Monday, December 12, 2011

Coalition member discredits Gingrich claim of "invented" Palestinians

The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee is a coalition member of the US Campaign. It distributed the following news release today.

"Invented People" or Invented History?

ADC rejects Gingrich's offensive comments. Download our letter

Washington, DC | | December 12, 2011 - The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) is stunned and appalled at Newt Gingrich’s simplistic and strange assertion that the Palestinian people are an "invented people", which offends hundreds of thousands of Palestinian Americans and millions of Arab Americans. At the same time, ADC dismisses Mr. Gingrich's assertion, and urges him to acquaint himself with the basic concept of nationhood to spare his campaign further embarrassment and ridicule. Nations are not defined by the existence of states, as Mr. Gingrich, who is not a specialist in Middle Eastern history and has not held an academic post since 1978,  incorrectly suggests. The modern states of Israel, Turkey, Syria, Jordan, Iraq, Libya and dozens of others around the world did not exist at the turn of the twentieth century. These historical circumstances do not negate their inhabitants' national identities or fundamental human rights; the same is true of Palestinians.

In a second attack against Palestinians, during the Republican debate, Mr. Gingrich stated that “[Palestinians] are terrorists. They teach terrorism in their schools.” ADC condemns Mr. Gingrich’s rant against Palestinians as baseless, reckless, offensive and utterly unbefitting a candidate for President of the United States. Such indiscriminate language from prominent public figures leads to hate crimes and discrimination against Arab Americans, and ADC strongly urges Republicans to repudiate it.

ADC President Warren David stated, "I am appalled that a former Speaker of the House of Representatives and a candidate for the Republican nomination for President of the United States could make such insulting statements about the Palestinian people. Our members are outraged by Mr. Gingrich's remarks. Rather than attempt to negate the Palestinian people's national identity with irrelevant and antiquated pseudo-arguments and collectively defame Palestinians as "terrorists", Mr. Gingrich should insist that the United States of America defend their legitimate rights to (a) freedom from 44 years of oppressive Israeli military rule and (b) equality in the face of institutionalized Israeli discrimination.”

Finally, on Saturday night, Mr. Gingrich stated, “It's fundamentally time for somebody to have the guts to stand up and say, enough lying about the Middle East.” We couldn’t agree more. So, please, Mr. Gingrich, enough lying about the Middle East.


NOTE TO EDITORS: The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), which is non-profit, non-sectarian and non-partisan, is the largest grassroots Arab-American civil rights and civil liberties organization in the United States. It was founded in 1980 by former Senator James Abourezk. ADC has a national network of chapters and members in all 50 states.