Gaffe or good politicking? That’s one of the questions we’ll be tackling on “The War Room” tonight, as Hussein Ibish joins Jennifer Granholm for a discussion of Mitt Romney’s comments during his visit to Israel and the ensuing outcry about what his remarks mean.
Pretty much every news network has covered the story that Romney’s speech to a small group of big donors is being criticized as racist by Palestinians. In the speech, Romney characterizes Israeli culture as a main reason the country’s per-capita GDP has thrived. He then compared it with Palestine’s per-capita GDP, but cited incorrect numbers. Add to that Romney’s omission of any context about Israel’s continued power over what crosses into the West Bank and Gaza, and it all starts to look sketchier and sketchier.
“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, a senior aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.”
The Monitor also points out that global bodies, including the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, have said that the Palestinian economy can grow only if Israel lifts border security restrictions. So Israel may be succeeding because of its culture, but the culture is also impeding the neighbors. And for all the hand-wringing of Palestinians and their supporters, Romney walked out of his fundraiser at the King David Hotel even more buddy-buddy with megadonor Sheldon Adelson — and with an extra $1 million in the campaign coffers.