By Khalid Amayreh
In a cheap effort to procure Jewish votes and money, Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich has claimed that the Palestinian people is an invented people.
"I think that we've had an invented Palestinian people who are in fact Arabs, and who were historically part of the Arab community. And they had a chance to go many places and for a variety of reasons we have sustained them against Israel now since the 1940s. It is tragic."
Asked whether he considered himself a Zionist, the highly opportunistic and morally duplicitous republican leader said "I believe that the Jewish people have the right to a state…Remember, there was no Palestinian state. It was part of the Ottoman empire until the early 20th century."
There is no doubt that Gingrich's claims are an obscene gallimaufry of errors, half-truths and outright lies.
Let us begin with the issue of an "invented people." Well, if we discuss the matter academically, e.g. honestly and objectively, we will reach the ineluctable conclusion that the American people themselves are an invented people. After all, the only true and "un-invented" people are the native Americans, most of whom were exterminated by White immigrants, presumably including Gingrich's forefathers, who called the genocide "manifest destiny."
In comparison, the Palestinian people have stronger claims to originality and authenticity.
In fact, Palestinians predated the Israelites by thousands of years. Remember, even Abraham, the patriarch, had to purchase a burial place for his wife Sara from a local Palestinian. The story is mentioned in the Bible.
Moreover, the Shekel, the name of the Israeli currency, was a Palestinian currency long before the advent of the Israelites. This fact, too, is corroborated by the Bible.
In truth, the Palestinians had developed a prosperous civilization long before the arrival of the quasi-barbarian Israelites who conquered the country by way of genocide and ethnic cleansing. A fleet look at the Old Testament would elucidate the facts in this regard.
Newt Gingrich must be a real ignoramus. It is lamentable that he is contemplating becoming the President of the United States. The notion of Gingrich becoming a successor of people like George Washington and Benjamin Franklin is really an affront to serious minds and moral spirits.
But, on the other hand, Gingrich belongs to a generation of American politicians who don't value honesty, truth and intellectualism. They are, more or less, political prostitutes for the asking. They will "sell" their commodity to the highest bidder, which really augers very bad for America's democracy and survival.
I am sorry to say such a things about the only remaining, though dwindling, superpower in the world. But a little advice, though it might hurt, could have a lasting positive effect.
Had Mr. Gingrich done some research, he probably would have toned down his pornographically mendacious remarks.
For example, Keith W. Whitelam, a British scholar of impeccable credentials, wrote a meticulously researched book a few years ago on the history of Palestine . The book is entitled "the Invention of Ancient Israel, the Silencing of Palestinian History."
The book, described by the Sunday Times of London as a "brave, fascinating and important," shows how the ancient history of Palestine has been deliberately obscured by the search for Israel.
The author argues rather convincingly that ancient Israel has been invented by scholars in the image of European nation-states.
According to William Dalrymple, Whitelam "explores the theological and political assumptions which have shaped research into ancient Israel by Biblical scholars and contributed to the vast network of scholarship, defined by the late Palestinian scholar Edward Said as "Orientalist discourse."
Under the subtitle of "Imaging Ancient Israel And The Politics of The East," Whitelam argues that the picture of Israel's past presented in much of the Hebrew Bible is a fiction, a fabrication like most pictures of the past constructed by ancient (and, we might add, modern) societies.
He adds that western studies of ancient Israel have not been properly investigated due to the fact that many of the scholars involved in these studies took Biblical narratives for granted.
Whitelam was not a "black sheep" in any sense of the word. He is joined by a long list of scholars, including some Jewish scholars, who vindicated the often neglected and overlooked Palestinian narrative.
For example, it is an academic axiom that the bulk Israel's "founding fathers" happened to be East European invaders, the majority of whom were descendants from the old Khazar region.
These people, who converted to Judaism about a thousand years ago, had no ethnical connection with the ancient Israelites. In fact, modern-day Palestinians had more ethnic affinity with the ancient Israelites than arrogant and genocidal Zionists such as Ben Gurion, Ariel Sharon, Menachem Begin and Benyamin Netanyahu.
According to Tsvi Misinai, an Israeli scholar and researcher, a large part of the Palestinian population are actually descendants of ancient Israel. These Palestinians, Misinai argues, had converted from Judaism to Islam and Christianity. If so, then even according to Jewish criteria, the Palestinians belong to the land and that the last thing one would say about them is that they are an "invented people"
I am not, of course, writing for Gingrich or people with similar mindsets. These people are usually fanatics who would disregard the truth even if they are brought face to face with it. They are fanatics, and fanatics by definitions don't hold views; they are held by them.
I am writing for sincere people who might be deceived by Gingrich ranting and nonsense. The man may be an important politician, but with all due respect to my American friends, he is an intellectual midget and a moral dwarf.
May God help the American people if Gingrich is elected President.
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|Liaquat Ali Khan|