Tuesday, July 31, 2012
To: Friends & Supporters
From: Gary L. Bauer
Romney Talks Culture In Israel
Mitt Romney is predictably being blasted by many commentators in the mainstream media for his assertion over the weekend that the stark difference in the performances of the economies of Israel and the Palestinian territories is rooted in culture and by extension in the values of the two societies.
“If you could learn anything from the economic history of the world, it’s this: Culture makes all the difference,” Romney said in Jerusalem. “Culture makes all the difference. And as I come here and 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.”
Never has the American left’s bankrupt worldview been so clearly demonstrated than in its reaction to Romney’s comments. A front-page Washington Post story today takes Romney to task for daring to mention the C word. The title of the Post article is, “In Israel, Romney wows crowds but puzzles with grasp of Palestinian relationship.” The story goes on to state that Romney’s “assessment is one not widely shared within Israel, and suggested a lack of sustained study or nuanced understanding of the Israeli-Palestinian relationship.”
Really? The cultural differences between Israel and the Palestinians are enormous, and it’s not hard to see how they affect their economies and much else. Israel springs from the same cultural and moral norms as we do. The Palestinian territories have a culture of death.
Israel was founded as a democracy and is rooted in the Judeo-Christian worldview. It believes, as we do, that every individual has inherent dignity and worth. The Palestinians are dominated by radical Islamists who treat their women like property, while teaching their children that there is no greater glory than to die as martyrs for Allah. In Israel and the west, there is a commitment to tolerance and religious liberty. In the Palestinian territories, there are no synagogues, and Christians live in constant fear of violence.
In Israel, you can turn on the television to the equivalent of Sesame Street and find characters asking Israeli children: If you have four pieces of candy and give one to the little boy down the street, how many will you have? In the Palestinian territories, there are kids’ shows with characters who ask: If four Jews are raping your sister and you kill one of them, how many Jews are still raping your sister?
The economic differences are huge. To take just one indicator, in Israel per capita GDP is $31,000; in the West Bank and Gaza it’s only $1,500. The suggestion that the Palestinians are struggling economically because of Israel is absurd. But to many on the left, it’s the only acceptable explanation, because they refuse to accept that one culture or set of values could be better than another.
It’s important to note that the same commentators who refuse to even entertain the idea that Israel performs better because of its culture and values are the same people who are unwilling to say that the United States remains a shining city on a hill because of our values and our Judeo-Christian worldview. The reaction to Romney’s remarks is a breath-taking display of the stupidity that defines that left’s cultural and moral relativism.
Don’t Forget Chick-fil-A
Tomorrow, August 1st, is Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day. And I am proud to join with Governor Mike Huckabee and others in encouraging people to show their support for the restaurant chain’s Bible-based value system by eating out at one of their locations. But remember: This can’t be a one-day effort. The left is planning a grinding campaign to drive Chick-fil-A out of business. You already know about the numerous liberal politicians who are threatening to prevent the restaurant from doing business in their cities. Several colleges have also moved to keep Chick-fil-A from selling its tasty chicken on campus. If there’s a Chick-fil-A close by, be sure to put it at the top of your list for good, affordable food.