Monday, December 12, 2011

Newt Gingrich Condemned for Calling Palestinians 'Terrorists'

Palestinian officials say Republican frontrunner's claim children are taught to kill in textbooks is based on Israeli propaganda

Leading Palestinian officials have rounded on the Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich for his description of Palestinians as an "invented" people and "terrorists".

The Republican frontrunner insisted at a candidate debate on Saturday – to warm applause from the audience – that "these people are terrorists. They teach terrorism in their schools. They have textbooks that say, if there are 13 Jews and nine Jews are killed, how many Jews are left? We pay for those textbooks through our aid money.

"It's fundamentally time for somebody to have the guts to stand up and say, enough lying about the Middle East."

Palestinian officials said Gingrich's allegations were based substantially on material produced by an Israeli organisation, Palestinian Media Watch, which has published a long list of entries on its website under the heading 'Promoting Violence for Children'. An article from 2007 describes Palestinian textbooks paid for with US aid money that deny Israel's right to exist.

But Xavier Abu Eid, a senior adviser to the Palestine Liberation Organisation, said the website and Gingrich's allegations were groundless.