After Mitt Romney’s shambolic visit to the United Kingdom, where he suggested they were not quite ready for the Olympics and got the entire country practically to give him the middle finger, Mitt seems to have done it again.
During his visit to Israel, he suggested that a “superior” Israeli culture was responsible for the economic disparity between Israel and the West Bank.
In doing so, he managed to offend all Palestinians as well as many Israelis, who view his comments as anti-Semitic – the racist view of Jews and money.
Not content to lay it to the Palestinians, who might argue that occupation might have a thing or two to do with their economic doldrums, he also inferred that ‘inferior’ Latino culture similarly results in the comparatively poor economic performance of Mexico vis a vis the United States.
The Associated Press story reads:
“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 Republican presidential candidate told about 40 wealthy donors who ate breakfast at the luxurious King David Hotel.
Romney said some economic histories have theorized that “culture makes all the difference.”
“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.” He said similar disparity exists between neighboring countries, like Mexico and the United States.
His final comment also infers that Latino culture is inferior to that of the United States because of the same disparity in economic circumstances.
As a firestorm builds around the candidate’s new utterances, one wonders whether he can actually visit a country without offending a majority of the people in it. Time will tell, I guess. He has a few more countries to visit.