“It is no small thing to suggest you view one group as culturally inferior. It is no small thing to suggest that God plays favorites.”
Joshua Greenman discusses the serious mistake Mitt Romney made yesterday in Jerusalem:
“Romney, speaking to a group of donors, meant to praise Israel’s success. In the process, he demeaned Palestinians — pointing to “a dramatically stark difference in economic vitality” between the Jewish state and the occupied territories. His diagnosis: “Culture makes all the difference.” Then, among other factors playing to Israel’s favor, he cited “the hand of providence.” Yikes. If Romney becomes President, he will have to work with both sides. It is no small thing to suggest you view one group as culturally inferior. It is no small thing to suggest that God plays favorites.
“Obviously culture matters. It has helped make Israel a global engine of innovation. For years, Arab nations have been soul-searching about why they’ve struggled to keep up; that’s part of what fuels the Arab Spring.
“But in the delicate context of the Mideast, it is tone-deaf to bring this up with no recognition of the legitimate gripes of Palestinians. [...] For Romney to attribute Israel’s success partially to providence is damn near dangerous. Imagine how it’ll play in translation in Muslim-majority countries: The would-be President thinks the Lord made Israel rich. Nevermind the logical fallacy. Is it also God’s will that the Arabs got most of the oil, which is why Qatar and Brunei are far richer than Israel per capita? If they’re twice as wealthy as mostly Catholic Poland, is that because Allah made them so?”