(story by Ben Smith-Politico).Former Speaker Newt Gingrich dismissed the Palestinian bid for statehood as as the effort of an "invented Palestinian people, who are in fact Arabs, and were historically part of the Arab community."
Gingrich also said the Palestinian Authority, which has typically represented the moderate wing of Palestinian leadership and formally accepts Israel's right to exist, is motivated by "an enormous desire to destroy Israel."
"I believe that the Jewish people have the right to have a state, and I believe that the commitments that were made at a time," Gingrich said in an interview with Steven I. Weiss. "Remember there was no Palestine as a state. It was part of the Ottoman Empire. And I think that we've had an invented Palestinian people, who are in fact Arabs, and 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 1940's, and I think it’s tragic."
"I mean, we have an armed truce with a Palestinian Authority that’s relatively weak. And on its flank is a Hamas authority which may become relatively weak, because it can’t deliver anything. But both of which represent an enormous desire to destroy Israel, Frankly, given their school system and the hatred they teach in their schools, often with money that comes from us through the United Nations, I mean I think there's a lot to think about in terms of how fundamentally you want to change the terms of debate in the region."
Gingrich also identified his foreign policy approach with that of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
"I see myself as in many ways being pretty close to Bibi Netanyahu in thinking about the dangers of the world. I believe in a tough-minded realism. I believe that if somebody is firing rockets at you, they are probably not engaged in the peace process. I believe if somebody goes around and says you don’t have a right to exist, they’re probably not prepared to negotiate for peace, I think if someone says they wanna wipe you out, you should believe them. So I see a much more tougher-minded, and much more honest approach to the Middle East in a Gingrich administration."