How Newt's Big Mouth Could Get People Killed
Let's just assume for a moment that Newt Gingrich is going to be the Republicans' nominee for president. Is it a good thing that, when it comes to the Palestinians, he is "at odds with the opinion of all but the most extreme elements of Israeli society." He's so extreme in his hatred of the Palestinians that he makes even right-wing Israelis uncomfortable. I don't think it does much political harm to Gingrich to be so radically anti-Palestinian. It probably helps him in both the primaries and the general election. But it's not a good thing for America. It's probably not even a good thing for Israel.
It's somewhat dangerous to have a prominent candidate making such incendiary comments. But to have a nominee of one major party saying these things? Well, for a comparison, think about how Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's more provocative statements are exaggerated and used as a constant justification for using aggression against his country. Ahmadinejad doesn't even have any power over Iran's military, and yet his rhetoric is quite effectively used to scare the crap out of people. There are consequences when someone with Gingrich's prominence acts as hateful and batshit crazy as the the Iranian president.