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Newt Gingrich has now 'gone there' and said that Palestinians aren't a people.

His goal is presumably to make them seem less worthy of self-determination in a state of their own.

This is ridiculous, wrong, and dangerous.

Gingrich says this:

“Remember, there was no Palestine as a state. It was part of the Ottoman Empire. We have invented the Palestinian people, who are in fact Arabs and are historically part of the Arab people, and they had the chance to go many places.”
which is ridiculous.

Historical lack of a state is a ridiculous criterion for whether a group is a 'people'.  Jews didn't have a state until 1948 and they are most certainly a people.  

The Palestinians are indeed part of a larger group of Arabs as well, but they are also a distinct people, forged from their shared experiences first as Ottoman subjects, then in the British Mandate, then under Egyptian and Jordanian occupation, and lastly under Israeli occupation.

As a people, the Palestinians deserve self-determination in a state of their own, alongside and at peace with Israel, where Jews deserve self-determination and protection in a state of their own.  Ideally both of these states would be ethnic homelands with full minority rights, like many states in the old world such as Greece.  

Gingrich's rhetoric, in addition to being ignorant, is really dangerous for the prospect of a peaceful resolution to the I/P conflict.  It is dangerous for Palestinians, and it is dangerous for Jews.

Cross-posted at The Progressive Zionist.

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