Romney-esque reflections

Israel/PalestineUS Politics
on 11 Comments

I am struck dumb by the precision and astuteness of Mitt Romney’s observation about the regressive nature of Palestinian culture. Of course, he addressed the subject only tangentially in explaining the obvious: that the difference between the Israeli and Palestinian economies is the result of cultural differences. His formula applies to a wider range of phenomena.

When I first read it, I struggled with the deeper anti-Semitic nuance of the statement. Attributing economic success to Jews on the basis of ingrained cultural traits could well bring ruination on the head of someone like Barack Obama, known for his lack of purity when it comes to race. After all, the man’s mere looks, not to mention his full name, evoke echoes of deep-seated racial intolerance and gut-level sentiments to do with doctrinaire narrow religious beliefs. And now his supporters have come up with a genealogical rumor linking him to the first slave in the USA so as to harp on everyone’s heartstrings and gain their sympathy. None of that is going to wipe away his Islamic and Arab roots, believe me.

Not Romney! To him a spade is a f…ing spade. Palestinians are cultural retards, period. Why else would they refuse the enlightening influence of the only democracy in the Middle East and resist the benign embrace of the most moral army in the world? They insist on keeping their cave dwellings in the South Hebron Hills when right next to them Israelis are building spacious villas and modern high rises. What greater evidence of cultural deprivation do we need?

Or take those Palestinian Bedouins in the Negev: For years the Israelis have afforded them the luxury of enlisting in their armed forces. Yet, despite years of patient and concerted efforts at their modernization through the role models of their Jewish commanders, they still insist on returning to their primitive place of residence in the desert. In the village of El‘araqeeb for example, Israel has extended to them the services of its most efficient demolition crews and equipment on credit for a total of over three-dozen times to no avail. They still go back and rebuild their hovels on the same grounds claiming that their fathers and mothers and their ancestors before them are buried there. It is enough to make one wonder who those barbarians think their dead are! Kabbalistic mystics or Hasidic holy men or what? Whose land is this anyway? Not only no culture but also no shame! No civilized historical perspective whatsoever!

And if that were not enough, take the recent news article by Zafrir Rinat entitled “Ecological Occupation” in Haaretz for example (which I fail to locate for you online!) It opens with the statement that “In the last two years, Jewish settlers in the West Bank have made a concerted PR effort to showcase their commitment to the environment.” So, how do the Palestinians in their ignorance react when such magnanimous neighbors as the NGO Green Now and the municipality of Ariel beseech them to “separate the environment from politics” and invite them to lay their belligerence aside and attend a conference entitled “Environment Without Borders?” As expected, they react by “preferring to hurt their citizens,” as our Minister of Environmental Protection points out. They simply do not participate. Had they attended they would have learned a simple fact or two such as the main conclusion presented at the conference “that Israeli settlement activity … has less of an environmental impact on the Palestinian Authority than the PA has on the environment in general and on Israeli settlements in particular.”

Believe me, it is impossible to help people lacking in culture. Here I am speaking of the same deficient culture that leads to economic poverty that Romney pointed out. Some of us, successful Israelis residing in Israel proper, having put up with the sullying of our Samaria and Judea by the continued presence of so many Palestinians in it, when we try and help some of them escape economic deprivation by hiring them “to dispose of solid or construction waste on public lands,” we get blamed for it even when we go so far as to help them smuggle it across the Green Line. Or on occasion when “The cost of the race to put facts on the ground by Israeli settlement activity was paid by nature,” such as in the prominent case of Ofra where “Currently, the state is trying to authorize a wastewater treatment facility built recently without permits on private Palestinian land,” we wind up having to put up with all the Palestinian whining.

To look at it with Romney’s clear-eyed vision, it is all there in black and white: What do you expect from a culturally deprived invented people in the first place? Why should environmentally aware people like us expect cooperation from the Palestinians? First, you need a culture that values cleanliness. Not the Palestinians, Romney knows.

About Hatim Kanaaneh

Dr. Hatim Kanaaneh is a Palestinian doctor who has worked for over 35 years to bring medical care to Palestinians in Galilee, against a culture of anti-Arab discrimination. He is the author of the book A Doctor in Galilee: The Life and Struggle of a Palestinian in Israel. His collection of short stories entitled Chief Complaint was released by Just World Books in the spring of 2015.

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11 Responses

  1. CloakAndDagger
    August 4, 2012, 3:59 pm

    The reason that the Romneys and the Obamas in our country can (have to) do what they do, to our ultimate destruction, is because they and all in government are chained by the Zionists and Israel-firsters who control us. It is the most treasonous form of betrayal for this nation. I fear that unless we can change this calculus, there is only ruin in our future.

    At America’s Funeral
    (With apologies to the Bard)

    Friends, Americans, countrymen, lend me your ears;
    I come to bury America, not to praise her.

    The evil that nations do lives after them;
    The good is oft interred with their bones;
    So let it be with America.

    The Zionists hath told you America was antisemitic:
    If it were so, it was a grievous fault,
    And grievously hath America answer’d it.

    Here, under leave of Zionists, Israel-firsters, and the rest–
    For Zionists are patriotic citizens;
    So are they all, all patriotic citizens–
    Come I to speak in America’s funeral.

    She was my country, faithful and just to me:
    But Zionists say she was antisemitic;
    And Zionists are patriotic citizens.

    She hath wrought many wars on Israel’s enemies;
    Her taxpayers did the Israeli coffers fill:
    Did this in America seem antisemitic?

    When that the Israelis have cried, America hath wept:
    Anti-semitism should be made of sterner stuff:
    Yet Zionists say she was antisemitic;
    And Zionists are patriotic citizens.

    You all did see that on the floor of the UN
    Palestinians thrice requested of her a state of their own,
    Which she did thrice refuse: was this anti-semitism?

    Yet Zionists say she was antisemitic;
    And, sure, Zionists are patriotic citizens.
    I speak not to disprove what Zionists spoke,
    But here I am to speak what I do know.
    You all did love her once, not without cause:
    What cause withholds you then, to mourn for her?

    O judgment! thou art fled to brutish beasts,
    And men have lost their reason. Bear with me;
    My heart is in the coffin there with America,
    And I must pause till it come back to me.

    — Marcus Antonius (CloakAndDagger Tony)

  2. DICKERSON3870
    August 4, 2012, 8:27 pm

    RE: “To look at it with Romney’s clear-eyed vision, it is all there in black and white: What do you expect from a culturally deprived invented people in the first place?” ~ Hatim Kanaaneh

    The Ruling Class, 1972, R, 154 minutes
    After a House of Lords member dies during a bizarre cross-dressing ritual, his nutty son, Jack (Peter O’Toole) — who thinks he’s Jesus Christ — is bequeathed the family estate. As a result, his family members must scheme to steal back Jack’s inheritance. This 1972 cult comedy, in all its murder and mayhem glory, takes a swipe at every swath of class-obsessed British society. Arthur Lowe shines as Jack’s lucky servant, Tucker.
    Netflix Format: DVD and streaming (until 8/07/12)
    • Netflix DVD –
    • Netflix streaming –
    • Internet Movie Database –
    • Wikipedia –
    The Ruling Class movie trailer [VIDEO, 01:14] –
    • Peter O’Toole in “The Ruling Class”: an unofficial, spoiler-free trailer — take 3 [VIDEO, 08:16] –
    • Excerpts from “The Ruling Class” [VIDEO, 09:59] –

    • DICKERSON3870
      August 4, 2012, 8:42 pm

      P.S. ALSO SPEAKING OF “CULTURE”, SEE: “In Jerusalem, Pipes suggests Muslim polygamy has ended ‘Jane Austen’ England”, By Philip Weiss, 09/17/10 (excerpts)

      . . . Here is a snapshot of Jerusalem life. My wife and I go to dinner in the German Colony, a good neighborhood in West Jerusalem. . .
      . . . We walk home past a conference center. Former Israeli Ambassador Dore Gold is outside talking on a cell phone. Inside, Daniel Pipes is speaking, the U.S. neoconservative, the hall is sold out, but we jam in the back. The Hadar-Israel Council for Civic Action. He’s talking about the Muslim threat in Europe. England and Sweden have lost their essential character, England has given up the “Jane Austen” side of its culture for a new Muslim flavored England. “Before our eyes it is becoming a different country.”. . .
      . . . The problem is not the hijab or the minarets, that is just “symbolic,” Pipes says. The problem is laws that allow polygamy. Apparently that is the thin edge of the wedge that will destroy western civilization, Muslim practice of polygamy! Pipes says that we must use all means we can to counter radical Islam, including “demographic” means. I am not sure what he means, but he suggests that means having more babies. Europeans are only having 2/3 of the babies they “need” to have to replace themselves. Immigrants are making up much of the rest.
      The audience asks a bunch of questions that are intolerant of Islam. One woman with a strong accent calls Pipes naive and says that we should be dealing with the Muslim world as we should have dealt with the Nazis.
      So Daniel Pipes is a liberal! Only in Jerusalem. . .

      SOURCE –, 09/17/10

      • traintosiberia
        August 5, 2012, 9:15 pm

        Pipes has been trying to spread peace.He after trying UN and all other avenues and not meeting his goal has turned to the safest place to do so .

  3. DICKERSON3870
    August 4, 2012, 10:43 pm

    RE: “To look at it with Romney’s clear-eyed vision, it is all there in black and white: What do you expect from a culturally deprived invented people in the first place?” ~ Hatim Kanaaneh

    Homo Sapiens 1900 (2000) NR, 85 minutes
    This documentary follows the history of eugenics — scientific studies designed to improve genetic qualities, usually by selective breeding — from when it gained steam at the start of the 20th century to its decline after World War II. Initially, the hype involved promoting a healthier lifestyle, but the real controversy dealt with Nazi leaders who used the theory to determine which members of society were less desired and expendable.
    Director: Peter Cohen
    Netflix Format: DVD and streaming
    • Netflix DVD –
    • Netflix streaming –
    • Internet Movie Database –
    • Wikipedia –
    ALSO ON YouTube: Homo Sapiens 1900 – [History of Eugenics] (VIDEO, 1:24:05) –

  4. Miss Costello
    August 5, 2012, 8:57 am

    Hatim Kanaaneh


  5. Citizen
    August 5, 2012, 11:21 am

    Mitt believes if you’re smart, you can bring yourself up by your own boot straps. He really does favor equal opportunity, and fully supports it. By Mitt’s logic, those poor blacks born and raised during Jim Crow, akin to a velvet version of Palestinians born and raised during Israel’s occupation, simply don’t have sufficient brains nor ambition to help themselves to the bounty available to all. And while we are on the subject of failure to take advantage of equal opportunity, what is it in the culture of America that does not produce a costly tax attorney handling everybody’s tax returns to take full advantage of the system, such as it is?

  6. ColinWright
    August 5, 2012, 3:38 pm

    Speaking of the man.

    Romney releases an ad attacking Obama for not visiting Israel (!) and averring his own support for that abomination.

    Check out the row of alternating US and Israeli flags.

    I feel like it’s 1992 and I’m reading a science fiction novel set in 2012. It’s not a bad one, either. We should be getting to the action pretty soon.

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