Romney’s “Hand Of Providence” Madness

Romney’s foreign policy trip is quite a success so far, if pissing off the British and the Palestinians was on the agenda.

The latest comes from The Guardian:

Palestinian leaders expressed offence and outrage at comments by Mitt Romney during his lightning visit to Israel, in which he said the Jewish state’s economic success compared with its Palestinian neighbours was due to “cultural” differences and the “hand of providence”, and declared Jerusalem to be “the capital of Israel”.

Now, I know not many folks here in Southwest Missouri don’t give a damn about offended and outraged Palestinian leaders, since many of my fellow citizens in these parts believe Jesus is going to rain down hell on all of Israel’s enemies some sweet day, when God finally stops dithering and starts killing.

But  if there is ever to be peace between Jews and Arabs in the real world, it might behoove folks like Romney to stop suggesting God is on Israel’s side—and by extension ours—even if Romney’s home-cooked religion tells him so. It was a stupid thing to say, given what is at stake, and particularly stupid if Romney becomes our Theologian-in-Chief.

The Guardian continues:

Saeb Erekat, a senior Palestinian official, condemned Romney’s comments. “It is a racist statement, and this man doesn’t realise that the Palestinian economy cannot reach its potential because there is an Israeli occupation,” he said.

“It seems to me this man lacks information, knowledge, vision and understanding of this region and its people. He also lacks knowledge about the Israelis themselves. I have not heard any Israeli official speak about cultural superiority.”

Romney, who did not visit the West Bank while in the Holy Land, made no mention of either Israel’s 45-year occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem, nor its continuing blockade of Gaza, both of which have had a catastrophic impact on the Palestinian economy.

The consensus of international economists, including the IMF and the World Bank, is that the Palestinian economy will fail to develop firm foundations and sustained growth until Israeli restrictions on imports, exports and the movement of goods are lifted.

So, not only does Romney not understand American economics—he is a supply-sider, after all—in one 30-hour stay in Israel he has thrust his ignorance into the middle of a long, long feud in the Middle East.

Can’t wait for his remarks in Poland today. Have you heard the one about the Polish firing squad?



  1. ansonburlingame

     /  July 30, 2012

    I have yet to find the specifics that Romney said about preparations for the Olympics that was “outrageous”. From all that I read before Romney’s visit the security preps were not going well. No bombs yet, so they probably got that problem fixed. As well, my guess is that Cameron and Romney had some “frank discussions” that will not be seen in the press over what the U.S. and Great Britain might do given the economic turmoil in Europe today.

    The only countries in the Middle East that are doing well economically are the ones with control of oil. Look at the conditions in Palestine in 1948 and now today in Israel, economically.and politically. Then explain why that is the case. Subtract oil wealth from GDP in the Middle East and I wonder which country will stand tall, economically in that region??

    As for Poland, I expect Romney will have some private discussions with Polish leaders about why we pulled the “missile shield” out from under them. The last time I heard much about Eastern Europe was that it was a hotbed of PRO Americanism. Now I wonder why Romney chose not to go to France!!



  2. It is the most basic elementary belief for Jews, and also for some Christians and Muslims that the Jews have survived as a people for more than 3000 years is because God has wanted them to survive.

    The Bible is very clear that Jews belong to the Land of Israel. So do thousands of years of history.

    It is so central that the Koran repeats this idea

    The Quran, chapter 17 (Al-Isra), verse 104:

    “ And thereafter We [Allah] said to the Children of Israel: ‘Dwell securely in the Promised Land. And when the last warning will come to pass, we will gather you together in a mingled crowd.

    Romney’s statement about Providence is an expression of his and many people’s religious views.

    An independent Palestinian State can only happen with real trust and compromise.

    But right now there is no trust between Israelis and Palestinians. Each side is not hearing what the other side is saying.

    The Hamas rule of a de facto state which promotes hatred and war against Israel did a lot to make a similar withdrawal on the West Bank seem like a bad idea.

    One of the most important issues in building trust is a view that both the Jewish and Palestinian peoples have a right to political self-determination .


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