Thursday, December 15, 2011

Daoud Kuttab Versus Newt Gingrich

There are many Huffington Post bloggers who have been going after Newt Gingrich in the name of the Palestinian people, and recently Daoud Kuttab has stepped up to the plate. His article is very interesting in the sense that it takes great offensive at Gingrich's comments and in fact misinterprets them so that Kuttab can be even more offended! Yes, it's true. Let's get into it.

Mr. Kuttab begins by pointing out that Israel recognized the Palestinian people (no comment about Hamas' refusal to reciprocate) to try and make the point that Newt is "more Israeli than the Israelis."
"Negating or denying the existence of the Palestinian people after government of the state of Israel recognized it shows how low US election fever has reached."
Really? Is that what Gingrich did? Denied the existence of the Palestinian people? Now I understand that there is probably room for interpretation here, but I don't see how pointing out the fact that the Palestinian people are invented is saying they aren't real. Laptop computers were invented but that doesn't mean that I'm not using one right now to write this. For the record, here is a reminder of what Gingrich actually said:
""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 political reasons we have sustained this war against Israel now since the 1940s, and it's tragic," he said."
If he was saying the Palestinian people didn't exist, would he refer to them as "Palestinian people?" Now none of us are mindreaders, but based on his comments at the Iowa caucus it sounded like Newt was bringing up a curiosity of Arab-Israeli history, not making a political statement. That didn't stop the Palestinians themselves from ramping up their hysteria, to do what they do best: Play the victim. Back to Kuttab, emphasis mine:
"PLO executive committee member Hanan Ashrawi called the statement"ignorant and racist," and questioned whether someone making such a statement has what it takes to become the next president of the United States of America. Other Palestinian officials correctly identified that the statement is a green light to Israelis to carry out ethnic cleansing of Palestinians."
Really? Really? Is this going to happen every time someone points out an inconvenient truth to you guys? I have a feeling that if Gingrich was in favor of ethnically cleansing Palestinians he would have said that. The truth is that Gingrich said something that the Palestinians really, really didn't like so they are trying to puff up this controversy to more than it deserves, in the hope of hitting Gingrich with more negative press. As political maneuvers go, it's not exactly subtle. But oh no! The horror doesn't end there!
"When ABC's George Stephanopoulos asked Republican nominees during the Iowa debate to comment on the statement, no one would deal directly with it. Republicans seeking the office of the presidency were tripping over each other as to who can show more support to Israel. No one even tried to acknowledge the existence of Palestinians...Perhaps the least damaging statement came from congressman Ron Paul, who quipped that if Palestinians were invented, so was Israel."
Okay, let's get to the tape:

Ron Paul pointed out that Gingrich was technically correct (which he is), but every single one of the candidates referred to the Palestinians as "Palestinians." Not as "Arabs" or "squatters in Judea and Samaria," or any number of other possibilities. So I don't see what Kuttab is complaining about. Did he expect all the candidates to tell Gingrich that he was wrong and then parrot the factually incorrect Palestinian narrative? They told Gingrich that what he said was "probably unhelpful" (which is true) but they didn't argue with him on the facts (because he is right). As usual, that's not good enough for the Palestinians.

Kuttab is not above the cheap shot:
"Everyone one else reiterated their total unequivocal and non-negotiable support for America's 'ally' Israel. "
Boo hoo hoo. You can say many things about Israel, but it takes some seriously cajones to deny that America is Israel's ally, and Israel is America's. And maybe if the Palestinians didn't chant "death to America" and dance on 9/11, they might have been our ally too. It was good enough for Egypt and Saudi Arabia. However, I would be remiss if I said that Kuttab didn't make a few good points about Gingrich again:
"Stereotyping an entire nation, he called Palestinians "terrorists" and claimed wrongly that Palestinian textbooks teach hatred to Jews. He also claimed wrongly that the US government funds the printing of what he claimed to be hate-filled books."
I'm not going to lie, I thought Gingrich was pretty out of line when he said that. However, he is partly correct, so Kuttab is not entirely in the right either. There are terrorists among the Palestinians, and Palestinians do teach hatred of Jews, though perhaps not in textbooks. And of course if there is one group of people who shouldn't talk about "stereotyping an entire nation," it would be the Palestinians. Hypocrisy is not a good way to win an argument.

In the end, neither Kuttab nor any of his friends tried to prove Gingrich wrong, perhaps because they knew they couldn't. Instead they just pump up the manufactured outrage and the play the victim yet again. I hope for their sake they never stop finding excuses to seem like victims. The thought doesn't make for a pretty picture.


  1. Newt rips unrwa


  2. What I find amusing is that these people here who claim to be all about combating antisemitism end up supporting all of the antisemitic politicians in America

    Perhaps you are just ignorant of american poltics (its not clear what country this blogger is from). The people that call themselves christian zionists in america hate jews, and literally believe that good things will happen if the jews in israel are fighting wars. Kind of like a beacon to Jesus

    Gingrich is not on your side


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