Romney: Israeli Culture is Superior to Palestinian Culture


In some ways, Mitt Romney’s Israel trip was more successful than his visit to Great Britain. This time, at least, he didn’t insult his hosts. He just insulted the culture of the Palestinians who live in territory occupied by his hosts.

“As you come here and you see the GDP per capita, for instance, in Israel which is about $21,000 dollars, 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,” Romney said at a fundraising breakfast in Jerusalem.

“And as I come here and I look out over this city and consider the accomplishments of the people of this nation, I recognize the power of at least culture and a few other things,” Romney continued.

Palestinian officials blasted Romney for making what they characterized as a racist statement.

“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, an aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

“It seems to me this man lacks information, knowledge, vision and understanding of this region and its people,” continued Erekat. “He also lacks knowledge about the Israelis themselves. I have not heard any Israeli official speak about cultural superiority.”

Romney understated the economic disparity between Israel and Palestine; Israel has a per capita GDP of $31,000, while Palestine’s is just $1,500.

Romney also failed to mention the ongoing blockade of the Gaza Strip by Israel, which has hampered the ability of the most populous region of Palestine to grow economically.

Romney’s comments on the economic disparity between Israel and Palestine were not the only comments that drew raised eyebrows. Romney said that as president, he would unconditionally support Israel.

“We cannot stand silent as those who seek to undermine Israel voice their criticisms. And we certainly should not join in that criticism. Diplomatic distance in public between our nations emboldens Israel’s adversaries,” Romney said.

Romney also indicated that he would back Israel if it chose to attack nuclear facilities in Iran.

“We should employ any and all measures to dissuade the Iranian regime from its nuclear course, and it is our fervent hope that diplomatic and economic measures will do so. In the final analysis, of course, no option should be excluded. We recognize Israel’s right to defend itself, and that it is right for America to stand with you,” he said.

Romney also said he would recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, something several administrations, including the George W. Bush and Reagan administrations, have declined to do.

Romney also had multiple issues with his Jerusalem fundraiser. He was forced to reschedule the fundraiser after it turned out he was originally to hold a dinner fundraiser on†Tisha B’Av, a Jewish day of fasting. He also originally planned to bar reporters from the fundraiser, breaking an agreement the Romney campaign had with the press. However, Romney ultimately relented, allowing the press to report on his remarks on Palestine.

The visit wasn’t a total loss. Romney was able to raise about $1 million from his fundraising breakfast. And he got a chance to visit with Sheldon Adelson, the casino mogul, who has pledged millions in soft money to aid Romney’s campaign.

Related Stories

London Falling: Romney Mocked By Brits

Mitt to Brits: You Suck

Romney Attacked Over Adviserís ĎAnglo-Saxoní Gaffe

Image Credit: Donkey Hotey


David C.
David C.4 years ago


You need history lessons. The Balfour declaration did NOT give all of Palestine to the Jews. It wasn't his to give. The Britsh view was of a multicultural land NOT a Jewish religious state. Balfour wrote:

"His Majesty's Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of the object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious' rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country".

Incidentally, the Jews played no particular role in defeating the Turks - they, not the Arabs, were the enemy of the western allies. The Arabs assisted the Brits in defeating the Ottoman empire - they sought independence from that empire. I have no idea whence you get the idea that the Arabs were defeated in WW1.

Randy W.
Randy W.4 years ago

I forgot to add the following to my previous messages, so here it is:

It has now become 5773 of the new Jewish Year, so....


Randy W.
Randy W.4 years ago

What are the so-called "arab Palestinian" references we all should know about, were it supposedly really true? The Romans gave the name "Palestine" to the Land to rid it of its Jewish connections, knowing that the Pelishtim were our ancient enemies/nemesis. The Romans also forbade us to worship at the Temple, turned it into a pagan shrine to Caesar (their ruling person and "deity"), changed worship days and calendars, etc., and many other things to try to rid the land of Jewish rule. The Arch of Titus in Rome shows them carting off the menorah and other booty FROM THE TEMPLE!!!!!

What have we all to say about THAT? No Jewish connection to this LAND?

Randy W.
Randy W.4 years ago

The arabs actually received guaranteed sovereignty over these areas, too! Prior to that, it was just a free and open nomadic kind of place for them, and one which the world only thought of, if at all, as sand and camels! Now they represent the largest, and most vociferous, bloc in the entire world body! How can people say the Israeli voice is heard? No-one hears our voice -- it is drowned out by the arabs and anti-semites. In fact, all you hear is the opposite viewpoint from this one. So, you realize that the only voices being heard are the ARAB or MUSLIM ones!

Well, back in 1917, Lord Balfour declared that based on right (and not on sufferance), the Jews were entitled to Palestine, which included the lands which are today both Jordan AND Israel! However, the illegal land grab happened when British, anti-Semitic boots on the ground illegally kicked the Jews out of the Eastern (Jordan) side and allowed only the Arabs to be there, but allowed Arabs from EVERY OTHER PLACE to enter and remain in "Israel" and stay there, while trying to prevent Jews from entering. It was actually the Jews who were referred to, believe it or not, as the Palestinians! The land got this name when Romans came to occupy it (Jewish references to this time include: 1) King Herod; 2) Chanukah (the Macabee revolt against Rome and the miracle of the oil lasting for eight days, which came from a cruze of oil remaining from THE TEMPLE (LOCATED ON THE TEMPLE MOUNT), which the Romans had defiled.). What are

Randy W.
Randy W.4 years ago

Now, pray tell....why does it seem that the only people on earth to continually lose their wars never suffer the consequences and always, instead, seem to gain territory? The people I refer to are the collective arab-speaking culture. The Turks lose the Ottoman Empire after the World War, and yet a few arab families are given reign over the entire Middle East. The only reason Feisal (I believe) received Jordan was because he didn't get the land he was originally going to receive, also from the British, or something. One day, I'll write about it and figure it out better. The League of Nations later became the UN. Despite their having lost the war, the Middle East was parcelled out to all the arabs, with the exception of France receiving Mandatory Powers over Syria, and Britain receiving Mandatory Powers over "Palestine," and the rest of the Middle East region. This put the arabs at a supreme advantage because, whereas before they were primarily a backwater, they now constituted MANY new nations, due to the arbitrary map lines drawn by the British in giving the arabs all their states that we are familiar with today, so that they now have many VOICES represented in the world panels sitting on the UN and General Assembly, etc. Were it not for losing the war and the British re-parcelment of the Middle East, the arabs would never have had the representation they do today! How many countries is it now? 22? 51? Amazing! The arabs actually received guaranteed sovereignty over these ar

Randy W.
Randy W.4 years ago

We have maintained written records beginning with clay tablets and extending to this present time in regards to our history (and those of other peoples). So NO ONE can claim we are not those same people! We are! But one can ask where the proof for the arab claim lies, othen than just their recent say-so? I demand proof. Okay, so they lived there for quite awhile. But, it was a bunch of different people who lived there: Mameluk Egyptian slave-people; Saladin was Kurdish; the Christian Crusader people; etc. Never contiguous and, therefore, several short reigns by different conquerors, as opposed to our continuous reigns! Well, we have always been there, and we return in waves. We are now there en mass.

Archaeological evidence of pottery from the area considered as, perhaps, peleshet (around Gaza) show considerable Greek/Myceanean style influence, meaning that those "Sea Peoples" came from the opposite side across the Meditteranean Sea! Definitely NOT INDIGENOUS to the area. Sure, the Torah states that Abraham was from Ur/Ur-Kasdim. But when Abraham left and moved to what would be known as Israel all those years ago, it has surely been thousands of years since that time.

Randy W.
Randy W.4 years ago

The Jewish people have lived there longest, and have always maintained a presence there, despite the many conquests of outside forces. It has always been acknowledged by those outside forces that they were attacking us (the Jews) - and these same attacks are cross-referenced and noted in the Torah and other writings, Jewish and otherwise. As far as the Canaanites and Jebusites who once dwelled there are concerned, they no longer exist. Nor do any people today call themselves the Emori, the Hitti, etc., etc. They have all vanished, including the peleshet (or peleshtim).

The first reference to the peleshet indicate that they were THEN in the land (although perhaps not before) around David's time. Well, the Jews were there before David's time. Prior to David, there was Saul. There were 31 kings, but the land was previously ruled by us with Judges. However, we lived there a long time before the kings also, beginning with Abraham (as far as is written), et al. The people who were the peleshet (or pelishtim) no longer exist. And, besides....can one really claim a sudden familial ancestral heritage connection to the peleshet without some type of proof, other than some claim beginning in about the 1960's? ANYBODY could make that claim, then! But, the Jews have written proof dating back all these years to our existence tied up in this Land. We have maintained written records beginning with clay tablets and extending to this present time in regards to our history (and those of other

David C.
David C.4 years ago

@Randy W cont

The legal basis for the creation of Jordan was the same as that establishing a homeland for the Jews - the British mandate.

David C.
David C.4 years ago

@Randy W

FYI. Iowans are people who live in Iowa, Californians in California, …, Palestinians live in Palestine. They’ve lived there much longer than “Americans” have lived in America. The vast majority of Israelis have lived in the region for less than 70 years, the Palestinians for half a millennium or more.

West is the direction +90 degrees from north. Bank is a word commonly used to describe the side of a river. “West Bank” combines those words.

btw, the name “Palestine” dates to around 300 BCE. It named by the Greeks as they established colonies in the area. Palestine means “land of the Philistines”, the first peoples the Greeks encountered.

Greater Israel existed for only about 100 years under kings Saul, David and Solomon. After Solomon’s death (900 BCE) the united kingdom split into Judah and Israel. Thereafter, several invasions occurred, Persian, Greek, Roman, … Greater Israel was a cultural, religious area, it was not a political entity. Do you really think that modern Israel should have dominion over a land it never fully controlled.

What’s your theory that Jordan was an illegal land grab? The middle east in that neighborhood was part of the Turkish empire. The Brits beat the Turks fair and square. They gave independence to Arabs, including those living in what is now Jordan. The legal basis for the creation of Jordan was the same as that establishing a homeland for th

Randy W.
Randy W.4 years ago

FYI: The so-called newly-named "West Bank" so invented by the newly-created Arab "Palestinians" is REALLY Judea and Samaria -- the heartland of Israel. The country of Jordan was an illegal land grab of 78% of the EAST BANK of the Jewish Homeland given by the British Mandatory Powers to the Arabs. You won't see these facts because Saudi money has infiltrated our universities, and, like Nazi book-burnings, the libraries of its (our) schools have removed any inference to such, while revisionists the world over claim the Palestinian Jewish claim for the Arabs.