Secy Clinton Says Gingrich’s Comments on Palestinians Are Unhelpful

Dec 14, 2011 4:24pm

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton rejected comments by GOP presidential hopeful New Gingrich that the Palestinians are an “invented people.”

When asked by PBS Newshour’s Jim Lehrer today if she thought the comments were helpful, Clinton replied: “No.”

“I think he recognized that from what I read. I think he realized that it was one of those innovative moments that happen in politics,” she said during an interview with Lehrer at a forum on economic innovation at the Newseum.

Gingrich told The Jewish Channel last week that he believed the peace process has been “delusional” and said the Obama administration’s efforts have been “favoring the terrorists” by supporting the Palestinian side more than his predecessors.

During Saturday night’s debate hosted by ABC News the former Speaker of the House didn’t back down when pressed about his remarks by moderator George Stephanopoulos.

“Simply, is what I said factually correct? Yes. Is it historically true? Yes. Are we in a situation where every day rockets are fired into Israel while the United States — the current administration tries to pressure the Israelis into a peace process?” he said.

The Obama administration has continued a policy pioneered by the Bush administration in seeking what’s known as a two-state solution that would create a Palestinian state living in peace next to Israel.

On Tuesday Dennis Ross, who left the White House two weeks ago after serving as an adviser on the Middle East, said Gingrich’s remarks “ignore reality.”

“I think it’s fair to say, you know, the Palestinian people exist because they have a very strong identity. To suggest that they don’t exist is to ignore reality. I don’t think you’re going to make a lot of progress in terms of trying to transform the region if you dismiss realities,” Ross said, in his first public remarks since leaving the administration.

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