Monday, July 30, 2012

Romney in Israel: A Question of Cultures

Many people were shocked. Mitt Romney went to Israel and declared that Israel owed its success to its superior culture.

Imagine that, a presidential candidate who does not toe the multicultural line.

In Romney’s words:

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.

The Washington Post reported:

“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 said, citing an innovative business climate, the Jewish history of thriving in difficult circumstances and the “hand of providence.”

In truth, Romney gave the Palestinians more credit than they deserved.

The Washington Post corrected his facts:

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.

With his statement Romney was challenging the Palestinians to reform their culture and set about the work of building their nation and economy.

Blaming Israel adds nothing to the per capita GDP.

The dogma of multiculturalism suggests that all cultures are created equal. If some do better than others they must have stolen and cheated their neighbors. If all cultures are equal your success must have been purchased at someone else’s expense.

In the Palestinian territories it’s an article of faith. Since the Obama administration seems to use it as a guiding principle, the Palestinians have had no real reason to renounce their illusion that they can gain pride by destroying Israel.

By asking everything of the Israelis and nothing of the Palestinians, the Obama administration has granted credibility to Islamic extremists throughout the Middle East.

It helps no one when the American president pretends that a failed culture has no one to blame but the Israelis.

Palestinians believe that the “occupation” is the only thing that stands in the way of their having an economy that is as successful as that of Jordan, where the per capita GDP is $5900.

As soon as Romney spoke a Palestinian spokesman denounced him as a racist, which is rather rich coming from a group that tirelessly foments anti-Semitism.

Of course, it is easy to distinguish Israeli and Palestinian cultures. In Israel people take pride in achievement; they take pride in what they have built. In the Palestinian territories, people take pride in destroying what others have built.

You do not need any advanced degrees to see that the first culture will foster success while the latter will promote misery and failure.

Palestinians cannot get over Israel’s success. Unwilling to hurt their delicate feelings, sensitive souls like Barack Obama pretend that Palestinian culture is just as good as Israel’s. Palestinians understand that their terrorism is justified and that history is on their side.

To be clear,, sabotaging someone else’s accomplishment does not produce pride; it produces false pride. And false pride, like fools gold, is not legal tender.

The more false pride you gain the less you can buy with it. You will have wasted your effort accumulating something that has no recognized value.

You will then be facing the choice of transforming your values or doubling down on false pride.

It’s like believing that if your teenaged daughter kisses a boy or dresses Western she has inflicted such grievous damage on your family honor that you must immediately murder her.

Obviously, anyone who is that thin skinned has an honor deficiency to begin with.

Murdering your daughter does not restore your honor; it gives you a dose of false honor. Outside of your community, in the world’s eyes, you do not look honorable. You look like a homicidal maniac with neither pride nor honor.

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