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"With Friends Like These"

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opednews.com Headlined to H4 12/17/11

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MY GOD, what a bizarre lot these Republican aspirants for the US presidency are!

What a sorry bunch of ignoramuses and downright crazies. Or, at best, what a bunch of cheats and cynics! (With the possible exception of the good doctor Ron Paul).

Is this the best a great and proud nation can produce? How frightening the thought that one of them may actually become the most powerful person in the world, with a finger on the biggest nuclear button!

BUT LET'S concentrate on the present front-runner. (Republicans seem to change front-runners like a fastidious beau changes socks.)

It's Newt Gingrich. Remember him? The Speaker of the House who had an extra-marital affair with an intern while at the same time leading the campaign to impeach President Bill Clinton for having an affair with an intern.

But that's not the point. The point is that this intellectual giant -- named after Isaac Newton, perhaps the greatest scientist ever -- has discovered a great historical truth.

The original Newton discovered the Law of Gravity. Newton Leroy Gingrich has discovered something no less earth-shaking: there is an "invented" people around, referring to the Palestinians.

To which a humble Israeli like me might answer, in the best Hebrew slang: "Good morning, Eliyahu!" Thus we honor people who have made a great discovery which, unfortunately, has been discovered by others long before.

FROM ITS very beginning, the Zionist movement has denied the existence of the Palestinian people. It's an article of faith.

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The reason is obvious: if there exists a Palestinian people, then the country the Zionists were about to take over was not empty. Zionism would entail an injustice of historic proportions. Being very idealistic persons, the original Zionists found a way out of this moral dilemma: they simply denied its existence. The winning slogan was "A land without a people for a people without a land."

So who were these curious human beings they met when they came to the country? Oh, ah, well, they were just people who happened to be there, but not "a" people. Passers-by, so to speak. Later, the story goes, after we had made the desert bloom and turned an arid and neglected land into a paradise, Arabs from all over the region flocked to the country, and now they have the temerity -- indeed the chutzpah -- to claim that they constitute a Palestinian nation!

For many years after the founding of the State of Israel, this was the official line. Golda Meir famously exclaimed: "There is no such thing as a Palestinian people!"

(To which I replied in the Knesset: "Mrs. Prime Minister, perhaps you are right. Perhaps there really is no Palestinian people. But if millions of people mistakenly believe that they are a people, and behave like a people, then they are a people.")

A huge propaganda machine -- both in Israel and abroad -- was employed to "prove" that there was no Palestinian people. A lady called Joan Peters wrote a book ("From Time Immemorial") proving that the riffraff calling themselves "Palestinians" had nothing to do with Palestine. They are nothing but interlopers and impostors. The book was immensely successful -- until some experts took it apart and proved that the whole edifice of conclusive proofs was utter rubbish.

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I myself have spent many hundreds of hours trying to convince Israeli and foreign audiences that there is a Palestinian people and that we have to make peace with them. Until one day the State of Israel recognized the PLO as the sole representative of the "Palestinian people," and the argument was laid to rest.

Until Newt came along and, like a latter-day Jesus, raised it from the dead.

OBVIOUSLY, HE is much too busy to read books. True, he was once a teacher of history, but for many years now he has been very busy speakering the Congress, making a fortune as an "adviser" of big corporations and now trying to become president.

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