The art of Kevin Blythe Sampson

THE ART OF
KEVIN BLYTHE SAMPSON

12/16/11

Sununu the Younger: Newt shows 'bigotry' - POLITICO.com

Sununu the Younger: Newt shows 'bigotry'

Former New Hampshire Sen. John E. Sununu, who hasn’t endorsed in the 2012 race but whose father has been one of the Romney campaign’s main attack dogs against Newt Gingrich, accuses Gingrich of “bigotry” for his description of the Palestinian people as “invented”:

The egregiousness of Gingrich’s statement isn’t simply in its inaccuracy, but in its objective. It implies that the claims of Palestinians must also be invented — rights to land, to sovereignty, to self-governance. On Monday he asserted, “A right to return is based on a historically false story.’’ Although the right to reclaim or receive compensation for lost property is a question for Israeli-Palestinian negotiation, the historical facts are quite simple. And again, Gingrich has them wrong. …

My grandfather was born in Boston, but grew up in Jerusalem as a happy, well-educated Palestinian. As a Christian, he attended the French School and frequented the city’s historic YMCA. He returned to America in the 1930s and settled in New York. In 1948 the fighting forced his parents and cousins to leave their Jerusalem homes. They were never able to return; their houses were on the “wrong’’ side of the armistice line. Their property was taken, though today my cousins’ home looks the same as it did in photos from the 1930s. My great-grandparents lived out their lives in Lebanon. Does Gingrich consider the Lebanese an invented people too?

Gingrich is intelligent, which makes his bigotry all the more dangerous. He employs it not for self-satisfaction, but for political ends. His statements are wrong in fact — and contradict more than 40 years of bipartisan US policy. They reflect a cavalier attitude toward diplomacy, and send the message to allies in Europe and the Middle East that we are inconsistent and unreliable. They were designed to marginalize, not explain; and will be used by extremists on both sides to discourage reconciliation and compromise.

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Sununu the Younger: Newt shows 'bigotry' - POLITICO.com