Newt Gingrich’s comment, that the Palestinians are an “invented people” may have some truths buried in its mistaken terms but his words are terribly inadequate for a public statement by someone running for president.
Here’s what he’s saying. Just after World War there was neither an Israel nor a Palestine. The people of the world, or at least those in power, saw the horror of the Holocaust, listened to the cry of Jews in the world for a safe place to dwell, and they mandated the State of Israel. Mr Gingrich assumes that both to be true and good. His words express a very strongly pro-Israel stance, and it also implies a negative stance toward a Palestinian State. Of course, one could say that “Israel” was in 1948 “invented” (as a State) but it would be beyond silly to say Israelis were thereby an “invented people.”
Gingrich said the Palestinians are an “invented people.” Well, if you want to say Israel is an invented nation, then you could say that the development of a similar — important something Newt did not mention and should have — “invented nation” might occur for the Palestinians. And, there is the beginnings of such in the Palestinian Authority, and there are plenty who want to “invent” a “State” of Palestine. But….What is just beyond wrong is to say the Palestinians are an invented “people.” Were they — as a people — invented? Sorry, Newt, they have been there for a long, long time though they have not been a State.
So the fair thing to do is to create a State called Palestine because we have a State called Israel. Then we will have two inventions, one called the State of Israel and one called the State of Palestine. But what we cannot “invent” is a “people.”