In an interview with The Jewish Channel released on Friday, Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich called the Palestinians an "invented" people and suggested they have no right to a state of their own.
"I believe that the Jewish people have a right to a state," Gingrich told the interviewer. "Remember, there was no Palestine existing as a state. Part of the Ottoman Empire. And I think that we've had an invented Palestinian people, who are in fact Arabs ... 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 1940s."
Reuters points out that Gingrich's remarks run counter to official United States policy, which does view the Palestinians as a people with the right to a state of their own.
Gingrich, who said his worldview was "pretty close" to that of Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, also described the Obama administration's Middle East diplomacy as "out of touch with reality." He inisted that Obama and his aides "lie to themselves" about the conflict, which he portrayed as one "between a civilian democracy that obeys the rule of law and a group of terrorists that are firing missiles every day."
This video clip was posted by The Jewish Channel on YouTube, December 9, 2011.