Republican US presidential candidate Newt Gingrich has refused to retract his earlier anti-Palestinian remark, this time labeling Palestinians as “terrorists.”
During a Saturday night primary Republican presidential debate in Iowa, Gingrich defended his earlier remark that the Palestinians were “an invented people,” and claimed that the comment was “factually correct” and “historically true,” Reuters reported.
This is while the Tel Aviv regime was created in 1948 by forcing hundreds of thousands of Palestinians out of their homes, killing and injuring many thousands and driving huge masses of them out into neighboring Arab states.
Gingrich had made his first anti-Palestinian comments in an interview with a US-based pro-Israeli cable network, the Jewish Channel.
On Saturday, the Republican presidential candidate further complained that while the administration of current US President Barack Obama “tries to pressure the Israelis into a peace process… somebody ought to have the courage to tell the truth; these people (Palestinians) are terrorists.”
Gingrich’s remarks are interpreted by many as being geared toward winning campaign funds from the influential pro-Israel lobby in the United States, especially considering the fact that his ex-wife worked for the Israeli government during the time when he presided over the US House of Representative.
US Republican candidates hoping to challenge Obama next November have been seeking to attract Jewish support by vowing to bolster US commitment to Israel if elected.
The comments by Gingrich triggered outrage among Palestinian officials, who accused Gingrich of pleading for the support of the pro-Israeli lobby “in a cheap way.”
Palestinian legislator Hannan Ashrawi said Gingrich had “lost touch with reality.” She said his statements were “a cheap way to win (the) pro-Israel vote.”
Moreover, Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum called Gingrich’s statements “shameful and disgraceful.” “These statements … show genuine hostility toward Palestinians,” he said.
Meanwhile, his rival former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney said Gingrich’s comments made it more difficult for Israelis and Palestinians to negotiate toward peace.
Source: Press TV