Jon Stewart on Romney’s painfully oblivious racism against Palestinians

Israel/PalestineUS Politics
on 82 Comments

As we all know by now, Romney’s visit to Israel was punctuated by his claim that Israel’s economic superiority over the Palestinians is due to culture and the hand of God — implying, of course, that Palestinians have a defective culture and God doesn’t love them as much. (Occupation? What occupation?) Oy. It would just be goofy if people who sincerely believe that — and are fully willing to act on it — didn’t have so much power. Luckily we have Jon Stewart to lay such utter foolishness bare in high, hilarious fashion.

About Pamela Olson

Pamela Olson is the author of Fast Times in Palestine. She blogs here.

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82 Responses

  1. gazacalling
    August 1, 2012, 12:58 pm

    Romney’s probably going to win, so get used to this for four years.

    But at least we have Jon Stewart!

    • lobewyper
      August 1, 2012, 6:01 pm

      Sure, Romney will win–NOT. He won’t get any black or Hispanic votes, and no other Democratic ones.

    • ColinWright
      August 2, 2012, 1:49 am

      I think you’re wrong. I very, very much hope so.

      If Romney wins, we — and the rest of the world — are likely to enter a very dark time.

      This isn’t so much because Romney is so peculiarly awful. It’s just that right about now, we can’t afford a Romney. I’m not sure we can afford an Obama either — but it’s more likely we can.

      • sardelapasti
        August 3, 2012, 12:38 am

        “If Romney wins, we …are likely to enter a very dark time.”

        This is even more absurd than Romney’s culture talk!
        So you think that we haven’t yet entered any dark times, haven’t we, with criminal against peace, Zionist slave Obama, the official end of the Rule of Law under Obama, and the thousand other beauties we are living through… Let’s hear exactly how anything can get substantially any worse than now. Let’s stop that stupid panic talk.

      • demize
        August 3, 2012, 2:58 pm

        lol some of the commentators here are in a perpetual timewarp. They year after year say how wonderful the cryto-zionist and unfunny boring hack Jon Stewart is, how he’s really coming around and finally seeing the light. And yes the Dems are horrible but oh my the Rethugs are truly evil incarnate. Even the ones who seem to get it, then nullify everything they’ve said by lionizing Glenn Greenwald. Who I assure you will eventually reluctantly endorse Obama. He is another slick and sneaky little gatekeeper, never goes quite far enough, still thinks the elites are bound by “laws” other than the law of the jungle. I shake my head. It truly baffles me. Its like expecting to reform NPR or The NY Times. It is delusional.

  2. FreddyV
    August 1, 2012, 1:03 pm

    I wish The Daily Show would allow non US to view their vids.

    Any way around this?

  3. lysias
    August 1, 2012, 1:55 pm

    Romney says this about Mexico and Ecuador and hopes to get Latino votes?

    • Rusty Pipes
      August 1, 2012, 2:28 pm

      Maybe the only Latino vote he worries about is the right-wing Cuban Americans in Florida. They care more about hurting Castro than about slights to Mexico and Ecuador.

      • MLE
        August 4, 2012, 3:00 am

        Cubans are ultra racist against Mexicans and Central Americans too.

    • frankier
      August 1, 2012, 3:03 pm

      “Romney says this about Mexico and Ecuador and hopes to get Latino votes?”

      … of course, it does… All Latinos know that once you cross the border, the air you breath changes your culture… come on… you surely know that !!

      It seems to see Bush all over again!!

    • ColinWright
      August 1, 2012, 3:59 pm

      ‘Romney says this about Mexico and Ecuador and hopes to get Latino votes?’

      That was just objectively stupid. Ideology aside — and even Israel aside — Romney is not exactly impressing.

      ‘People get the leaders that they deserve.’

      That our choice is between Obama and Romney speaks volumes.

  4. Fredblogs
    August 1, 2012, 2:52 pm

    Yes, it is unfair to compare the Israeli economy to the Palestinian economy. Instead we should compare it to the surrounding Arab countries that aren’t under occupation. OK, well, better than them, and by more than the 3 billion in aid the U.S. gives them would indicate. GDP per capita in Israel is about $31k. Population is about 7 million, so subtract $500 each to account for the $3 billion. Heck, lets subtract a whole $1k. So that brings it down to about $30k. Let’s see, Jordan ~$6k, Syria, about $5k, Egypt, $6.5k. Surprisingly Lebanon ahead of them at $15k.

    Of course the super rich oil countries do surpass it, on average. Qatar, UAE, and Kuwait all have higher GDP/c. The Saudis with $24k come close.

    Obviously no cultural superiority of Israel then.

    • ColinWright
      August 1, 2012, 4:00 pm

      “…Obviously no cultural superiority of Israel then.”

      And AGAIN. This is exactly what the Nazis said as they stormed across the Western USSR. ‘We must be right — just look at how these people live.’

    • straightline
      August 1, 2012, 4:17 pm

      Fred, your mastery of economics is at least the equal of your expertise in history, politics and humanity.

    • lyn117
      August 2, 2012, 12:19 am

      Explain why it’s unfair to compare the Israeli economy to the Palestinian economy? They’re both under Israel’s control.

    • ritzl
      August 2, 2012, 1:09 am

      Subtract out the stolen Palestinian water (without which Israel would completely cease to function as you know it), the stolen land for manufacturing sites, the open/advantaged markets in the US and the EU, and Israel’s economy withers to about half.

      Now add to the Palestinian economy their own water (which they could probably sell back to the Israelis for what the Israelis currently sell it to them for and get an immediate $1K p/c gdp bump; i.e. +~30%), unfettered internal and external travel, a sustained construction explosion(!), natural gas reserves, their own banking, access to their own tax money, tourism, open/advantaged markets in the US and EU, Palestinian diaspora investment and energy, and you’d probably quadruple the Palestinian economy within a decade.

      Moral being, Israel’s economy is artificially and substantially inflated and Palestine’s economy is severely and forcibly undermined. On a level, legal, and relatively corruption-free (PA) playing field the numbers would be more like $20K to $10K respectively, and narrowing over time.

      Colonialism had and has at its core an exploitive economic motivation which, sadly, works (for a while).

      • ritzl
        August 2, 2012, 8:12 am

        Eh, bad numbers on the water. Israel abstracts approximately 400MCM over their Article 40 allotment x ~$2/CM = $800M or about a $200 p/c GDP bump or ~8%. Not 30%, but still…

        World Bank Publishes Assessment of Restrictions on Palestinian Water Sector Development (pdf, page 11):,,contentMDK:22145826~pagePK:1497618~piPK:217854~theSitePK:294365,00.html

      • Theo
        August 2, 2012, 9:48 am

        More to it:

        Instead of the israelis we gave the palestinians over a trillion dollars over the last 65 years, unlimited entry to the US markets, billions invested in their military, gave them equipment that even our Armed Forcess don´t have, allowed them to systematically bomb and raid israeli territories, jail thousands of israelis without charges, bulldoze their towns and homes for new palestinian settlements, harass them constantly, make sure it takes a whole hour for them to go three miles to work, (if they have any), kill their leaders whereever you find them!
        Did I leave anything out?

        After all these we compare their economy and see who wins?
        Freddy, how many thousands of american tax dollars were needed to plant one single fruit tree in Israel?

      • ritzl
        August 2, 2012, 3:23 pm

        Completely agree, Theo.

        A “blooming desert” is the perfect analogy for the Israeli economy… Unnatural.

    • Hostage
      August 2, 2012, 4:15 am

      Yes, it is unfair to compare the Israeli economy to the Palestinian economy. . . . GDP per capita in Israel is about $31k

      FYI, it’s because Israel doesn’t have a deportation agreement with Russia. So a few Oligarchs brought their billions and “Jewish” culture to Israel.

      When you get tired of averaging them in, head over to the National Insurance Institute and read their annual Poverty and Social Gaps Reports.

    • straightline
      August 2, 2012, 4:56 am

      Richard Silverstein today:

      “Israel has one of the greatest disparities (5th place) in wealth among the western nations. Its economy is essentially capitalist oligarchism with a small number of families controlling a vast amount of capital and wealth.”

      • Citizen
        August 2, 2012, 11:07 am

        @ straightline, which explains why the US/Israel tricycle is based on a wheel composed of (1) Zionist Israel Firsters both Jewish and Christian/fundy, (2) a wheel composed of US government elected leaders bribed by AIPAC, and a (3)third wheel composed of the US 1% oligarchy generally, including the big corporations heading the US military-industrial-security complex. Big Oil gets its cut in any case, which oils the trike.

    • thankgodimatheist
      August 2, 2012, 7:40 am

      “Surprisingly Lebanon ahead of them at $15k”
      And that’s despite the fact that its infrastructure was deliberately destroyed in 2006! Guess by whom?
      Leave the Lebanese alone and they will may Israel look like a 4th world country in comparison. But they rarely have a chance with the southern neighbour making sure it wouldn’t be the case as demonstrated in 2006.

  5. chet
    August 1, 2012, 2:53 pm

    JS also mentions that the Rombot’s “cultural” remarks also suggest that Jews are adept at making money – an anti-Semitic “trope”.


    • Fredblogs
      August 1, 2012, 9:43 pm

      Except it really wasn’t about making money so much as making a strong economy. So it’s a strained interpretation at best.

      BTW, Romney isn’t a robot, he’s more like Eddie Haskell.

      • Woody Tanaka
        August 2, 2012, 9:00 am

        “Except it really wasn’t about making money so much as making a strong economy.”

        Yeah, Fredo, because the world is ripe with economies that are “strong” but in which no one makes money.

      • Citizen
        August 2, 2012, 11:12 am

        @ Fredblogs

        So what does that make Bibi, Sheldon Adelson, and AIPAC?

  6. stopaipac
    August 1, 2012, 3:41 pm

    of course you hear Jon Stewart lampooning Romney on this, that’s all well and good. But what pleasantly surprises me is that i was watching “liberal” shows on
    Current cable and they too were shaking their heads at this. and i think it was the Spitzer show (or maybe it was the War Room with Granholm?) where they had this Newsweek writer on and they talked about Romney “outsourcing foreign policy decisions to Israel” when they talked about Romney’s support of Israel attacking Iran if they have the mere *capability* of developing a nuclear weapon. It’s really a different discourse, if only they would apply it to the Democrats as well, as they certainly have earned it. Although, to their credit, a few of the shows on their were also quite critical of Obama’s unexplained use of assassination policy against Americans living abroad.

    • Charles Barwin
      August 1, 2012, 4:35 pm

      This weekend, Mitt Romney did as much for the anti-Zionist cause in America as any previous efforts.

      Major eye opener, promoting major intrigue, education, and resentment.

      This is truly a Hasbarist’s nightmare.

      Romney campaigning in Israel will go down as the moment America woke up to Zionist overreach in America.

      • Ellen
        August 1, 2012, 7:06 pm

        Aside from the bit of obligatory gushing of forced praises for the “beehive” of activity in Israel, this was a significant opinion piece by Friedman in the NYTimes:

        “Much of what is wrong with the U.S.-Israel relationship today can be found in that Romney trip. In recent years, the Republican Party has decided to make Israel a wedge issue. In order to garner more Jewish (and evangelical) votes and money, the G.O.P. decided to “out-pro-Israel” the Democrats by being even more unquestioning of Israel.”

        BTW, today is the Swiss national holiday. They figurd out hundreds of years ago — in 1515 — that taking different sides in foreign affairs may result in being defeated.

      • Theo
        August 2, 2012, 9:54 am

        Yes, Ellen, the swiss are doing just fine and their democracy comes near to a real one, ours is just a sham.
        What a difference 50 years make!! Then we still had a good shot at a free democratic society, today we are very near to a dictatorship.

      • Citizen
        August 2, 2012, 11:16 am

        @ Ellen, the Swiss also figured out that every citizen should own a gun in case of attack by outsiders, and that it’s very profitable to hide rich folk’s money.

      • Ellen
        August 2, 2012, 6:45 pm

        While gun ownership is relatively high in Switzerland it is due to various reasons — historical and cultural. Yet every single weapon is registered and all ammunition is accounted for at the Kanton level.

        As for hiding “rich folks” money. That, too, has long historical reasons. But not only for rich people. The surrounding principalities, which later became countries have a history of war and confiscation from private ownership.

        And in moden history as fascist governments became more efficient and brutal in stealing from citizens, privacy and protection laws were increased. (only on the early 50s did the Swiss banking industry really realize they were onto a marketing gig.)

        The most stringent laws for privacy and protection were enacted as the Nazis to the north and fascist to the south came into power.

        All those laws have since been abandoned. By 2014, under pressure and recent enactment of US laws, the Swiss banking privacy laws will be completely abolished.

      • Ellen
        August 2, 2012, 6:55 pm


        More on the real background of the now defunct Swiss privacy laws:

        As an aside, Switzerland has a very large and historical Jewish population and enacted stringent laws to protect physical and monetary assets of those seeking refuge.

        (unfortunately, not so much for individuals seeking refuge…..but that’s another story.)

      • Theo
        August 3, 2012, 11:53 am

        Abandoning secret banking…

        I would not bet a dollar on this, although they are under pressure from all directions we should not forget who has money in Switzerland?
        The rich and powerful who tell our politicians to jump and they ask politely:
        “How high?”
        Who governs the USA and Germany, the common people, the voters?
        Forget it, they may choose which party forms the government, however they are nothing, but puppets on the strings.
        Henry Ford said: you can buy my car in any colour as long as it is black!
        Now you buy politicians in different colours, but they are the same inside.
        Scratch any politician and you get a lot of dirt on your hand.
        With that said, I do not worry about my millions in swiss banks, they are in good hands.

      • David Doppler
        August 1, 2012, 8:15 pm

        I think you’re right Barwin. It triggered the NewsHour interview of Jeremy Ben-Ami and Noah Pollack on Monday, examining how Mitt’s Israeli controversies are playing out among American Jews. Ben-Ami got in the last word, saying American Jews support Obama 70 – 30. This very public discussion provides a lot of room for a lot of people to push back against the notion that whatever some angry, terror-filled, terror spewing neocon says about Obama and Israel represents the common view of all Jews, and that opposition to such views is both naively stupid and a form of Anti-Semitism.

        And it shows a side of Romney that I was not aware of. There is something positive, patriotic and intelligent to say about the effect culture has on economic prosperity, and that could be said about both Israel and the United States, forming a strand in the cord that binds us, but to bluntly attribute Palestinian economic disadvantage is such terms, and generalize it to other allied countries like Mexico, is amazing, right up there with Herman Cain’s Uz beki beki stan stan comment, revealing a disappointing, disqualifying proneness to diplomatic gaffes that Maureen Dowd had great fun with on Sunday, and Jon Stewart, too: National GeoGaffe-ic.
        I’d like to know Obama’s role, if any, in this process. If he or his campaign in fact challenged Romney, as Noah Pollack said, to draw the differences in policy toward Israel before the trip, and had the news media primed to include a true discussion of those differences on prime time, sort of change the rules of journalistic engagement just as Romney thinks he’s spiking the football exclusively for pro-Zionist consumption, that would be impressive.

      • Citizen
        August 2, 2012, 11:24 am

        @ David Dopler,

        RE: “I’d like to know Obama’s role, if any, in this process. If he or his campaign in fact challenged Romney, as Noah Pollack said, to draw the differences in policy toward Israel before the trip, and had the news media primed to include a true discussion of those differences on prime time, sort of change the rules of journalistic engagement just as Romney thinks he’s spiking the football exclusively for pro-Zionist consumption, that would be impressive.”

        All Obama’s handlers have to do is press MSNBC and CNN to devote some time to Stephen Walt’s 10 Questions for Obama:

        I won’t hold my breath. Nevertheless, Walt, like his cohort Mearsheimer, have a way of pointing the way to get Americans to think about what is at stake in US foreign policy. Imagine there influence if they had been born Jewish.

    • demize
      August 2, 2012, 2:11 pm

      DING DING DING you are today’s winner. These people like Stewart are partisan hack cryto-zionists, maybe not so crypto. They have zero political consistancy; an act they criticize will be praised or ignored depending on the party affiliation of the actor. They a bourgeoisie liberals. Maddow is a good example, how any of you intelligent folks still involve yourselves in electoral politics is beyond me, we are well passed thay stage.

  7. lysias
    August 1, 2012, 4:52 pm

    Romney isn’t backing down. Now he has a new piece in National Review Online repeating his “culture” nonsense. Mitt Romney: Culture Does Matter.

    • traintosiberia
      August 1, 2012, 9:57 pm

      It does.Thats why it is important for Americans to see the picture of Romney organizing supports for Vietnam war in the college campus while making divine deal on earth to avoid the draft to preach Mormonism in France.
      Was it in Daily Mail (UK) ?

      • American
        August 2, 2012, 10:20 am

        Romney organized support for the Nietnam war but then he took 2 deferments, one for a student and one for his ‘Mormon missionary work’ –in France of all places.
        Another chickenhawk panytwaist.

      • Citizen
        August 2, 2012, 11:33 am

        @ American
        Chickenhawk? As Dick Chaney said, he had more important things to do. Bill Clinton too, although Bill said he’d grab a rifle and fight for Israel. Nice to know our great American leaders are more like Sheldon Adelson than Audie Murphy. Mitt was asked why his five sons never served in the military, given he, Mitt, is such a war hawk. He said they serve by supporting his campaign:

      • Citizen
        August 2, 2012, 11:36 am

        @ American
        And now Mitt is organizing support for war on Iran, while his five sons have avoided fighting in the wars in the Middle East he has steadfastly supported.

      • lysias
        August 2, 2012, 12:04 pm

        And, during his trip abroad, Mitt didn’t bother to visit any of our troops overseas. (Obama, during his trip abroad in 2008, went to Iraq.)

        Among the countries in which the U.S. has bases overseas are the United Kingdom and Israel.

    • David Doppler
      August 2, 2012, 12:21 am

      Thanks for posting this link lysias, but I disagree that this is “culture nonsense.” Romney’s National Review piece will play very well to a large segment of the private sector – many undecideds. What’s very different from this piece and what he said in Israel is in the last line: “Israelis, Palestinians, Poles, Russians, Iranians, Americans, all human beings deserve to enjoy the blessings of a culture of freedom and opportunity.” In Israel he basically pandered to the racists in Israel – it’s their own fault – while for a broader audience, he goes on record advocating freedom for Palestinians. Classic Romney flip flop – tell them what they want to hear, “I’m just like you. I was for abortion before I was against it.” Was he clueless about the plight of Palestinians? Or just pandering? I suspect the latter, the guy is not clueless in absorbing facts and analyzing what can be said to make himself sound like the people he is pandering to, he’s just clueless in terms of understanding that what gets said at his level gets parsed by everybody. I think he’s understanding what happened to Jimmy Carter in 1980 and George HW Bush in 1992, and trying very hard to come down on the winning side. Maybe Obama is more clever than those two. Maybe tectonic plates have shifted. We’ll see.

      • Citizen
        August 2, 2012, 11:57 am

        @ David Doppler,

        RE: ” I suspect the latter, the guy is not clueless in absorbing facts and analyzing what can be said to make himself sound like the people he is pandering to, he’s just clueless in terms of understanding that what gets said at his level gets parsed by everybody.”

        All politicians do the same.
        What distinguishes Mitt?
        That he’s at the highest level, running for POTUS as one of two main party candidates, and so he knows acutely his stuff will be parsed–and if he didn’t, he does at this point, yet he believes even less than most politicians at the higher levels (Perry was even worse), in the intelligence and education of the American Public. To tailor this to your conclusion, of course he knows he has to follow the AIPAC line, and I’m sure he has been reminded by his handlers of what happens to US biggies who cross Israel, same as Obama, but he also knows that many in the Jewish Establishment’s top shelf, along with the Israeli top shelf, don’t think Obama loves Israel enough. He’s banking on this, and on his acute low opinion of the American masses to have significant interest in US foreign policy. He’s making a bet that the crappy economy, combined with Dick and Jane’s love of Boot-strapism in the face of the ever-widening income gap, and lack of interest in, and knowledge of, foreign policy, and knee-jerk patriotism–will turn the tide to get him into the Oval Orifice. His handlers tell him so, and it’s in line with his own ego and self-projections, which are more simple than Obama’s.

    • RoHa
      August 2, 2012, 12:24 am

      I’m inclined to agree that culture matters in the way a country develops. I’ll even go so far as to say that current Arab culture(s) looks as though it needs a makeover.

      But culture is not an excuse for denying people their rights.

      • seafoid
        August 2, 2012, 5:05 am

        “I’ll even go so far as to say that current Arab culture(s) looks as though it needs a makeover. ”

        Why? The Arab countries are second division in the global economy. That is deliberate. We want their oil and that overrides everything. They are not core like the OECD countries so their people get less resources and the rules of trade and business all work against them . China is the same. It’s not core. Citizens in core states are treated well. Those in non core states have to fend for themselves. That is the global system.

        The Arabs are entitled to their culture. What have we ever done for them?

      • RoHa
        August 2, 2012, 11:46 pm


        Try starting here.

        “The Arabs are entitled to their culture. ”

        I don’t know what that is supposed to mean.

        “What have we ever done for them?”

        Not a lot. Mostly “we” have done to them. But I think they could have done more for themselves in spite of us.

        Nonetheless, all this is irrelevant to the question of whether Arabs have the same basic rights as (e.g.) New Zealanders.

      • Averroes
        August 3, 2012, 9:28 am

        They are entitled to their own culture and customs and ways. If they have problems that need sorting out, they can sort them out on their own, without outside intervention or interference, or any holier-than-thou and condescending attitudes. Other cultures, not just Islamic or Arab ones, are not required to toe-the-line of the dominant hegemony of Pax Americana culture, simply because it happens to be the dominant one in our day and age. Perhaps we think it would be nice and proper that they should follow our ways, or live life according to our customs and conventions, or implement political and economic and social systems that are modeled on European or American lines, create and re-create the world in our own image, so to speak. That still doesn’t mean they have to. There are other ways of living, of progress and advancement, of civilization, other than the modernist and materialist, rape-the-earth for all it’s worth type consumerism of the West. They’ve been around for thousands of years, and will continue to exist long into the future, despite the ongoing Orientalist and Eurocentric mission civilisatrice, the crusade to whip the heathens, the primitive barbarians into submission in order that they may be saved by following our ways.

      • RoHa
        August 4, 2012, 2:52 am

        “They are entitled to their own culture and customs and ways.”

        I still don’t know what that is supposed to mean.

        “If they have problems that need sorting out,”

        The Arab Human Development Reports say they do. I agree.

        “they can sort them out on their own,”

        They can, but the history of the last century suggests to me that they need to work a bit harder at it. Am I not allowed to make such judgements?

        “without outside intervention or interference, or any holier-than-thou and condescending attitudes.”

        None of which I am advocating.

      • Averroes
        August 4, 2012, 5:31 am

        “They can, but the history of the last century suggests to me that they need to work a bit harder at it. Am I not allowed to make such judgements?”

        You are, so long as you’re able to put things in their proper historical context. I’m not going to assume or pretend to know what your views are on this topic. However, let me point out one crucial historical fact: one of the main factors contributing and leading to extremism in Islamic societies, has in fact been the advent of modernism, usually in the form of a scorched-earth crusade-like policy, i.e. colonialism, imperialism, unfettered capitalism, myopic and delusional nationalism etc… John Esposito and others (notably Edward W. Said) have done some marvelous work in this field, showing how it pretty much had a spring-effect reaction, i.e religious extremism in those parts of the world became a sort of lashing out, a hysterical reaction to what some elements saw (rightly) as a viscous, devious and poisonous encroachment and attack on their cultures and religions. This goes back to the beginning of the 19th century with Napoleon’s invasion of Egypt, and going forward you have the British and French carving up the the Middle East along lines that suited their own interests, imposing leaders or monarchs among the natives that did their bidding, creating artificial nation-states according to their own whims, etc… The same would apply to Africa and most other parts of the Third World. This divide-and-conquer colonial strategy lasted up until WWII, as I’m sure you’re away, at which point the torch was passed on the US, albeit in a less direct form.

        Please note that I am not at all suggesting that the Arab and Islamic worlds do not have real internal problems of their own. They surely do. What I want you to imagine is what many of these countries would look like if there had not been this type of meddling by foreign powers concerned only with their own interests, economic gains and geopolitical strategies. Imagine had this not taken place for the past 2 centuries. Am I saying that the Arab or Muslim worlds would be flamboyant and glamorous utopias with no problems? Not at all. Am I saying that they would be much more “advanced” in all the areas you may think of, that a good portion of the sectarian and social/political strife that we see today would not exist? Yes, absolutely. Take the case of Turkey, as one example, a country that has luckily avoided being intervened in by outside foreign powers since the break up of the Ottoman Empire some 90-100 years ago. Notice where they stand now, one of the strongest and most thriving economies in the world (not just the region), a strong, well-trained, and technologically-advanced military, a working political system, etc… Again, I’m not trying to give you perfect examples, so please do not misconstrue my points. Turkey still has problems, as do all nations. My point is that although I am not trying to absolve the Arabs or Muslims of any responsibility in their own state of affairs today, what I am saying is that the situation would look drastically different had the foreign interference on the part of Europe and America (ongoing in the latter case) not existed. Things would not be perfect, but they would definitely be much better. For one thing the Arabs need to overthrow all their dictatorships and monarchs and stop acting as pawns on the chessboard of Western powers, need to pursue their policies that serve the interests of their own people instead of the wishes of Washington, London, Paris, Moscow or Tel Aviv. And they need to get united. And they need to allow a more open political process. And they need to stop having resource-based economies and instead invest in promoting other sectors of their economies, take a more broad and multi-faceted approach, etc.. And the list goes on and on. Just saying the fight would be easier, much easier, if they had the advantage of not having both hands tied behind their backs, while getting punched repeatedly in the groin.

      • Citizen
        August 4, 2012, 7:28 am

        @ Averroes
        Your comment is very understandable, including the tone of it.

      • seafoid
        August 20, 2012, 1:06 pm


        Have you ever lived in a third world country ? Poverty drives behaviour. If you want to change the Muslim world, get the OECD dismantled and bring the income in Iraq up to NZ levels.

  8. GJB
    August 1, 2012, 6:04 pm

    Thanks for posting this Pamela; feels good to laugh out loud about it for a change! Hmm, Stewart just gave me an idea: A massive march on one of the checkpoints, everyone carrying an EZ Pass application. If we can’t beat them any other way, let’s drown them in paperwork and choke them on their own bureaucracy!

  9. Carowhat
    August 1, 2012, 6:45 pm

    Great line by Jon Stewart’s Palestinian correspondent to end the show. “The Palestinians have been here thousands of years and don’t even have their own country yet. Israel has only been here 60 years and, counting Florida, they have two.”

    • Citizen
      August 2, 2012, 12:12 pm

      @ Carolwhat
      Yes, I’ve lived in Florida for 8 years, and have tight friends on both coasts and in central Florida. Safe to say, Florida is redneck fundy, when not redneck oblivious to foreign policy, especially in central Florida and along the Panhandle and on upper Florida eastern shore, or it’s knee-Jerk Pro-Israel, meaning the Jewish community in general in the urban areas and the gentile politicians there who have to deal with them. No doubt, it’s Israel here. Nearly nobody ever thinks about the Palestinians plight, nor about the ramifications of our one-sided special relationship with Israel.

    • demize
      August 2, 2012, 6:03 pm

      If you include New York its four, separate Brooklyn and its five.

  10. piotr
    August 1, 2012, 7:36 pm

    Thus spoke Mitt Romney: But one feature of our culture that propels the American economy stands out above all others: freedom. The American economy is fueled by freedom.

    Apart from quibbling like: what propels Chinese economy, it nicely explains that under occupation or an “occupation-like condition” (in case you agree that there is no occupation) there is no freedom, so…

    However, other “top 10 cultural features” on Romney list seem a bit questionable:

    Many significant features come to mind:

    our work ethic (behind South Korea, but well, so is the rate of growth)

    our appreciation for education (especially school sport teams)

    our willingness to take risks (see the success of gambling tycoons like Adelson!)

    our commitment to honor and oath (something wrong with grammar, I guess work ethic of NR editors is below national average)

    our family orientation (in what sense American variant is peculiar, divorce rate?)

    our devotion to a purpose greater than ourselves (nothing beats suicide bombers here, perhaps American moderation in that devotion is the good feature)

    our patriotism (which is always better than their patriotism)

  11. chris o
    August 1, 2012, 8:44 pm

    It is sad but true that only because laughs and yuks are their primary purpose can they create pieces like this. And they deserve a lot of credit. There is some scathing commentary here. But at root and at heart, it is a comedy show albeit a very influential one in political circles. Is shouldn’t be too highly praised or panned for its politics.

  12. seafoid
    August 2, 2012, 4:19 am

    Absolutely hilarious stuff. There are so many satirical targets in Israel.

  13. calm
    August 2, 2012, 1:53 pm

    I don’t really think there is much difference between both major political parties.

    They just play an awfully great game of musical chairs and which gives us the illusion of a functioning democracy.

    The Fix is already in place.

    The Republican Party (The Corporatist Party) has decided to walk away from the Christian Right. They knew that electing a Mormon was a direct insult to the Christians as they view Mormonism as a cult. The Republicans know full well that as the economy worsens, people like Billy Graham and The Boys will begin to ask “What Would Jesus Do?” and not be so much concerned about cultural issues such as abortion and whatever.

    The Republican Party needs time to rebrand itself from the “Religious” brand and become a “Personal Security” brand.

    As the economy continues to crumble, it will become a battle between the Occupy Folks and the Law and Order Folks.

    The establishment also realizes that the minority population has suffered the greatest during this economic collapse, (43% unemeployment among black youth).

    The establishment knows full well that the only reason the Occupy Movement did not become “Whole” was because the visible minorities wanted to keep their powder dry. The visible minorities don’t want to destroy the first black presidency.

    Once Obama leaves office, the Occupy Movement will be front and center stage, (Complete and Whole) and pose the largest threat to the Ruling Class since the 1960’s.

    So, the establishment has already conceded the election to Barack Obama and he will be “Allowed” to win.

    Obama will be “Allowed” to own the Presidency, but not the control of Congress.

    And in the meantime, the Republican controlled congress will use the next four years to rebrand it self as the “Personal Security Party”, and get all the ducks in order and introduce all the necessary anti-terror legislation required for the battles (civil unrest) which lay ahead.


  14. Averroes
    August 2, 2012, 7:34 pm

    @ calm,

    Totally agree with your points. The US needs to somehow get out of the two-party system deadlock, otherwise it risks destroying itself, and much of the world with it. Jill Stein really seems to know what she’s talking about. Other than that, voting either democrat or republican, you can be sure your vote will be signed in the blood and tears of many innocent civilians across the globe. A lot of Americans may seem indifferent to that. I, for one, would never be able to enable and dignify such a corrupt and abominable and atrocious process by casting my vote in favor of either party, both of which are subservient, boot-licking lapdogs to Wall Street.

    For an insightful piece by the always insightful Greenwald on the state of America’s current oligarchy, see:

    And Ali Abunimah dissected Romney’s racist comments/attitudes here:

  15. Averroes
    August 2, 2012, 7:49 pm

    I should also point out that by even succumbing to the Eurocentric views of “progress”, which view progress and advancement and civilization only in the modernist perspective of GDP or economic output, we’re merely falling and playing into the racist and ethnocentric maze that asserts that those factors (GDP, economic growth, etc…) are the only real and valuable indicators of progress. We should not accept these assumptions simply because modernism, the poster boy of the Enlightenment and Industrial Revolution, tells us that this is so, that we all have to play by these rules, that no other parameters or considerations or factors may even be considered, let alone allowed into the discussion of “progress”.

  16. Kathleen
    August 3, 2012, 10:30 am

    Jon Stewart has come a long way the last few years. For years he would pick on Iranian leaders etc but never ever touch the oppression, the violence, the illegal settlements in occupied territories. Never. The last few years he and his team have moved on these issues. Better late than never. But a welcome and powerful shift

  17. Kathleen
    August 3, 2012, 12:17 pm

    Stewart covered his ass by invoking the “horrible” things that have happenned to Jews. Al ask how long have the Palestinians been around….Stewart does answer “thousands of years” Al “and they don’t even have their own country” ouch.

    “Israel has been a country for 60 years and counting Flordia…that’s two” Oh boy they are going to get some outrage on the “60 years” thing. Hey the Jewish guys who wrote the Bible and told us that they talked to Yahweh and he said the land is for Jews. Century 2000 B.C. Yahweh the real estate broker. What a bunch of hooey. The Daily show is sure to catch some hell on that bit

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