Think what you may of this.
Think what you may of this.
By John Podhoretz
While in Israel, Mitt Romney said something every sane person knows to be true: There is great cultural and political meaning in the fact that Israel has prospered while the Palestinians have festered.
“Culture,” Romney said, “makes all the difference … you notice a dramatic, stark difference in economic vitality.” He didn’t specify what he meant by “culture,” but you can take your pick.
You want a political culture that works to create conditions under which an economy can thrive? Since signing the Oslo Accords with the Palestinians, Israel has spent two decades working to unshackle its economy from its socialist roots, with remarkable results.
The Palestinians? They’ve created what the House Foreign Affairs Committee has called a “chronic kleptocracy,” with foreign aid and investment shamelessly stolen and diverted to the bank accounts of the leaders of the Palestinian Authority and its gangsterish local strongmen. According to Jim Zanotti of the Congressional Research Service, Uncle Sam has given the Palestinians $5 billion since 1994. We might as well have lit a match to most of it. It hasn’t gotten to the people who might’ve used it best; it’s simply served as personal financial lubricant for the folks in power.
You want a healthy social culture? The Middle East Media Research Institute has spent decades detailing the diseased messages emanating from Palestinian TV and textbooks, instructing children in the glories of suicide terrorism against innocent Israelis.
You want a culture where citizens are free to express themselves and so live in the openness necessary to the functioning of a successful economy? Israel has a free press, much of it openly hostile to the parties in power. The Palestinian Authority has arrested and tortured critical journalists, as well as conducted denial-of-service attacks against Web sites reporting on corruption.
And this doesn’t even take into account Hamas, the radical terror group in charge of Gaza. It, too, has lived parasitically, sucking the life out of the Palestinian economy.
In 1993, pre-Oslo, the GDP in the territories was $2.9 billion, according to the World Bank. In 2011, it was something like $10.5 billion — a small increase when you consider population growth. In Israel, the GDP has risen from $66 billion in 1993 to a stunning $243 billion in 2011 — per capita, from $12,500 to $31,000.
One reason Palestinian economic growth has been so disastrously slow is the terror war that Yasser Arafat launched against Israel in 2000 — the “second Intifada.” It shattered Israeli hopes for peaceful concert with a new neighboring country, and led to an economic estrangement that proved horribly costly to Palestinians. Israelis stopped employing Palestinian workers and stopped buying Palestinian goods. Transit and trade between the two became difficult and painful.
And whose fault was it? Israel, which agreed in principle to a deal at Camp David in 2000 granting Palestinians a state with sovereign dominion over nearly 94 percent of the West Bank? No, it was exclusively the doing of Arafat, who served as a reverse George Washington — rejecting nationhood for the violence he understood better.
So Romney said Israel has done better than the areas under Palestinian control because Israeli culture is healthier. That’s not only true, it’s a necessary thing to say — because the refusal to say it and accept it contributes to the continuing immiseration and unfreedom of the Palestinians themselves.
Of course, for saying this, Romney was called a “racist” by Saeb Erakat, the longtime slavering lackey of every Palestinian murderer and thief. Erakat blames “occupation” for Palestinian poverty. But the PA has dominion over almost all of the West Bank and Hamas has control over all of Gaza, so the word “occupation” is all but meaningless — except as shorthand for “Israel still holds Jerusalem.”
Erakat’s nonsense was to be expected. But what of how that repugnant lackey’s words were then shamefully echoed by slavering US media lackeys — of the Obama re-election effort?
Dan Amira in New York magazine spoke for much of the press corps with an item titled “Mitt Romney Insults Whole New International Populace.” He wrote: “After he enraged the British by suggesting that their Olympics might not be as awesome as his Olympics, Romney moved on to Israel, where he appeared to blame Palestinian poverty in part on … the territory’s inferior culture.”
It does have an inferior political culture. Romney spoke the truth. And it wasn’t a gaffe — because anyone who publicizes his remark is helping Romney win the election. Even those who foolishly think they’re hurting him.
Isn’t primal, irrational hate a wonderful thing?
From Ahram Online:
Egypt’s censor has halted production of a film for allegedly promoting the normalisation of relations with Israel, Al-Ahram Arabic has reported.
Mohamed Kenawy who wrote the film, Regheef Aish…
“French President Nicolas Sarkozy promised on Tuesday that if he is re-elected, his second foreign visit would be to Israel and to the areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority. AFP reported that the purpose of the visit would be to push a European peace initiative.”
“Within the last four days, more than 160 rockets have been fired by Islamic terrorists from Gaza. As the world has looked elsewhere, nearly a million Israelis in the south have endured a daily round of terror, intimidation and disruption. But if the latest escalation from Gaza teaches us anything, it is that the received wisdoms about the Arab-Israeli conflict continue to fly in the face of reality. Land for peace and Israeli disengagement is not the panacea promised by the Left, for the Palestinian version of peace is a fatal cocktail of terror, hatred and incitement.
“Indeed, whenever Israel has vacated territory in recent years, she has usually paid a very steep price. In 2000, Ehud Barak ordered the IDF out of Lebanon after many years of bloody warfare. Despite the fact that the occupation of Lebanese territory had ended, Israel suffered rocket attacks and the abduction of its soldiers by Hezbollah. In 2005, Ariel Sharon ordered the disengagement from Gaza, an action that included the painful uprooting of some 9,000 Jewish residents. Within two years, Hamas had seized control in Gaza in a violent coup and thousands more rockets had been fired at communities across southern Israel. In each case, the terror intensified the more Israel was prepared to offer concessions.”
Former supermodel Kathy Ireland talks about how she is pro-Israel at the AIPAC conference.
This is the introduction and is the first 9 minutes of the interview. Check out President Peres’ Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Shimon-Peres/ for the full video; it should be online later today, COO of Facebook says.
Facebook Interview with President Shimon Peres
Live discussion on March 6 with Shimon Peres, the President of Israel. President Peres speaks with Facebook’s No.2 Sheryl Sandberg on his interest in Internet technology and reflect on his career as one of the longest-serving politicians in the world and a Nobel Peace laureate. He’ll also take questions directly from people on Facebook.
The Israeli President Shimon Peres is currently on Facebook Live RIGHT NOW. He has been invited by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg personally to fulfill Peres’ hope to go online to have a dialogue among people to seek peace. Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg is moderating the event. Live comments and questions are available to be asked during this live stream.
Israeli Noy Alooshe, probably best known for his video remix of Gaddafi’s “Zenga Zenga” speech, has returned. Israeli President Shimon Peres has launched his Facebook page to launch dialogue and peace among people with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerburg this week. Alooshe has made a video remix advertisement for President Peres’ announcement.