The right side
Your Dec. 14 editorial criticizing Newt Gingrich for referring to the “Palestinians” as an invented people (“Facts on the ground”) was quite disturbing to me.
You wrote, “The obvious rejoinder is that all ‘peoples’ are invented — Americans in the 18th century, Italians in the 19th century, Bangladeshis in the 20th.” This is absurd on its face. All words are new, or take on new meaning, at some point in time. But all words do not take on new meaning for political purposes.
Stuart Chase wrote many years ago in The Tyranny of Words that whoever gets to define the terms of an argument gets to control that argument. And you seem to be happy with letting sworn enemies of Israel and our people define places like Ma’ale Adumim as “settlements,” its residents as “occupiers,” and letting these enemies define themselves as “Palestinians.”
This is also absurd on its face. The name was chosen by the Egyptian Arafat and others because it gave them a tie that they did not otherwise have to eretz Yisrael. Go to a library and look in the New York Times index from a century ago. Get the book for 1911 (or any of the years immediately before or after that) and look up “Palestine.” When you do you will find exactly two words. They are: “See Jews.”
Arab claims to “Palestine” are almost entirely bogus. It’s time to stop believing that just because there are two sides to every story, that these two sides have equal legitimacy. They don’t. One side is right and the other side is wrong. And here, at least, Newt Gingrich was on the right side.