Right out of the gate – Romney spoke about Jerusalem as Israel’s capital … only it isn’t. The right wing zealots in the Republican party and the Netanyahu-Lieberman coalition in Israel would LOVE to kick out even more countless thousands of Palestinians out of their homes in East Jerusalem in order to make it “a Jewish city”. In fact – both sides have been in disagreement about this for decades but right now … East Jerusalem is mostly occupied by Palestinians.
Saying that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel may play well to his wealthy Zionist backers like Sheldon Adelson who is willing to spend $100 million in order for him to win the presidency, but it’s not going to help the road towards peace for the Israeli and Palestinian people. No president in history has called Jerusalem the Israeli capital and needless to say … the Palestinians are pissed about it (source).
This morning in Israel – Mitt Romney held a $50,000 per plate fundraiser where he is trying to raise money from Jewish ex-pats (only American citizens can donate). And wouldn’t ya know who was sitting right next to him – Sheldon Adelson
The Washington Post reports HERE:
Mitt Romney held an intimate breakfast fundraiser here Monday with some of his campaign’s biggest benefactors, telling them about the spiritual impact his trip to Israel had had on him.
Seated around a U-shaped conference table with roughly 40 donors, with Las Vegas casino mogul Sheldon Adelson immediately to his left, Romney said he was “overwhelmingly impressed with the hand of providence.”
Then Romney said this during that fundraiser:
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.
But as the Boston Globe points out HERE:
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.
Romney then went on to say “culture makes all the difference.”
Romney then elaborated on culture insinuating that the Palestinians were culturally inferior:
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.
This didn’t go over too well with the Palestinians as you can probably guess. The Palestinian President’s senior aide responded with this:
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. It seems to me this man lacks information, knowledge, vision and understanding of this region and its people. He also lacks knowledge about the Israelis themselves. I have not heard any Israeli official speak about cultural superiority.
These two sides are never going to find peace as long as the Israeli government continues to occupy Palestinian lands using Apartheid policies to disenfranchise people and hurt their economy. Further – America will continue to lose any semblance of trust from the Arab world as we continue to display a double standard that says Israel and Palestine have to play by a different set of rules. This erosion of trust in America hurts our ability to develop trust and build relationships with other countries and ultimately costs American lives and lots of money.
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