"Mitt Romney told Jewish donors in Jerusalem on Monday that their culture is part of what has allowed Israel to be more economically successful than the Palestinians, outraging Palestinian leaders who called his comments racist and out of touch."
"As you come here and you see the GDP per capita, for instance, in Israel which is about $21,000, and compare that with the GDP per capita just across the areas managed by the Palestinian Authority, which is more like $10,000 per capita, you notice such a dramatically stark difference in economic vitality," the Republican presidential candidate told about 40 wealthy donors who at a breakfast around a U-shaped table at the luxurious King David Hotel."
Yeah, the cultural superiority card, that's always a crowd pleaser. So now the Palestinians think Romney's out of touch. The can join the club. Americans do, the British overwhelmingly do, now the Palestinians. That's the Romney Principe: the more you get to know him the less you like him.
"It is a racist statement and this man doesn't realize that the Palestinian economy cannot reach its potential because there is an Israeli occupation," said Saeb Erekat, a senior aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
"It seems to me this man (Romney) lacks information, knowledge, vision and understanding of this region and its people," Erekat added. "He also lacks knowledge about the Israelis themselves. I have not heard any Israeli official speak about cultural superiority."
"The economic disparity between the Israelis and the Palestinians is actually much greater than Romney stated. Israel had a per capita gross domestic product of about $31,000 in 2011, while the West Bank and Gaza had a per capita GDP of just over $1,500, according to the World Bank."
Mitt says he knows this based on books he's read:
"Romney, seated next to billionaire casino owner Sheldon Adelson at the head of the table, told donors at his fundraiser that he had read books and relied on his own business experience to understand why the difference is so great."
What books might that have been? I'm guessing all the books are by Charles Murray, probably starting with The Bell Curve.
"Romney, in comparing the Israeli and Palestinian economies, made no mention of the fact that Israel has controlled the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem since capturing them in the 1967 war. Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005, but continues to control access, and has enforced a crippling border blockade since the Islamic militant Hamas seized the territory in 2007. "
"In the West Bank, Israel retains overall control, and Palestinians only have limited self-rule. Israel controls all border crossings in and out of the West Bank, and continues to restrict Palestinian trade and movement."
"The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund have said repeatedly that the Palestinian economy can only grow if Israel lifts those restrictions."
The last thing Americans want is more war fatigue. Yet Romney seems to think the way to the heart of many American Jews is by him threatening war on behalf of Israel. The history of this approach for the GOP does not bode well. They haven't gotten more than 25% of the Jewish vote since 1988 and at present Romney is only getting 25% to the President's 68%.
No better than his numbers among Hispanics.