Several prominent Palestinian leaders reacted strongly to GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich’s comments labeling them “invented” people and “Arabs” Friday afternoon.
“The most racist remark I have ever seen,” said Saeb Erekat, a top negotiator for a new Palestinian state and a close advisor to President Mahmoud Abbas. “This is the lowest point of thinking anyone can reach. Such thinking should be an alarm and concern for the world.”
According to CNN, Erekat added that Gingrich comments were a sign of “how really despicable things can get” in American politics.
Palestine Prime Minister Salam Fayyad lambasted Gingrich over his lack of historical knowledge.
“The Palestinian people inhabited the land since the dawn of history, and intend to remain in it until the end times,” he said. “People like Gingrich must consult history, as it seems that all what he knows about the region is the history of the Ottoman era.”
The Gingrich campaign responded to the criticism Saturday morning.
“Gingrich supports a negotiated peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, which will necessarily include agreement between Israel and the Palestinians over the borders of a Palestinian state,” Gingrich spokesman R.C. Hammond said to CNN.