Posted by on December 13, 2011 in Blog

Last week, Republican Presidential Candidate Newt Gingrich said that the Palestinian people were “an invented people.” Once confronted with those remarks in Saturday’s Republican debate in Iowa, Gingrich did not backtrack, but actually took it a step further, describing the Palestinians as “terrorists”:

Somebody ought to have the courage to tell the truth. These people are terrorists.They teach terrorism in their schools. They have textbooks that say, if there are 13 Jews and nine Jews are killed, how many Jews are left? We pay for those textbooks through our aid money.It’s fundamentally time for somebody to have the guts to stand up and say, enough lying about the Middle East.

Needless to say, Gingrich’s remarks mark a new low in this campaign season. In our first official reaction, AAI Chairman and Republican George Salem explained the historical absurdity of calling the Palestinians “invented” and went on to say, “The Gingrich slander that “these people are terrorists” paints an entire people unfairly, incorrectly, and, from a man who wishes to be president, inexcusably” [Click here for his full statement; and here for Talking Points Memo's coverage of it].

TAKE ACTION: While Gingrich’s use of extremist and inflammatory rhetoric falls within his rights, it certainly isn’t responsible behavior, and the Republican party has an obligation to disassociate from such rhetoric. Call the Republican National Committee (202.863.8500), tell them that you find Gingrich’s remarks about the Palestinian people ridiculous and destructive, and demand that they issue a statement disassociating from his views.

Talking Points:

• Gingrich’s current view on Palestine is a major shift away from the mainstream Republican stance

• Efforts to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are undermined by such inflammatory rhetoric

• The Republican Party’s image is tarnished when its presidential frontrunner takes extremist positions

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