In an interview with the Jewish Channel, Newt Gingrich’s brain once again outsmarts his mouth, as he spouts serial inanities about the Palestinians. Among them the old Joan Peters/Israeli nationalist canard that Palestinians are “an invented people.”
Right. In the same sense that Americans were an invented people in 1776, and Israelis were an invented people in 1948, and Germany was an invented people before Bismarck came along circa 1870 and united a bunch of disparate city states and principalities into a German nation. In short, modern history is replete with examples of nations and peoples that didn’t exist, especially in the minds of their enemies, until a leader or set of leaders came along to turn a concept into reality.
There is nothing sacred or permanent about the concept of nation-formation. It is an evolving process in which nations are born or disintegrate and die depending on historical circumstance and the sense of internal cohesion inside a society. That should be a warning to Israel and its slack-brained supporters like Gingrich. Nations can outlive the logic that brought them into being. They can collapse and fade away. That should be a warning to Israel to pay attention to its internal contradictions, social conflicts, as well as its ongoing hostilities with its neighbors. Nations are not forever.
Israeli kingdoms were destroyed not once, but twice. Not to mention the Midrash that states that the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans was brought about not so much by Roman strategy or superiority, but by the senseless hatred of two brothers who undermined the Judean cause.
Caveat Israel. Not to mention beware Republican presidential candidates bearing pro-Israel “gifts.”
This article appeared at Tikun Olam