What's Standing in the Way of Palestine's Success? – Tablet Magazine
This is an interesting article about Mitt Romney's recent speech in Jerusalem. Smith examines the question about the cultural differences between Israeli and Palestinian societies. Romney suggested that Israel is successful, and Palestinian society is not, because of their cultural heritage. Palestinians of course cried foul and said, "No it is all because of Israeli occupation." Romney was accused of a major diplomatic gaffe. Smith writes: "Erekat and Masri are correct—so long as the word occupation is understood in a fuller context. Instead of building a bustling economy, the Palestinians have devoted their energies to waging war against Israel for more than 60 years. The absence of a Palestinian state is proof that this war has been unsuccessful, wasting almost three generations of Palestinian talent." This is indeed correct. The culture of victimization in Palestinian society is the root of the disparity. Most interesting is the fact that outside of Palestine, the Palestinians are successful and their diaspora thrives. Our cultures might very well be more similar than we wish to admit. Romney is wrong. It is not a difference of culture but instead of leadership. The difference is that Israel's leadership is singularly devoted to nurturing Israeli creativity and success whereas the Palestinian leadership is singularly devoted to destroying Israel.
On a related theme read this recent Tablet article as well: Romney and Einstein: Racists?