By Ben Cohen: Mitt Romney is not having a good week. After campaign ending footage was released of Romney describing half of the America population as blood sucking parasites, it then transpired that he had gone on to declare he wasn’t interested in a settlement between the Israelis and the Palestinians.
Part two of the footage put out by Mother Jones saw Romney saying the following:
Some key quotes:
I look at the Palestinians not wanting to see peace anyway, for political purposes, committed to the destruction and elimination of Israel, and these thorny issues, and I say there’s just no way….
You hope for some degree of stability, but you recognize that this is going to remain an unsolved problem. And we kick the ball down the field and hope that ultimately, somehow, something will happen and resolve it.
It’s worth watching Romney’s analysis of the crisis in full because he displays a nuanced understanding of both sides of the argument, and declares what everyone else actually thinks: The situation is incredibly complicated and there doesn’t look to be a way out. Romney describes the problems Israel has with Palestinians having sovereignty over their borders and airspace (they don’t want Iran or any other nations shipping weapons into Palestine) and outlines the Palestinians unwillingness to accept Israel interfering in their business.
The problem is that despite a nuanced understanding of the conflict, Romney regards the Palestinians as subhuman and therefore not worthy of being taken seriously. Romney has gone out of his way to insult the Palestinians, particularly during this election where he is trying hard to shore up the Jewish vote and please one of his wealthiest Jewish benefactors, Sheldon Adelson. Romney showed up in Israel while campaigning for President promising to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem (the city Palestinians regard as their capital), then inferred that the Palestinians were a failure as a race in comparison to the culturally superior Israelis. It sounded like something out of a Nazi speech – and I’m choosing my words carefully here.
It’s worth mentioning a couple of things here. Firstly, the Palestinians are not committed to the destruction and elimination of Israel any more than Israel is committed to the destruction and elimination of Palestine. Sure, there are factions in both nations that want to destroy the other, but most Palestinians and most Israelis want a peaceful settlement rather than ethnic genocide. The Palestinian Liberation Organization representative Ambassador Maen Rashid Areikat condemned Romney’s assertions in withering terms and laid out the PLO’s stance on Israel:
Romney’s allegations that Palestinians are committed to the destruction of Israel are baseless given the fact that Palestinians have expressed support for the two-state solution, and repeatedly recognized Israel’s right to exist. The best way the Republican nominee can help in resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is by adhering to long-standing U.S. policy regarding an acceptable solution that will lead to the end of military occupation of Palestine, peace, and security.
Romney of course understands this, but he simply doesn’t care. He is too worried about appeasing AIPAC and rich Jewish donors in America to speak politically correctly about the Palestinians. He’s towing the line for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in return for his interference in the elections where he holds considerable sway. The Obama administration hasn’t been much better on the Israel/Palestine conflict, but you at least get the feeling that they consider Palestinians to be actual human beings. Obama has repeatedly tried to get Netanyahu to stop building illegal settlements as a precondition for peace talks, and although he hasn’t pressed for it particularly hard, he has the right idea. Obama has also let Netanyahu know that the US will not support an Israeli attack on Iran, an issue Romney has sided with the Israeli Prime Minister on in spite of official US policy.
Secondly, the leaked video again shows Romney for what he is – a highly intelligent sociopath who is so committed to becoming President he will throw literally anyone under the bus to get there. Romney displays the typical bullying tactics of powerful elites by picking on literally the most defenseless demographics out there: Minorities, Palestinians and the poor. But that is the modus operandi of the Republican Party – an organization now made up of grotesquely rich white males with no understanding of poverty, no understanding of the wars they vote for, and no interaction with people who don’t look like them.
The Palestinians are there to be beaten up on and used as a way of shoring up the Jewish vote in American politics. But at least the Democrats attempt to facilitate peace talks when in power because privately they understand that the conflict is not one sided. Romney’s ideas about the conflict exist in a completely different paradigm though. Romney knows there is another side of the story, but he’s not interested in it in the slightest, betraying a deeply worrying personality defect that can lump entire brackets of people into categories of worthiness an unworthiness. There are the rich, who are useful, and the poor who are not. There are white voters who are useful, and non-whites who are not, and Jews who are useful to Romney’s Presidential ambitions, and Palestinians who are not. This seems like a harsh description of the man, and I’m usually reluctant to throw around terms like ‘racist’ or ‘fascist’, but it’s pretty hard not to when Romney is giving speeches writing off half of Americans as useless leeches and dismissing an entire race as culturally useless thugs.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.