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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

You People Come to Business so Naturally

Posted by on Tue, Jul 31, 2012 at 2:01 PM

Last week, I made the prediction that Rmoney would, while visiting Israel, say: You Jews are so good at business. This prediction turned out to be true.

“I was thinking this morning as I prepared to come into this room of a discussion I had across the country in the United States about my perceptions about differences between countries,” Romney told a group of high-dollar donors at a fundraiser in Jerusalem’s King David Hotel. “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.”

As the Associated Press noted, Romney actually got the numbers very wrong: Israel’s GDP per capita was $31,000 in 2011 and Palestinians’ per capita GDP was just $1,500. Romney at no point mentioned that the Palestinian territories have for decades been occupied without sovereign control, where residents face significant restrictions on movement and employment.

“Culture makes all the difference,” Romney said. “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.” Among them, he cited “the hand of providence.”


Comments (21) RSS

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I heard they have really big penis's, too.
Posted by tkc on July 31, 2012 at 2:09 PM · Report this
Romney goes to another country and manages to offend someone. This is hardly surprising.
Posted by KatTheCanuckistan on July 31, 2012 at 2:17 PM · Report this
Arsenic7 3
To me the last part about providence seems like the bigger story. Am I wrong or is he directly referencing the idea that Jewish people have a holy right to Jerusalem?
Posted by Arsenic7 on July 31, 2012 at 2:22 PM · Report this
Romney went to Italy and said, you guys are great about lovemaking, wine and making offers we can't refuse.

Then he went to China and said, because of your ancient wisdom, you have learned to eat with wood utensils and make cat meat tasty. Thus government spending per capita can remain low.

Then, he went to the Playboy mansion and said, ladies, your big breast allow you to earn much wealth from horney dudes. You built these honkers.

Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://_ on July 31, 2012 at 2:23 PM · Report this
Rmoney -- yes
Posted by Swearengen on July 31, 2012 at 2:26 PM · Report this
treacle 6
"the hand of providence".... ah, yes! That old blowjob.
"It is God's will that __x__ happened, ergo you are special/chosen/etc."

Yeah, yeah... keep sucking, Rmoney, keep sucking.
Posted by treacle on July 31, 2012 at 2:41 PM · Report this
balderdash 7
And yet, somehow, it seems to be the Palestinians that are getting most upset about Romney dropping some ethnic stereotypes about Jews. There's an irony in that. They're not wrong to be angry, because there were certainly insulting reflections on them by implicit contrast, but there's still a certain irony in it.

Can't we all just unite in thinking that Mitt Romney is an inhuman buffoon?
Posted by balderdash on July 31, 2012 at 2:45 PM · Report this
Israelis, not Jews. This is a dangerous conflation. While Rmoney's statement was certainly ignorant and racist relative to the Palestinians but not likely invoking Shylock.
Posted by Algernon on July 31, 2012 at 2:53 PM · Report this
Fnarf 9
The thing is, there is truth inside that muddle, and he ought to be able to make that point in a better way -- if only he could make intelligible arguments. What Israel has accomplished -- building a modern state in the middle of nowhere despite unbelievable amounts of extreme hostility -- IS remarkable. It's not just in comparison to the Palestinians, it's in comparison to any Arab state. Egypt, for instance, isn't oppressed or occupied by Israel, is twenty times the size of Israel, and gets about the same amount of aid from us, but is something of an economic basket case -- and they're an Arab success story in comparison. Jordan, Syria, Iraq, even Lebanon have nothing like Israel's modern society to point to. The best-off Arabs in the entire Middle East live in Israel (aside from a handful of oil sheiks in the Gulf States). By any standard, Israel is not only the most successful state but the ONLY SUCCESSFUL state in the entire region, not just economically but culturally and in terms of human rights.

The shame is the eagerness with which they seem hell-bent on throwing all that away over the issue of the settlers -- who ironically never give anything at all back to Israel. The hard-core religious loons who are destroying Israel from within don't serve in the military, don't pay tax, don't participate in Israeli culture, don't do anything, really, except deliberately shit all over the geopolitical situation.
Posted by Fnarf on July 31, 2012 at 3:10 PM · Report this
Mitt has no sense of how much money people have or don't have. Both of those numbers are obviously wrong if you have any idea of the living conditions in either area.
Posted by Spike1382 on July 31, 2012 at 3:22 PM · Report this
You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me 11
Romney’s “international gaffs pale in comparison to Obama’s… Shall we review some of them?

Intentionally preempting Netanyahu’s address to Congress to declare that “the borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps” despite the objections of his own senior advisors.

Being overheard at the G-20 summit: Sarkozy- “Netanyahu, I can’t stand him. He’s a liar” Obama- “You are sick of him, but I have to work with him every day.”

Choosing Sept. 17, 2009 — the 70th anniversary of the Soviet invasion of Poland — to tell Poland that he was caving in to Russian demands and abandoning their missile defense agreement to curry favor with Moscow.

Once again being overheard by reporters (talking to Medvedev): Obama- “On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this, this can be solved but it’s important for him [Putin] to give me space.. . . This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility.”

Referring to those “Polish death camps”.

And of course bowing to every tin pot dictator, returning the bust of Winston Churchill to the British Government and giving the Queen an iPod loaded with his own speeches as a state gift while his wife slaps her on the back.

I’d say Romney is looking very polished in comparison.
Posted by You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me on July 31, 2012 at 3:26 PM · Report this
Fnarf 12
@11, you do realize that “the borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps” is Netanyahu's position as well, along with every other Israeli PM and every American president, right? The right made a big stink over that, but that's because no one on the right has looked in a history book or a newspaper since Buckley, and he's dead.

Polish death camps was a perfectly reasonable thing to say. The only people who were really upset by that were Polish skinheads -- a group with an agenda remarkably like your own.

And your Churchill bust story? A total fabrication. The bust is right there in the White House today. Here's a picture of David Cameron looking at it there:…

Anything else you got? Here's a tip -- Charles Krauthammer is usually full of it.
Posted by Fnarf on July 31, 2012 at 4:27 PM · Report this
Is it an insult if it's a positive stereotype? I don't think it will either hurt or help Romney with Jewish votes (most of which vote Democratic anyways).
Posted by Patricia Kayden on July 31, 2012 at 5:31 PM · Report this
Sargon Bighorn 14
The King David Hotel was the site of a terrorist bombing, by Jews.

Fnarf: "building a modern state in the middle of nowhere " You know better. There were people living there. The Palestinians have ALWAYS been the most educated of the Arabs because they are at the cross roads. The Israeli propaganda machine would like us to think that land was empty, a swamp, a desert, a barren waste land with no one doing nothing all the time.

Israel keeps the Palestinians poor, it's a means of control.
Posted by Sargon Bighorn on July 31, 2012 at 5:45 PM · Report this
lark 15
You have a point. I lived in Israel briefly (just 4-5 weeks), on a moshav 20+ years ago and also visited Egypt a few years ago. The difference is extraordinary. And, one does need to know the history of the area before jumping to conclusions. I can safely say the settlers in the OT do pose a great conundrum for the country and the Palestinians. It remains an intractable situation.

@13. Agree more or less. I don't believe Romney's visit will help or hinder him nor do I believe him to be antisemitic either. But, he could have been more sensitive to the Palestinians' plight.
Posted by lark on July 31, 2012 at 5:56 PM · Report this
JonnoN 16
hahahaha @11 got pwned
Posted by JonnoN on July 31, 2012 at 7:11 PM · Report this
@15, Romney's not anti-semitic because he's not anything.

@14, the "Palestinians" called themselves Arabs before Arafat strategically renamed them in the 60s.

@15, the Republicans keep an increasing number of Americans poor, it's a means of control.
Posted by sarah70 on July 31, 2012 at 10:36 PM · Report this
You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me 18
Here's the Whitehouse's apology for calling Krauthammer a liar:…
Posted by You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me on August 1, 2012 at 2:57 AM · Report this
Fnarf 19
@18, oh, so the fact that bust that was sent back was actually loaned artwork and HAD to be returned, and Obama replaced it with another, permanent one, somehow validates your claim (and Krauthammer's) that Obama willfully insulted the British by returning their bust? This is the kind of triviality you're staking your claim on? Not just a triviality but a pack of lies at the heart of it? THIS IS WHY PEOPLE THINK REPUBLICANS ARE IDIOTS AND ASSHOLES.
Posted by Fnarf on August 1, 2012 at 8:25 AM · Report this
Fnarf 20
@14, the Palestinians were there, but they certainly did not have anything remotely resembling a modern state, and the area was, in fact, thinly populated and economically backward, devastated even, by the long slow collapse of the Ottoman Empire. Part of the reason for the catastrophe of the Middle East is the greed and mishandling of the European Powers, particularly Great Britain and France, but a lot of it is also down to the vacuum left behind by the Turks. Bad things happen when states evaporate.

And none of the people of that area, the ruling classes at least, ever showed even the slightest interest in proper state-building, economy-building, or democracy. Except for one: Israel (and to some extent, Lebanon, which is also a viable commercial state in the grip of unreasoning fanaticism).

It is also true that the Palestinians have been mistreated far worse by their Arab neighbors than they have been by the Israelis. The fact that in countries like Jordan they still live in refugee camps after emigrating there fifty or sixty years ago is unconscionable. Compare that to the treatment of refugees in Israel (who have been for the most part welcomed and assimilated).

The broader point about whether Romney understands this better than Obama is unchanged: of course he doesn't. And the suggestion that Obama has in any way "insulted Israel" or failed to support them or in any way threatened their security or existence is laughable. If anything, Obama has been more aggressively pro-Israel than any US President. What Netanyahu means is "I want to bomb Iran, and I want the US to come with me and provide full military support for this fantastic new war". Obama's not buying that. Romney is. Romney is turned on by war, because he thinks it means votes.
Posted by Fnarf on August 1, 2012 at 8:38 AM · Report this
You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me 21
All I said was "returning the bust of Winston Churchill to the British Government". If you think "Obama willfully insulted the British by returning their bust" those are your words. Not mine. (Though they sound about right).

You said he did not return it (as did the Whitehouse). Turns out you were wrong (as was the Whitehouse).

Are you suggesting that the British would not have let Obama keep it if he had asked?

And the Polish Death Camp remark was not trivial and it resulted in an embarrassing written apology from Obama.
Posted by You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me on August 1, 2012 at 8:58 AM · Report this

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