I do not compromise on that issue. Give me someone that doesn’t have Ron Paul’s insane foreign policy beliefs, and that person is guaranteed my vote.

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  23. Kimpost

    If that puts me on the fringe with the anti-Semites, then so be it.

    Anti-Semites? Bibi? All major parties in Israel? Both Bushes? If I remember correctly Reagan as well.

    Considering your stand on AGW I understand how you think popularity contests should decide right & wrong, but that doesn’t change the reality that popular or not, this solution remains impossible as long as one side refuses to accept the sovereignty and right to exist of the other. And before you go there, only ONE side still is doing that, and I have a bridge that crosses the Atlantic to sell cheap to anyone that says they believe that these death cultists can be talked off that ledge.

    (You actually managed to pull AGW into this? :) Believe it or not but I actually try to value the evidence. Sure through proxies since I’m not a scientist myself, but still by reading what actual scientists say about the matter.)

    As for your point on just ONE side accepting a two state solution, I obviously disagree. I think it’s clear that most parties involved seek one. All parties aren’t death cultists. Besides, what’s the option? A Grand Israel where the so called “Palestinians of the presently disputed areas” are allowed to vote in Israeli elections? What would that do to to the Jewish state?

    So you dismiss the fact that the death cultists harbor insane hatred and advocate genocide against the jews, because some horribly biased and laughable link that also tries to draw an equivalence between genocidal maniacs and people that are fighting them, says that a specific example of what the genocidal maniacs constantly say is not printed anywhere? No wonder you also think that it does not matter that the genocidal death cultists are not honest, when they speak to the usual useful idiot foreigners, because when they do speak to them they say what you want to hear, while we have countless obvious examples of them telling their own people what they really believe and promote is genocide. In-fucking-sane.

    Biased link? It was a link dealing with problems with Palestinian text books. Linking to various studies, some independent, some not. Check those studies and you’ll notice how some of those also looked at Israeli text books. Both have issues. Palestinian text books seem to have more issues. But I’ve already said that, so where’s my bias?

    BTW, what about maps showing Israel in any Palestinian books?

    Yes, geography would be one of the areas where both parties seem to be doing a rather poor job. Not up to your exaggerated point where Israel doesn’t exist, but still…

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  24. AlexInCT

    Anti-Semites?

    I call it as I have seen it, and in Europe this support for the Palistinian cause and the two state solution, despite all the evidence that the Palistinians remain committed to destyroying Israel and committing genocide, can only be attributed to hard core anti-Semitism.

    Bibi? All major parties in Israel? Both Bushes? If I remember correctly Reagan as well.

    You are confusing Israel being forced to play along with agreement with the policy. Bibi is doing what he must to prevent Obama from screwing his country even harder than he did before. Reagan & Bush I give a pass, they might even actually have believed the two state solution had a chance, because we didn’t know for sure that the death cultists were lying about the whole thing until Arafat told Clinton to take a hike.

    I am not sure about Bush II. He might have been doing the same as Bibi: paying the whole nonsense process lip service to keep his priorities moving. He might actually have been dumb enough to think that shit would work, though so who knows. Obama on the other hand is downright hostile to Israel, so maybe that’s why you didn’t mention him.

    Seriously, the two state solution has as much chance of working as communism does: that is null. And that’s not because both sides are against it. The problem is totally with one side. Pretending otherwise is not just stupid, it is insane.

    Check those studies and you’ll notice how some of those also looked at Israeli text books. Both have issues.

    What are the issue with Israeli text books? That they point out there never was a Palestine until Britian created it and that Jews lived in those lands until the muslim hordes razed the place? Because that’s no lie.

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  25. Kimpost

    I call it as I have seen it, and in Europe this support for the Palistinian cause and the two state solution, despite all the evidence that the Palistinians remain committed to destyroying Israel and committing genocide, can only be attributed to hard core anti-Semitism.

    Support for a two-state solution would be the majority position in Europe, yes. Just as it is in Asia, Africa and North- & South America. Are you suggesting that all, or even most, of us are so because we are anti-Semites? Do you think I hate them Jews, or am I just clueless? :) And if I’m just clueless why aren’t most of the world the same?

    You are confusing Israel being forced to play along with agreement with the policy. Bibi is doing what he must to prevent Obama from screwing his country even harder than he did before. Reagan & Bush I give a pass, they might even actually have believed the two state solution had a chance, because we didn’t know for sure that the death cultists were lying about the whole thing until Arafat told Clinton to take a hike.

    A two-state solution is what the people of Israel wants, including their political class. The same goes for Palestinians. Poll.

    The disagreement between Obama and Bibi is about terms, not principles. They both seek a two-state solution.

    I am not sure about Bush II. He might have been doing the same as Bibi: paying the whole nonsense process lip service to keep his priorities moving. He might actually have been dumb enough to think that shit would work, though so who knows. Obama on the other hand is downright hostile to Israel, so maybe that’s why you didn’t mention him.

    Instead of speculating, I choose to go by actual words and actions. George W Bush was for a two-state solution. He actively worked for one. Just as Obama has done after him. The US last US administrations agree on principle, while they might disagree on the terms.

    What are the issue with Israeli text books?


    Haaretz article

    One study, called “The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict in History and Civics Textbooks of Both Nations,” was conducted by Dr. Ruth Firer of Hebrew University and Dr. Sami Adwan of Bethlehem University. It examined 13 Israeli textbooks and nine Palestinian ones.

    According to the study, both sides’ texts either ignore periods of relative calm and coexistence, such as that of 1921-1929, or treat them as mere lulls in an ongoing conflict. Moreover, neither side’s books tell the story of the conflict from the other’s viewpoint, both ignore the other side’s suffering and each counts only its only victims.

    Which means that I would call the following a lie, or at least crap for History. History books deserve better than:

    […] there never was a Palestine until Britian created it and that Jews lived in those lands until the muslim hordes razed the place […]

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  26. hist_ed

    Whew, gottta check in more often.

    Since I was the one who made the claim that Palestinian textbooks portray Jews and descendent of apes and pigs and since I don’t want to spend time trying to dig that up (and admit I might be conflating textbooks with other propaganda) I formally withdraw the point.

    Kimpost, you say this:

    Both have issues. Palestinian text books seem to have more issues. But I’ve already said that, so where’s my bias?

    Every history book has issues, I have problems with the books I have to use to teach history. So let me ask, do you think the “issues” are comparable? Just going from the links you provided, the Palestinian issues seem to be a couple of orders of magnitude worse than the Israeli issues. Would you agree?

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  27. hist_ed

    Sides on turn down ‘solutions’ if they’re not actually solutions (in their eyes). If an unpalatable ‘solution’ was presented to Israel and they turned it down I bet you’d consider that differently.

    Yes if the two sides are looking at different problems, then of course they might not like other solutions. To Israel, the problem is “How do we live in peace with our neighbors with defensible borders?”

    To Hamas, the problem is “How do we drive the Jews into the sea?”

    So to Hamas’ eyes, a two state solution is not really a solution to their problem, is it?

    Israel has demonstrated more than once that they will trade land for peace and will hold up their end of the bargain even if doing so is quite painful.

    Yes, they’re prepared to nullify their 20+ year old charter apparently.

    You link is dated January 2010, almost two years old. You cite one statement made by one person in Hamas’ leadership as he is trying to make nice with the British (ie: trying to get them to give Hamas more money).

    Do you really think that is overwhelming evidence? In the face of constant rocket and mortar attacks on Israeli civilians?

    Finally, regarding the original issue. I think Gingrich, as a matter of history, is correct. The most significant references to “Palestinians” before 1945 were to organizations that were almost entirely Jewish (Palestinian Orchestra, the British Army’s Palestinian Brigade). But in the end, so what? They are a people now (with murderous, racists leaders, of course) and must be dealt with as such.

    Unlike Alex, I am in favor of a two state solution. I hope that it actually works. But in the likely event that a Palestinian state continues to allow attacks from its territory into Israel, then Israel would have the right to defend itself against these acts of war. I suspect that the two state solution will look a lot like today.

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  28. Kimpost

    Every history book has issues, I have problems with the books I have to use to teach history. So let me ask, do you think the “issues” are comparable? Just going from the links you provided, the Palestinian issues seem to be a couple of orders of magnitude worse than the Israeli issues. Would you agree?

    Yes, that would be my impression too.

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  29. AlexInCT

    Support for a two-state solution would be the majority position in Europe, yes. Just as it is in Asia, Africa and North- & South America. Are you suggesting that all, or even most, of us are so because we are anti-Semites?

    Did I stutter Kimpost? Yes, after Arafat told Clinton to pound sand it should have been obvious that this solution, popular or not, would never happen as long as the Palestinians first and foremost refuse to budge on their demand that Israel commit suicide and bow to conditions that would allow them to destroy the county. The end game for the Palestinians has and will always remain to drive the jews into the sea and wipe Israel off the map.

    If any of these fucking assholes, anywhere, that claim the two state solution was actually viable and the best option really believed that was the case, we would have long ago seen massive pressure on the Palestinians to get with the program. They would have stopped sending money to the terror organizations pretending to be government and made it very clear that they had to abandon their insane stance that basically assured the destruction of Israel. Instead all we get is UN resolutions to condemn Israel a evil while letting the Palestinians keep doing whatever they want and more and more money sent to them. None of this will ever help the two state solution come about. So, pardon me for then drawing the obvious and only possible conclusion: that the supporters of the two state solutions are neither serious believers in it nor interested in it happening.

    That leaves two options. The first is that these people have a vested interest in buying favor with Arab dictators for oil. Of course, they are not called out on that because only America can be evil and greedy about oil, as the invasion to steal Iraqi oil which benefitted China and Europe clearly showed, and kinetic action in Libya clearly proved. That was sarcasm. The second is that they are anti-Semites because they feel Israel should not exist or is the root of the problem, when it clearly is not. The fact that Israel is the only one that actually gets punished and told to give up more every go around while the Palestinians get nothing but supported lip service and UN resolutions condemning Israel for bullshit, makes that indisputable. I guess maybe we have three options, though. Many of these assholes are both kissing Arab ass for oil for oil and jew haters.

    Do you think I hate them Jews, or am I just clueless? :)

    I know that your position that the two state solution is viable and the only solution sure makes me feel it is a serious possibility. And I am not joking about that. I see no rational alternative when it is obvious that the Palestinians are not negotiating in good faith. You not only seem unable to admit that is so, but you are going so far as to defend them by implying they should be given a pass because you want to create equivalence between the evil done by murdering genocidal death cultists and what Israel is forced to do to defend itself from them.

    And if I’m just clueless why aren’t most of the world the same?

    I thought that is precisely what I said: anyone that still says this solution is viable while the Palestinians continue to demand and push for the extermination of Israel, is either clueless or complicit. That was not just limited to you.

    A two-state solution is what the people of Israel wants, including their political class. The same goes for Palestinians. Poll.

    BULLSHIT!

    The Israeli people & politicians certainly have come to that point, but there is no fucking way in hell that you make the ludicrous claim that the Palestinians do too. If that was true Hamas and Fatah would not be the ones winning political elections. Neither organization has abandoned the destruction of Israel as the end goal. Sure, they do not say this outright anymore, primarily so their European financiers do not have to bother explaining their continued support for genocide, but the demands that they cling to – the right of return – and what they tell their own people when they think nobody is paying attention, make it indisputable.

    The disagreement between Obama and Bibi is about terms, not principles. They both seek a two-state solution.

    Yeah sure, Kimpost. You are correct that Bibi is looking for a solution that allows Israel to co-exist with the Palestinians. They got here because they have been forced to accept that solution by those pushing for it and punish Israel, and Israel only, if they do not comply. Israelis made it very clear that they would try to make this solution work when they accepted the deal Clinton brokered back when.

    The Palestinians have done nothing of the sort. They refused the deal that would have given them their statehood, continue their terror campaigns, ineffectively because they are fucking losers, and keep electing Iranian backed terrorists that promise to wipe Israel off the map. This solution might become viable if the world was actually willing to put a fraction of the pressure it does on Israel on the Palestinians, but so far they keep funding the terrorists and keep attacking Israel.

    And Obama is just content keeping the illusion alive that he is both an Israeli supporter and for the two state solution, while throwing Israel under the bus – by demanding they do what the Palestinians want, which is basically what nobody that wants Israel to stay viable wants – so he can keep collecting big checks from rich jews. He is an enemy of Israel.

    Instead of speculating, I choose to go by actual words and actions. George W Bush was for a two-state solution. > He actively worked for one.

    How did that work out? Israel gave up more, and the Palestinians escalated their terror attacks. By now it should be obvious to people like you that this isn’t going to work unless the Palestinians are forced to accept it. So when nobody is actually putting any pressure on them the only conclusions left to be drawn are that the people that push this solution are not serious about it, do not really care for it to happen but do it so they can pretend they are doing something about it, or they understand perfectly that what they are doing will spell the end of Israel, and want exactly that. I believe it is either the last two or a combination of them both, and the way this whole freak show plays out backs me up.

    Just as Obama has done after him.

    You forgot the smiley face to indicate you were joking about that.

    The US last US administrations agree on principle, while they might disagree on the terms.

    And I am pointing out that we are wrong to keep this is our policy and pretending it will work, because it is stupid and unrealizable as long as the Palestinians are allowed to keep pretending they are negotiating in good faith, when they are doing nothing of the sort. If we really meant it, and by “we” I mean the world, not just the US, we would have told the Palestinians to play ball or deal with the consequences of us basically abandoning this idiotic plan and leaving them to the tender mercy of Israel. We have however only put pressure on Israel, never on them. And please, do not try to pretend otherwise.

    Which means that I would call the following a lie, or at least crap for History. History books deserve better than:

    Of course you would. That is why you try to equate the actions oif genocidal maniacs with Israel defending itself or pointing out in its history books that there is a problem with the concept that they were not there first. Which brings me back to my point that it seems very obvious to me that you are an anti-Semite.

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  30. Kimpost

    I don’t think you are reading me very well, so we might as well just drop it. I think that it’s quite clear that both sides are seeking a two-state solution. You don’t. So be it. Much like hist_ed I don’t think that a two-state solution would necessarily be much different from what we have now. The violence wouldn’t just magically disappear. But I do think that it’s vital for peace ever coming to the region. Without it, I see no possible end.

    Now, I could wade through the rest of your text addressing some of the WTF-moments, but why bother? Some of the points have been addressed already, but you just don’t see it. And then you round things up by saying this.

    Which brings me back to my point that it seems very obvious to me that you are an anti-Semite.

    You’re an inviting dude, Alex. :)

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  31. AlexInCT

    I don’t think you are reading me very well, so we might as well just drop it. I think that it’s quite clear that both sides are seeking a two-state solution.

    I read you fine. I am telling you that I do not buy the argument about sides are trying anything: I see one being forced to give, time after time, demonized and accused of being the bad one, while the other continues to do more of the same with impunity. You can pretend they are both doing the same. 2 decades from now, when this freak show is still going on, with Israel being told to give more while the death cultists keep at it, I will point out why this approach was doomed. And you will again tell me that I am taking an unpopular stance. I prefer to be right than popular.

    I wish I could be as polite Kimpost. I’m just keeping my mouth shut.

    Why? Are you afraid you will remove all doubt that you will sound like an anti-semitic stooge by doing so? There is no equivalent between what Israel is forced to do and what the Palestinians get away with. To deny that forces clear thinkning people into assuming you either do so because you are not well ifnormed or you do so out of some bad motive.

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  32. Kimpost

    This thread started of by Newt calling the Palestinians an invented (or made-up) people. I reacted to that because I found it weird since he believes in a two-state solution. Regardless if he was right or wrong, the statement didn’t make much sense bearing that in mind. How was it helpful? I never intended to turn this into a general Israel-Palestine thread, but here we are.

    What is it that Israel is giving, time after time? What is it that the Palestinians aren’t giving? Remember that we started off with a situation where both parties had one position respectively. The Arabs wanted to see Israel destroyed, and Israel saw no Palestine. Now they recognize each other. Both sides are tired of war. And they grow more tired by the decade(!). Sure there are radicals, and they are the ones we tend to see on everyday news. But ordinary people just want to live in peace, take care of their families and fucking just… live! That’s true for the people of Israel too.

    Besides. Israel couldn’t even handle a one-state solution. Not without making apartheid like laws permanent throughout the Palestinian territories. Either that or accept becoming a minority in their own country. How’s that for unacceptable?

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  33. JimK

    This thread started of by Newt calling the Palestinians an invented (or made-up) people. I reacted to that because I found it weird since he believes in a two-state solution. Regardless if he was right or wrong, the statement didn’t make much sense bearing that in mind. How was it helpful?

    You know, this is a damn fine question. Newt is on record supporting the 2-state solution. That is a given. Also, as Hal pointed out, the reality is ALL people are “made up people” when you get right down to it.

    SO…given those two things, and setting aside how anyone feels about Hamas, PLO or Al-Aqsa – What benefit did Newt’s statement have? Better still, what benefit could it possibly have, besides whipping certain aspects of the base into a frenzy? Did he think he could win American Jews over from Democrats with this? Because that’s the only angle I can see, and even that doesn’t make much sense.

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  34. hist_ed

    Better still, what benefit could it possibly have, besides whipping certain aspects of the base into a frenzy? Did he think he could win American Jews over from Democrats with this?

    Bingo and bingo. Newt got some problems with the right wing base-sitting pretty with Pelosi, lots of wishy-washy statements about health care and his tendency to screw around. He needs to get waaaayy out on the right on a couple of things to appeal to them. He also, no doubt, knows that Obama’s support is weakening among American Jews. He wants to court them (though the Jews Obama is losing are not the right wingers, more the middle roadsters, so its probably not too good a tactic to attract American Jews).

    Finally, though, this is just an example of Newt being Newt. The guy can’t discipline his mouth or his mind. It’s why a Newt presidency scares me more than almost any other GOP candidate: who knows what the fuck he will come up with. He truly believes in the power of government to get large scales things right. He loves intellectual fads. And he has a painful need to seem to be the smartest guy in the room (which, in the GOP debates, he may be-most insecure as well, perhaps). Can you image four years of a new alpha sigma theta lean sigma fucka every year or six months?

    I can’t believe I am writing this, but I might rather vote for Bachman that Gingrich.

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