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  • 7/31/2019 JTNews | August 10, 2012


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  • 7/31/2019 JTNews | August 10, 2012


    2 opinion JTn . www.JTnews.neT . friday, augusT 10, 201

    Th cltr o sccss anailr

    Jonathan S. tobin JNS.orgAlls air in love, war and politics. So it is

    to be expected that Jewish Democrats desir-

    ous o President Obamas re-election will

    be doing their best to perpetuate the ideathat Republican presidential candidate Mitt

    Romneys oreign trip this month was an

    unmitigated disaster. But the media narra-

    tive about his trip to Israel is one that ought

    to worry supporters o Israel no matter

    which party or candidate they support.

    Romney is said to have disgraced him-

    sel by saying that i you want to under-

    stand the stark contrast between the success

    o Israel and the ailure o the Palestin-

    ians, Culture makes all

    the dierence. It was to be

    expected that the Palestin-

    ian Authority (PA) would

    attack him. But the Ameri-

    can mainstream media has

    been almost as scathing in

    describing it as an insult.

    While political observ-

    ers will rightly put this

    down as just one among

    scores o minor skirmishes

    in a long presidential cam-

    paign that wont have

    much impact on the nal

    outcome, the controversy

    is actually quite signii-

    cant in terms o what it

    reveals about American attitudes toward

    the Middle East. Far rom Romney being

    revealed to be a oolish dabbler in or-

    eign policy whose blunders have exacer-

    bated an already troubled peace process,

    his comments were actually quite accurate

    about the reasons why Israel is a haven o

    ree enterprise and the areas run by the

    PA are, to be charitable, a basket case. It

    is, instead, Romneys critics, such as the

    pompous editorialists at the New York

    imes, who are demonstrating their pro-

    ound ignorance. Whats more, it is the

    reusal o so many allegedly inormed

    observers o the region, as well as Amer-

    ican and European political gures, to

    admit that what Romney said was true,

    that is enabling the corruption and vio-

    lence that continues to sink any hopes o

    Palestinian reorm.

    Te act that the key to success lies

    in the political and economic culture

    o a nation is something that has been

    acknowledged by virtually every credible

    authority on the subject. Indeed, even the

    United Nations Arab Human Develop-

    ment Report noted that existing cultural

    norms in the Arab world are a primary

    obstacle to progress.

    Romneys critics say hes wrong because

    Israels occupation is the reason why

    the West Bank and Gaza are so depressed.

    While the continuance o the conlict

    because o Palestinian intransigence doesnt

    help development, that is not the cause o

    all their problems. As anyone who has even

    a passing knowledge o how the PA govern-

    ment in the West Bank, as well as the ind

    pendent Palestinian state (in all but nam

    that Hamas governs in Gaza, work, o

    cial corruption is the rule rather than thexception. Te complete absence o the ru

    o law there is not the ault o Israel but

    the terrorist organizations masquerading

    political parties who run those places.

    Instead o concentrating on osterin

    ree enterprise and creating trust, the ocu

    o the Fatah-run entity is the enrichme

    o the ruling elite and the continuance

    the war on Israel. Following in the oo

    steps o Yasser Araat, Mahmoud Abb

    and his cronies have squandered or stole

    most o the billions that have been poure

    into these areas by the European Unio

    and the United States.

    Palestinians are not just hampered b

    the Arab cultural backwardness in whic

    human rights are abused, women are di

    criminated against, and gays and rel

    gious minorities are persecuted. Tey a

    harmed by their own particular culture,

    which rejection o the legitimacy o Isra

    and omenting o hatred against Jews h

    given their leaders license to eschew pea

    and gloriy violence. Anyone who ignor

    this truth and the need or Palestinians

    undergo a cultural sea change or peace o

    prosperity to have a chance is doing the

    no avor.

    Te troubling aspect o this story

    not whether Romney will be hurt by it, b

    whether riends o Israel on both sides

    the political aisle will continue to avoid th

    truth about the Palestinians. Neither pol

    ical correctness nor the political advantag

    that Democrats seek justies the attac

    on Romneys remarks. Anyone who car

    about peace in the Middle East includin

    Jewish liberals ought to be echoing th

    Republican on this issue, not attacking him

    JNS Columnist Jonathan S. Tobin is senior

    online editor of Commentary magazine and

    chief political blogger at

    www.commentarymagazine.com. He can be

    reached at jtobin@commentarymagazine.com

    Follow him on Twitter at @TobinCommentary


    Mitt Romney touches the Western Wall during his recent trip to Isra

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  • 7/31/2019 JTNews | August 10, 2012


    friday, august 10, 2012 . www.jtnews.net . jtnew OpiniOn

    Islam is the perfect religion for Muslims. Christianity is the perfect religion for Christians. Judaism is the perfect religion for Jews.

    Rabbi Jim Mirel of Temple Bnai Torah at a joint Tisha BAv/Ramadan event last week. See the full story on page 6.

    the rabbis turnObama has hlp makIsral sar

    Edgar M. bronfMan JTa World Nws SrvcNEW YORK (JA) Troughout a

    hal-century o international diplomatic

    work, I have learned to tell the politi-

    cians rom the riends and the charlatansrom the statesmen. Charlatans scream.

    Tey tell you what you want to hear and

    call other people names. Friends and lead-

    ers need not rely on rhetoric or boisterous

    bravado. Tey produce results and act on


    President Obama is such a riend and

    leader. In his 3-1/2 years in oce he has

    deepened and strengthened the relation-

    ship between the United States and Israel.

    And today, Obama continues to imple-

    ment a comprehensive pro-Israel agenda

    that has made Israel saer and more secure.

    Under Obama, U.S. nancial aid to

    Israel is at its highest levels ever. During

    the past our years, Israel has avoided

    becoming engaged in any substantial

    rontal military engagements, advanced

    its notable economic development, and

    remains prepared or negotiating a com-

    prehensive peace. Obama as president

    has led a mutually benecial resurgence

    in the exchange o strategic technology,

    intelligence and cooperation between

    U.S. armed orces and the Israel Deense


    Standing by Israel, Obama opposed the

    unilateral declaration o a Palestinian state

    and blocked its recognition at the United

    Nations. He supported Israels right to

    deend itsel and conronted head-on the

    now-discredited Goldstone Report that

    condemned Israeli deensive action o its

    coast. He also ordered the United States to

    withdraw rom the Durban Review Con-

    erence, whose namesake conerence was

    supposed to be about racism but instead

    became an anti-Israel hate-est. Obama

    stated unequivocally that he United

    States will stand up against eorts to single

    Israel out at the United Nations or in any

    international orum.

    Going even urther, Obama has taken

    the oor o the United Nations to declare

    that Israels existence must not be a sub-

    ject or debate and that eorts to chip

    away at Israels legitimacy will be met

    only by the unshakable opposition o the

    United States.

    When Fatah and Hamas joined polit-

    ical orces and pressured Israel to enter

    negotiations with them, Obama told the

    world that No country can be expected

    to negotiate with a terrorist organization

    sworn to its destruction, concluding that

    Israel cannot be expected to negotiate

    with Palestinians who do not recognize its

    right to exist.

    And this is also why Obama has taken

    such a strong stand against the Iranian

    nuclear program the single greatest

    threat to the State o Israel and the stability

    o the Middle East. Afer years o inaction

    and neglect by the Bush administration,

    Obama constructed an international coali-tion to impose the most crippling sanc-