Sakset/Fra hofta

Mitt Romney er kritisert og latterliggjort for sin uttalelse om at Israels økonomiske suksess skyldes kulturelle faktorer. Han kontrasterte til forholdene på Vestbredden, som ikke er noen suksess.

Men skyldes det kulturforskjeller, er det ikke et resultat av israelsk okkupasjon og blokade, spurte kritikerne. Eller rettere: de spurte ikke, de konstaterte. Romney hadde brutt med en gylden regel i det globaliserte samfunn, han hadde nevnt kulturelle forskjeller. Det får man ikke, ikke i en så følsom konflikt hvor sympatien skal være hos the underdog, palestinerne.

Marc A. Thiessen skriver i Washington Post at Romney ikke har noe å være flau for. Han sa simplethen sannheten.

Pressen kritiserte Romney for ikke å nevne Muren/Gjerdet. Men hva er de et resultat av? De glemmer å stille det spørsmålet. Terror er ikke noe bare en liten gruppe begår, den har bred støtte blant befolkningen.

But these security measures are the direct result of culture — the culture of terrorism that permeates the Palestinian territories. In 2009, the Pew Global Attitudes Project showed support for suicide bombing on the decline across the Muslim world, with just one lonely exception: the Palestinian territories: “[M]ajorities or pluralities among eight of the nine Muslim publics surveyed this year say that suicide bombing and other forms of violence against civilians can never be justified to defend Islam; only in the Palestinian territories does a majority endorse such attacks.” [Emphasis added].

According to Pew, a full 68 percent of Palestinian Muslims support suicide bombing, while just 17 percent say it is never justified.

Palestinians were also the only other people surveyed (besides Nigerians) where a majority expressed support for Osama bin Laden. Bin Laden had the support of 52 percent of Muslims in the Palestinian territories, down from 72 percent in 2003. What progress!

Når palestinerne stemte for Hamas for fem år siden kan det være fordi de ikke ble skremt av den radikale ideologien deres. De deler mye av den selv.

De stemte også på dem pga korrupsjon, og den er ikke blitt bedre. Korrupsjonen er en annen viktig korrupsjonsfaktor.

Another difference in culture that contributes to the economic vitality gap between Israelis and the Palestinians is the culture of corruption in the Palestinian territories. A poll this year by a Palestinian NGO, the Jerusalem Media and Communications Center (JMCC), revealed that 82.3 percent of Palestinians said there was corruption in the Palestinian government. If the vast majority of Palestinians recognize that their government is corrupt, then it is no that shock foreign investors and international donors see that corruption as well — and are reluctant to pour good money in a society when they know that officials will simply steal it.

Israel har også korrupsjon, det har uttallige skandaler bevist. Men Israel har en fri presse, det har ikke palestinerne, nok en viktig kulturell faktor.

The culture of corruption in the Palestinian territories is abetted by a culture of political repression. In a free society, people have the liberty to speak openly and call out public officials for wrongdoing. But most Palestinians say they do not enjoy this kind of liberty. According to the JMCC survey, 55.2 percent of Palestinians say freedom of opinion in Palestinian society is permissible to little or very little extent. Only 29.7 percent said it is permissible to a large or very large extent.

Freedom House reports in its latest annual survey that in Gaza “[j]ournalists were harassed, detained, and summoned for questioning by security forces,” that “Freedom of religion is restricted,” the “judicial system is not independent,” and that “[s]ecurity forces and militants continued to carry out arbitrary arrests and detentions.” Not exactly a recipe for economic prosperity.

At mediene steiler over at Romney sier noe alle vet, er bekymringsfullt, ikke for Israel, men for oss. Vi begynner også å få en kultur hvor det ikke er lov å si de mest opplagte ting. Sympatier og antipatier skal kanaliseres på en bestemt måte. Dette skaper store spenninger i våre egne samfunn. Vi har det paradoksale forhold at den rettferdigghetssansen man påberoper seg, slår ut i motsetninger på hjemmebane og ute, og skaper alt annet enn fred og fordragelighet. Kan det skyldes at det er virkelighetsoppfatningen det er noe galt med?

There was no Romney gaffe in Israel