Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney told Jewish donors Monday that their culture is part of what has allowed them to be more economically successful than the Palestinians,outraging Palestinian leaders who called his comments racist and out of touch.
As you come here and you see the GDP per capita,for instance,in Israel which is about $21,000 dollars,and compare that with the GDP per capita just across the areas managed by the Palestinian Authority,which is more like $10,000 per capita,you notice such a dramatically stark difference in economic vitality, the Republican presidential candidate told about 40 wealthy donors who breakfasted at the luxurious King David Hotel.
The reaction of Palestinian leaders was swift and pointed,as Romney continued to make missteps with his hosts on a three-country trip designed to bolster his foreign policy credentials while challenging US President Barack Obama for the November election.
The Israel visit was designed to appeal to the Jewish vote in a tight presidential race.
It is a racist statement and this man doesnt realise that the Palestinian economy cannot reach its potential because there is an Israeli occupation, said Saeb Erekat,a senior aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
It seems to me this man (Romney) lacks information,knowledge,vision and understanding of this region and its people, Erekat added. He also lacks knowledge about the Israelis themselves. I have not heard any Israeli official speak about cultural superiority.