Newt and Arafat
Newt was roundly praised - and deservedly so - for calling the Palestinians an invented people.
As many before me have noted, they are the realization of the verse:
The AP reported:וַאֲנִי אַקְנִיאֵם בְּלֹא-עָםand I will rouse them to jealousy with a no-people
The remarks struck at the heart of Palestinian sensitivities about the righteousness of their struggle for an independent state and put him at odds not only with the international community but with all but an extremist fringe in Israel.I am proud to be part of that "extremist fringe" that are not at odds with that statement. And the amount of praised heaped upon Newt for his statement belies the idea that it is merely an "extremist fringe" who thinks a Palestinian state is a bad idea.
Just today, HuffPo published a picture of Newt and Arafat together. This was in 1993 when Arafat was popular with the world. Yes, he should have known better for meeting with the scum, but it seems he learned his lesson in subsequent years, as the HuffPo article itself points out.
In fact, in 1997, the US News and World Report reported in an Op-Ed:
Newt Gingrich is on the defensive these days, yet he is one of the few who have seen what is happening and have had the courage to define the central issues: "There's a core principle here that we have forgotten ... It is extraordinarily dangerous to confuse the aggressor and the victim. It is extraordinarily dangerous to confuse the terrorist and the democracy. It is extraordinary to always impose the burden on those who are your friends, because you're too timid to tell the truth to those who are your enemies."From that account, Newt seemed pretty pro-Israel and anti-Arafat in the late 90s. A picture during Oslo won't change that.
But Newt may have more trouble on the way - not from the Palestinians, but rather from the Paulistinians - as Ron Paul has closed in on Newt within one percentage point in Iowa in a new poll.