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Daniel C. Peterson: Gingrich is wrong; Palestinians are not 'invented'

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  • Owl Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 15, 2011 2:08 p.m.

    Daniel Peterson is an academic who is far more knowledgeable than Gingrich. Newt's political rhetoric is a clear signal that his best profession is as a lobbyist.

  • kibitzer Magna, UT
    Dec. 15, 2011 1:10 p.m.

    Palestine was liberated from the Turks in World War One, after centuries of foreign domination by said Turks. Everyone in Palestine were "Palestinians" surely, including any Jews and there were some even then who had returned to their historic homeland after centuries of exile.

    The British had a thirty year "mandate" a responsibility given them under the terms of the Peace Treaties agreed to by the victors of World War One. This included some encouragement for the Jews to establish a homeland in Palestine. The State of Israel was founded later (1947 if I am not mistaken) after the early withdrawal of the British due to anti-British terrorism directed by both Jews and Arabs in the Mandated territory.

    The Palestinians may be, to some extent, an invention, since their view of "Palestine" excludes all Jews and only includes those Arabs who fled from the Jews after they were soundly trounced by the Jews, when these Arabs tried to exclude them from Palestine/Israel. Israel is surrounded by hostile peoples who have hated them for centuries, peoples who favored the Nazis of World War Two and, like those nazis, wanted to perform genocide upon the Jews.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Dec. 15, 2011 8:21 a.m.

    Re: "Peace between the two groups cannot be achieved until each side recognizes the legitimacy of the other."

    Which is the same as saying peace cannot be achieved.

    Late-comer "Palestinians" [whose origins actually trace to the Arabic peninsula, and who have no historical, cultural, religious, or politician affinity with ancient Mycenaean Philistines] have made it clear they will never accept a middle-eastern polity in which Jews are safe from Arabic control and predation.

  • On the other hand Spanish Fork, UT
    Dec. 15, 2011 1:37 a.m.

    It's more than a little ironic that someone would call Palestinians "invented" in order to show support for Israelis, who by any sensible definition (if indeed there is a sensible definition for this silly concept) must fit the bill at least as well.

    Declaring certain groups "invented" does nothing to advance peace in the Middle East. The group we now call Palestinians has maintained a continuous presence in the area for thousands of years. The group we call Israelis has de facto power over the region at present. Both groups can legitimately claim the area as an ancestral homeland. Peace between the two groups cannot be achieved until each side recognizes the legitimacy of the other.

  • homebrew South Jordan, UT
    Dec. 14, 2011 6:34 p.m.

    Flashback;; Other than George Bush, Reagan was the worst president in history. He Quadrupled our national debt. That would be like Obama turning a 15 trillion dollar debt into 60 trillion. The Gop hails Reagan as the role model for conservatives, but the facts just doesnt bear it out. The best president in the last 40 years was Bill Clinton. The facts does bear this out.

  • wrz Salt Lake, UTah
    Dec. 14, 2011 3:59 p.m.

    Palestine is the name of a place more than the name of a people. True, the word derives from the ancient 'Philistine' which dwelt in that area. Remember David, who slew the Philistine giant in a battle between the Israelis and the Philistines? But David (and the Israelis) came later. There were possibly other groups besides Philistines dwelling in the area at the same time.

    In any event, according to the Holy Bible, the Jews were taken captive, mostly removed from the area and disbursed throughout much of Europe and elsewhere. Who knows where else? Syria, Persia, Mesopotamia.

    In 1948 the UN established Palestine as a homeland for the disbursed Jews who began 'returning'... to the consternation of the Arabs... those who lived there and other in the Arab world. So, what do we have now? An area containing Jews and others who call themselves Palestinians which are probably made up of descendants of those who lived there anciently and others who moved there for any number of reasons.

    Will they ever get along? No. Not in a thousand lifetimes.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    Dec. 14, 2011 11:38 a.m.

    Newt ain't the guy. And if Republicans would just relalize that he is just what the Tea Party is fighing against, namely Washington Insiders. Newt is the personification of a Washington Insider. He has too much baggage to be president. Obama will smear him, and we don't want that. Paul is also very bad.

    The big problem is, all the Republicans want to channel Reagan. The only problem is, none of them have the pragmatic streak that he showed and none of them, especially Newt is as nice a man as Reagan was.

  • Mc West Jordan, UT
    Dec. 14, 2011 11:32 a.m.

    Ronnie W.
    When you say that Mitt is a flip flopper, nothing more, you betray yourself as a shallow voter who only reads headlines and liberal talking points. If you read Romney's book, "No Apology", his website, and really listened to him (not soundbites taken out of context, you would find that he is much more than your simplistic remark.

    Those who support Newt Gingrich need to do a lot more research on him and his political background. Google Gingrich Esquire Magazine for an in depth look at his background.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Dec. 14, 2011 10:11 a.m.

    So, just to be sure I understand some of the arguments posted above. It is okay to take land from tribes that have lived in an area for centuries, but not from citizens of a nation that have lived there for much less time.

    Is that the argument? Tribal means no property rights despite a relatively long history but nation means property rights despite a relatively short history?

    Does this mean the size of the group or what we call it makes the difference?

    Aren't tribes extended families? Do we not respect families?

    What about Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Were not the promises to them made when they were still tribes?

  • Brian Wasilla, AK
    Dec. 14, 2011 9:56 a.m.

    Thank you Jabra Ghneim for demonstrating that it is possible to post multiple comments while still only single spacing!

  • southmtnman Provo, UT
    Dec. 14, 2011 9:47 a.m.

    No matter how Peterson tries to obscure it, he essentially just confirmed what Newt said. The Palestinian State is a fiction, making them an invented people.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    Dec. 14, 2011 8:24 a.m.

    "But, in reality, it boils down to hatred for Jews and Israel"..as opposed to the Jews what?

    History lessons aside..why would anyone interviewing for the job of the worlds chief peace promoter say something that only has one consequence..yes dear, those pants do make your butt look bigger..what? If you don't know the truth how are you ever going to deal with it..slam!..dear now open the door so we can talk about it, how am I ever going to help you from outside in the cold?

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Dec. 14, 2011 7:59 a.m.

    Re: "The Germans used to identify themselves by tribe, too. That doesn't demonstrate that there are no Germans."

    True enough, but Arabs, in particular, and Muslims in general -- to this day -- are governed much more by tribal, religious, and familial politics than by any national identity. Legislative assemblies, to the extent they function at all in modern Islamic nations, are typically divided, either de jure or de facto, into departments or factions, open to and representative of a single tribe, family, or religious sect. Many Arab Bedu even serve proudly and well in the Israeli Defense Forces, since their tribal leaders command it.

    The same is not true of modern Germany -- though one might argue Belgium, Bosnia, and even Canada suffer from modern forms of tribalism.

    It's this concept that Mr. Gingrich's comment addresses. Arab nationalists, pan-Arabs, and Islamists have crafted a mythical "Palestinian" identity in a cynical attempt to create a victim about which they can unite disparate tribal interests and identities.

    But, in reality, it boils down to hatred for Jews and Israel.

  • Tekakaromatagi Dammam, Saudi Arabia
    Dec. 14, 2011 7:08 a.m.

    Israel is an invented country. They should call themselves Judah because that is who their ancestors were. They are primarily from the tribe of Judah. Israel is the other 10 tribes who were lost, and will return if the Bible is correct.

    Boy will they be upset when they find out what is being done in their name.

    Whether or not the Palestinians are an invented people, they are the people whose houses and fields have been taken by 'Israel'. They are the ones whose grandmothers have keys to houses when they fled in 1948 when they were driven out.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Dec. 14, 2011 6:59 a.m.

    Gingrich has a habit of making things up. Nevertheless, it begs the point. The Palestinians now exist and have for quite a long time. They are a sizable group that is identifiable and has cohesiveness. To say that they are a made up nation or people is like saying the United States is a made up nation and should therefore not be recognized. It is nonsense, does not reflect reality, and evades dealing with the problem. If this is the way Gingrich evaluates issues and leads, he is unfit to lead the nation, let alone be a responsible teacher in the classroom.

  • Mad Hatter Provo, UT
    Dec. 13, 2011 9:20 p.m.

    Re: Ronnie W. | 7:00 p.m. Dec. 13, 2011
    Layton, UT

    Jon Huntsman?

  • Ronnie W. Layton, UT
    Dec. 13, 2011 7:00 p.m.

    It seems to me the Deseret News has been Mitt Romney's paper for a long time.
    I encourage people not to blind themselves from any weaknesses in a candidate. Newt has many, as does Mitt. Romney is a flip flopper, nothing more. He isn't as bad as most liberal paint hin-but "not that bad" is no qualifier for being a president. There is one man with a consistent message in a republican party. Can you guess who?

  • Verdad Orem, UT
    Dec. 13, 2011 6:13 p.m.

    Historically, NOBODY had much of a national identity. Dr. Peterson points out in this very article that nationalism as we know it originated in Europe, basically in the nineteenth century. But it spread to the Middle East within a few decades.

    The Germans used to identify themselves by tribe, too. That doesn't demonstrate that there are no Germans.

  • AltaDog SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Dec. 13, 2011 5:40 p.m.

    Historically Arabs had no national identity. National identity is a western view. Arabs have always identified themselves by tribe. While I'm not much of a Newt supporter his comments about Palestinians is correct.

  • Mike in Cedar City Cedar City, Utah
    Dec. 13, 2011 5:22 p.m.

    Glad a real scholar cleared that up. Gingrich is the one that is newly being "invented".

  • nick Provo, UT
    Dec. 13, 2011 5:04 p.m.

    Dr. Peterson, as usual, is brilliant. He combines some very amazing qualities. He is a great speaker as well as a great writer. Quite often those talents do not reside in the same person. Finally, his intellectual firepower, and sound logic and reasoning are impeccable. Thanks.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Dec. 13, 2011 4:53 p.m.

    Italy had Berlisconi. America can have Gingerich.

    If nothing else, it will be more entertaining than any cruddy "reality" TV show.

  • Jabra Ghneim BOUNTIFUL, UT
    Dec. 13, 2011 4:37 p.m.

    One more thin. Please watch a video on YT called The General's Son by Miko Peled.

  • Jabra Ghneim BOUNTIFUL, UT
    Dec. 13, 2011 4:35 p.m.

    4. And finally, As far as Haj Amin's call for action against the British let us not forget that these were acts of a man whose country was occupied. Let me also remind you that the Arabs were helpless and were killed by the dozens by the British. The real killing of the British was caused by the Zionist Jews which culminated in the King David Hotel massacre committed by the Aragon gangs lead by the late Manchem Begen who was Prime Minister of Israel.

  • Jabra Ghneim BOUNTIFUL, UT
    Dec. 13, 2011 4:35 p.m.

    2. I cannot believe that you actually condone the fact that the British gifted a country they occupied and did not own to a people who already were citizens of Europe. I won't go into why that was so anti-semitic by the British but I will add that the British promised the Arabs of Hijaz and Al Sham that if they helped them defeat the Turks they will give them autonomy over all Arab lands. When the war was won the British and the French committed the ultimate act of dishonesty and treason by becoming the new occupiers of the Arab region.

    3. Haj Amin. YES, Arabs supported Nazi Germany but it was not out of support for the Anti-Jewish propaganda. It was out of sympathy towards the Germans who the Arabs felt were betrayed by the British and other WWI allies in the treaty of Versailles. If you recall, the British split Germany in a similar manner to the manner by which they split the Arab region among themselves.

    (Cont.)

  • Jabra Ghneim BOUNTIFUL, UT
    Dec. 13, 2011 4:33 p.m.

    Port Alice, your arguments just re-hash the cliches and arguments that pro-Israel, Anti-Arab, right wingers, dig out when confronted by truths and facts. These arguments not only fail to respond to Dan Petersen's arguments but they are intellectually dishonest as well as they fail to explain the historical background. As Dr. Petersen made a sufficient argument against Gingrich's miserable attempt at appeasing the Jewish lobby and AIPAC, I will proceed to put your points in proper historical perspective.

    1. Your first point was answered adequately by Dr. Petersen. I will add though that Arabs, even under the Turks, always distinguished themselves by nationality. The area constituting Lebanon, Syria, Palestine and Jordan were always called Al Sham (if you were in those countries you were called a Shami), Saudi, the other Gulf emirates & Yemen were always called Al Hijaz (if you lived here you were a Hijazi), if you lived in Iraq you were called an Iraqi. Egypt was always Masr and the rest of the Arab North Africa was called Al Maghreb. There were other regional distinctions that I will not go into here due to lack of space.

    (..Continued below)

  • BobP Port Alice, B.C.
    Dec. 13, 2011 3:22 p.m.

    By the way Dr. Peterson, Morrocco is not Arab it is Berber.

  • BobP Port Alice, B.C.
    Dec. 13, 2011 3:10 p.m.

    Peterson is making a habit of getting it wrong. His pro Islamic sentiments are getting in the way of his historical accuracy.

    1. Prior to the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire in WWI Palestine waas a province of the Empire. One of several that had Arabs in them. There was no distinction made for Arabs, Christian, Jews, Bedouin or anything else.

    2. When the British took over in WWI they had already promised a national home for the Jews in Palestine, which at that time included Trans Jordan and the Golan Heights, part of Lebanon but not the Gaza strip (that was part of Egypt).

    3. In the 1920s pan Arab nationalism arose and the British in a monumental error made one Haj Amin al Husseini Mufti of Jerusalem. al Hussein created the Palestinian idea. Throughout the 1920s and 1930s riots, insurrections and civil war was encouraged by al Husseini and his ilk.

    4. In 1935 or 1936 The British ran him out of Palestine and he found a home and a cause in Nazi Germany. He aided and advised in the establishment of the Holocaust. He raised two divisions of Bosnian Muslims to serve the SS.