By Schmoel Yitzhak
The truth hurts.
Truth is stranger than fiction.
Take a pick of either of the above adages; or both.
It really doesn't matter which you select because either snugly fits the reaction to Newt Gingrich's political revelation about the "Palestinians."
When the Republican presidential hopeful declared that the Palestinian Arabs were "an invented people," he was -- as they say in America -- talking turkey; and I don't mean Erdogan's Turkey either.
Stung to the very core by the Gingrich statement of fact, the Arabs reacted with a predictable chorus of denials and knee-jerk charges of "racism" from the likes of Saeb Erekat and that noted propagandist Hanan Ashrawi.
They are hot and bothered for good reasons. To wit:
* POLITICAL COURAGE: it took quite a bit of guts -- not to mention a knowledge of history -- for the former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives to come forward with such a remarkably candid stand and then articulate it with unerring accuracy.
* THE ARAB BOOMERANG; Any attempt by the Erekat-Ashrawi gang of pseudo-intellectuals to refute Gigrach was automatically invalidated by an endless number of Arab leaders over the years. Consider the following:
On March 31, 1977 PLO executive committee member Zahir Muhsein delivered the following unequivocal statement to the Dutch newspaper Trouw:
"The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity. In reality today there is no difference between Jordianians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people.
"Arab national interests demand that we posit the existence of distinct 'Palestinian people' to oppose Zionism. For tactical reasons, Jordan, which is a sovereign state with defined borders, cannot raise claim to Haifa and Jaffa, while as a Palestinian, I can undoubtedly demand Haifa, Jaffa, Beer-Sheva and Jerusalem. However, the moment we reclaim our right to all of Palestine, we will not wait even a minute to unite Palestine and Jordan."
Mind you, Zahir Muhsein was not alone in his statement about the phony aspect of Palestine as a state. This has been repeated over and over by Arabs dating back to pre-World War II days.
Speaking before the British Peel Commission in 1937, the Syrian Arab leader Auni Bey Abdul-Hadi stated without a moment's hesitation that, "There is no such country as Palestine. 'Palestine' is a term the Zionists invented. There is no Palestine in the Bible. Our country was for centuries part of Syria. 'Palestine' is alien to us. It is the Zionists who introduced it."
Or, one could delve all the way back to 1695 when a Dutch Orientalist named Adrian Reland (1676-1718) completed a book in Latin called "Palaestina." It was based on a sightseeing tour of Israel during which he surveyed more than 2,000 places where people lived that were mentioned in the bible or Mishnah.
Talk about the truth hurting the Arab cause, how about this:
Reland concluded that not one settlement in the Land of Israel had a name that was of Arabic origin. Most of the settlement names originated in the Hebrew, Greek, Latin or Roman languages.
Furthermore, he clearly noted that most of the inhabitants of towns such as Jerusalem, Acco, Tzfat, Jaffa, Tiberius and Gaza were Jews and the remainder Christians. There were few Muslims.
Finally, the book debunks the prevailing myth of a "Palestinian heritage," or Palestinian nation.
Gingrich knew whereof he spoke and there still has not been an Arab who has legitimately refuted the Republican candidate with facts. Columnist Melanie Phillips explains it well:
"Gingrich's remark goes to the very heart of the issue," Phillips correctly asserts. "And it is the fact that so many in the intellectual, political and diplomatic world -- including in Israel itself -- find what he said so outlandish that goes a long way to explain why there is still no peace in the Middle East.
" Gosh -- a presidential candidate who actually understands what's going on in the Middle East and speaks the truth about it! No wonder they're so desperate now to stop him."
Ah, yes, the truth does hurt the Arab cause, doesn't it!