“Washington Actions on Palestine don’t Differ from Gingrich’s Words
Newt Gingrich has been trying for the monetary backing and votes of Jewish Americans and Christian Zionists by taking up the positions of the Israeli far Right. He promises to move the US embassy to Jerusalem (disputed territory under international law) just because right wing Jewish nationalists insist that all of Jerusalem belongs to them and because they intend gradually to ethnically cleanse the Palestinians from the city.
And, now he has begun talking like an Israeli propagandist from the 1950s, saying that there had never been a Palestinian state in history, that the 11 million Palestinians are an invented nation, that there is no difference in the attitude of the PLO and Hamas toward Israel, and that all Palestinians are terrorists. His remarks have been condemned by other politicians as extreme, but that is hypocritical. America acts as Gingrich talks.
As for the substance of what Gingrich said, it is first of all stupid, and second of all wrong.
It is stupid because all nations are invented, and they have all been invented in the past couple hundred years. There were peoples in pre-modern times, but in the absence of printing, literacy, modern communications, and the new post-empire model of the Enlightenment state with its educational institutions, they weren’t really nations. Those who supposedly spoke a common language couldn’t even understand one another across regions (north and south Italy, e.g.) As Eric Hobsbawm observed, people think that nations created states, but in fact states created nations. States standardized languages, e.g.
So the Palestinians aren’t more of an invented nation than anyone else.
The complicity of official Washington in this ongoing crime against a whole people angers the Muslim world and causes many of America’s problems with the region, as Stephen Walt points out.
Gingrich’s remarks were headlined at Aljazeera and even as we speak have stirred a wave of anger at the United States. But it is not because he has put forward a new American position. It is because he has confirmed what the Arab public had perceived as US policy all along. The US is an accomplice in the erasure of a whole people, in keeping them in an estate. of statelessness, only a little elevated from that of slavery, and in helping further expropriate them on a daily basis.”