Newt Gingrich's recent impolitic reference to the contemporary invention of the Palestinian people has progressives (aka, faux-liberals) clutching at pearls all over the internet and throughout liberal publications. The funny thing is that virtually no one, outside of some Palestinians, themselves, actually deny that what Newt said was true. Here is the exact quote, again:
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.
This off-the-cuff and inconveniently true comment has people in an absolute tizzy, despite the fact that almost everyone acknowledges that it is largely true. There was never a state of Palestine and there still is no state of Palestine. If the "Palestinians" would finally agree to one then maybe they would get a state. That might be nice.
And, of course, the Palestinians are an invented people. All peoples, all nations, are invented in the sense that they are social constructs or, as Benedict Anderson famously said, "imagined communities." The difference is that the "Palestinian" community was only imagined about a quarter past last Tuesday and was so imagined out of the Long Arab War Against the Jews. This war, which the Arabs launched in the early 1920s, has been ongoing ever since and, thankfully, the Arabs have lost.
They haven't given up the fight, however and, really, why should they? The religion of Islam forbids any land that was at any time Islamic to ever be anything else. This is part of al-Sharia. The Arab conflict with the Jews is thus grounded in theocratically-based race-hatred toward the Jewish people and non-Muslims. Furthermore, given that Arabs outnumber Jews by about 100 to 1, why should they stop fighting? It may be horrific for us, or at least for the half of us surrounded by enemies in the Middle East, but only a tiny percentage of Arabs will pay a significant cost for their ongoing war against the Jewish people.
That tiny percentage is, of course, the "Palestinians" who were created as a people, by Arafat in collusion with the Soviet Union, to be the front-line offensive against Jewish sovereignty on Jewish land. While a few Arab intellectuals and elites early in the twentieth century began the process of Palestinian nationalism, most Palestinians did not consider themselves to be Palestinian until the 1960s, if not the 1970s. Not until Arafat and the Soviets started yammering about the "national liberation of the Palestinian people" did we ever hear of any such Arab people as "Palestinians." before that the "Palestinians" mainly referred to the Jews in that area, which is why the Jerusalem Post used to be called the Palestine Post.
So, what Newt said was largely correct. The Palestinians represent the world's newest nation and they are a nation that emerged out of the greater Arab nation to fight against Jewish sovereignty on historically Jewish land.
What I find most hysterical, however, is just how uncomfortable progressives (faux-liberals) are with anything that resembles the truth unless it bolsters their ideological predispositions. They despise Newt Gingrich not because his claims, in this regard, are false, but because he is the political opposition which therefore must be smeared and demeaned and whose character must be dragged through the mud at every opportunity.
Personally, I find progressive (faux-liberal) smear tactics to be revolting. Heck, I didn't even like it when I was a progressive. Can you believe that these people actually blamed the Tucson shooting last year on Sarah Palin? The cruelty, irresponsibility, and just plain malice of that episode boggled my mind.
In any case, the truth is the truth. Truth is not dependent upon politics. Something doesn't become untrue merely because it is spoken by the political opposition or because it is a politically inconvenient fact. Just because someone like, say, George W. Bush says that it is raining, this does not automatically mean that children and ponies are prancing in the sunshine.
Here's a truth: the Palestinians, like the rest of us, are "invented."
Here's another truth: the Palestinians, unlike the rest of us, were invented only decades ago.
Here's yet another truth: if these people would give up on their Jew Killing Policy then they could raise their children in decency and potential prosperity.
But the truth is just so darn inconvenient isn't it?
Much better to lie for peace despite the fact that those lies... such as the lie that Barack Obama is advancing something that we can call a "peace process"... never actually result in peace.
I say that we tell the truth and see how that serves us.
What Barry Rubin calls "lying for peace" sucks and... here's a news flash... it doesn't work.